Eating dinner as a family has always been important to me. I grew up eating dinner as a family.
When I married and had my boys I kept the family dinner tradition going. While other moms I knew prepared dinner for the children and then another one when the husband got home I made one dinner, and as often as we could, we ate it all together. Of course, my ex husband was in the USAF at the time so there were plenty of dinners he missed, but even then, the boys and I ate together.
Fast forward many years and there was a divorce and remarriage. When W and I first got married the whole family dinner thing was a source of contention. In his previous marriage it was every man for himself. People came and went when they wanted and from the sounds of it very few meals were prepared. (I don’t know, I wasn’t there but that is the impression I was given.)
Contrast that with what I was doing and you can see some power struggles brewing.
I held firm.
I’m a big believer in picking your battles but I strongly felt that, with a blended family especially, family dinners were of major importance. I honestly felt it was a “make or break” element to the family AND the marriage.
It took a while but we got into the groove. Family dinner every night. We started “Pizza & Movie Nights” on Friday and “Game Night” on Saturday. Every other weekend of course. I will say that pizza & movie night was way more successful than game night. After a long day of Saturday chores neither my husband or I were much up to a long drawn out game with 4 kids.
Now the kids are pretty much grown up. We have two still living with us because they are going to college (Room and board is our contribution to any of the kids wanting to go to school.) but two are gone.
Family dinner is down to one night a week now. Sunday. At 7 pm. Not everyone makes it EVERY week because of work and we’ve had girlfriends and boyfriends join us at our family dinners quite regularly. So while the make up of people varies we can usually get at least a couple of Sundays a month where the whole family can be together.
It’s become my favorite night of the week.
I don’t always feel like cooking a big meal on Sunday. Sometimes I think I’d rather curl up on the sofa (like on this stormy, gloomy, Sunday morning) and watch a movie BUT I’m always glad to see my children and their significant others.
I love hearing them talk to one another as adults. I love listening to them laugh and tell stories. I LOVE the way my house practically vibrates with love.
I appreciate that they take the time, one day a week, to come and visit with their siblings and parents.
Sometimes we even play a game after dinner.
And if you ask my husband of 12 years he’ll tell you that family dinners have been a very GOOD thing for this family.
Do you have family dinners at your house too?