We’ve probably all seen the vintage marriage articles advising a bride to make sure that dinner is healthy, delicious, and ready every night when her husband comes home. The internet has a lot of opinions about the idea of dinner being a key responsibility for the homemaker, and they aren’t afraid to let everyone know those opinions.
The thing is though, that regular dinner as a family really is an important part of making a house into a home. It provides time to bond, to unwind from the days stress, and more. My husband, hopeless romantic that he is, still writes me love letters. Right now we’re waiting for housing at our new station, which means he’s in the barracks, and I’m staying with family. His most recent letter was two pages him him telling me how the single thing he’s looking forward to the most is sitting down with me to eat a homemade meal.
He told me how much he missed my cooking, and how that first homemade dinner means we’re actually home. It means that we’re in our own place, with our own things, and have the ability to actually cook instead of getting take out or microwaving something.
Culture today will try to tell you that the idea of making dinner for your husband and having it ready for him is sexist, that it’s not fair. Serving dinner to your family should never be looked down on though. It’s an opportunity to release the stress of the day, and express your love. It’s a responsibility and a joy, to care for your family and make them feel like they are home, and nothing else matters. No matter how bad a day my husband can have at work, if he steps through the door to the smell of dinner cooking and music playing, his heart melts.
Dinner is also a way to share traditions. A part of my grandma lives on when I make her jambalaya. My brisket recipe is the same one my dad learned from his grandfather. The stew I serve in the winter is the same one I grew up eating at my uncle’s table. The butter tarts we serve at Christmas are exactly how my husband remembers them from his childhood.
Dinner is more than a meal. It’s more than an expectation for food to be ready at 6pm. It’s more than TV dinners on the couch. Dinner, real homemade dinner, is a true sharing of family, and a version of home that doesn’t change no matter where you live. When I think about having dinner ready for my husband each night, I think about how that means having home ready for him each night.
We, as a generation, need to make sure that the significance of dinner is not lost or forgotten.