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Are you a waitress at home?
Constantly jumping up and down out of your seat to fill everyone’s needs? When you have little ones, this is an easy trap to get caught up in. If you aren’t careful, dinner can oftentimes look like this:
- Sit down to dinner with family
- Kids cry for juice that you forgot
- Kid spills juice
- Clean up mess, refill juice
- Child loses fork
- Recovered dirty fork, get new fork
- Sit back down to dinner, but…
- Someone needs something (like maybe seconds on dinner that you still haven’t touched)
- Sit back down to dinner
- Everyone is done and leaves the table
- You eat alone
Isn’t that totally annoying?!
The worst part is that it isn’t even anyone’s fault. Chances are the kids were restless by the time they were finished with dinner and needed to go. Odds are also pretty good, your significant other needed to help them to clean up, get down from the table, and move on with the evening. It is what it is. So what can you do?
Here is the ONE simple tip to fix this problem:
Serve yourself first.
You, Momma. You first.
Whether you eat family style at your house or prep plates in the kitchen, make sure you have your plate on the table first. After you are taken care of (glass of wine included), then set up your kids at the table. Once they are in place, with their needs met (buckled into a high chair, bib on, juice cup filled, primary and backup fork on the table), then they get their plate of food.
Kids should be served last.
This method will get you at least 8 minutes with your family at the dinner table.
I know it’s difficult to balance things that all need to happen at the same time, but the order of operations here is important. Yes, timing is crucial and kids just need to be sat down to eat before they melt down. Yes, putting the kids at the table early would have them out from under your feet while you’re trying to finish up dinner. Yes, you may still have a need to get up, even while following my advice.
Think about the positive impression this will leave on your kids to be present at the dinner table with them. It’s a big deal. Think about the boost to your own morale. Isn’t it frustrating to make dinner and not see a single person eat it? Doesn’t eating alone every night kind of suck? To me, it’s worth dealing with them running around the kitchen for five more minutes before dinner, then to have to skip the meal with them entirely.
I truly hope this tip can help you join the dinner table with your family.
Now kick back and enjoy that glass of wine, Momma!