I don’t know about you, but dinnertime is often the most stressful time of the day in our home. Kids bickering, telling you they don’t like whatever you’re serving, no one helping to set or clear the table, everyone running to finish their food – sound familiar? A mother can dream that the ideal dinner would be one where everyone chips in, speaks nicely to one another and maybe even shares a good laugh.
Check out these helpful tips below with your family. Or, if you’ve figured out a great way to make dinnertime more enjoyable, let’s hear it in the comments section!
- Delegate tasks: Doing everything for everyone isn’t a great way to create an inclusive dinnertime vibe. From youngest to oldest, delegate responsibilities big and small. You may hear grumbles from time to time (or, maybe, ALL the time) but you’re likely to see a greater respect for the family meal when each person has an essential role in getting it on (or off!) the table.
- “I HATE when you make ___”: Next time your kids or partner utter those words, calmly remind them that it hurts your feelings to hear such disparaging things about the food you’ve put on the table. It may seem obvious, but sometimes families need a reminder that mom deserves the basic respect they’re likely to give others. You may be surprised at the kindness that comes out of it.
- “How was your day?” Sometimes there’s so much dissent around the dinner table that these simple words are forgotten. Everyone wants to feel included and heard. Go around the table asking for each family member to share, but also listen. Remind the interrupters among you to wait their turn. No one’s day is more or less important than anyone else’s.
- Slow-cookers, make-ahead dishes and don’t forget sandwiches! The magic word for working moms everywhere is “easy,” not to mention “tasty,” “economical” and “nutritious” too. If you don’t have one, a slow-cooker is a working mom’s best friend. Here are some great go-to ideas everyone will love: