Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dinner as a family/Lifestyle Changes

I am feeling frustrated with the number of hours my husband is away..thinking I should be grateful-he's working. trying not to be angry--holding that feeling at bay. thinking it could be much harder. but wishing he'd be home for dinner more often.. It's either drum class, or because he biked, or because of a work deadline. But we often have breakfast together, at least...How many families have dinner together anymore? It deeply saddens me.. Perhaps, it's the norm now? Hard to make peace with that. Count my blessings...count my blessings...count my blessings... How is this okay? I guess, can't have it all... (-; there's always something to mourn..and for me, this is one of those things.. (ok..that was really personal..) How do accept this as the way it is going to be normal for us?

I grew up always having dinner with my whole family...My parents felt it was very important and treasured it. I took it for granted then, but I mourn it, it happens less and less often each year in our family.. Each year, I feel like I have to let it go a little more..Each year, one more complication, obligation, or activity seems to be added.
I read an article a couple of years ago about a correlation between childrens' school success or emotional stability/(or something like that) and families having regular dinners together. Dinnertime can be a good time to reflect together about the day...catch up, as a family. I guess it can happen at other times too.. Or a family can make a point to have regular family meetings. But, I guess, I'm old fashioned in this sense. I still have the picture in my mind of my own family sitting together. Not that it was ideal..and even sometimes I resented it, but it instilled in me a feeling it was important anyway.
I work really hard on preparing a good meal; and it breaks my heart that it is not shared together, more often. But I think that probably, not many families are sharing dinner together tonight either... ?? or are they? I guess, I can still try to make a point to sit down with my kids..single parent style and make the most of it. The rest seems to be out of my hands.
Still, families are different now than even 30 years ago... How do families find cohension, connection, traditions of their own? What are those traditions now, that families have less and less dinnertime together? What does it look like in single parent homes? What does it look like in blended homes? What does it look like outside of the US? in different cultures? I recognize that dinner time is not the only way to find family cohesion.. I would love to know if you are reading this, what traditions your family has if you wish to share?


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