Recently, someone asked me when I eat dinner. Very good question! I get home at about 6:30pm to a house full of rambunctious kids who want to spend time with me. And I definitely want to spend time with them! So, dinner time just has to wait.
Since bedtime in our house is 7pm, that doesn’t really give me a lot of time for preparing, cooking and eating dinner. By that time the kids have already eaten and are changing into their pajamas. Ever since I implemented our weekly menu things have gotten a bit simpler. I know what we’re eating every night and we have all the ingredients we need in the house already. My dinners do not take long to cook or prepare, which is another huge bonus.
I found that the routine that makes the best use of my time is to prepare dinner before 7pm, put dinner in oven after kids are asleep, and shower while it’s cooking. If cooking time is shorter than my shower time I will just shower after I eat dinner. If cooking time is very long, then I will put it in the oven before I put the kids to bed.
With this system I don’t usually eat dinner until 8-8:30pm which I think is really late. I do this mainly because I get to enjoy my dinner more without the kids around. No one is asking me for a bite from my plate, I don’t have to get up a million times during my meal to serve the children what they need and I can actually talk to DH without interruptions.
I don’t want this to sound selfish, so I feel the need to defend what I wrote in the previous paragraph:
If my kids didn’t eat dinner before I got home then I would definitely eat with them as a family, but they’re young (ages 4 and under) and I don’t want them to start eating dinner at 6:30 when I get home. They’re usually ready for dinner as soon as they walk in the door and I’d prefer they eat dinner then instead of having a snack so they can eat again, later with me.
Friday night dinner, Shabbos lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner are all family meal times in our home. I truly enjoy those times, but it just works better this way for us during the week.
You may be wondering whether or not I’m starving by the time I eat dinner. Sometimes I am. Usually I’m not. I previously wrote about how I handle the evening rush and one thing I mentioned I do is eat a snack before I leave work or on the way home. Sometimes I also have something small as soon as I get home. It’s enough to tide me over until my dinner time and ensures I don’t rush through the bedtime process (the only time I have with my kids all day) because I’m so hungry.
I hope all of this gives you encouragement. As working women, we have to do what works for us. There is no perfect answer to any of this and only you know what works best for you. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!!
What do you make for your dinner? Do you eat with or without your kids? Do you also eat a late dinner?
Until next time,