Dad Sprints Home for Dinner
Missing His Kids and Wife
Cameron Stracher became fed up with the daily grind of his career as a corporate attorney, which often left him too tired, or too late, to join his family at the dinner table. To reconnect with his wife and two children, Simon, 11, and Lulu, 7, he decided to cook for his family five nights a week for a year. He is the author of Dinner with Dad: How I Found My Way Back to the Family Table.
What motivated this culinary experiment of yours?
I was really looking for an excuse to change my life. As I describe in the book, I was burning the candle at multiple ends. When I got home everyone was asleep and I left the house before they were awake. I realized I was missing the most important part of my children's lives and my wife. I felt trapped and didn't know what to do to fix it and came up with this crazy idea. And it wasn't ambitious enough to just come home for dinner, but to actually prepare dinner -- to be a fairly equal contributor to the family life.
Do you think this is the wish of a lot of dads out there?
I definitely think a lot of dads want to be home for dinner. Everyone I spoke to expressed envy, amazement, dismay, jealousy. They all wanted to do it in some form or another. That desire to be home with the family for supper is deeply rooted in not only women's lives, but men's lives as well. We grew up with that as part of our own childhoods, but don't have that now with the increased pace of work. Even when we're home, we're not home anymore. We're home but sneaking a look at the BlackBerry at the table.
And like so many Americans, your work hours really were ridiculous, weren't they?
I think it's a problem across the country. It's worse in the big cities. It used to be that everyone killed themselves in New York and LA. And now everyone kills themselves everywhere. People used to move to Chicago to have a lifestyle. People don't have that anymore.