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Sometimes the Table Moves (or isn't a table at all)

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As you may have gathered over the last couple of months, I'm very big on the whole family dinner thing. It's about routine, and the family unit, and it's true that our kitchen table holds a special place in my heart. A day that ends with my family gathered around, talking and eating, is a good day, indeed.

But you might think from my writing that my family never wavers from this routine, and that's simply not true. Our lives are as chaotic as any other family's; sometimes work and meetings and activities and sports and even friends get in the way. Not only that, but we're not always, you know, home. For that matter, even when we're home, we... okay, I'm going to say this very quietly... we don't always eat at the table.

There, my secret's officially out.

I mean, yes, most of the time we eat at our kitchen table, and we eat a home-cooked meal, usually from scratch.


... sometimes we eat take-out.

... sometimes we go out to eat.

... sometimes we eat at home, but there's a new Mythbusters episode on, and we eat in front of the TV (naughty!) in the family room.

... sometimes we go camping, and eat outdoors.

... sometimes we go camping, and it's stormy, and we crowd around our little table in our trailer and dine to the incessant drumming of rain on the roof.

... sometimes we have guests, and all eat at the big table in the dining room.

... sometimes we go to a friend's house.

... sometimes the kids aren't here, and my husband and I eat popcorn for dinner while watching a movie.

It's not about always doing the same thing, or always doing every supper exactly the same way. It's about being together. I love the "typical" meals at the kitchen table, I do---so much---but I love all the other stuff, too. There's just something about that end-of-the-day meal with the family. There's nothing quite like it.

Do you have a sacred "dinner routine" or is a meal together enough for you? Or do you feel like mealtime is no big deal, just time to eat?

by on Oct. 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-50):
by Member on Oct. 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM

We do a combination of both.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 28, 2011 at 9:17 PM

 Woohoo!  Talk about well-mannered kids!  Great job, mom!

Quoting Bmat:

Eating at a friend's house is always good for the children.  One time they did me proud by politely eating the overspiced food that a friend served us.


by on Oct. 28, 2011 at 10:53 PM

We don't have a big meal routine, but do eat together and talk about things as a family. It is not as big as a deal for us since it is just my husband, myself and our daughter. Thanks for sharing.

by Kristin on Oct. 28, 2011 at 11:41 PM

 I think meal time with my family is fantastic wherever we are. We are the kind that sometimes goes to other peoples houses, we go out to eat, we eat on the go, we eat at sporting events. All that matters is that they eat something good for them, and that we eat it as a family.

by Member on Oct. 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Actually, I LOVE eating by the camp fire and also eating at the tiny table in the camper or even tent if that is what we chose to do!  I think it is so much fun.  Great, now you have made me want to go camping!

by on Oct. 29, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Dinner time is sacred to us too.  If we have sports that evening, then we have an early dinner.  Even if only 1 child has to go. It's important for us to sit down as a family, and my kids are so used to it that they would question WHY? if we didn't do it one night.

One of our routines this year has been to say one good thing, and one bad thing about their day. Even the 2 year old gets in on it (even though his good thing is 'I played on the swing' every day, lol).

It opens up a nice discussion, and something the kids think about all day.

by on Oct. 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I agree.  We don't answer the phone during dinner.

Quoting momkaribg:

 I like my family to eat together with no distractions.


by on Oct. 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I agree. :)

Quoting Bmat:

I believe that dinner is an important part of the day.

by on Oct. 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM

My DH loves the TV as much as anyone, but he knows better when it comes to dinner time.  He's setting an example for the kids.

Quoting Wish2Be:

 Well I really want a traditional sit at the table dinner, but its impossible because DH needs to be in front of the tv. :(

by on Oct. 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

It's good to start it as soon as the kids are babies, so they don't know any different!  I remember when my youngest was a baby, we would sit him at the table, or pull him close to it, so he was part of the family right away!  My older kids loved it. lol

Quoting sweettigeress:

Maybe I should consider a meal routine.

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