Dinner With the Family

I grew up in a house where every member of my family would gather around the dinner table every night for a hot meal and eat together. My mother would suffer no excuses when it came to eating dinner as a family; it was a constant in her household. The only exceptions I can recall is that if one of us were not at home during dinnertime (frowned upon) or if one of us were sick (excusable).

I think a lot of her insistence on eating dinner together as a family is because it was a part of the day where everyone would gather ’round and eat, talk, and bond. It was her time to catch up with her children and for my brother and I to argue about something stupid. As my mom always cooked dinner, eating dinner together also had something to do with politeness and manners. She cooked the meal; it would have been the height of rudeness if one of us had taken a plate of home-cooked food and eaten it on our lonesome in our bedroom or something.

Now that I’m on my own and have a packed schedule, I find that I’m often eating dinner on my own, and usually on the go. I’ll grab a burrito at Chipotle and eat it once I get home from my internship. I’ll eat a bagel sandwich from Einstein’s Bagels during my afternoon shift at work. I’ll eat a bowl of Special K in the morning before I take off for the day. I’ll cook dinner for myself and eat it in front of the TV, saving leftovers for the next day. My schedule often allows me to get dinners with friends, but we almost always go out to eat.

I love the food and conversation I have with my friends when we go out to eat, but I miss the dinners at my house. I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up in a house where family dinners didn’t exist. It’s not even the home-cooked factor (although I miss that dearly!), it’s the fact that I can’t understand how families don’t, or can’t, or won’t, come together for dinner. It makes me sad, because I have some great memories of dinners at my house when I was growing up!

Question of the Week: Does your family have family dinners where you all eat together? Or is dinner an individual occasion?

Comments

  1. says

    We have dinner all together usually. Like at your house, my mum cooks the meal, and for one she’ll only be cooking one meal, and for another it’s just not done that we eat it in our room.
    I have done so once or twice, when I really didn’t really feel like socializing, but overall my parents really don’t want us too.

  2. says

    We usually eat all together although sometimes its sitting on the couch in front of the TV lol. It has been getting harder to have everyone eat at the same time since my daughter now has more after school activities and both my mother & her boyfriend (whom we live with) are getting out of work later. I’m the “mom” to everyone who makes all the meals since I am currently the one who is unemployed.

  3. says

    We always have dinner together, regardless of how late one returns home, of course with the exception of one going out to eat. I think it’s a wonderful way for family bonding, and it makes sure that we all actually eat. Most of the time all of us are too busy or don’t bother to talk to each other, but here’s when we all just relax and talk about our day :)

  4. says

    We have family dinner, too. The only excuse is if someone’s out, which isn’t a big deal or frowned upon. I’m often out at a friend’s house or at some school event, and my brother has hockey at 7pm a few times in a week in the winter, and my dad sometimes has meetings that last awhile. But otherwise, we all eat together, and we all eat the same thing (minus my brother sometimes, because he is insanely picky).

  5. says

    It’s always such an odd foreign concept to me when families don’t eat dinner together, to be honest. We always did when I was growing up, aside from the period of time when my mom worked mornings and my dad worked nights, and when my dad works occasional late nights or if one of us is out with a friend. I adore family dinners and just couldn’t imagine not having them!

  6. says

    My family has always had family dinners, too. When schoolwork gets really busy or someone’s out, the rest of the family will usually sit down and eat dinner together. There are definitely many exceptions to this (and missing dinner isn’t usually frowned upon), but family dinners have never been an “individual occasion”. I think family dinners are a great time to talk to my family members altogether and share the happenings of the day and such :) I know that some families don’t have them, though, and I don’t find that too weird either. Sometimes family members’ schedules just conflict (sport practices, late days at work, being away, having a lot of work, etc). I guess the point is that you communicate with your family and have time to bond. I really like family dinners, and I’ll definitely miss them when I get older and don’t have them regularly.

  7. says

    I have divorced parents and no siblings so while I was growing up we didn’t have much of family dinners to be honest. I mean, it was always just 2 of us (me and dad or me and mum) so dinners where usually pretty uncomplicated events. Whether we ate together or not was up to our schedules for the day.

  8. says

    My family always eats together. We’re either always watching TV or talking about random topics, or my parents will talk parent-stuff while my brothers and I argue about silly sibling stuff. There’s been plenty of times where we don’t eat together, too, though, but generally I’m proud that my family still comes together to eat, especially more now that I’m home with them! Lol

  9. says

    We used to do this back when my sister and I were still in high school. When we moved out on our own it turned into going-out-to-eat at restaurants once a week which was still great.

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