Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Pandemic Weight Gain Blamed on Wife's Baking

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My wife has been home since her job went virtual in early April. It’s worked well, since she can help cover the kids, who haven’t been in school and are only heading back two days a week when they start up again after Labor Day.

My wife is the kind of mom who likes to keep the kids busy as much as possible. She works a few hours in the morning, while I’m still home, and then takes over with the kids when I have to leave for work. From then until she gets them down to bed, it’s play/exercise time, project time, and cooking time. She’s getting to be a better and better cook, and she’s teaching the kids everything she learns, and I can see it’s good for them all.

The issue has become, though, that thanks to all the delicious food in the house all the time, I’ve gained almost 20 lbs. Because of the tag team we have established to cover the kids, that means I only get to the gym on the weekends, and that’s only when I can get into the gym when I have open time.

I don’t want to hurt my wife’s feelings, or check her in her growing skills as a cook, but there’s only so much I can eat, and that’s been too much lately. What do I do to get some balance here? --- MARRIED TO A BLOSSOMING CHEF

DEAR MARRIED TO A BLOSSOMING CHEF: I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to let your wife know that, while you enjoy what she and the kids are cooking up, it may be time to cut back on the volume of their output.

Depending on the nature of your job, possibly you could offer to bring in some of the extras to share with your coworkers.

Another option might be suggesting your wife contact local food banks or shelters to see if they accept homemade meals. I’m aware of one shelter near me that’s taken donations of both fresh and packaged foods following community events. Even if what your family would be providing wouldn’t be enough to serve a large number of diners, it might be useful to families known to the shelter.

Finally, first responders, hospital workers, and other healthcare providers in your neighborhood or town may be glad for a treat or two. My guess is they were bombarded by well-deserved goodwill for a few weeks early on in the pandemic, but perhaps not as much lately.

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