Family Mealtimes – Why perfect mealtimes aren’t always possible

We’re all aware of the perfect family mealtime image. As parents, it’s practically ingrained in us that we should all sit down at the dining table, share a wholesome family meal and quietly discuss our day together. In reality, this couldn’t be any further from the truth for 99.9% of the entire population. We work long hours, we eat different meals and we do our best to discuss the important parts of our day, as-and-when we happen to be in the same room at the same time.

"Want Daddie's chips!"
“Want Daddie’s chips!”

‘Mealtimes’ are typically a spaghetti-covered toddler at the table and one parent catching the debris, watching their own food go cold. My hubby usually arrives home at around 5.30-6pm most evenings (if he’s not working late or away), and on the days I work, I usually get in around 5.30-6pm. At this point, I’ve fed my son or he’s eaten at nursery. Sometimes I get the pleasure of eating toddler mush when he’s decided to fall asleep during the cooking time. Currently, my son is going through the, “what the hell is that meal you’ve spent 4 hours lovingly preparing, and where’s my chocolate?” phase. This involves throwing as many food groups on the floor as possible in an allotted time. It’s his favourite game.

"Yes, it's all over the floor and table Mummy!"
“Yes, it’s all over the floor and table Mummy!”

So from Monday to Friday, mealtimes are a battleground. But my favourite and most precious time with the family is on a Sunday, where we all actually manage to sit down together for lunch. Food is typically thrown, (along with some tantrums), but it’s the closest we get to that perfect family image. Once a week is enough for us – and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Catering to the needs of your family, whether it be preparing a nice meal, sharing stories from your day or just offering a huge hug when it’s needed are the special times in your day-to-day life. So if it’s at 4pm, 6pm or the middle of the night, that one occasion of gastro-unity is always worth the hassle. We aren’t all perfect and life will always get in the way, but try to enjoy those precious moments of the day with your family, if you’re ever lucky enough to get them.

I love throwing peas
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4 thoughts on “Family Mealtimes – Why perfect mealtimes aren’t always possible

  1. We have less of the fuss and throwing, but we also eat all over the place. N eats tea at nursery 4 times a week, breakfast at nursery 3 days a week (although he does usually have something on getting up everyday whether he’s got breakfast later or not). Because I’m on a diet, and I don’t want to spend precious evenings with N cooking tea, eating at either 8pm or eat at 6.30 and then giving N a second tea which he’ll happily eat, the OH usually eats his tea at the farm at 5pm. I don’t get back til 5.45ish. In the summer he’s harvesting so grabs a meal and and when he’s back at midnight or the like.

    So we only eat lunch together at weekends (unless N and I are out for the day), and evening meal on Friday-Sunday. It works for us, and hopefully is enough for N to see us cooking food from scratch, and for us to eat together to show that mealtimes are eaten together.

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    • It all sounds very hectic at your house too but it’s those precious mealtimes where you can gather as a family that are important and if that’s only a couple of times a week, we need to cherish those times.

      We have had a fab day cooking together today. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and thank you for commenting on my blog 🙂

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  2. Can so relate to this!Spend ages each night trying to think of meals we can all eat but invariably end up with my daughter picking one mouthful or covering the table with it and seem to find if 1 child likes it the other doesn’t!Also find that you could give them a meal on their plate and they say no yet will happily eat it off your plate! x

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    • Ha ha my boy seems to find my dinner more appealing too! He also enjoys placing his chewed up, squished, saliva-drenched, cast-off’s onto my plate as well. Little monkeys aren’t they?!!

      Now if it’s spaghetti hoops, that’s a whole other ball game. I wouldn’t get a look in and he would probably attempt to lick his plate after too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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