It is funny how one Facebook post can send you in a tizzy. Typically I just ignore things that I don't agree with. I am totally open to everyone having their own opinions and ideas, but did you ever read something and it just made you crazy. It ignited a fire and you just couldn't stop thinking about. In reality, it isn't throwing you over the edge or anything but boy did it annoy you. And then you wonder if your annoyed because you feel guilty or if your annoyed because of the judgement that someone is placing on you because you fall out of the norm? A friend of mine, who often is very judgmental of people but I don't think she means it the way it comes across, recently shared this picture & saying and made the comment that every family should be doing this.
So I know you are looking at this and thinking that many families believe this. And don't get me wrong the concept of it sounds really nice and looking at the saying I just giggled initially. Of course I posted a little comment that said something like "I wish this could happen but during the week it is very rare". And that comment is true. My husband commutes over an hour each day and works in the finance field. If he makes it home by 7:30 it's a good day. I have 3 active daughters that have busy schedules. It is rare during the week that we all get to sit and eat at the same time. It is more like shifts during the week. I do try to get the girls to eat together on the nights that they can but some nights it just doesn't happen. Bryan and I also eat in shifts depending on who we are shuttling where. And I know, eeeek, I sometimes don't even eat dinner. Yup, maybe a yogurt on the go and a handful of crackers. It works! We do try to all eat together on Sunday which is nice but I don't walk away from our Sunday dinner and think OMG I am missing so much of my family because we don't eat dinner together every night.
It wasn't the picture or what it said or the lack of my family doing it, It was the comments that followed the post that just made me crazy. And days later if I thought about it or thought about writing this post it would fire me up more! I know this sounds funny. There were quite a few people that had the same reaction I did. But then there was the person who made the post that basically judged all these people saying " I would love to but we have the kids sports" or "my husband works the 3rd shift and can't eat with us". The replies from the poster and a few other people saying that you should leave your job in order to get home every night and do this. Or that you should make sure everyone is home and that there is really no excuse not too. She went on saying I work full time and my kids have activities but I make them a priority. I think that is what threw me over the edge. It isn't that we don't make our kids a priority. It is a priority that we work and put a roof over their head and food on the table. Not all jobs, especially in the finance field, can you just get up and leave at 5 pm. It just doesn't happen, it's the reality. It doesn't mean that my husband doesn't love us or isn't making us a priority, it means he is doing his job to provide for us. When we can't all sit and eat dinner because one daughter has play practice and the other leaves right when that one gets home to make it to her dance practice it doesn't mean anything more than we are a busy, active family! It doesn't mean that we are not making our family a priority. In the perfect world we all get home at 5:30 make a big balanced meal and then have activities later but I don't know many families that can do that unless their kids are toddlers. Our schedule is crazy and when I say crazy I mean it. It takes a big, block, color coded schedule to keep me organized. Oh and let's not forget that in between all of this I work a full time job that is very demanding. The only saving grace is that I get to do it out of my home office. In order to keep up with all the schedules I sacrifice my time and end up working until 2 -3 in the morning so I can make it work. Just another way of making my family a priority.
I think what was missed in this picture and all the judging comments is this...make time to spend with your family as a whole family. In 1970, that was done at the dinner table. In 2016, well that is done in different places, different times and different ways. For our family it might be different week to week. The times I connect best with the girls is when we are in the car. When I pick them up from school we have about a 25 minute ride home. We do a round robin and everyone discusses their day, how things are going, drama, etc. Normally every Saturday we go to church and then go to dinner as a family. It doesn't always happen, as one kid might have a party or something else to do but when we can we do it. My husband and I take time to spend with each of the kids differently. During the summer, every weekend they can he takes one of the girls to the car races. They both love it and then I take the other two girls and we do our thing. I recently was reading another blog (Money Saving Mom) and she wrote about this pressure on dinner time and how it was just so unrealistic in her family. I think that made me calm down a little and really think about it. Here is someone who homeschools and is not caught up in the crazy society all the time and even she felt that dinner time didn't work for her family. Instead they decided that breakfast would be their connection time as a family. What I know is this. My family and kids are my priority ALWAYS. There are times that maybe other things get in the way but at the end of the day, we are a family, we talk, we laugh and we cry together. We are solid through and through. So judge me all you want because I don't have dinner every night at 6 pm on the table where we all sit down together because you know what I am okay with that.