Living in Los Angeles can be described in many different ways depending on who you ask. I mean its L.A. The weather is awesome (though I do wish for more colder days). It's diverse in culture. It’s trendy and hip. It's the city of opportunities. Everyone wants to live in Los Angeles, right?
Well, while all that is great lets not forget the major downside to living in Los Angeles...EVERYDAY IS A HUSTLE! We work long and hard to make a living and most of us are barley scraping by. We spend most of our days stuck in traffic, traveling from one city to another. Now, add a family to all of this and it just becomes a constant fight for time.
This is why dinner time has always been our time to sit down as a family and talk about our day. Its the only time where we are not rushing to get somewhere or trying to get something done. Even when it was just the two of us, we always made sure to sit down together for dinner.
This is when we tell our stories, tell some jokes, discuss the pros and cons of our day and how we can do better the next day. Here, we set the table together, cook together. We pray together. We laugh together. We taste new foods and discover new things together. It’s our time to sit, uninterrupted and enjoy a meal together. Don't get me wrong, it's not always picture perfect. But we do the best we can.
I bring up L.A. because it can be a very stressful city to live in. After such a demanding day, dinnertime is something we all look forward to. My little one asks the same questions everyday, "Dada, how many cars did you fix today?", "Momma, how many makeups did you do today?". We all laugh because this is her way of letting us know she is listening and interested.
What we eat is also important. We eat at home 90% of the time. We spent way to much time trying to get the kids to eat things out of their element. What I’ve learned the most about feeding my kids is when they like something, they love it immensely and if they dislike something, well I just can't force them to like it. Just like no one can force me to like things I absolutely don't like. I realized the more I force them, the more I push them away. They might not eat broccoli and fish like grandma thinks they should but they live and swear by bell peppers and cucumbers. I'll take it! By allowing them to grow and discover, our oldest will now try everything at least once, which is how she discovered a love for steak, lamp-chops and pork-chops. This is huge for us! Today, the youngest discovered tomato’s aren’t so bad! Yahoo! As they grow, so will their pallets. I pick my battles. If chicken nuggets are whats for dinner, go for it...as long as the bowl of bell peppers and cucumbers is eaten up too. If those are the only two vegetables we are interested in at the moment...then my refrigerator will forever be fully stocked of those two vegetables. Like I said, I chose to pick my battles. I'm not fighting over which vegetable they "need" to eat. Just eat a vegetable! I'm going to enjoy dinner time because this is my only time to enjoy my family, without stress.
Dinner time, all together, is something I will continue to do and cherish for as long as these kids allow me too. This is right there next to co-sleeping. One day, they'll be to big to sleep in my arms and to busy to sit down for a meal with me. I hope I'm wrong...but I know I'm right. All I can hope for is that they remember the coziness and comfort of dinner time as a family and that no matter where they are in life, they find a way to make it back home for dinner time.
How do you feel about mealtimes? What are some of the things you and your family talk about around the dinner table? Is having a meal all together something that is important to you? I'm curious...talk to me in the comments below!