How to Help Your Wife in the Kitchen This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meal
Men, express your gratitude toward your wife and help her out in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. (Lightstock)

When most of us think of Thanksgiving, three things come to mind—thanking God for our blessings, family and food. It's the time of the year that most of us get together with our family and enjoy some hearty meals. Since both of our parents live in another city, our tradition has been to have a big meal at our home.

We eat well, enjoy each other and get rest. Well, everyone except my wife. Thanksgiving is a time when she works the hardest. By the end of the day, she is usually exhausted and falling asleep.

My wife and my mother-in-law prep and cook the meal that starts the day before and lasts until the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning. I really enjoy the meal, but I miss my wife getting to enjoy the day.

I realized something had to change. So, I promised my wife to relieve some of that burden. Whether you have cooking skills or not (I don't), I encourage you to do the same. Here is how to help your wife in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

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1. Help with the overall planning. My wife constantly underestimates her time and ends up with too much on her plate. Helping to plan shopping days, meal prep times and even family activities will be beneficial.

2. Create the menu. My wife likes seeing us enjoy her meals. So she tries to cook special things that match our specific taste. Helping her with this list or menu of items can relieve another aspect of the Thanksgiving meal work.

3. Plan activities and meals for the kids. Our kids are active, growing and hungry kids—all the time. They seem to always find themselves in the kitchen looking for snacks and stuff to munch on. Since my wife is usually in the kitchen during this time, they constantly ask her for stuff. Keeping the kids active and out of the kitchen is a great help.

4. Learn to prep/cook a special dish. I don't do much of the cooking in our house. My wife has pretty much owned that, but I have a dish or two that I can cook that I think everyone likes—although probably not as much as her cooking. So I want to find that one or two dishes that I can prepare for Thanksgiving.

5. Prepare and carve the turkey. It's kind of ironic that my wife will be cooking a turkey on Thanksgiving and she doesn't eat meat. Since she doesn't eat meat, she doesn't enjoy handling or cutting it. I can definitely help her with that part since I don't mind either. And I really enjoy turkey.

6. Take ownership of after-dinner cleanup. After preparing, cooking and serving our family, the last thing she wants to do is clean it all up. The rest of us can take complete ownership of kitchen cleanup. By ownership, I mean our wives are not allowed to come into the kitchen. Don't leave anything undone for her to pick up.

7. Give her some time off or a special day. Whether your wife is into the Black Friday shopping or not, allow her to have a day to do whatever she wants to do. Helping out in the kitchen doesn't have to begin and end on Thanksgiving Thursday. Make it special and make it completely about her.

When your wife gets busy blessing your family this Thanksgiving, be sure to step up and be a blessing to her. Help your wife in the kitchen and make sure her day is just as enjoyable and as relaxing as yours is.

What's one specific way you plan to help your wife in the kitchen this Thanksgiving?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, "What would be the best way I can help you in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, or any day?"

© 2014 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

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