Family Dinner – A labor of love
In today’s busy world we are lucky if the whole family gets a few peaceful moments together. And by peaceful I mean sans television, tablets, mobile devices etc. In between work, school, sports activities, social commitments + more it’s difficult finding a time where each family member has a moment to spare. Eating together has become a thing of the past, happening on the rare occasion or religious/ cultural holiday.
One of the biggest struggles I faced after getting married, was convincing my husband to sit together, sans couch/TV and eat. The excuses were easy; there are only two of us, let’s just squeeze in a TV show, I’m tired, I just want to relax, etc. Convincing him wasn’t easy – after all he had lived alone for so long that family dinners had become a childhood memory. After much insisting we finally brought home a dining table. We were one step closer! At first it took effort, setting the table, ignoring our phones, turning off the tv. Within a few weeks however, dinnertime together became a habit and plopping down on the couch with plate in hand became a thing of the past, a rare pizza and movie night occurrence. He admitted to me soon after that dinnertime made him feel more like a family and reminded him of when he was younger. And the same held true for me!
Growing up my Dad never compromised with dinnertime. As soon as our after school activities, sports, community service was done we were to come home and help my mom set the table. We got a chance to talk about our day, the weekend plans, unwind and just be a family – together. The television would turn off and phone calls would go to voicemail. It was OUR time. As children we found it irritating at times, but reflecting back I’m thankful to my Dad’s instance as some of our favorite memories were made around the dinner table.
Now that I’m a mother myself I hope to continue the same mealtime commitment to my family. It won’t be easy but I will make it happen, that’s a promise to myself, my husband and most importantly to our daughter, our little mirchi. As our little mirchi has just started solids, her mealtime ends up being much earlier than the time my husband returns from work. But because we want her to know the importance of eating together from early on, we have her sit in her high chair or our laps while we eat together (even though she’s had her dinner a few hours earlier). I’m sure this might continue for the first few years, where family dinner will mean snack time or high chair play time for her, but the important part is that we will be together.
“A family that eats together stays together.” –
As I embark in the new role of Food Editor for MasalaMommas, I invite you to pull up a chair for family dinner, kitchen stories and time-tasted recipes. I would love to hear what you’d like to see in this space, what you do to make mealtime important and any other comments and/or questions.
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