Meal Time Priorities

Cereal gets soggy.
Oatmeal becomes paste-like.
Lettuce wilts.
Green beans get cold.

Hello. My name is Annette, and I often eat my dinner cold.  If you are a mom of small children, maybe you can relate.
I not only prepare the meal, but I want to make sure that it goes well as we eat as a family.  I want to serve my family, but I do not want my children to think everyone needs to serve them for their every whim. To clarify, I want to work hard for my husband and children while maintaining balance.  My children need to know they are not the center of the universe though they are loved and cherished.  Meal time can be a big hurdle.

I have figured out a few things that help me enjoy my meals AND my family during meal time.
  1. Prepare in advance.  I dislike when forget the sippy cup for Little Sister or the napkins.  If I do, I do take care of it.
  2. Keep serving dishes on the table.  At one time I tried to keep serving dishes off the table, but that just meant I was away from the table too much.  Seconds are served much easier when they are on the table.
  3. Stay seated until done...unless I forgot the sippy cup, napkins, or the biscuits.  Oh, yes.  I do forget...even though I try to prepare in advance. Sometimes the children get it themselves, but sometimes I need to do it.  No one wants burned biscuits
  4. Make them wait.  When the children want something and my husband and I are still trying to finish our dinner, they really can wait.  My husband is often the one to get the milk when the children finish their water, but not until he finishes his own dinner.
  5. Let them help.  Brother loves to pick up Little Sister's spoon from the floor.  Big Sister can grab the forgotten fork.  
By all of us sitting and eating together, it is more of a family environment.  My children don't need a distracted parent at the table (or stove).  They need me.

Granted, there are days, despite my efforts, that I can't sit and eat with the family for the full ten minutes it takes to eat (if there were no interruptions).  But most days, if I am not rushed and well-prepared, I can.  I think it's a good lesson for the whole family.

What do you do to make sure you serve your family while taking care of yourself?  

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
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  1. I feel you on this! Either my dinner is cold or I'm eating it on the move, taking a bite and than grabbing something I forgot for the little ones. Thanks for the tips!

  2. AHHH! I typed up a comment and hit the wrong button and lost it. :P

    Essentially what I said was, "Yes and Amen!" I agree with everything you said and the reasons why. We have similar rules at our house.

  3. I've been thinking recently of moving the serving dishes to the table, so I don't have to get up and serve my little ones again. These are great rules that I need to practice more!

  4. Right now I feel like I am spending my whole dinner trying to get my little one to just eat! It can get exhausting! But I really love all your tips here! I usually serve my husband his first serving and if he wants more he usually will just get up and serve himself. And I totally agree with making the kids wait until you are finished before getting running into the kitchen to serve them again! :)


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