The Damsel works at it but it seems harder nowadays. Why is that?
This isn't a problem just at the Cottage by the Mountains. It's widespread, according to numerous articles and mentions in the media. A dearth of family dinners sweeps the land. Eating styles have definitely changed since the olden days. In fact, even houses themselves have changed to accommodate this. If you look at modern house plans, you'll see that a formal dining room is often skipped in favor of game rooms or dens.
Having dinner together isn't easy to pull off with crazy schedules, but the Damsel thinks it's worth trying. It doesn't have to be all or nothing--if you just can't all be home at the same time every night, do it when you can. It doesn't have to be a sit-down in a formal dining room, either. Spending time together is the goal.
For example, take Thursdays at the Cottage. The Knight in Shining Armor sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which rehearses on Thursdays. He has to be there early, so dinner together doesn't happen on Thursdays. But we try to keep our chin up.
The Damsel knows of families who have specific topics they discuss over dinner: current events, geography lessons, and so on. This sounds nice, but at her house, the aim is a bit more ordinary. Here are a few of our rules:
- No snitching because food eaten before the blessing could be poisonous.
- "Count heads." This means consider how many people are hoping to have a roll before you take 3 or 7.
- If you don't like something, take one small spoonful and keep your comments to yourself.
- If you'd like to argue, do so ELSEWHERE.
- Eat less animalistically. Practice makes perfect.
The Damsel would just like to say that she hopes to someday be like the grandma in the Rockwell painting above. Very, very strong arms.
Margot is a mom of seven and pretty much crazy from it. Online she's known as the Damsel in Dis Dress and blogs at the Old School (www.mynewoldschool.com) and twitters at @the_damsel.