Do you sit down and eat together as a family? Or do you eat dinner (or tea, depending on what you call it in your house!) after the kids have gone to bed?
I ask because apparently less than a third of Brits now sit down to eat an evening meal together, and at Crummy Mummy HQ we’re not among the Brits who do.
The truth is, and this is something I talk about in confessions about weaning in Confessions of a Crummy Mummy – The Baby Years, that when it’s possible to ruin someone’s day by putting ‘green’ on the wrong plate I’d rather starve than eat with my kids. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s true!
First time mum me had visions of sitting down around a table and eating dinner together as a family every day, sharing edifying titbits about our day like families do on the telly.
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But four times mum me knows there’s absolutely nothing edifying about eating with kids when even the baby has the ability to project yoghurt far enough to make it drip from the ceiling.
Why I’d rather starve than eat with my kids
Of course, the fact we’re outnumbered four to two means that meal times in our house tend to resemble a chimpanzee’s tea party. In fact, I’m pretty sure chimpanzees have better table manners than our lot at the age they are now.
For example, why do they insist on reforming anything potato-based by rolling it into a ball in the palms of their hands before putting it in their mouths? And how hard can it possibly be to learn to use a knife and fork when you’ve been shown ten billion times?
Dinner, supper or tea?
The saying goes that a family that eats together, stays together, but whoever coined that phrase hasn’t met my kids!
I also think choosing not to eat with the kids has a lot to do with my own upbringing: when I was little we ate together as a family on a Sunday, but the rest of the week the kids ate earlier than the grown ups, and it was the same for Misery Guts and his siblings in his house too.
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As a result, I prefer to cook two separate meals – one for us and one for them – than eat with the kids everyday. That way, everyone is happy and when we do eat together at the weekend or at Christmas or Easter it’s an occasion everyone looks forward to.
So I’m not surprised that research by Sainsbury’s found just 28% of us actually sit down and share a meal together every day. Interestingly, although picky eaters were cited among the reasons why, terrible tables manners and babies catapulting yoghurt weren’t, so perhaps it’s just us!
What do you think? Do you sit down and eat together as a family, or do you eat dinner after the kids have gone to bed? I’d love to hear your point of view!