Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bringing Back Family Dinners

We are all busy. Life moves so quickly and between work/family/commitments it is hard to find time for well, anything. However, at some point we have to stop, get organized and prioritize what we feel is important. Family takes the cake for me, and that includes my favorite, family dinners.  

I am very old fashioned and tend to revert back to how I was raised for much of how I raise my own children. I fondly remember nightly dinners with my family.  My Thriving Mommy whipping up something scrumptious while I poured myself a glass of milk. My Geena making my Poppa and I our favorite meals while we horsed around picking at snacks in the kitchen...just being together with family.  For dinner I was required to sit at the table (or bar if I was at my Geena & Pop's house), there was no TV in the background,  if the phone rang (landline that is) it was ignored and we sat together eating and chatting. After everyone was done, I had to ask to be excused only to clear the table and bring the dishes to the sink to be washed. It's just the way it was and let me say, it was wonderful. 

Now that my boys are older and joining us at the table in their big boy booster seats, I was thrilled that we too could start our own family dinners. When they were younger I would feed them, clean up, get them to bed, only to do it all over again cooking for myself and my TH. Well that proved to be too much...even for me! Now, that they can eat pretty much anything, I make dinner ONCE and we all sit at the table; no TV, no phones, just us.

Creating a dinner schedule that works for your family is the hardest part. Determining when your TH will be home vs when you are home, when you need to feed the kids in order to get them to bed at their normal time, what they are eating vs what you are eating...all things that need to be considered. But as soon as you are organized and have a plan (even if it is one or two nights a week if that is all you can make work with your busy schedules) you are good to go.

My TM doesn't often join us for dinner, but I always set a place for her...just in case she decides to stop in.
Being as I am a supporter of themed dinner nights, I am never really scrambling on what to prepare, which has been a HUGE help in making sure my family dinners are a success. Each night of the week (accept for weekends) has a designated "theme", so I whip up one of my go-to meals for that category and am golden. The boys help me set the table (they love to put up their placemats and forks), then run around while I cook before we all sit down together and eat.

For all you TW rolling your eyes right now while laughing hysterically about how I possibly think this will work for you...let me be real. My TH isn't home every night as he is often at the fire station working. So, when he isn't home, I make dinner for the boys and sit with them while they eat. Sometimes I eat too, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I do the dishes while they get started, but I always try to be present when they are eating. But when my TH is in fact home, he knows that dinner is served at 5:30 sharp so he has to take off his work overalls and come in from the property and get cleaned up...we even have a dinner bell if he forgets! Even if you can bring your family together for just one night a week, it is still an accomplishment.

I love that I have brought back family dinners in my home and look forward to nothing more than continuing to gather around the table each evening and eating as a family. No TV, no phones, no brain chips (which I am sure is the next tech creation), just being together and reconnecting as a family after another busy day in the madness we call life.  

The Puss man is loving those noodles...must be Tuscany Tuesday!
Peanut is always double fisting, in one hand is fork, in another bread.
What do you remember about family dinners? Are they something you want to keep going when you start a family?

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