To me, dinnertime is the most important time of the day.
Ever since LP started weaning we have eaten together as a family. Actually from slightly before weaning – LP would sit in the middle of the table in her Bumbo watching us eat and copying us by chewing a spoon and playing with a sippy cup.
We are now nearly 2 years on from that time and LP always eats with us. Hubby’s shifts make this difficult so I have made sure that when Hubby’s working I still eat with LP. I cook one meal for all of us – whether it’s the three of us or just LP and I, we eat the same things and we eat together. Dinner time is 6pm and whoever is at home at that time has dinner.
I love dinnertime. It’s a time when we can sit, eat, drink and talk. As a child we always had dinner together. My parents would talk about their days and my Brother and I would talk about our day at school. Through these dinnertime chats my parents found out about bullying I was enduring at school and about my Brother’s troubles with girlfriends. I feel that if we hadn’t sat down as a family every day my parents may not have known us as well as they did – my parents were able to see instantly if something was wrong and would talk about it straight away. I had instilled in me from a young age the importance of a family dinnertime and the key part it plays in family communication – how easy it is to turn into ships that pass in the night, for families to never sit down together and never talk. I want the same family time and communication with my children that I had with my parents when growing up.
So every day at 6pm we sit down with LP and eat. We practice her new words, we talk about the food she’s eating and Hubby and I talk about our day. Little Man sits with us when he’s awake and chews on a spoon ready for next month when he will start weaning too.
To me, dinner is the most important meal of the day but the majority of the time we will have lunch and breakfast with LP too although these meals I eat and then clear up and finish odd jobs around the house while LP finishes her meal. I make sure though that at dinner we focus on eating and talking. I will make sure that as our children grow we will have at least that hour of quality time every day to talk and be a family. It’s incredibly important to find time in your day to really relax and be a family, even if it’s just over dinner. For you, breakfast may be the quality time of your day or bath time. It varies depending on your circumstances and family situation. Whatever that may be, quality time is so incredibly important.