My Poor Mother-In-Law

These family dinners have become a lot friendlier since we started wearing nametags.”

Adrian and I have been having an on-going discussion on the importance of eating supper at the table vs. at the couch, with tv tables, in front of the boob tube. As you might have guessed I am for eating at the table.

I say we should eat there because its a chance to re-connect after the day. One day the kids are going to be grown, and be too busy to talk to us. They also need to learn how to conduct themselves properly at the table. And a person is more likely to overeat if you eat in front of the tv.

Adrian says that he’s tired after a long day and just wants to relax when he gets home.

This discussion sometimes gets…passionate…but for the most part has been light hearted. So far, we’ve compromised. Mom-Fri at the table, and the weekends at the couch. He’s not happy about it, though.

I’ve been wondering if his family ate at the table while he was growing up. He said that they didn’t, and I’ve been meaning to ask his mom (mum), but I keep forgetting. Yesterday, we were both on the phone with her at the same time and the question popped into my head so, I asked her. She says they ate at the table. Then Adrian reminds her that when they owned the post office they didn’t, and then when they moved to the new house they often didn’t. She counters that they did sometimes, and goes on to say she thinks it’s important to sit at the table. I point out my (very intelligent) reasons why we should sit there, and she agrees. Adrian says he’s tired after work and he doesn’t want to, and because I’m forcing him to do it I’m taking away the benefits…and the argument continues. Oh dear. I did NOT mean for that to happen. Poor Mary. I quickly work to change the subject. I just might have to phone and apologize to her today. She did say, though, that I shouldn’t make a big deal about it, and just enjoy it when it happens.

Since I’ve already dragged my poor mother-in-law into this friendly debate, I might as well drag you into it, too. 😉

Am I making too big a deal about it?

Do you sit at the table for dinner? Why or why not?

Please be assured that I will not mention your name in any upcoming discussions. 🙂 Be aware that I many not keep your comments posted if you don’t agree with me…I’m just kidding, of course…


About Debbie

I am a stay at home mom of 2 energetic children. I homeschool them as well. I have a great husband who, after 7 years of working away from, finally has a job where he is home every night. We are trying to learn how to live together again along with adjusting to the lower pay that came along with the job change.
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14 Responses to My Poor Mother-In-Law

  1. Jane says:

    I have to say I agree with you Debbie….to me eating at the table is VERY important….we eat at the table together as a family almost every day…..on date nights the children sit at the table together because Lloyd and I eat out, but thats about the only time….

    It’s a chance to reconnect, talk about each others day, and we play a game called ‘favourites’ where we take it in turn to ask a question and then go around the table answering……things like ‘what is your favourite flavour ice cream?’ ‘What is your favourite book?’ What did you dream last night?

    My In-Laws really enjoyed this when they visited at Christmas!

    They say that eating together can also help with things like eating problems/ eating disorders as teens get older and just family relationships as kids get older……

    We always ate at the table as a family growing up…..but my sisters family never eat at the table…well except Christmas etc…her children all eat on little tables in front of the tv…..I wouldn’t like that at all…

    I have to say that my children LOVE us all sitting at the table and really don’t like it when Lloyd and I don’t sit with them….likie date nights or if we have take-out later in the evning or something……the children like our normal routine at the table.

    Could you make mealtimes at the table fun by starting something like question time or a gratitude thing? Maybe each person has to think of one or two things they are grateful for that day and share it with the family?

    Good luck….oh and maybe remind Adrian that it takes 29 days for something to become a ‘habit’ so maybe ask him to give it a try for a month and see how it goes? By then it will just seem ‘normal’….

  2. Debbie says:

    What timing, Jane. I was just editing this post and noticed that you have already commented. Thank-you for agreeing with me. 😉

    We do play a game called High and Low. Pretty self-explanatory. What’s your high for the day and what’s your low? The kids really enjoy this. The kids even got my extended family involved once during Thanksgiving dinner. It was the best discussion with my aunts and uncles in a long time.
    We have a nice time when we do sit at the table, but it’s just getting him there that’s the challenge.

    The problem started because of all of the years he worked out of town. That’s what he did when he got back to his apartment. Watched tv while he ate then went to bed. That’s my theory anyway.

  3. Debbie says:

    I just got off of the phone with Mary, and she’s totally fine. She’s an awesome lady. In fact, she said that she enjoyed the discussion.

  4. Jane says:

    Sounds like you have a great MIL Debbie 🙂 THATS a huge bonus!! Want to swap??????? PLEASE!!!!!

  5. Steffi says:

    Hi Debbie!
    I agree with you and Jane.It´s very important to me to eating at the table together especially when we have guests or on the weekends.Weekdays is it a little bit difficult to eat together because I mostly work from the late afternoon to evening.So it Andre with our girls alone the dinner and talk about problems or other things with them.I can eat together with the kids daily breakfast and lunches.To this time is Andre already at his work.
    Well,it´s difficult weekdays to sitting together on a table because everybody come to diffrent times to home.
    My parents agree with me too it´s important to sit together on a table.
    My Mother-In-Law I can´t ask because she don´t like speak with me since my wedding with Andre.

    Have a nice evening and greetings for you and your family!


  6. happy and blue 2 says:

    We eat at the table on holidays and birthdays and when we have company. Otherwise it’s a free for all..

  7. Heather says:

    Ugh I lost my post…shorter version now…yep I agree it is important to sit down at the table and eat dinner together. I think it is a good connecting time for the whole family. It’s a time away from distractions and to have good discussions. I read somewhere that kids who have dinner regularily at the table with their family have a higher success rate…I thought it was interesting….

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’am with you deb,with our lives being so busy these day,it’s good to have one meal together,to keep intouch with each other.


  9. my4kids says:

    Generally we don’t eat at the table mostly because we don’t have a table big enough right now or enough chairs to have us all sit at it. Generally the kids do though and I enjoy listening to some of their lively conversations. Also I don’t mind sitting on the couch because like your husband said I am tired and just want to relaxe same as the hubby. He probably would like to sit at the table more though as his family always sat at the table for dinner but mine didn’t usually so I guess we are the opposite of you two.
    The kids do very well sitting at the table though and have great table manners mostly because they are used to how they behave in a restaurant and at their grandparents houses.

  10. Joy T. says:

    Wow lot’s said on this. I’ll just say we have always eaten our meals at the table. On the flip side, I have friends who have never eaten a meal at the table and their family is very loving, caring and close. They may not talk around a table but they more than make up for it at other times throughout the day.

  11. Sirdar says:

    We pretty much always eat at the table except during FFY (fend for yourself) nights. granted our table and living room are pretty much together, the TV is usually off unless they were watching something that most of the family was watching. But that is the exception. I agree that having family time at the table is important. Why? The family won’t be together for ever because the kids move out and start their own families. Then it will just be the two of you, wishing you had the kids there to eat dinner with you at the table. Enjoy the family time now because there will be a time the family won’t be together to eat together.

  12. That Chick Over There says:

    We eat dinner at the table together every night. My husband works super long hours but he will come just so we can have dinner together and go back to work later, if he needs to.

    That is literally our only time of the day to connect as a family. It’s very special to me and I didn’t realize how special it was to my children until my son wrote an essay for class saying I was the best mom ever because I made dinner for them every night.

  13. Debbie says:

    What a great response. Thank-you! It’s wonderful to see a couple different points of view.

  14. Emma in Canada says:

    If either of us cook a meal we eat at the table. If we order in, we usually eat in the livingroom.

    It works well here.

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