As part of my campaign to secure the title of "NOT Mother of the Year," I have a bit of a confession to make. We don't do the whole sit and eat dinner at the table as a family thing -- like ever. Well, maybe on special occasions, but most evenings, it just doesn't happen.
I guess I'd better just go ahead and admit it. My 7-year-old eats dinner in front of the TV -- pretty much every night.
And yes, I'm fully aware that there are all sorts of studies saying that kids who sit down and eat dinner at the table as a family are more content, do better in school, don't grow up to be convicts, and all that good stuff.
But none of that is going to convince me that my son needs to move his meals from the family room to the kitchen.
(At least hear me out before you deem me the worst mom in America, m'kay?)
First of all, neither my husband nor I grew up eating dinner at the table when we were kids. Our families always ate on trays in front of the TV, so that's what we're used to. To be honest, every time I went over to a friend's house for dinner as a kid, I always found it strange when we sat at the table and ate with the rest of their family. And I still feel that way to this day. It's just such a hassle to set the table, put all the condiments on the table, then clear it and clean up afterwards. Something about it just seems so formal to me, and I know my husband agrees.
Second, most nights of the week, my husband isn't home 'til after 7 p.m., which is way too late for our son to eat dinner. I usually wind up feeding him around 6 p.m., and since I'm not eating with him at that point, he typically has his dinner while watching a show or reading a book instead of sitting at the table with me staring at him.
And you know what? My little guy doesn't mind one bit, and he actually prefers sitting in the family room to eat as opposed to being at the kitchen table. He's a perfectly well adjusted, content, normal child, so does it really matter where he eats his meals?
I don't think so. And if it comes back to haunt me in 20 years, so be it.
Do you eat dinner as a family at the table every night?
Image via Mary Fischer