{time for a change}

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So a while back I read this post of Dani's about the importance of eating together 
as a family...it's a great post, you really should read it.
 And I must say, ever since then I have been feeling pretty guilty about the
 lack of family dinners in this house.
I was raised Catholic so the guilt is readily there but seriously, it is something that I 
know has needed to change for a long time and she just
 made me decide to actually make the change.
So we are, starting this week.
I'm doing it.
It's time for a change.

I grew up in what I consider to be a typical home for the time (70's, 80's, early 90's) 
where my dad worked, my mom
 stayed home with us kids and we sat down to dinner together every night.
This is a family tradition that I, sadly, have not done a very good job of carrying on.
But it's a tradition/ritual/activity that I think is very important.
So I totally get it but until now I guess I have not made it a priority.
There are a few reasons why...
Eric commutes to work and he usually does not get home until 6:30-7:00 
depending on the day, it is usually more like 6:45. This makes eating together hard. 
Impossible? No. But hard.
That right there is my #1 reason.
Also, I am home all day with the kids so I guess selfishly, I don't want to delay 
baths, books and bed by an hour.....
That would be my #2 reason.
I also might add here that we are not eating McDonald's in front of the tv every night, it's not that bad. It's just not enough of what I feel like we should be doing.

With the start of school this week and the fact that we will not be home all
 day together, it's time for a change.
Enter : regularly scheduled meals.
And they will be scheduled.
It won't be every night, that's just not gonna work here.
And it might be dinner, breakfast or whatever works for us.
I don't think I've ever mentioned before that I work two nights a week, 
for a total of about four hours a week...but I do.
 I leave when Eric gets home and I am home about two hours later (after the kids are in bed) 
it's not a lot but it's just another reason dinner doesn't work out for those two nights.
I'm really not making excuses, I'm just sayin'.
Anyway,  this morning we all ate breakfast together.
Waffles, sausage, cantaloupe and orange juice.
I think we're off to a good start.

Dani shared this quote by Jamie Oliver in her post and I love it,  I think it's worth sharing here, too:

"This sounds a bit romantic, but if once, twice, or even three times a week people cooked, and sat around the table with their family, that would have a dramatic impact on the whole country. I think kids would be happier, marriages would fail less. I suppose my belief is that by just creating an element of care in the mainstream you have a much nicer environment all 'round."
*       *       *
Thanks for the nudge, Dani.
I would love to hear what you all have to say on this topic.
Do you eat together every night? Rarely?
What works for you and your family? 
Happy Sunday everyone, hope you had a great weekend.


  1. love this post and i can completely relate to your predicament.

    we have family dinner 3-4 nights a week. jay sometimes works nights until about 8:30. then he has a 1/2 hour commute. there is NO WAY im delaying dinner until nine at night. ill admit that on those nights i tend to get a bit lazy and throw together some pb&j's or cereal. (!!!)
    and i agree with you that it doesnt have to be dinner. on the weekends, when the schedule is somewhat lighter, we have a lunch or breakfast together. sometimes both.

    sometimes on sunday (jay is off most sundays) we cook a big special meal in the middle of the day that everyone looks forward too.

    i really think its about finding what works best for your family.

  2. We actually do most dinners together, but occasionally it doesn't happen. Lucas gets home from work after 6 and there are just some nights I can't get the kids to wait.
    But the rest of the meals... not so much. I try to get the three of us to eat lunch together, without the tv on, but for whatever reason that is the one that I struggle with the most. But it really does make such a big difference when we all sit together and talk! It's amazing what little tidbits come out of the kids mouths :)

  3. That Dani is a wise woman. I've learned much from her. My husband works from 3 - midnight (sometimes longer), so full-family meals just don't happen. But, I've always made sure the kids and I sit down together for dinner. I pick up the best news of the day during this time -- mostly juicy-good, teenage gossip.

  4. I grew up eating family dinner nightly. It was great and bad at the same time. Great that we all sat down together and felt part of something bigger. Bad that it didn't happen until nearly 8pm b/c both of my parents commuted to/from NYC.

    If you remember, I posted about what dinner looks like around here most nights. Very few Leave It to Beaver dinners. Lots of Mermaids meals.

  5. Its good that you are starting this now, when your kids are smaller, because as they grow and get involved in sports and school activities, it becomes a struggle to find time again.

    I have to say that I totally relate to the late dinner being difficult. The kids are tired and hungry and I am tired. . .I applaude your decision.

    Good luck!

  6. Good for you! I too believe it's important to have family dinners. I don't think it has to be anything big or fancy, even sitting together when having cereal or pb&j is good. I too get lazy with it, because I just want my space sometimes too. I'm drained by the end of the day on some days, especially if they are arguing all day. I also find it to be hard now that they are older and in sports. But, we try to make it work. :)

    I just love your gladiolus on the table. They are very special to me because the town I grew up in has a Gladiolus Festival each year and we just attended the 73rd Glad Fest this past weekend. :) I have a vase in my kitchen right now too. They bring me such joy!

  7. Yay for you! We eat dinners together most nights, though not always. There are plenty of nights where I just don't feel like cooking, so it's a free for all, but on those nights where I make the effort, I take pleasure in having us all together to enjoy it. Now that I think about it, we all eat together even when we order out. I guess it's pretty much become a habit now.

  8. that quote is so true. i agree that little changes at home can have such an impact on our society. that said, we used to eat dinner together every night and then completely fell out of the routine. i told myself (also) that once henry started school it was really important that we make a point of eating dinner together, and not in front of the tv. so far, so good, but i know it's something i have to put emphasis on otherwise it will disappear. for my part i need to become a better cook cause i pretty much suck and so that has been my stumbling block. but i'm working on it.

  9. So, we do sit down at the table and eat together every night. It isn't gourmet, trust me. But we make it a decent meal... usually. It is very feasible for us since my hubby starts his day at 5am and is *usually* home by 4:30-5ish.
    I would like to work on TURNING THE DARN TV OFF during dinner - grrrrr :D I think I will get working on that one.

  10. I feel really strongly about this too and being a British girl I've watched a lot of Jamie Oliver and he has transformed the eating habits of many many families in the UK. We have just started again eating together as a family (we got lazy again) and Sam eats so much better sat at the table with us and we all enjoy it so much more. Long may it continue! :) p.s. the food looks scrumptious!

  11. Go you!

    First of all, thanks for the props. It is very meaningful to know that something I wrote stuck with someone like that.

    Secondly, I'm very glad that the family dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) will be going on in your house too. I know it will be something you treasure...despite the difficulties.

    My Mr. doesn't get home until 7pm. We eat pretty much as he walks in the door. It's hard because that pushes bedtime back to a time that it probably shouldn't be...but the pros outweigh the cons, at least for us. And my two little owls have never complained about going to bed a bit later.

    Oh, and taco night rules.

  12. Love your post. The nightly dinner ritual is one of my favorite traditions and yet, it is one of the things that probably gets the least amount of thought...recommitting to it today!

  13. We always ate together growing up and I think it is a very important thing to pass on to our children. Dave starts his day early, so we usually eat together around 5-5:30.
    I can understand your frustration about waiting for your hubby to get home. I would not want dinner/bath/books/bed to be that late either. I am definitely a get em' to bed early type of mommy. :) Could you maybe try to give them a bath before your hubby gets home? That way you are eating and then heading straight to stories and bed-time?? We sometimes get the girls through the shower when Dave is cooking...makes for a stress free rest of the evening.
    Let me know what you come up with.
    Enjoy the day

  14. That's a beautiful idea, your pictures are making hungry!


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