Why We Don't Do Family Dinners

Typically, this is how dinner/bedtime goes. 

1. After Grayson’s nurse arrives and takes him in his room to get ready for bed, put some combination of chicken/fruit/cheese on a plate. 
2. Pour almond milk and pray it’s in the “right” cup to avoid toddler meltdown
3. Charlotte eats meal while watching yet another play-doh or Peppa Pig video, and gets out of her chair about half a dozen times to play with actual play-doh. I nurse Nolan while she eats. 
4. I feel guilty that we are not having a family dinner, that she’s having screen time, and that she’s not eating vegetables. 
5. If I’m feeling super motivated, and Grayson’s nurse is here, and Nolan isn’t screaming, I’ll give Charlotte a bath. The other 4 or 5 nights, either Ryan or I wrestle her into a new diaper and nightgown, read her a couple books, and put her in bed. With all her craziness, she is awesome at bedtime. Doesn’t give us any trouble and is quick!
6. Let go of my guilt and replace it with pride and relief that I now have a 12 hour break from 2 of the 3 children.
7. Bathe Nolan, feed him, and put him to bed.
8. Ryan and I eat our own, seperate dinner in peace. 
Tonight, I had the wild idea to make everyone quesadillas that we could eat at the same time. What could go wrong?
1. Before I start dinner, I decide to trim Nolan’s fingernails. I get to the very last one, the thumb on his right hand. He was squriming and I missed. Oh the blood and screaming. I feel AWFUL, and he’s currently sleeping with guaze around his little thumb and a sock over his hand. 
2. Already stressed, I start making the quesadillas. Charlotte starts screaming. Her chair is soaking wet and there’s a puddle on the floor. Turns out we forgot to put a diaper on her after she sat on the potty earlier. (Potty training is obvisouly going really well). 
3. Ryan cleans up the mess, gets her cleaned up, and I keep cooking. 
4. Nolan is screaming. He’s always screaming unless I’m holding him. 
5. Charlotte comes into the kitchen with her full cup of milk. My back was to her but she starts screaming. I turn- she’s slipped on and conked her head on the floor, and her milk cup went flying. Now I have a kid with a possible head injury who is screaming, milk splattered all over the kitchen, an infant who is screaming, and tortillas burning on the stove. 
6. Charlotte is fine, but Nolan has knocked the bandage off his thumb and is still bleeding, and is getting blood all over himself. Re-wrap his finger and hand him back to Ryan. 
7. Clean up milk in kitchen, and abandon all hope of family dinner. I take Nolan, hold him in one arm while I eat with the other, dropping chicken and tomatoes all over the couch. 
8. Charlotte has another meltdown when I tell her she can’t have blue play-doh (because for the love she is going to bed in 5 minutes). 
9. Curse to myself that we have no wine in the house but then I remember the tube of cookie dough n the fridge that I bought earlier today. That will work. 
10. Take the screaming, bloody infant upstairs and we close ourselves in the dark, QUIET bedroom and let Daddy finish dealing with the hot-mess toddler downstairs. 
No, apparently true family dinners just aren’t in the cards for us during this season. And I’m too exhausted to lose any sleep over it tonight. 


  1. cajuntexasmom.com on December 21, 2015 at 1:58 am

    You nailed it. It's just not the season right now. And that's ok. Give yourself a break, mama. It gets easier. It really does, I promise. Prayers for you to focus on one day, one hour at a time. Have you tried baby wearing Nolan? My second kiddo was like that – always screaming unleas she was being held. The wrap literally was my sanity. Love and hugs!

  2. Elizabeth on December 21, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Thanks for your support- it means a lot. Yes, I wear N a ton- and it does help. It's me that's just not that into it- I really wish I could learn to love it. He always falls asleep when I wear him and I try to keep him awake right before bed.

  3. Erin on December 21, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Here is a little secret, we don't either! M gets home at 7:15 most nights and it's just too late for us to wait! So we eat at 5 and leave a plate out for him. A mom has to do what a mom has to do! Chicken and peppa pig sound great! Xoxoxo

  4. Reagan Leigh on December 21, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I usually eat standing in the kitchen while I finish preparing Mikes food. Mike eats in front of the TV. Ryan rarely, if ever, eats what we're eating and he's the only one that sits at the table but usually with the iPad in front of him!! And no vegetables! Unless sweet potato fries count.

  5. Noemi James on December 21, 2015 at 6:52 am

    We don't do family dinners either. The kids eat before my husband and I do. Sometimes I eat in the kitchen while I'm making them food, sometimes I wait for my husband. Sometimes my kids eat in front of the TV, sometimes we sit at the back table. Sometimes we just have smoothies with a side of walnuts and dried cranberries! We do what we gotta do.

    Oh, and NOBODY is eating vegetables. 😉

  6. Brittnie on December 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    We don't either!! It is a goal of mine for sure but for this season, it just isn't happening. And I have had to let it go and like you, no sleep is lost over this issue. Brandon gets home way too late and the girls cannot wait that long. So dinner is me feeding them and doing baths and bedtime prep and then brandon and me eating after they are in bed.

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