posted in Mom Stories
Family dinners – or lack thereof – are my big, fat parenting FAIL.
It looms at the end of every day, this epic failure that will, according to parenting magazines, surely lead to despondent, depressed, obese teenagers. Time and time again throughout the year I resolve to find a way to get all of us around the dinner table each night, but try as I might – and believe me, I’ve tried – I just can’t seem to make it happen.
My husband and I both work full-time and by the time we get home with the kids it’s 5:45, which leaves us a 2-hour window before our toddler needs to be in bed. That 2 hours passes in a flash, a hurricane of school stories and permission forms, tantrums and tea parties, baths and bedtime books. Throw in a swim class or piano lesson and things really get messy.
The only way it works is if I walk through the front door and make a beeline for the stove, ignoring the chaos that swirls around me. There have been times when I’m dicing onions before I even take off my jacket. But of course this doesn’t actually work, because after a day spent without me the girls actually want to spend some time with me – and that feeling is entirely mutual. When they were babies a pile of pots and pans next to me on the kitchen floor could work wonders, but these days that just doesn’t cut it. These days it’s hide-and-seek and puppet shows and blowing bubbles and dog piles on the couch.
I’ve menu planned, bought a slow cooker, spent Sundays cooking an entire week’s worth of freezer-friendly food. It helps, sometimes, but none of it seems to stick. Before too long we’ve fallen back into the same routine: The youngest eats in her highchair while I make a something for her sister. Her sister eats at the table while my husband tackles the 2-year-old’s bath. Then the two of us, exhausted, eat in front on the TV after both of them are tucked away in bed.
The only good news is that, according to a new study out of Cornell University this week, the family dinner may not actually be the holy grail it’s often thought to be. It may be that it’s just solid, quality time with your kids that matters most, whether it’s spent around the table or crouched in front of a Barbie dream house.
Even so, I do love the thought of a family meal, the four of us gathered together at the end of the day.
Do you eat together as a family? If so, what’s your secret? And do you think family meals are all that important?
Photo: Flickr (Atle Brunvall)
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”