Sitting down for a meal is something that we are constantly told is a ‘must do parenting thing’, it is of vital importance to our children’s development, and is crucial for helping them to develop social skills.
But is it something you have time to do?
An article written by renowned chef Andy Bates (which you can read here) makes the case that ‘family meals’ are not something that have to be done every single night, and he has quite openly said he is sick of parents being bombarded with ‘expert opinions’ that make them feel guilty because they just don’t sit down as a family. What about the parents who don’t get home from work until 8/9pm? Evening meals as a family were not something that he did in his family as a child due to various family commitments, but they had a standing family meal every Sunday, with a wide variety of extra activities together.
In our family we sit down for a family meal most evenings, although it can be quite impossible if one of the kids is unwell. Does that make us lesser parents? I don’t think so. I know many parents who sit down together for breakfast because they can’t get together at Dinner, or who don’t sit together for any meal, but spend their entire weekend doing activities together as a family such as long walks in parks, visiting various historic locations or even taking a trip to the zoo. I will say that when I was on maternity leave we ate as a family a lot more frequently, in fact, I would do a weekly culture night for all of us every friday where we would sample different world cuisines in a little banquet (you can read about culture nights here), but now I have to say I maybe do this one a month, especially since launching the blog… I just don’t have time to spend cooking a banquet! Now I know it doesn’t have to be anything like this to eat as a family, but still do you get the time?
I would really love to to know your take on this topic and what you do in your family. Do you eat as a family every night? Once a week or maybe in the morning? Maybe not at all and you get your family time in other ways? I’d love to know!