Broiled Cod and the Key to Marital Bliss

I love waking up to headlines like this: Having Children Adds Stress to Marriage. Really? Because I thought it was the key to marital bliss.

Did I mention that our baby woke me up at 5:45 am? And that my husband is in Park City on a boys’ ski trip, smoking a cigar in a hot tub right now? (In his defense, he’s had a hellish travel schedule and deserves time to recoup. I see BlogHer Food ’10 in my future.)

Enough grumpiness. Back to the article. It states:

Be clear about who’s going to do which tasks, whether it’s child care or chores. This is especially important for families in which both parents have jobs. Sometimes expectations need to change to make the family work.

But I disagree. I think there is a hierarchy to chores, like shoveling the walks trumps cleaning toilets. And when you’re home without a paycheck, the chores nobody else wants to do slip to you. So, for the sake of equality in marriage, I think you should both dirty your hands with all sorts of chores. Got five minutes? Whoever’s standing there, take out the trash.

Because here’s the thing: how can you agree on an equal division of labor when you prioritize differently? Matt loves a clean sink; I don’t mind a few crumbs but need clean clothes tucked in our kids’ drawers. So how about we all pitch in until the job is done? It’s a good life lesson for our kids, and the only fair way to do it.

How do you divide up chores in your household?

(Oh, crap. I just noticed that headline’s from last year. That shows you how often I read the news these days.)

Tonight we’re making cod, an easy recipe you can prepare in five minutes flat. No need to plan ahead; just buy one piece of fish per week, and you’ve got one less meal to think up when you walk through the door.

Broiled Cod, adapted from Fish by Mark Bittman:

  • 1 cod fillet
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, halved

Preheat oven to 500. Oil pan. Brush fish with oil or dot it with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 4 inches from source of heat, and bake for 8 – 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Squeeze lemon over it before serving.

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16. March 2010 by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Right now my husband is working like a slave because I’m not, despite my best intentions. While there are tasks that he does because he’s more suited to them- i.e. anything mechanical- I shoulder most of the daily necessities because I have the time and inclination. He does most of the dishes because he hates the mess they make and I’m always the one cooking, but I do all the laundry because I actually like the process. We both do little tidying tasks, and we both can haul out the vacuum. He reminds me to change the oil in my car or I likely would never pay attention to that. Likewise, I urge him out for a walk each day to get away from his desk and his customers. The best aspect of a happy marriage is that you work as a team, and there is no sense of ‘your task’ vs. ‘my task’.

  2. Jen, thanks for posting this recipe. I’m learning to eat more healthfully, despite my limited time and nonexistent cooking abilities, and that looks like something even I can prepare!

  3. I really like the changes to your blog and the layout. You need another book out of this! You did 52 Fights, now do 52 Diapers! Your kids are super cute. :)

  4. We have an indoor-outdoor division. Husband does the bulk of the outdoor labor (lawn care, planting, snow removal, etc.) and I do the bulk of the indoor. He is really great about pitching in with the indoor labor if I ask him. Nice post.

  5. I’m not going to comment on cleaning. That is a sore spot in our house. What cracked me up was your headline. Here’s how I read it – before I re-read it. Broiled Cod = Marital Bliss. LOL!

  6. My husband works and I stay home. Our division of labor is that I do 95% of the deep cleaning, and my husband helps with after dinner clean-up, taking out the trash (that’s all him) and mopping as often as possible. He also does almost all of the outside chores. I think it works well to have a division of labor, you know, who will do what.

  7. I subscribe to your strategy “Got five minutes? Whoever’s standing there, take out the trash.” That’s how I feel all the time. As soon as my husband gets home from work I expect him to start cleaning, because that’s what I’ve been doing all day so shouldn’t he have to too? Not that he does it. I usually just have a 5 hour nagging session the whole time he’s home. Do you envy him?
    Before kids we each helped out pretty evenly. He would mop the floor, do laundry, clean the shower. Now that we are parents and I quit my job to take care of her it has all suddenly fallen to me. I just can’t wait until I can start nagging HER to mop the floor!

  8. We do whatever whenever…there are certain things I do because I *need* to and my husband does what he *needs* to do too – ie: he HATES a large pile of dirty laundry in the laundry room – where as – I could care less because it’s not going anywhere – but if it’s clean-then it HAS to go somewhere –
    Also, like your hubs – mine likes a clean sink/counter – me – eh, it’s nice but not gonna kill me if there are a few crumbs around –
    we try to pull our weight around here and keep it even – though it never is is it???

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