Kitchen Dancing

Let’s face it, times are tough all around right now. This is the worst economic recession since the 1930s and we’re all feeling it in some way. Lord knows we’re feeling it in the Daddy Files household and it’s tough to stay positive.

Like many families, we’re down to one income these days. And it’s a journalist’s income so it almost doesn’t count. Currently we’re living off MJ’s 401k and our tax return. We had to borrow some money from my parents just to stay afloat and still need to pay them back. Over the past year we’ve been chopping away at our credit card debt, but it’s still a pretty intimidating amount. Nevermind the mortgage, car payments, condo assessments and the general cost of taking care of a new baby.

Then there’s MJ’s health, which has improved but is still a concern. She has suffered from Crohn’s Disease for years, while struggling with anxiety and bouts of depression. I’m very proud of her for taking it upon herself to seek out help from a counselor, but postpartum depression and losing her job certainly didn’t help matters. And right now her Crohn’s is flaring up again, but she can’t go to the doctor because our health insurance still hasn’t been officially switched over to my company’s plan yet.

I know we’re not alone and there are many people worse off than we are, so I’m trying not to complain. But it’s very, very easy to get discouraged and despondent in this economy with talk of bailouts and stock market plunges heading up the news everyday.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay positive and reflect on all the good things in life.

I could tell MJ was headed down a bad road a few days ago. She’s worked full time since the age of 14, and not having a job is KILLING her. So when I came home and saw the house was spotless, the fridge was cleaned out, the dishes were rearranged, Will’s old clothes were all packaged up and in the attic and all the meats and frozen vegetables in the freezer had been reorganized…I knew she was reaching a breaking point. The pile of bills sat ominously on the table and she kept looking over there, as if they were taunting her. All she could talk about were the things we couldn’t afford, how we didn’t have the money to travel to her brother’s wedding next month, etc.

One thing that’s really pissed me off since becoming a Dad is running into the age old stereotype that a dad’s main job is to work as many hours as possible and provide as much income as he can, while mom stays home and cares for the kids. Sure dads should work and support his family financially, but there’s so much more to being a dad. There are so many other ways a dad needs to provide for his family that go far beyond a paycheck. And one of those responsibilities is to talk mom off the proverbial ledge and restore some hope and optimism.

And during those times, there’s nothing better than some kitchen dancing.

I turn on our wedding song (Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts) and force her away from the bills and her chores. I hold her close to me and wrap my arms around her and I smile as I stare into her gorgeous eyes. And we dance around the kitchen, her head buried in my shoulder, and even though I don’t utter a word I don’t have to. That’s my way of telling her everything will be OK and we’ll get through it.

And then I squeeze her ass because…well, it’s a nice ass and I can’t help myself.

The point is, it’s easy to get depressed right now and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But at the same time, it’s easy to lose sight of the great things in your life as well. I have a beautiful, healthy son who I love more than anything. I have a gorgeous woman as my wife who, for some reason I’ll never understand, is happy about spending the rest of her life with me. I have a roof over my head, food on the table and friends and family who would do anything for us.

So take a few moments today and do something fun. Treat yourself to a movie, give your significant other an unexpected compliment and otherwise give the finger to this recession going on. Or, if you’re like me, grab your wife and take her for a spin around the kitchen and refresh your memory of how much you love her and how special everything felt on your wedding day.

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15 thoughts on “Kitchen Dancing

  1. I’d like to say something comforting like, if God brings you to it he’ll bring you through it, or God never closes one door without opening another, but I’m the antithesis of all that is Christian sooooo, yea, that’s not going to sound convincing coming from me, lol.

    I’m a big fan of the kitchen dancing though. My wonderful man does things like that at just the right times. He once got out of our van and did the worm in a store parking lot just to cheer me up. I can’t say he ever topped that for unexpectedness and hilarious shock, lol.

    Little stress buster moments make all the difference.

  2. JEE,

    If I had the strength and coordination to the worm I’d be doing it constantly. I wouldn’t even walk, I’d just worm my way around.

  3. Good for you. Doing nice things to keep the mom happy is definatley one of the most important jobs of a dad. Keep up the positive attitude. It will turn around some day.

  4. Ain’t you a little romantic! The touch of the person who loves you most is most often the thing that comforts us the most. Good call.

  5. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay positive and reflect on all the good things in life.”

    I 100% AGREE with this entire posting. You have to stay positive and what you did was awesome:)

    It is hard for the guys to get away from that stereotype…although Bobby is working the 3 jobs though right now so I can stay home because it’s easier for us right now…when the baby is a bit older, I’ll find work (but also daycare is not available to us at all…) 700/week for full time two kids…I don’t think I could make that money and if I could…it would have to be a WHOLE lot more to make it worthwhile.) And while he is not happy about working all these hours, he is happy to see me raising the kids and doing the house work and making him dinner and such…he also likes that it makes me and the kids happy to be on a consistant schedule.
    ANYway, you are right about keeping mom happy…it is important, even though Bobby is working his butt off, he still manages to find the time for a back rub or to help with dinner :) Very sweet of you to do that:) I hope MJ feels better and she can hang on to see a doc for when your ins. kicks in.

    RIght when I start to feel down about money, I have to look at what we DO have and I always then feel grateful.. It is hard to imagine a better place…but if you look at where other people are, you’ll feel more fortunate.

    You are lucky to have such a beautiful, healthy son. :)

  6. If Momma isn’t happy, the family isn’t happy. It took me a few more years to learn that, then it has apparently taken you.
    Great post- and I agree with the sterotype your referencing. The \Leave to Beaver\ days are over; marriage is about taking care of one another (first and foremost).
    Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

    -Al

  7. Last night I wrote a blog post about things going on our home front because of the economy and an update as to what is happening, but I couldn’t finish it. Maybe tonight. Sometimes sucks writing about that stuff – brings it to the front of your mind. You are right about doing something fun… people need to now more than ever!

    Jane needed a stress relief, so I gave her the gift card she gave me awhile back and made a massage appointment for her. It’s all about those little things during times like these.

    SWEET move with the dancing by the way – and you cannot dance in the kitchen without executing the famous ‘ass grab’. Nice move there, too.

    Maybe if husband’s grab their wife’s ass in the kitchen more the world would be a better place. I grabbed Jane’s ass this morning shortly after we woke up. She returned the favor. Neither of us said a word. I guess it’s our new way of saying good morning to avoid the whole morning breath thing.

    As a side note, the two words below for your ReCaptcha are, “rape” and “douglas”. I wonder what kind of a book they are working on right now? Actually, scratch that. I’d rather not know.

  8. That’s the sweetest thing I have heard in a while. And it’s moments like those that are obviously the reason MJ wants to spend the rest of her life with you. That was a classy move! Good man!

  9. Ahhh, this is such a nice post. Time to wake up and smell the coffee (I like good coffee), smile at the one you’re oh-so-lucky to love and who actually loves you back, and stroke those beautiful baby-soft cheeks of your children. What could be better than that?

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