Men, Waffles and Work-Life Balance?

by Melanie Edwards on January 25, 2010 · 12 comments

in life, Women

This weekend, a good friend of mine mentioned a book she recently read (or heard about) called Men Are Like Waffles – Women Are Like Spaghetti. The idea is that the brain of a man works much like a waffle in that it has divisions and separate containers for each thought. On the other hand, a woman’s brain works like spaghetti in that everything is mixed and intertwined.

Sound familiar?

We proceeded to discuss the idea a bit with a few other friends that were over – the conversation was primarily dominated by women, but did include my husband and my friend’s husband. The men gave good input like reminding us women that when a man says he’s not thinking about anything…it’s really true, he’s not thinking about anything. They said that sometimes some of their waffle compartments are just empty.

For me, that is extremely hard to understand. It seems that everything we do as women affects something else. We’re always thinking of the next thing while doing another. We are great multi-taskers as my friend’s husband was quick to point out. And, that’s great. It often works to our benefit. But, sometimes, just sometimes…I’d love it if my brain could function like a waffle and just focus on one thing at a time. And I’d really love it if I could have some empty spaces in that waffle that allowed me to think of nothing.

Wouldn’t that be nice ladies?

Just think how much more balanced we’d feel if we weren’t always worried about the next thing. Perhaps that’s why the majority of information on work-life balance that’s out there is geared towards women. Men already have it figured out? Or they don’t feel like they have to do it all? And all at the same time? They just focus on each little section of their waffle?

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as you think about yourself and your spouse (if you have one) or other relationships you’ve observed.

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1 PJ Mullen January 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Yep, I can totally corroborate that. There are several times a day when I'm just not thinking about anything. I hadn't heard the waffle/spaghetti analogy, but I like it.

2 modernmami January 27, 2010 at 11:37 am

I envy that. How is that even possible? LOL I'll never understand, but I suppose I'm not meant to either. 🙂

3 Nicole January 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Wow! Oh how I wish I could at some point have nothing going on in my brain. Even trying to stop thinking about something, I'm thinking about how not to think. I guess that's why my husband doesn't know where his socks are or anything else for the matter. Great post Melanie. LOVE IT

4 modernmami January 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

You always have to find his socks for him also? LOL Your “thinking about how not to think” had me cracking up.

5 pchanner January 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Hey this does sound familiar 🙂 You know I have the book packed away some where, you should check it out. Chris and I read it together and loved it. We can both attest to the fact that what they saw about our differences is true. And it has helped me to better understand his 'empty box' moments.

6 modernmami February 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I keep reminding myself…”He only has pockets. He must be in a waffle moment”. LOL

7 pixielation January 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Sometimes I physically FEEL like my brain is spaghetti.

8 modernmami February 2, 2010 at 8:28 pm

SO true! I'm there with you.

9 Cameron Phillips February 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm


This is my first time to your website. I enjoy it a great deal.

I have just launched a business to help men with better work/life balance. Not being a woman, (last time I checked 😉 I can't speak for women and their relationship with work/life balance, but I would argue that the majority of WLB info is geared towards woman because men don't admit they have WLB issues. I think men are suffering from WLB issues a great deal but can't admit it/won't talk about it.

Feel free to visit my blog for dads. or my still in creation website for my new business, Bettermen Solutions at

10 modernmami March 3, 2010 at 6:54 am

I think you're onto something here. I know that my husband struggles with it, but he doesn't talk about it nearly as much as I do. Glad you enjoyed your first visit to my blog!

11 modernmami March 3, 2010 at 7:54 am

I think you're onto something here. I know that my husband struggles with it, but he doesn't talk about it nearly as much as I do. Glad you enjoyed your first visit to my blog!

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