15 Nov Real Mom Talk – Why I Make Family Dinner a Priority
Some of my most prominent memories from childhood are that of my family of four gathering at our dinner table. It was a regular occurrence in our household, we rarely missed an evening meal together during the week. Both my parents worked demanding full-time jobs, had extracurriculars like volunteering, church, social activities with their friends, and yet they always made time to gather together over dinner. Both my parents were and still are very talented cooks and we were lucky to always enjoy delicious and healthy meals, but that wasn’t what impacted me the most. It was the way they made sitting down with my sister and me, a number one priority. Looking back on it now, I am acutely aware that they never spent time complaining about their day, the hardships and frustrations at work or the traffic on the commute home. They held our hands and we bowed our heads together and gave thanks for all our blessings. They asked us about my sister’s and my day at school, what we learned, and how our friends and their families were doing. They purposefully and intentionally created a warm and positive place for us to gather and connect.
Now that I am an adult and a mother to my own family, I have the responsibility and privilege of creating the same safe and happy space to gather. I take pride and joy in this task. Whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner – whatever works best for our family and our schedule – I want to take and make the time as often as I possibly can, to bring my family together to connect. I want to set the table with nutritious and delicious food, with fresh flowers and pretty place settings to shower my family with beauty and make them feel welcome (when time and budget allow of course), but more importantly I want to set the table with a spirit of joy, peace, calm and comfort.
Even on the hectic days when we are gathering over a box of Kraft Dinner and a bagged salad on paper plates with mess and clutter galore, I want to intentionally prepare a place for my loved ones that celebrates them and our family unit. I want my family to come to our table and let go of the day, to relish in our time together, to create the same memories I so fondly look upon when I was a child at my mother’s table. In a time and culture where life seems to be busier than ever and screen time more sought after than face to face time, I want to set myself and my family apart, and set the table with love.
I invite you to do the same.