I recently took a survey that asked how often my family eats at the table together. I smugly started to enter “every night” and then realised that was a big fat lie.
In a dream world, it would be every night. I’d cook a delicious, homemade dinner served promptly at 6:00. We’d drink out of vintage green glasses while we demurely cut our meat and ate our vegetables without complaint, having a detailed conversation about our days.
In reality, it just doesn’t happen that way. While I do my best getting a solid, homemade meal on the table promptly sometime before bed, I don’t usually sit and eat with the kids. When I do, I finish in half the time and spend the rest of the meal time cleaning the kitchen so I don’t have to do it after bedtime.
Because after bedtime, I like to do this thing other parents may be familiar with—it’s called: collapse.
We do talk, the kids and I, over our meals. We share what we did through the day with Joseph talking about recess, Elizabeth regalling us with preschool dramas, and me moaning over budget spreadsheets. But I’m walking around the kitchen for half the conversation while they sit at the nearby table and contribute their portions.
I wonder if the “family at the table for the whole meal” thing will happen when they’re older. For now, this works for us. Though I hated to answer the survey with a low number.
Do you eat as a family every night?