Sometime after our first little boy joined the world, I decided that family dinners would be our thing. We would sit at the table, put our devices away, and enjoy a meal together. Most of our meals are home cooked but definitely not all of them. I shared my thoughts with my husband and we agreed to make it a thing.
That little boy is now three years old and we still sit down at the table together every night. We make exceptions for special occasions but our norm is eating dinner together at the table. We’ve been doing so since he was 6 months old and I’m so glad we do. Today, I thought I’d share a few quick tips to make family dinner a thing at your house too.
Work together to set expectations for your dinner. For us, we decided it would be an every night thing. Other families may find that once a week or even just once a month works best for them. Look at your family dynamics and determine what fits you best. Start small and work up to a bigger goal if you need to. It’s more than okay to pick one night and make it your tradition.
Make a plan.
I know you’ve probably seen enough about meal planning. I also know that there’s heaps of information out there. I’m not going to turn this into a post on meal planning. I’m simply going to say that having a plan for dinner can help with getting it on the table in time.
Pick a time.
Look at your schedules and pick a time when you can sit down together. You may find that you have to go with “most of the family” rather than the entire family. Aim to have as many people around the table as possible but realize that odd schedules can make that more difficult. For us, dinner is between five and six every night. This gives my husband time to get home if needed and allows for consistency with our kids’ bedtime.
Establish table rules.
Think about how you want family dinner to look. Do you want technology at the table? Can people come and go as they please? Does everyone have to eat the same thing? What are the boundaries you want to set for your family dinner? For us, everyone stays at the table until dinner is finished and it’s a phone free zone. We even communicate this to our family when they are visiting. They can choose to follow along or not but we at least communicate our dynamics with them.
There are going to be seasons of life when family dinner might look different. That’s okay – this is where flexibility comes into play. One such time for us was after our second son was born. Newborns don’t operate on everyone else’s schedule and therefore, we sometimes had to tend to baby duty during dinner.
I love our family dinners and it makes things super special for our toddlers when we do something different. One of our favorite special dinners is to have a pizza picnic in front of a movie. We lay a blanket on the ground and eat pizza while watching a movie. The kids love it and our three year old asks for it the moment he sees that it’s pizza night.
Do you have a family dinner routine? I’d love to hear how dinner time looks in your house!
Today is the tenth day of the Love Blog challenge and I’m cohosting again! Today’s prompt was family and I hope you enjoyed my spin on it. I’m not cohosting all of the prompts but there are a few here and there. Each time that I cohost, you’ll get the chance to learn a little bit more about the other ladies hosting. I’ve shared all of the bios and links below (including my own in case you’re new here!). I highly recommend checking out these ladies!
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. On her blog and social media, you’ll discover more than authentic storytelling–she’s brutally honest about pursuing a fulfilling and joyful life even with Crohn’s Disease and depression. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Sara blogs at Mrs. Imperfect about letting go of perfect and embracing your quirks and messes. She writes about marriage, self love, mothering, and mental health and runs an Etsy shop offering printables on the same subjects. She is a writer, book lover, crafter, and mom to a eighteen month old daughter. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Meet Pam (That’s me!)
Pam is a former teacher turned work at home mom to two little boys. She blogs about motherhood and all it’s messy moments on her blog Hodge Podge Moments. She also shares play based learning activities at Little Learning Moments. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.