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Challenge: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Family dinners are overrated

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Most nights, you won't catch us around the dinner table singing kumbaya or talking about the best and worst parts of our day.

Most nights, we're not even at the same table at the same time.

And, for some of us -- namely the under-twelve crew -- the best part of their day is this:

a yummy meal,

in front of the tv or their Amazon fire or their computer,

chillin' the heck out.

Family dinners are overrated, but family camaraderie isn't.

And the first isn't a necessary antecedent of the latter.

But I'd be lying if I said there aren't days or weeks where I mentally beat myself to a pulp for not mandating and making routine "the family dinner."

Then, at some point, I tell myself to knock that nonsensical shit off and remember that

every night in OUR home, is "OUR family dinner," and we have every freakin' right to

1) pick what it looks like

2) and to change how it looks to fit the needs of our busy, thriving family.

You may not find on our dinner table


well-planned and well-plated,


homecooked meals

being happily eaten by


present children.

BUT what you will find at my dinner table is

empty plates, probably made of paper, that were former home to some dino nuggets,

heat marks from those plates sticking to the table,

paint stains from the last time we painted at it,

nail polish stains, because we do our nails at the table too,

glitter, because, well, I have girls,

and permanent marker markings because, well, I have kids.

Our dinner table is more than just where we gather to eat.

It's where do life.

And, sometimes, our busy lives mean our laundry is on the dinner table, and we have to adapt and eat elsewhere --

be it a picnic on the floor,

eating in our bedrooms,

sitting to eat at Mommy's work desk,

or even eating outside.

My family's way of being and operating may not look right to you, but thank God it doesn't have to.

The shoe doesn't fit because it's not yours to wear. It's mine, and it's OURS, and we're very content with the fit.

I said it once, and I'll repeat it:

Family dinners are overrated, but family camaraderie isn't, and it's alive and well in my house, and THAT, folks, is all I care about, and it's all you should care about, too.

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