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Do you pack your spouse's lunch?

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On the 'why is it a hot button issue' thing, well, each of our individual decisions builds on each other into a cultural norm. I totally understand that me packing lunch for my husband every day is not a neutral act, it adds a thread to the cultural fabric that says woman = subservient, a culture that my foremothers have sacrificed a lot to try and change.

That said, I have to live in the life I have. I adore my husband (most of the time), and though I'm conscious of these issues, I can't let my marriage turn into a tit for tat game - nobody wins those. Add in two spouses, each bringing their own baggage, and like I said - it's complicated!

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15 minutes ago, LMD said:

On the 'why is it a hot button issue' thing, well, each of our individual decisions builds on each other into a cultural norm. I totally understand that me packing lunch for my husband every day is not a neutral act, it adds a thread to the cultural fabric that says woman = subservient, a culture that my foremothers have sacrificed a lot to try and change.

That said, I have to live in the life I have. I adore my husband (most of the time), and though I'm conscious of these issues, I can't let my marriage turn into a tit for tat game - nobody wins those. Add in two spouses, each bringing their own baggage, and like I said - it's complicated!

I truly respect that you feel that way. I disagree that I'm somehow betraying the sacrifice of the foremothers by doing something loving and considerate for the person who has made it possible for me to fulfill MY dreams. Isn't choice a wonderful thing?

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4 minutes ago, Valley Girl said:

I truly respect that you feel that way. I disagree that I'm somehow betraying the sacrifice of the foremothers by doing something loving and considerate for the person who has made it possible for me to fulfill MY dreams. Isn't choice a wonderful thing?

I truly do get what you're saying. I don't know if you realised that my previous post said that I do happily make lunch (and breakfast, and dinner!) for my dh every day, so I certainly am not trying to judge anyone's marriage.

I'm just saying that having a choice is only one consequence of previous feminist action. Making any choice is in itself not a feminist act. I mean, that's okay, we all make choices based on our worldview and circumstances. But I could make a choice that, from a feminist worldview (liberation of females), is neutral, or pro feminist, or pro patriarchal. Like the choice for me to stay home with my children, I still think it was the best choice, but the mere fact that I'm a female making that choice doesn't make it a feminist act - because feminism deals with class structures and my choice to stay with the status quo can't, by definition, challenge the status quo.

Again, I'm not judging anyone else, or myself, as a bad feminist. Like I said, we still have to live in this world and within our individual situations. I was just offering a reason why imo this topic can be a little hot button. You are of course free to disagree. 🙂

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35 minutes ago, LMD said:

On the 'why is it a hot button issue' thing, well, each of our individual decisions builds on each other into a cultural norm. I totally understand that me packing lunch for my husband every day is not a neutral act, it adds a thread to the cultural fabric that says woman = subservient, a culture that my foremothers have sacrificed a lot to try and change.

That said, I have to live in the life I have. I adore my husband (most of the time), and though I'm conscious of these issues, I can't let my marriage turn into a tit for tat game - nobody wins those. Add in two spouses, each bringing their own baggage, and like I said - it's complicated!

Interesting perspective.  I do agree that serving another is never a neutral act.  

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This question came up, not because a poster was packing a lunch for her dh, but because the poster's husband didn't understand that a) it takes time to do those chores and b) it is nice that she is doing it - not something that she has to do as "slave labor".  I know - slave labor is a loaded term but if something is demanded and criticized instead of requested and appreciated, it ceases to be something done out of choice and certainly isn't done out of love as such.  In fact, her spending time with him came across as yet another demand - something that she had to do out of duty, not because she was choosing of her own free will to watch tv with him or whatever it was. 

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31 minutes ago, LMD said:

I truly do get what you're saying. I don't know if you realised that my previous post said that I do happily make lunch (and breakfast, and dinner!) for my dh every day, so I certainly am not trying to judge anyone's marriage.

I'm just saying that having a choice is only one consequence of previous feminist action. Making any choice is in itself not a feminist act. I mean, that's okay, we all make choices based on our worldview and circumstances. But I could make a choice that, from a feminist worldview (liberation of females), is neutral, or pro feminist, or pro patriarchal. Like the choice for me to stay home with my children, I still think it was the best choice, but the mere fact that I'm a female making that choice doesn't make it a feminist act - because feminism deals with class structures and my choice to stay with the status quo can't, by definition, challenge the status quo.

Again, I'm not judging anyone else, or myself, as a bad feminist. Like I said, we still have to live in this world and within our individual situations. I was just offering a reason why imo this topic can be a little hot button. You are of course free to disagree. 🙂

When I married, I didn’t decide to make choices as a feminist or not. I chose to make decisions as a wife...a partner...in a marriage that requires give and take. My husband doesn’t take away from my value as a female, and vice versa. 

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I actually do pack my wife's lunch. I like to cook and love knowing she will have a delicious healthy meal that will sustain her and put a smile on her face.

I followed the "the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach" strategy which worked brilliantly in my estimation. Otherwise, how would I have snagged such an intelligent and beautiful woman? Good meals are the surest path to domestic happiness IMO.

Bill

 

 

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I ask often him while cleaning up after supper if he wants leftovers packed for lunch, but because of the nature of his job, he is often not in the office on some days.  This makes what he can take for lunch vary widely and it also makes it impossible for me to plan without knowing his varied schedule, so besides this, he takes care of it himself. 

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Before I got married I told my dh flat out that I was not packing a lunch for him. Nor was I making breakfast for him. And I may or may not make dinner. He agreed 100% (smart guy, lol). This was based on what I saw my sister (aka 'slave' to her now ex-dh) do because the slave master insisted on it. And if she didn't pack it just right he got mad. Uh-uh...

Then I got married and thought I'd pack my dh's lunch and be all homey-like. I noticed that he brought home half of what I packed so after a bit of that (a month, maybe) I stopped packing his lunch and we were both happier. He knows where the leftovers are and how to make a sandwich if that's what he prefers.

I like the idea of packing my dh's lunch if it is not demanded/expected. But things worked out great for me to not prep his meals (I do make dinner about half of the week...dh or the dc do meal prep other nights).

I think watching what my sister went through really affected me, so much so that I've strongly emphasized with my girls to find out what the guy they are interested in thinks about meal prep. For my ex-bil it was an issue of control and some really messed up ideas of what a wife's role "should" be. My sister wasn't a wife, she was a servant. Or his mommy. Ick

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I do fix his lunches every day.  I don't mind doing it.  He works long hours and this is something that makes his day a bit easier.  Plus he eats much healthier if I am in charge of his food.  I also actually make his breakfast but he pulls it together each morning.  He has no problem at all making his own food and doesn't expect me to do this for him, however, he appreciates that I do it.

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This thread comes up about every year or so on the forum and every time I’m like “I’m going to start doing that” and yet here we are.  Still don’t.

he starts at unearthly hours and often doesn’t have fridge or microwave access and even if I do pack and the guys are work eat out it comes home uneaten.  Or he has a busy day and it comes home uneaten.  He tends to have a stash of nut bars and take a box with fruit so he has something to eat if it gets too busy.

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Sometimes I do. More often I just make sure I buy food that he likes to take for lunch and I mention leftovers that he could take that are in the fridge and he is usually happy to take them. But he will throw them in his cooler before leaving for work in the morning.

Edited by Mom0012

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I have always made my DH's lunch, before kids it made more sense to me time/effort wise than both us in the kitchen making our lunches separately and he was happy to eat whatever I made whereas I was not happy to eat whatever he made. After kids it just continued, but it's not like he's sitting on his arse doing nothing while I'm making his lunch and morning coffee, he's  organising and feeding small children.

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Frequently I do. He has the type of personality to time his morning routine so he basically runs downstairs, kisses us goodbye and is out the door with no time for anything else. So, I'll usually pack him a lunch and start his car on cold mornings. I don't have to and he never assumes I'm going to, but I like to help make his mornings easier when possible. 

He does lots of nice things for me too - I don't feel pressured to make him lunch or like its part of my job. 

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I think the key for me is appreciation. As I mentioned upthrwaf, I don’t mind packing lunches or making breakfast ahead for DH. But he hates to cook (he was single and lived alone for several years before we married. He can cook, he just doesn’t like it.) and he is very appreciative whenever I do. It is a love language thing for him. And he isn’t a picky eater. He’ll eat pretty much anything he doesn’t have to cook, without complaining.

my dad, on the other hand, is picky. He’ll eat pretty much anything I cook without much comment (but not no comment) but if it’s my mom, he’s gripes a lot more. I’d have a problem if DH acted that way. It wouldn’t be so easy to do all the cooking cheerfully.

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9 hours ago, Kassia said:

 

I can't even imagine that.  If my DH asked me to do something for him I would make it a priority to get that done for him because it was obviously important to him.  He does so much for me that the least I can do is try to accommodate him if he asks for something. I'm not criticizing - every marriage is different - but the thought of not doing something that he actually asked for is totally foreign to me.

When I used to pack my DH's lunch I would make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them.  One time I accidentally threw a frozen package of French Toast in his lunch thinking it was his sandwich.  That was quite a surprise for him!  

 

Well, he didn't actually ask, "Will you do this for me?"  It was more like whining, "How come you don't make lunch for me?" and it was mostly in jest.  Of course, he wouldn't turn it down if I did, but after 27 years of marriage, he doesn't expect me to suddenly start packing his lunch for him.  Besides, I do just about every single thing for him.  I just draw the line at packing lunch because I absolutely hate packing lunches.  That was actually one of the many reasons I homeschooled our three kids -- that whole morning routine of getting three kids dressed and fed and lunches packed and out the door.  Yuck.  Two of our kids are now out of the house, the the youngest goes to a school that requires all the students to eat the school lunch, so no lunch packing for me!  Yay!  Besides, dh gets up at o'dark-thirty every morning, at least a half hour before I do.  I am not a morning person.  I sleep later, and spend the day doing everything that gets done around the house.  I do a hundred things for my dh (cooking, cleaning, laundry, bill-paying, fixing stuff, and on and on).  He's far from deprived of loving care.  I just don't pack his lunch.  Oh, and I don't turn his dirty socks right-side out.  Those are literally the only things I just won't do.  

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18 hours ago, marbel said:

I wonder why packing lunch for a spouse (let's face it, husband) is such a hot button.  

Does it seem like an old-fashioned, 50's housewife thing to do?  Does it seem too subservient?

My husband was in his 30s when we married; he was and still is a fully-functioning adult. He lived on his own, and I assume he managed to eat lunch if he wanted to. When we were both working, we mostly ate out (thanks to nice heavily-subsidized cafeterias at work).  When I quit work to stay home, and he changed jobs and had no more cheap lunches out, it only  made sense to me that I would set up his lunch for him since I was the main food handler and he was getting up to go to work every day, while I got to stay home with the baby.  

My kids have seen me pack their dad's lunch. Yet they pack their own. They see that Dad gets a privilege they don't, but they also see that he is appreciative of it, respects my time and tells me ahead if he is not going to need one, and takes it in stride if for whatever reason I don't have one for me.  I figure if/when they get married they will work out their own routines. 

I might need a therapist to get to the real root, lol, but I don’t think that’s it. I’m a sahm with 5 kids, so I do lots of old-fashioned housewifey things PLUS modern day mom crap. I’m not opposed to being the primary family caregiver. I’ve been doing it for over 17 years!

Maybe I just don’t think of it as my job to “take care of him” when he’s out and about. Or, maybe it’s because he used to leave at 4am after I’d been up all night with babies and sure as heck wasn’t staying up extra late to do something he could easily handle while I was desperately trying to hold on to some sanity. Or, more simply explained, he loves Wawa!

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17 hours ago, marbel said:

I can beat that - I once put a dead pet fish in his lunch bag - it was winter, so we froze it while we waited till we could dig and give it a proper burial.  He wondered what message I was trying to send him.  Fun memory.  

That is awesome lol!  I never thought of putting something fun in dh’s lunch (although I think I will skip the frozen family pet😂). This thread has me inspired to see what fun things I can add to the lunch. My husband is going to think I have lost my mind😁.  I will now be accepting all suggestions from the hive for what “fun” surprise objects should go in Bensdad’s lunch hahaha!

Edited by Bensmom2
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5 minutes ago, Bensmom2 said:

That is awesome lol!  I never thought of putting something fun in dh’s lunch (although I think I will skip the frozen family pet😂). This thread has me inspired to see what fun things I can add to the lunch. My husband is going to think I have lost my mind😁.  I will now be accepting all suggestions from the hive for what “fun” surprise objects should go in Bensdad’s lunch hahaha!

 

When my daughter was in ps, I put a riddle in her lunch every day.  She love it and her friends did, too!  

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

<snip>

Or, more simply explained, he loves Wawa!

LOL, I am a lunch packer but when I didn't have anything or just didn't manage it, Wawa to the rescue.

Wawa is one of the best things we've found in Pennsylvania! 

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12 minutes ago, Bensmom2 said:

That is awesome lol!  I never thought of putting something fun in dh’s lunch (although I think I will skip the frozen family pet😂). This thread has me inspired to see what fun things I can add to the lunch. My husband is going to think I have lost my mind😁.  I will now be accepting all suggestions from the hive for what “fun” surprise objects should go in Bensdad’s lunch hahaha!

You could buy a little package of his favorite candy and toss it in there.  This obviously works if he doesn't get to eat his favorite candy often (ie you don't keep it in the house, or it's expensive or whatever)

It's spring, so maybe a "Roses Are Red" type of poem

 

 

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

What's WaWa?

Wawa is a convenience store / gas station chain. But so much more. Great coffee bar, sandwiches, other prepared food.  One of my kids says the mac and cheese is better than any other place besides home.  It's clean (including bathrooms).  It's east coast, started in PA and extends south.  

The first time we walked into one after moving from Oregon, my daughter said "ooh, this place smells of coffee and hazelnuts!"  We have loved it since then.  Sheetz is similar (also  in PA); Speedway seems to be similar as well, but it doesn't compare. I think in the midwest there is QuikTrip?  

Wawa is one of the few things we will miss if we ever leave this area.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, marbel said:

Wawa is a convenience store / gas station chain. But so much more. Great coffee bar, sandwiches, other prepared food.  One of my kids says the mac and cheese is better than any other place besides home.  It's clean (including bathrooms).  It's east coast, started in PA and extends south.  

The first time we walked into one after moving from Oregon, my daughter said "ooh, this place smells of coffee and hazelnuts!"  We have loved it since then.  Sheetz is similar (also  in PA); Speedway seems to be similar as well, but it doesn't compare. I think in the midwest there is QuikTrip?  

Wawa is one of the few things we will miss if we ever leave this area.

 

 

I have heard of QuikTrip, but have never been in one, but we do have Speedway here.  The Speedways with the "Speedy Cafe" have really great pizza lol.  

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I do, dh works 50 hours a week right now and has to be gluten free.  There are a few things he can eat out, but for lunch he would much rather not.  I would rather him spend his time with dd and me than prepping food.

Before dd came along and we both worked outside the home, we both did meal prep and it really didn't matter which meal.

Edited by Mama Geek

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I did for many years, but he decided that he wanted to eat out (fast food). Lunch costs a great deal more now, and he weighs a lot more now too.  

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My husband is the lunch packer around here. He packs his own every day; he knows whether he has meetings out of the office over lunch time, etc., not me, so he takes care of that. 

BUT.....he packs mine and the kids' lunches on Mondays when we are out of the house for co-op. And if we had to be out 2x week for co-op, he'd pack ours then, too. (has in the past, will again in the future). Yes, I'm a grown-up too. Yes, I (and the kids) could pack our own lunches. And we would. But he does it; his main love language is "acts of service" and he thoroughly enjoys doing this for us. So we let him.  He also cooks breakfast for us those days. Again, his choice; we'd eat cereal or granola bars like every other day otherwise and not care. He likes to feed people, though. 

If he ever didn't love it, of course we'd step up.  I do make his coffee for him (and he'll wait on me to do it, which cracks me up); both the coffee and the lunches are gestures of kindness we each choose to do, not expectations one or the other holds, so that helps. 

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Nope. He can pack his own. He know if he is on the road that day (no microwave) or in the office. He knows what he wants/doesn't want. I do keep a bit of lunch meat, peanut butter, carrots/peppers etc. But if we run out, he can go to the store just as easy as I can.

Edited by Tap

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