Well, it’s certainly not dinner! In fact, most nights my clan eats in shifts because of varied practices, work commitments, games and lessons and so on. These days, we sometimes have just two nights in a week where we can sit together as a family and enjoy a warm cooked meal. And I must share with you – this makes me sad.
Growing up, dinner was such a big part of my day. Each night, we sat the table and I shared every painful detail of my day, barely letting my poor brother get in a word edgewise. And while I had no idea at the time, those dinner conversations kept us grounded and out of trouble.
So how do I now, as a parent, provide the same opportunity for my kids?
One thing is for certain – on the rare one or two days that we do all sit together for dinner, both kids are fighting for the floor. Sure, it would be great to have dinner together each night, but in our current environment, this is just not feasible. So instead of beating myself up, I make the most of the two nights we do gather around our table (which by the way, is an AWESOME farmhouse table my hubby decided one day to build!) and for lack of a better phrase – we shoot the shit.
I make sure everyone has at least one dish that is their favorite on the menu (and in some instance, their favorite take out) and I make sure everyone gets a turn to share their day.
My children may not realize it now, but dinner at the table – together – will make a difference in the long run.
So my advice to all those juggling parents who feel the same way:
Set aside just one night and eat together. If you can cook something, great. If not, fast food or delivery or even a bowl of cereal will do. Just sit together and talk. I promise – it will be the best meal you eat.