Mothers always say to their daughters, “You’ll understand when you’re a mother,” and it’s so true.

As kids, we rarely get a glimpse of what our parents go through to keep us happy and healthy. We don’t know that mom gets up at four in the morning to make our school lunches, or that dad tries his hardest to provide for us even when it’s really difficult.

But once we grow up, we get married, or we have kids, we start to understand our parents’ feelings. We come to sympathize with them now that we are going through what they went through, and the situations of the past become clearer to us.

When such revelations are shared on social media, of course, they quickly go viral because they’re so relatable. Japanese Twitter user and housewife Ranran recently posted something she realized about her mother in a tweet, and mothers and wives all across the country said, “I so get it!”

“Years ago, just every once in a while, my mother would cook all of us dinner, but make cup ramen for herself. ‘There are some days I don’t want to eat my own cooking,’ she’d say, and I would be like ‘???’. But now that I am a housewife, I completely understand those feelings. There are definitely some days when I really don’t want to eat what I cook, and cup ramen sounds so good.”

Personally, as a wife who does most of the cooking in the family, I definitely understand the feeling. Sometimes you just want to eat something that you can’t cook or never cook. Usually when that happens, my husband and I just end up going out to eat or ordering takeout, or we both eat cup ramen.

▼ “Ugh, I really don’t want to eat this!”

I can’t imagine cooking a whole meal just for my husband or our family and then not eating it, though. I wouldn’t go to the trouble to cook something if I didn’t want to eat it…but I suppose that what separates me from the amazingly self-sacrificing Japanese wives!

They related more acutely than I did to Ranran’s post, because they know the feeling of obligation in providing a nourishing meal for the family in spite of their craving for something different. One even noted that her mother used to say “Food that someone else made for you is so delicious!”  and she only understood why after becoming an adult herself. “Why didn’t I cook for her more?” she said sadly.

A lot of Twitter users and home chefs were pleased to have someone express their feelings so well, and to know that other people feel the same way:

“That’s so true!”
“Excuse me, nice to meet you! I so related to this tweet so I just had to comment. Cup ramen is where it’s at!”
“When you’re cooking every day, you get really tired of the flavors, don’t you? Maybe we just have to change it up or something.”
“I understand this so well.”
“It’s like this every day for me! I try my best to cook dinner, but in the end I don’t want to eat it. I’m so glad that other people feel this way too.”
“OMG, I so get it! It comes pretty regularly, this ‘I don’t want to eat my own cooking’ syndrome! I never understood it but it definitely happens.”

For one family, though, it wasn’t about wanting to eat something new, but more about having to make compromises, as one netizen related:

“On a different vein, my mother, when she realized we didn’t have enough rice for everyone, would make cup ramen for herself, saying, ‘Sometimes you just want to eat cup noodles, right?’ You only realize how much kindness parents have when you become one.”

Now that’s some serious selflessness. Some husbands, newly aware of this pattern, also chimed in with their thoughts.

“I sometimes see my wife complaining on Twitter and think, ‘She has it really hard’, but after reading all of your stories, I also really think that women are more able to sense happiness. It’s what makes them great mothers.”
“My wife says she loves to make dinner for the family, but she thinks it’s boring to just cook for herself. That’s why when she’s by herself she often eats bentos!”

Whether it’s a matter of not wanting to cook, being tired of eating the same food every day, not having enough food, or just craving a bowl of instant ramen, it’s no surprise that some home chefs would choose to eat something else every once in a while, even though they worked hard to cook dinner. Maybe it’s a message to the husbands (or wives!) out there who don’t cook often, a cry for help to ask them to pitch in every once in a while?

Judging from the seemingly unlimited self-sacrifice that many parents exhibit, I wouldn’t think that’s the case, especially in regards to Japanese housewives. Even so, perhaps those non-cooking partners should consider bringing home some takeout every once in a while, like the ever-popular Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Source: Twitter/@a_i_ee_85 via Hachima Kikou
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso