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Perth is way more than ok

Why I make Kim brekky every morning

Each morning, between 5-5:30am I wake up, prompted by the sound of footsteps from a little human or my own biological rhythm.

I get out of bed, put the kettle on, place the pan on the stove and then start chopping up portobello mushrooms. Over the next 15 minutes, I scramble eggs, halve a tomato, quarter an avocado, wash fresh spinach and then fry it all up.

By the time I’m serving up, Kim is pouring two mugs full of french press coffee for us. A few minutes later we are sitting out the front on the veranda. We chomp and slurp; which shortly moves on to talking and dreaming. We spend the next 60-90 minutes doing just that.

This has been our morning routine for the last two years. Like any reasonable cook, I do, of course, try to mix it up a bit. One day it’ll be omelettes, the next it’ll be smashed avo on toast (steady now boomers, it’s homemade). We even throw in pancakes once a month.

The coffee is constant. And so is the fact that 95% of these morning meals are cooked by me.

For the 18 years prior to the creation of this ritual, Kim and I would typically eat breakfast separately. Kim would opt for a bowl of muesli with yoghurt and honey, while I was more of a coffee and croissant kind of guy.

And that’s ok. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in that – it’s probably more common than not. But looking back now, especially during the first ten years of our relationship, the way we approached the most important meal of the day was also how we approached other areas of our relationship and life.

A little over two years ago, Kim switched to a low-inflammatory diet to help with some joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Stress was also a big trigger for her arthritis and aside from being full-time carers to a 3-year-old with high needs, we also made the brave decision to start our own property business.

We buy old houses, renovate them and sell them for a profit. Yep, we’re flippers.

One afternoon I sat out the front of our house (which we had purchased and renovated during the start of COVID) with a beer in my hand, watching the world go by. I started to think deeply and honestly about my wife and all she did for our family. Our Team.

She was doing all the heavy lifting at the front end of a flip, on top of all her other jobs. Right then I felt there was a gap between how much I appreciated her and how much I actually showed her my appreciation through my actions.

In 2017, an image of Tret Cotchin, three time Premiership captain of the Richmond footy club, stuck with me. After a tough game of AFL he was picking up rubbish from the floor of the locker room after all the other players had left. His actions spoke louder than words – no one in the team is above the little things.

Although most men won’t find doing a bit of housework emasculating, studies tell us that even women working full-time still do a much higher portion of housework than men. I knew I had to do my part for the team no matter what the task. So, I decided to lift my game.

But I ran into a problem. I would soon be onsite all day as we moved into the construction phase of our most recent flip, so my capacity to do household chores was going to quickly reduce.

What I needed was something I could do every single day to take on some of the burden and reduce Kim’s stress. To show her I had her back. And then, like many of my great ideas, halfway through beer number two – it hit me.

As part of Kim’s anti-inflammatory diet, she had ditched diary and carbs. Instead, she preferred healthy home cooked breakfasts, which required time to both prep and cook.

This was more time-consuming than a bowl of cereal and of course, left her with even less time to meet the demands that the family and our business put on her. So, I made a commitment to Kim that I would cook her breakfast every single morning.

To do this, I had to change up my morning routine to match hers. This was tough at first, but I had the drive to get through the first few weeks. After that, it honestly became easy. It’s now an effortless habit that I really enjoy.

While Kim thanks me every morning for the meal (although I still frequently receive ‘helpful’ pointers on how dishes may be improved) – I don’t do it for gratitude. I do it because I want to do something that makes her feel special.

And by special, I mean something that I wouldn’t do for anybody else. Plus, unlike the flowers I used to buy her the day after she would tell me that I rarely bought her any, I did this for her of my own volition.

It’s funny how often the simple things in life – like cooking your wife breakfast – make it so much better.

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