Hub and I eat a lot of Quaker oatmeal.
We stir a lot more oatmeal than we eat. Let me explain.
A couple years into our relationship, after we decided to get married, Hub bought an audio tape series called, “How to Have a Successful Marriage”. The lessons were all cleverly titled with words beginning with “C”, like Communication, Conflict and Chores.
The analogy used by the series narrator in the Chores lesson was “stirring the oatmeal.” Oatmeal symbolized life’s necessities, and stirring was the work we must do to provide our household’s necessities. Stirring can be done by the same individual every time, by both individuals together, or on some kind of rotating basis. But it must be done.
Couples with successful relationships figure out – together – which method works for them for each chore in their relationship.
Understanding, early in our relationship, the importance of identifying and taking ownership of routine, sometimes time-consuming and unpleasant aspects of every day life allowed us to do so in a way that was equitable, unemotional, and respectful of the amount of effort required to accomplish each chore.
Who “stirs the oatmeal” has changed through the years, depending on who has the time, the interest or the expertise for completing a task.
But we have always used that phrase, “stirring the oatmeal” to refer to our chores. “I need you to stir the oatmeal” when the toilet needs fixing, or “let’s stir today and play golf tomorrow” when we’ve got a list of chores that have piled up from weeks of neglect and all we want to do is play.
Corny? Perhaps, but it starts those “drudgery” conversations on a high note. For us, the phrase is a subtle reminder of that long ago fresh, new love when we would gladly have done anything with, or for, each other.
Note: Thanks for stopping! I should be back online tonight or tomorrow and will reply to your comments then!