#60 - I wish my husband knew how important it is to prioritize family dinners

March 12, 2024
Mistye Wilson

Episode Summary

I Wish My Husband Knew' returns to The Aro Podcast with Aro Co-Founder Joey and Mistye Wilson, the wife of Aro Co-Founder Heath! This week, Mistye brings up a topic that both spouses can appreciate: the significance of family dinners. Mistye shares her perspective on how, as a mom, family dinner isn't always simple — it can take up a lot of time and is truly an act of love. She emphasizes the importance of each spouse prioritizing family dinners and suggests that the spouse who may not take charge of family dinners support and help when they can. The conversation then shifts to Joey and Mistye discussing the value of laying the groundwork for prioritizing family dinners from a young age so that, as the children grow older, it becomes a natural rhythm in the household. Mistye even provides tips for families working to prioritize family dinners, including choosing a specific day of the week, meal planning, and ways to get family members excited. At the end of the episode, Mistye gives The Aro Podcast listeners a little homework for spouses to spark a phone-free conversation about family dinner.

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Episode Transcript

Mistye Wilson (00:00):

It goes back to when you're dating and when you say you're going to pick the girl up at 6:30, you don't come at 6:45, you show up at 6:30. So I think couples start to get really comfortable where, well, of course she loves me and of course he loves me, and that's great to know that. But you still have to date your spouse even when you're married.

Joey Odom (00:35):

Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. It's my favorite time of the month. This is, I wish my husband knew time with, I said favorite, but I'm going to say it again with one of my favorite, favorite, favorites. Three favorites. That's really nice. People in the entire world. Mistye Wilson. This is Heath Wilson's wife. Actually, you know what? Heath Wilson is your husband. It's true. It's about you.

Mistye Wilson (00:56):

He's my husband. That's right. That's right. Yeah. He's Mistye Wilson's husband.

Joey Odom (00:59):

That's exactly right. Yes. We should call him. What's your maiden name? Williamson. Williamson. We should call him Heath Williamson from now on. We can call him.

Mistye Wilson (01:07):

Let's call him Heath Williamson. Mistye, autumn.

Joey Odom (01:10):

Mr. Mistye, autumn. You might

Mistye Wilson (01:12):

Like that

Joey Odom (01:12):

Name a lot. I think that's good. He's going to like that a lot. So just as a refresher for everyone, I wish my husband knew is a conversation between us to start off a conversation with people out there with their partners. So here's what I want you to do is we're going to start a conversation that may be a little bit difficult for some people to have that. Again, it's called, I Wish My husband knew. And you're going to fill in the blank of things that spouses some wives, some spouses that smart perspectives, some spouses wish their husbands knew, that their partners knew. And let's kick off the conversation. Your experience is going to look a lot different from others. Others are going to look a lot different from yours. But here's what we want. Go set aside a phone free date night to talk about this, to talk about this topic. And I have an idea for, I haven't, I'm going to surprise you with something Mistye. I think I want to title this for people who are going to do this the date night to be called you me phone free with the U. And I want you to call it an oomph. You me phone free the letter U oomph. You think I really like that legs there. I

Mistye Wilson (02:15):

Really like that.

Joey Odom (02:17):

Just have an ooms

Mistye Wilson (02:18):

Time. I like that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, oomph. Oomph.

Joey Odom (02:20):

Yeah. So speaking of oomph, I don't know what you're about to bring up. That's a little twist here. So just like a lot of husbands out there, when your wife brings something up, you have no idea what she's talking about and you need a little bit of help. So I'm going to try to figure out the dumb questions first so that people at home when they're having their oomph time can have a more fruitful oom time.

Mistye Wilson (02:39):

I like that fruitful oomph times are very, very key to a happy marriage.

Joey Odom (02:45):

That's what I think there's really is. I think there's a study that just came out on that,

Mistye Wilson (02:48):

I think So when you were just saying when your wife comes to you with something, and my first thought was that a man should game face it like you do with your kids when they come to you with something shocking, you're to just game face it. So I think that men might, should know when your wife comes to you with something, just game. Face it at first.

Joey Odom (03:06):

When you say game face, you mean just nod. Let you know what she's talking about. No, just

Mistye Wilson (03:10):

Dry. Just pause. Pause before you say anything. That's

Joey Odom (03:15):

Probably a really

Mistye Wilson (03:15):

Good idea. Sometimes even a nod could get you in trouble. So just game, face it.

Joey Odom (03:21):

A nod could get you.

Mistye Wilson (03:23):

Oh boy. Yeah. So be really careful. Oh my goodness. So I also want just to remind everybody that some of these that I come to and we talk about it sounds like I'm criticizing my husband or criticizing men or whatever, but that's not it at all. A lot of these come from a place of what my husband does well or what we learned from in our experience of over 20 years of marriage. So some of these that I talk about, we go back when we were married for two years or six years or whatever, and those times look very different than they do now. So I don't want it to ever be an hour of bashing or anything like that. Just a time where we can just converse. I love that. That's it.

Joey Odom (04:08):

I've grown obsessed with Dr. Becky Kennedy over who wrote Good Inside or Come to Good Inside, just amazing. And one thing that she talks about, and it's about parenting, but if you can come with this perspective, and maybe this is a helpful framework and along with what you just said is if you just began with connection first, connection first, you may have no idea what your spouse is talking about and you do such, you never bash Heath. I don't interpret that way at all. He's bashful. Really, he's not. But if we begin with connection first and almost, and this is the point of this is I want to understand what you're talking about and if we could begin fellas as investigators, then that's a big thing. One funny side note, and you and I have laughed about this I think in our last episode, it's like you were giving a principle and I kept kind of turning it back to, oh, but what do we do now? Which is just so funny to me. So you may find me listener. Trying to just turning it into action steps because that's what we as

Mistye Wilson (05:07):

Because guys fix things.

Joey Odom (05:08):

Yes, exactly. Guys fix things. So I'll do my best to just be an investigator. Just listen, just hear you connect

Mistye Wilson (05:14):

First. That's funny because I'd listened to ours as well, and that was one thing that I noticed too, is that I'm trying to explain and you're asking questions, but then what's funny is I wasn't completely answering your questions, so it was just kind of this vicious cycle and I thought, yep, that's how conversations go. That's so true. That's it right here.

Joey Odom (05:32):

Isn't that great? And even just knowing that, how freeing is that? That feels really good to know. Oh, okay, this is just how things work Sometimes.

Mistye Wilson (05:41):

Yes, and conversations can be tough. Even when they're easy, they can also be difficult.

Joey Odom (05:46):

Yeah, I like

Mistye Wilson (05:46):

That. So this one I wanted to talk about because it is huge and it's really important for the entire family. Maybe the kids, I think they probably benefit the most. And I also want to say this is how I got started doing my Aro time. So this was my first get my feet wet, kind of like, okay, well how do I use Aro? Which now we've got flip so I can use it all the time, which is amazing. I really love it. But this was when we just had the box. And so putting it somewhere, this was the first time I thought, okay, I can let my phone go for this hour, hour and a half. And that felt pretty free. So I wish my husband knew how much I appreciate how he and I together prioritize family dinners. So if you think about your family dinners, everybody's coming together at the end of a day and you're all coming in with our family five or six different kinds of days. So it's kind of a time for everybody to bring it back in, bring it back home literally, and just talk to each other. So I think this started out, a friend of mine were having a discussion, which I just got to be honest. Kristen and I were talking about

Joey Odom (07:17):

This. My wife Kristen. Got it. Okay, got it.

Mistye Wilson (07:20):

So I'm not going to say what else

Joey Odom (07:21):

She said, but

Mistye Wilson (07:25):

No, but we were having a really, really great conversation about it. And it is, it's just so important. And the thing is, when a woman is setting up her time for family dinner, I've talked about how being a mom is my job and how much I take it seriously and how a lot of women take it seriously, or even if you've got a working mom, how much goes into the planning of family dinner? It's a lot. And if you think about it by the, and I'm no Martha Stewart, so I'm just like your plain Jane Cook dinner. I mean, you can be in there from anywhere two to four or five hours, and that's just like, that's just momming it. That's not even cuisine. So it goes all the way to the beginning of planning the meal that's thinking about what everybody can eat, what everybody likes, which kid is not going to be able to eat that. I've got, my oldest daughter has a slight aversion to red meat, so we try to steer clear of that. Also, gluten is bothersome for both of us. One of my sons doesn't like beans. One of them wants red meat because it's bulk season. It's bulk season, but

Joey Odom (08:43):

It's always bulk season. Yeah, it's always season, especially for 17-year-old boys. It's bulk season.

Mistye Wilson (08:48):

And then we've got our youngest who are really trying to teach healthy meals, and this is what a healthy plate looks like. While I've got my two boys going back for second and thirds because they need second and thirds. It's a lot. So all that goes into planning this family meal. So it is such an act of love from a wife and a mom. I think I'm a lot better at it today than I was way back. And I do want to talk about the way back. We have a lot of listeners who have young kids, and I won't say that it's any more or less difficult now I'll just say that every stage is so different. And so we're struggling in our own ways when young moms are struggling in their own ways. You have any questions so far,

Joey Odom (09:44):

Joey? I have a lot ofs. It's so funny. Just back, I'm laughing at myself already, already. My first question was like, what are some best practices? I wanted steps immediately. I'm going to refrain. I want to hear a bunch of this because some of it was around stages and how it evolves and all this stuff, but I want you to go, so I'm going to be a good investigator.

Mistye Wilson (10:04):

Oh, I like that. You're be a good listener.

Joey Odom (10:05):

I'm going to be a good listener. Joey. Joey.

Mistye Wilson (10:08):

Okay, so one thing that we do is Aro time for our dinners. That was the first easy, easy. We're all together. Nobody needs their phone anyway. We've never allowed phones at the table in the first place. So everybody goes Aro. Okay, so that's the first sign of we're all coming together. So all of our phones go in the Aro box or we flip them. Don't flip it at the table, flip it somewhere else. That's right. No flipping at the table. Okay, so that's where you start. Okay, so you're already getting your Aro time together, but whatever. How can I say this? Let's see.

Well, let's go back to when I was talking about the different stages and ages of kids. So I want to go back to when my kids were super young. That's when Heath was really heavy into his business. I was really heavy into a lot of babies. Recent MADDs were 23 months when Zane was born. And at that time I was already getting it in my head about adoption. So this mama brain is thinking about a lot of things. So you work around feeding times for your babies, nap time for your babies, bedtime for the babies. So you've already taken all that into account. And then you've got a husband that's working. Who is it going to be home at five 30? Is it going to be six tonight or is it going to call and say, Hey, I can't come home until eight, or hey, I can have a quick dinner, but then I've got to go in the study and finish up work.

And that's just life. That's just how it goes. And so we have to help another in that situation. But the infant stage is really tough with working around all the baby schedules and then you've got the husband's schedule. Then you get into childhood where your kids need to eat a certain time. They have come home, they've gotten homework done, they've gotten an activity done. I can remember times I would have dinner on the table and look, I am no short order cook. So I would take the meals and I would set it all up and you've got already four year olds and 2-year-old that's just like me. What is this? And I don't like this, and do I have to eat that? And so if Heath were to call in and say, Hey, I've got a little bit more time at the office. I'll be there in 15 minutes. 15 minutes is the meal

Joey Odom (12:39):


Mistye Wilson (12:39):

They're that young, right? They've already killed me in 15 minutes,

So I've already had a breakdown. So just that 15 minutes I can really remember. He had already done it several times and no fault really to him, but this is just husbands just listen up because your business meetings matter when you show up to your meeting. So if you would just think of your wife as also kind of a job, you're meeting her for a meeting and this is your lifelong business partner. So if you say, I'm going to be home at six, just be home at six. If you're talking with someone and you're going to meet on a Zoom call and you say it's six, you don't show up at six 15. And you certainly don't call 30 minutes in advance and say, Hey, instead of six, can I zoom you at six 30? It's just you don't do that. And so don't do it with your wife.

Joey Odom (13:40):

Yeah, I used to just a quick, I would be leaving the office knowing I'm going to be 20 minutes late and say I'm going to be right on time, which is even worse. That's even doubling down. And so you're setting, it's like you're deferring disappointment. I knew that Kristen was going to be disappointed. I was late, disappointed or whatever, frustrated, but I would still double down. It's almost like it's maybe the people pleaser in me. You know what I mean? But it is when you start to realize, you think about all the stuff that goes into it, you just realize how important just that promise and prioritizing that thing is because I think a lot of times it does become kind of an optional start time. No, no, no. This is the start time, especially with young kids,

Mistye Wilson (14:21):

Especially with young kids. When dad gets home at seven and you've got little bitty kids, well, they go to bed at seven a lot of times or seven 30 or you're getting bath water ready at seven. So those 15 minutes really count. The other thing is too, when I would cook these meals, and like I said, I'm not a big cook, especially then trying to figure it out. And so when you serve a meal, you want to serve it hot. And I would know that if Heath was coming home 15 or 30 minutes later, it's not hot and I don't have time to reheat it. So he would reheat it. That just loses its luster at that point.

Joey Odom (15:04):

And you've said a few times, you've said a few times, I'm not a great cook. There's probably a little bit insecurity there, right? Yes. And so maybe I just heard this, I don't want to extrapolate too much, but at least it can be hot, even if it's not great, at least it's hot. It's almost like you, you're so secure in your relationship with Heath and you guys have such a great marriage, but I'm sure there's still that element of insecurity where you want him to be and want him to think you've made a good, I may be going too existential here. You've made a good choice in a spouse. How much of self-worth is based on that moment of six o'clock hot dinner? It

Mistye Wilson (15:45):

Is, especially when you're a young married couple with young kids, you're not impressing your kids by your meals because they want chicken nuggets every single night. So really I am cooking that meal for him and for my kids to witness family dinners. You're just now teaching them when they're three and five years old. This is what a family dinner looks like. So yeah, it's a big deal to me that I guess he's proud of me that I did a good job. Yeah,

Joey Odom (16:21):

I think that's worth people talking about right there. I think maybe guys taking a step back and realizing how much of a spouse's, their partner's self-worth might be based on that moment. And that's why you don't care if something's late. Yes, I could be hearing this wrong. Maybe it's a little bit lukewarm, maybe, but it's about so much more than the temperature of the food. And so if the guys can recognize that just as a foundation, this is an important moment for her, this is akin to you making, and again, we're talking more traditional working, whatever, so don't hear too much into that. We're talking about your experience, how it was, but it would be like one of the partners doing a presentation at work. That's a big moment where you want affirmation and you want people to recognize how much you've done, and this is your livelihood. It's the same thing for a partner who's cooking a meal.

Mistye Wilson (17:10):

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. That's really good. Yeah, it goes back to when you're dating and when you say you're going to pick the girl up at six 30, you don't come at 6 45, you show up at six 30. So I think couples start to get really comfortable where, well, of course she loves me, and of course he loves me, and that's great to know that, but you still have to date your spouse even when you're married.

Joey Odom (17:40):

I'll give one more layer and then I want to hear more. I've heard Andy Stanley talks about in a marriage, the danger is when your hopes for your marriage become, because when it becomes expectations, all the other person can do is disappoint. You can never exceed expectations. If I as a husband expect if I get home at six, let's play this out a little bit differently. I get home at six and you're running 15 minutes late and be like, I could have checked eight more emails, honey, you told me six o'clock would be, let's not do that, fellas. Let's not do that and recognize all the stuff that goes into it. And so when you begin to expect dinner on the table, and my family, Kristen's great about this too. She's great about taking care of us with dinner. It's awesome. But I've noticed it's easy for Harrison, Gianna and I to begin to expect that. Wait, you didn't cook? I mean even there was a couple weeks ago, one of us not going to name names said, you're not cooking tonight to Kristen. That's a bad line. That's not good. Don't

Mistye Wilson (18:38):

Say that. Yeah. Did anybody die or is everybody okay?

Joey Odom (18:40):

Yeah, we did have three kids. We got two now. Yeah,

Mistye Wilson (18:42):


Joey Odom (18:43):

Right. So that's another, these are all, if you understand the real weights, and I'm regurgitating this like its original idea. You're the one who's just told me this, the weight behind that dinner preparation. Yes,

Mistye Wilson (18:58):


Joey Odom (18:59):

Continue. Okay.

Mistye Wilson (19:01):

Okay. So going with what you just said of not letting it be an expectation. So I think one of my favorite things about Heath, and maybe someone would not like this about their husband, but I love when Heath says he's going to be home at six and he just pops in the door at five 15. Oh,

Joey Odom (19:22):

Oh, this is good.

Mistye Wilson (19:23):

Oh gosh. It's like a little gift. He just comes in and I'm usually really excited when I see him, but gosh, if he pops in earlier, man, my heart just pounds. It's just this unexpected little, and then he can come in and it's like, can I help you set the table or can I help you finish up this? He's so good at doing that. And oh, it's just so nice. And then we've had a little bit of time with each other before we all sit down. And I know that he can't do that all the time, but when he does or when he says, my flight's going to land at whatever, but then he just doesn't tell me that it's actually landing an hour earlier yesterday you guys got in from a trip and he came in probably 45 minutes earlier than what I thought. And you would've thought it was Christmas day. I mean, I was so excited. I don't even think you guys were gone for 24 hours.

Joey Odom (20:21):

No, that was a pretty quick one.

Mistye Wilson (20:22):

It was really quick. I was so excited to see him and it was so unexpected. So those are always nice little tidbits. I feel like for me, that's like him bringing in a bouquet of flowers. Wow, really? That's like how sweet it is when he shows up a little bit earlier.

Joey Odom (20:37):

Oh, I love that. Are there certain times when that's more, you just mentioned the trip, that's a good instance. Are there certain times when that's better? Is a Friday more fun like that or is it just really anytime?

Mistye Wilson (20:49):

Anytime. But Fridays definitely when they come in a little earlier, you're thinking, okay, the weekend is here. I love that. And the kids now, mine are older, so they don't really get out of sports until about 6, 6 15. So they're not home until almost seven. So if he gets home at four 30, it's a party until the kids get home. We've already had that time to communicate and hang out with each other, and then the kids come in and we can fully invest in listening to them. So yeah, definitely added bonus.

Joey Odom (21:23):

I like that. That is a complete epiphany to me what you just said, this whole that it's like a bouquet of flowers. It is. Wow. I like

Mistye Wilson (21:33):

That. Now listen, if Kristen doesn't like that,

Joey Odom (21:36):

Yeah, she may be mad. She may send me back to

Mistye Wilson (21:38):

Work. This was not something she and I talked about. She might send you back.

Joey Odom (21:42):

What if this whole podcast were just like Kristen funneling little hints to do the whole time. That's why

Mistye Wilson (21:47):

We did this. Yeah, I've got 'em all written. Actually. I have it written in my hand, so you can't see.

Aro Member (21:54):

And I feel like with technology and with the phones, we have to also see it as this experiment because we don't know what this was like for the generation before us. We don't know the implications for the people in the future. We are in it. And I think it's harder with the phones because I think it's our responsibility to almost build this manual of when is it appropriate to use your phone. I think our recently I saw a post that said five instances during your parenting that you shouldn't have a phone. It's like, I wish everyone saw that post because we don't have those guardrails. It's almost easier to think, I can't drink at seven o'clock in the morning. That seems so obvious. And then if I'm doing it, wow, why am I drinking at seven in the morning? But with the phone, there are no rules because it's never been around this way before. So having those guardrails, we need to make them up. And that comes from a place of values, but I think a lot of us are aligned. We want to be present, we want to be good parents. We want to have good memories. So we have to write these manuals.

Joey Odom (22:53):

We love hearing stories from the Aro community. The one you just heard actually comes from our Voices of Aro episodes where I sit down with Aro members and they share about their stories and their lives with Aro. Make sure to check out the Voices of Aro episodes, and if you're a member who would like to share your own story with Aro, please email us at stories@goaro.com.

Mistye Wilson (23:18):

I want to tell you, and I asked my sister if I could use this as an example, because the opposite, have I told you the story, Don? So, okay, so the opposite of your spouse coming in a little bit earlier. Let's say that. Well, the situation is my brother-in-law, Joseph, who I stink and adore, just a sweetheart. And my sister, she's just precious. Just precious. So they were newlyweds. This was before children I think might've been a little bit after. They might've been young, but he worked probably 30 minutes away. He was a coach at that time. He's now a principal administrative. He's amazing.

My sister's a good cook. She's good. And she bakes delicious cakes and she can do pies. She cooks. So I can only imagine how much more this affected her, and we can laugh about it now. No one died in this situation. However, it was close. So Joseph would come in from work and he comes in and she would have dinner ready, took it very seriously, and he would kind of pick around at the food. He ate it, but wasn't starving. So this went on for quite a while. Well, one day he comes home and he's talking to her before they sit down to dinner, and he has a little bit of melted cheese coming off of his bottom.

Joey Odom (25:02):

Coming off his bottom

Mistye Wilson (25:02):

Lip. Yeah. Okay. And so my sister is like Joseph, because that's exactly, I can just hear. And she took it and she took it off and she showed him. And I can just imagine, it's like, what is this?

Joey Odom (25:18):

He's like smelling perfume on

Mistye Wilson (25:20):

His, yeah, right, right. Yes. It was like cheating. You're so right. So she takes it in my sweet, sweet. He's not going to lie. So he fesses. I'm sure he wanted to lie, but in that moment he probably couldn't think of anything quick enough. So he just let her know that he'd been eating prupper. In what? prupper? prupper. It's pre supper. Okay. We're laughing. This was not funny at the time. So he said, this is terrible. Based on what she was cooking for dinner that night. Oh no. When he went out of the school parking lot, he either went right or left. So if it was a meal that he was just kind of me about, he would go a certain way so that he could go buy Taco Bell and get him. And he knew exactly what he got every time. Gosh, I don't know if it was a cheesy, meaty burrito or something. Oh gosh. I don't know what it was, but he knows the name of it. And that's what he would get. And he would just eat it on the way home and then he'd come home and he'd eat it her meal as well. Well, he was gaining weight, by the way, because this went on for several months. Too many preppers. Yeah. Yeah, too many preppers. There you go. Pounds. Yeah. So she was obviously livid and anger just comes from, like I've said, it's hurt that has nowhere else to go. So she was just foul.

I've never been through that situation, but I'm just going to say, guys, if you're doing proper stop now before you get caught, the consequences are not

Joey Odom (27:06):

Good. Oh my gosh.

Mistye Wilson (27:08):

I mean, she was really, really hurt. But it's like the guy planning a big date, and I don't know, the girl just goes ahead and goes to that restaurant first and you were going to surprise her, like a new restaurant. She goes ahead and goes, I don't know. It's cheating.

Joey Odom (27:30):

Yeah, it's cheating. Yeah. Let's dodge the preppers. Let's dodge. I'm trying to think of a good saying for that. I'll come up with one by the end of the show. Love something that we, just as a reminder, maybe you guys could put in their rear view mirror or something like that when they leave the office. Oh my gosh, that is

Mistye Wilson (27:46):

Awesome. And so not quite as bad as what she went through, but when my kids were really little, I was having dinner on the table, I was trying to set up this is what family dinner looks like, and Heath wouldn't come home. And I remember a meal. I only had three kids at that time, and they didn't eat it. They griped about it the whole time. I was crying. And Heath wasn't home yet, and he'd said he was going to be home at a certain time, but he had gotten caught up. So he hadn't even called to say, I won't be able to make it in time. I took every bit of that dinner and I threw it all away. I bet he wished you had prepper that night. He got nothing. And he comes home and it really didn't phase him that much because I think guys at work, you sometimes go for a big lunch, and I know me as a stay-at-home mom, I piddle with my lunch. I hardly eat it. So my dinner is a big deal, but I don't want to be working, trying to make my kids sit down and do all the things without my partner there with me. It's just not how it's supposed to be. So I cut it off.

Joey Odom (29:01):

He probably sounds like he game faced it. Like you said, that could have been really bad if he would've just even asked why did you, he's probably smart enough to know. Don't ask

Mistye Wilson (29:10):

Here. He knew. Yeah. If no one already knows. He's is a very smart man. He's a smart

Joey Odom (29:17):


Mistye Wilson (29:17):

Yeah. He can also be intuitive at

Joey Odom (29:19):


Mistye Wilson (29:20):

And he got the message.

Joey Odom (29:22):

You said something earlier that I think is really interesting, and you may be going back to it, but you talked about, because it is hard when your kids are young to really realize the value of all sitting down. To your point, they can't talk if they're really young, they can't engage in, even at a young age. They can't probably do like a high lows or something like that. But you were setting, were you consciously setting a framework for what you wanted later? Was that something that's just been a side benefit? You do have great family dinners now. I mean, you may talk about Zane talking about how much he loves the high lows and he loves his sign of a functioning family is if you do high lows at dinner and he's a teenager. So were you consciously laying that groundwork at that time? For sure. You were? Yes. Okay.

Mistye Wilson (30:08):

Like I say, I've said before, my background is in education, so I know some psychology behind, not a lot, but I know enough to know how important that meal is and just quality time, which quality time is my love language. So it kind of comes easy to set this up for them. Got it. But yeah, going off of the high low way back, I had learned from a friend. We were going on a mission trip or whatever, so we would go through the group. There were 12 of us, I guess, and we would go through and talk about high low buffalo each night. High

Joey Odom (30:41):

Low buffalo, high

Mistye Wilson (30:41):


Joey Odom (30:42):

Buffalo. Whoa. Twist.

Mistye Wilson (30:43):

Yeah, twist. Yeah. So it made me realize, being able to talk about the really good thing of the day, the low, something obviously sad, and then buffalo is something funny or something you want to add in or something that was weird or awkward or, so you have those three things and you just go around the table. And that started when they were really, really young. That mission trip Zane was nine, 10, no, yeah, 11, 12 months old. Wow. So we've been doing it since. So for Zane, that's all he's ever known. And the highs and lows get very, if you've been doing them since they were little, our high low buffalo in our evenings now when we've got two seniors and a sophomore and a seventh grader. Wow. There's things we find out that you just don't know. It's like if you tuck your kids in bed at night, and that's when they start saying, Hey, dad, this happened today.

And I'm really sad because they're thinking about things. You go ahead and give 'em that opportunity at dinner, they're already thinking of their high and low. Sometimes they don't have a low, sometimes they don't have a high. So you just go through and you talk as a family, and each family member knows how good it feels that when somebody says they have a low, sometimes you all just pause and you're on that for the next 10 minutes and somebody else doesn't get the return for a while, so you just sit on it and you talk it through. So I think those moments, well, I know those moments are super, super important because it allows us to have easy conversations so that when there is something that comes up randomly and it's not at dinnertime, we can all sit down and say, we need to talk about this. And it goes a lot smoother. Not always perfect, but

Joey Odom (32:33):

A lot smoother. It allows for this script, just this beginning where some people, it's almost like in your mind you're like, oh, could that be repetitive in our experience too, it never gets repetitive. It's just, it's always because everything's different every single day. Yeah. It's the same structure. But that allows you to then it gives you, removes that initial friction almost like what we're trying to do here on beginning conversations that removes that initial friction and allows people to go in and kind of talk naturally about things. And I find that our kids are very excited. They'll come home and they'll be ready to talk highs already, and they know constantly saving it for dinner. So it can be a great dinner conversation.

Mistye Wilson (33:10):

Right. Exactly. Yeah. And two, you're teaching your kids to, I guess maybe men more so than women, but you're teaching your young boys, it's okay to be sad, and when you are sad, let's talk about it. And that's normal. Just teach 'em. Go ahead and teach 'em. That is normal. And I think our society's getting a lot better at that too. I think

Joey Odom (33:31):


Mistye Wilson (33:32):

So that's good. The other thing I want to say is that my youngest child, I've said before, she's got some emotional and mental things that she just works with and struggles with. So for years, and I wish I could go back because I would be so frustrated, but if there's any families out there that have an adoptive child or a child that's not so great at communicating, just stay the course and be patient. When Echo was young and we would go through the highs and lows, she has a horrible problem with speaking sadness because she just dissociate. So she can't remember her lows, and so she might say a hi, but when it comes to low's, she would just sit there and we would all be sitting there just waiting and waiting. It was very frustrating. It was very frustrating. I should have been, wish I could have been a little more patient just to show my kids, Hey, take as long as you need to say you're low. The other thing was that now Echo can say her highs and lows and her buffalo, but it took 10 years, 12. So they come around and even if they don't, they heard you say you're high and low.

So just if you've got a kid that's just not buying it for a while, just stay the course, which is really hard. Patience stuff.

Joey Odom (35:04):

Yeah, that's right. And it is just over time and you don't want, I find myself sometimes during highs and lows, it's almost like I'm trying to rush through them, and it's almost in my mind, I'm like, well, why did I even start to begin with? The purpose of this is connection. The purpose is not to have a perfect high low. It's not like we're documenting them somewhere and grading them. The purpose is connection. So this is our path towards connection right now. So I have to stop myself even now and just saying, sometimes kids got to go do homework, whatever it is. And so just hold on. This is our moment. Let's slow down

Mistye Wilson (35:33):

Right now. And if it takes 30 minutes, great. If it takes an hour and a half, great. There have been so many, because we do high low buffalo, and I will say it has gotten better since having Aro and putting our phones away. They're not pinging. They're often another room and they're all together and the humans are all together. So there's no buzz in anybody's pocket that makes us think, oh, okay, let's finish up this high low. I need to check and see who that was. So there's none of that, and I can't say how many times, and this is with Heath home and even when he's away, because the kids, we still do high low buffalo when he's gone. So it gives me an opportunity to sit with the kids. And there have been so many times that instead of it being a 30 minute meal, I have actually had my oldest son say, once we clean up, can we sit back down and keep talking? I have before. And one of the best memories was when he specifically asked that. So we cleaned up a little bit. We sat back down at the table while they sat down. I made some muffins and we sat down and we ate muffins while we kept talking. It was the longest conversation. And wow, just to have your kid ask, can we make this dinner longer?

Joey Odom (36:56):

See, and I think that really does go back to the framework you've set. Maybe for parents who haven't established some of these practices, don't sit here and think like, oh, it's too late. My, oh, my kid's 17, my kid's 16, my kid's 12. It really doesn't matter, right? I mean, the time to begin, I do have this core belief that our kids, they really just want connection, even if they may not seem like it, maybe even more so when they don't seem like it.

Mistye Wilson (37:19):

I was just thinking the same thing. I've got two that are about to graduate and I'm trying not to hover over them too much, but I've talked to 'em and said, this is kind of refining. We're refining you towards the end. It was when you've got a product and those last few little things are the most important. So I feel like our product is almost finished, and I just said, we need to refine. We need to smooth over just a couple of edges with you guys. And I'm not trying to be take control or be a controlling parent. Let's just talk about some things. But I think even if you haven't done this before and you've got kids that are about to head out, this is so important because your kids that are about to head out, they have a lot to say. They're thinking about a lot, and I think there's something in them that goes back to their rooted little kid. So it's not too late to start. It's not too late. And if you've got grandkids, it's not too late to sit down and have a meal with your grandchildren and do high low buffalo. What a great thing for them. No

Joey Odom (38:26):

Kidding? Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Okay, Mistye, you know me. I'm going to try. I'm going to make it guy proof. You going to fix it? I'm going to try. I'm going to fix it. I'm going to ask you to fix it. What? People listening. One, let's have a conversation between spousals, have a little oomph time to talk about this, but how can we begin? How could families begin to implement

Mistye Wilson (38:47):

This? Yeah. So I wrote down just a couple of homework items. So one is you got to talk about how can you talk with your husband and family about this? You want to set it up to say, Hey, I'm going to try something different. This is what I'd love to do with our family, and can we just take it seriously? Sunday night meal discussions. One of my favorite things, he almost always does. Sunday night dinner. It is so nice.

Joey Odom (39:17):

There you go. Oh, it's so nice. It's on Joey's list.

Mistye Wilson (39:20):

And even if we're cooking together, that's also really nice. He actually helps me a pretty good bit in the kitchen, but to have that Sunday night dinner where he does pretty much all of it, it's just amazing. The meal tastes so much better. It's always better when somebody else cooks it, right? That's right. Yeah. So give your wife an opportunity to cook for her. It's huge. Yeah. Yeah. Each family member, this is something I do now, now that my kids are older and I'm starting to, like we said at the beginning, there's so many different things. Like somebody doesn't like red meat or gluten or whatever. So ask each of your kids, and I've got three at home right now, and ask them, what would you like this week for dinner? So you've got three dinner meals already. You can ask your husband, what meal do you want? Heath has his typical Sunday night meal that he does. So in this circumstance, the mom slash wife, she's already got a list. I like that. And that makes it so much easier.

Joey Odom (40:24):

That thought, the pre-thought is a huge part of the process. I mean, that's a big, that's just like the looming heavy thing, right? Yes.

Mistye Wilson (40:32):

Yeah, exactly. And you don't want to keep doing the same thing, and you also don't want to try something new that you look around and you're like, nobody would wanted this. Give me some. You can even look up stuff. That's also good too, idea too, when they're younger and they don't know what their favorite meal is, well, let's look through some stuff. What would you like? And then let's try it out. The other one is what I have started doing even more this year, just because I've got seniors that are about to head out in the mornings or somewhere in the early afternoon, I will text fam, squad, fam, squads fam squad, and that's our text thread. And I will text tacos tonight for dinner, and everybody knows to look forward to tacos tonight for dinner. You have your meals planned. So if Reese wanted fish for the night halibut, and so I can text everybody, halibut, talk about the couple of sides that are on the side. Reese knows I've chosen her meal for the night. That feels so good. Yeah, I like that. Yeah. You ask for what you wanted for a meal this week, and mom has chosen your meal for tonight,

Joey Odom (41:50):

And it's not like it's, yeah, you've made it just for her and not just for the halibut.

Mistye Wilson (41:56):


Joey Odom (41:57):

That was such a death. Okay, that was no good. Let's edit that one out.

Mistye Wilson (42:03):

You can leave it in.

Joey Odom (42:09):

Oh boy,

Mistye Wilson (42:11):

Let me get

Joey Odom (42:12):

Together. Yeah, I can do better.

Mistye Wilson (42:14):

And not to say that I am super good at all of this. Some weeks are better than others. Yes. So I'm not amazing at it, but the weeks that I do it well, it goes well. Ask her husband to help. If it's a Friday night and you're all staying in, or it's a Sunday night and you're all staying in again, it's just like I said, on Sunday nights when Heath usually takes over, it's just really, it's a gift.

Joey Odom (42:43):

Okay, so here's what I would, I am not good at this. I will say that I am not good at, I am a great kitchen cleaner after I'm not great at helping with the meals. I am a good helper at the end. We do talk through the meals on Sundays for the week, but I don't help prep. But I've been saying to myself that, oh, I want to help cook. But what's made it so specific for me and you saying, this is how about I pick a day for me? I can be like, okay, I can do Sundays for whatever reason. I don't know why. It's like I need to make it very next step ish. So my next step, and I've been saying this whole time, I want to help with cooking the meals. I like the idea of just making it very approachable, simple. Here's a day of the week.

Mistye Wilson (43:23):

Yeah, Sunday night. And if you've got a certain meal that you love and that you know can cook it well, it might be something that Kristen, I don't like dealing with raw fish or raw chicken. So on Sunday nights we usually get fish or chicken because Heath is going to prep it. He's fine with it after asking your husband to help. And that could be helping with getting the meal ready, setting the table, helping with the kids if they're young, cleaning up afterwards. Huge. Also, teach your kids to help clean up. If somebody cooks you a meal, don't allow your kids to just get up and walk up back to their rooms. It's just disrespectful. It just is. And I know moms were like, oh, they want to get to their homework, and they just finished their activity and they didn't get in until seven 30. Okay.

What else you got? Yeah, everybody can do something. That's right. Everybody can do something. So either have your kid a job or just ask what their favorite thing is to do afterwards for cleanup, taking out the trash, whatever it is, but have them help. Yeah. And during that time, if you have your kids clean up, say mom and dad, like this is what we did when we were, I guess the kids were in middle school, and that's when Heath and I would have our time after the meal to go and talk. I talked about this before, eye to eye contact time. This was when we would go and have a conversation. We go out of the room, the kids clean up. That's their time. If they're going to argue and whatever, you don't have to hear it. They just do their thing in the kitchen. And then you and your husband go and take time. So you've taught your kids, we cooked you a meal, would you please clean up please and thank you. And you get your 20 minutes to talk with your spouse. That's right. Huge.

Joey Odom (45:22):

Yes. It gives them a chance to, I've found we'd say this to our kids a bunch, and they probably hate it, but especially in a brother sister relationship, there is no other relationship in your life that replicates so well to marriage. There's no other dynamic. They're like, no, I'm going to love my spouse. Nah, you will. But you're also going to be furious at them a lot of the time. And so it gives them an opportunity in the kitchen together to work towards something together to resolve arguments without you intervening and just let them do it. But there's no other relationship as close to marriage as a brother sister

Mistye Wilson (45:53):

Relationship. I never thought about that. I can't wait to go home and tell my kids

Joey Odom (45:58):

They're going to hate it. This is

Mistye Wilson (45:59):

Close to marriage,

Joey Odom (46:00):

Guys. They're going to tell you how dumb you are.

Mistye Wilson (46:01):

This is practice for

Joey Odom (46:02):

Marriage. They're going to tell you how that mom, it doesn't make sense. It's stupid, but it's true. They're

Mistye Wilson (46:06):

Going to be so grossed out. But it's so true. I've never thought of it that way. Oh, that's so good. Dads help out with kids if you see them being disrespectful to their mom during, before, after dinner. I've got one of my little special children right now who enjoys prupper, and he's been cold busted. It's not cool. So husbands, you might want to pull aside that young man that's eating prupper and tell 'em it's not okay. Yeah.

Joey Odom (46:43):

prupper is improper.

Mistye Wilson (46:44):

prupper is

Joey Odom (46:45):

Improper. I found it. I told you I'd found it. But prupper is

Mistye Wilson (46:47):

Improper. It is improper, yes.

Joey Odom (46:51):

The one line I love to use that I forget who told me this, is in those situations, it's when your children's being disrespectful to your wife, to their mom, instead of saying, don't talk like that to your mom. Hey, you don't talk like that to my wife. Because you begin to shift the, and it's not you yelling at 'em being mean. It's just helping them understand what that relationship is. This is someone who I love, who I'm partner with, and you don't talk that way to my partner.

Mistye Wilson (47:18):

That speaks so differently to say it that way. And teaching them at the same time, a man, spouses, you're a team. You take up for one, you protect each other. Yeah, that's

Joey Odom (47:31):


Mistye Wilson (47:31):

Oh God, I love that. So much. So much. So that's the homework for this week. I always love statistics because while I'm not a math and numbers person at all, at all, I can't say that enough. I like to read, don't like numbers, but I do love statistics. I do love it. I love percentages. I love all of those things. And I think a lot of men relate. Well, when you hear statistics and percentages of how it helps out. So for our math minded men who need proof instead of, I feel they need some proof. So if I went on and I read the statistics from ginu.org. Yeah, G-I-T-N-U x.org, and I'm not going to read 'em out because I'm really hoping that you guys will go out and just listen to it. One thing that I did find that I thought was really cool, that during and after Covid, our family dinners increased and have stayed.

Joey Odom (48:45):

Oh, that's interesting. Yes.

Mistye Wilson (48:47):

So I do love that. A lot of us think that nothing good came out of Covid, but it's just not true. A lot of good, a lot of family time came out of that. So just count your blessings where you can, and that's something that we can be grateful for. I love that. But yeah, the statistics speak for themselves. It was much less 10 years ago with families eating together. I think we're, the pendulum has swung too far. I think we're coming back around because that's awesome. The numbers are going up, so it's important.

Joey Odom (49:25):

Yeah. You talk about these, we talk about levers in life. Lever is something that you put minimal effort into that gives you maximum output. I think this is one of them. There's a lot that goes into family dinner, but some of the very approachable steps you've talked about, these are levers. These are levers. And if you start 'em young, that's a foundation. It'll be very normal for your kids. It's very normal. But no matter where you are, just start using some of these levers. Just try it. Just try some of this stuff. And I think it makes such a huge difference. So I would encourage people to, again, the main takeaway for us, talk about this with your partner. Have some oomph time, you me, phone free. That's right. You, me. Phone free. Talk about this and find, we said, we threw out a bunch of stuff here, but find the things that are true for you. The things that you wonder, is this true for my spouse? Let me ask them what this. So come up with some notes, have four or five things to talk about, and then you gave some great, very approachable homework at the end. Start to implement some of these things. It doesn't have to be perfect, doesn't have to be all at once. Doesn't have to be every day. But just begin that. Just take those baby steps today. Don't make it too huge of a homework project, a science project. Just begin to take the steps

Mistye Wilson (50:30):

Today. Yeah, start small. If it's even one meal a week, just hit it hard. That one meal a week. Yeah.

Joey Odom (50:39):

You're amazing.

Mistye Wilson (50:40):

I love this time. This is

Joey Odom (50:41):

The best. Right? I love it.

Mistye Wilson (50:42):

I really love it.

Joey Odom (50:43):

I love it. More than prupper. I've never had prupper, I've had

Mistye Wilson (50:48):

prupper. I'm pretty sure you have.

Joey Odom (50:50):

Oh, that was a shot.

Mistye Wilson (50:51):

Gosh. Well, I'm pretty sure you have, because I feel like most men probably have because you're very hungry. But I also sometimes count a really big, heavy, late lunchtime for you guys.

Joey Odom (51:04):


Mistye Wilson (51:04):

I've had some

Joey Odom (51:05):

Improper. I've been improper with my

Mistye Wilson (51:06):

prupper. Right. And then you're not hungry for dinner. That's right.

Joey Odom (51:09):

I've done it,

Mistye Wilson (51:10):

Men. Careful.

Joey Odom (51:12):

Mistye, you're the best. Thank you. This is fun. Yeah,

Mistye Wilson (51:15):

Good stuff. I appreciate

Joey Odom (51:16):


Joey Odom (51:16):


Joey Odom (51:19):

Can you tell, I have so much fun with those episodes, with Misty. She's so much fun. What you hear on camera is exactly what she is. She is absolute hilarity all the time and so much wisdom. So what I would love for you to do, I'll just repeat what we say at the beginning. The design of this podcast episode is for you and your partner to listen. You can do it together or independently, and then schedule a phone free time to discuss together. So will you do that? I know that sounds like a bunch of steps, but I can promise you the other side of that is so enriching. We'll build that connection, that closeness, and you might even, I'll just warn you, you might even learn something about your partner, which will be great for you to build greater, greater connection. So schedule a time to get together, a phone free night. Jot down some notes as you listen to it and discuss. Figure out what's true for your partner. Figure out what's true for you, make sure you focus on connection and learning more about each other. I hope you have a great date night, a great phone free date night. We can't wait to see you again for next week's episode of The Aro Podcast. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod Co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support, and to our executive producer Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.