It Looks Like I Have to Share My Kitchen Now

I should have seen this coming

Jennifer Haubrich
Published in
7 min readJan 13, 2021


Photo of a kitchen waiting to be used.
Photo: Michael Browning via Unsplash

I did think of it as “my” kitchen: It had been one of the reasons we’d chosen to buy our home 12 years ago. The previous owners had remodeled it three years prior, moving the old kitchen cabinets (and even a working sink) out into the garage for storage.

It had been a significant upgrade. The kitchen, in fitting with the decor of the rest of the house, was neutrally colored. Cream cabinets, sandy brown speckled granite countertops, and a travertine tile backsplash with a few subtle accents. The five-burner gas stovetop and warming drawer located on the kitchen island had me dreaming of the big parties and holidays we would one day host.

I wasn’t sure it was exactly what I’d choose, given the chance to design it myself, but I liked it. With an infant and a toddler in tow, just as important, I was happy that it had already been done.

I was a latecomer to cooking. In college, my repertoire consisted mostly of pasta and grilled cheese (featuring my dad’s favorite, Velveeta). After graduation, I lived in Manhattan, where I shared a typically tiny galley kitchen with one and sometimes two roommates. I don’t recall ever cooking what I could describe as a complete meal in it the entire three years I lived there.