If your family looks anything like mine, chaos seems to reign supreme most days and peace lives in stolen moments that happen pretty infrequently. Our days are spent going here and there and doing this thing or the next. I'm a working mom that spends a huge amount of time shuttling my children from one activity to the next (or relying on friends who are in the same boat).
It seems that we are constantly on the go and never really getting anywhere. That we are busy doing rather than being.
By the time our family gets home at the end of the day we are all tired and my children are ravenously hungry and often hangry (anger induced by hunger). It's after 5 and THEY NEED FOOD NOW OR THEY WILL DIE. I need a little prep time to try and fix dinner but that doesn't seem to matter to my famished children. They NEED food. Now. I spend my time after work throwing carrots or cheese sticks or crackers at children with one hand and prepping a meal with the next, anything to keep the tears and whining and activity at bay.
The end of any child's day is, to me, the hardest part of the day as a parent. They are tired. We are stressed. So much has happened in their little lives since we saw them in the morning. They need an outlet, we need to feel connected to them. This is why we always make an effort to have our meals together as a family. Sitting down at the table. Together.
When we eat together as a family we are all nourished.
Food. We all require it.Our bodies were created for it. If we don't have what we need, we suffer. We need sustenance. Something to keep us going.
Nourishment is an entirely different thing altogether. When one is nourished, they thrive. Their performance is optimized. Their needs are met.
Life is much better when we are nourished rather than just fed.
Long before children entered our marriage, my husband and I made the commitment not to eat our meals in front of the television but at the dinner table together. When we purchased our house it was important that we have a dining room. We wanted to start having family meals together while the children were young.
I know the days are coming where our children won't desire our family time, but I want them to always know that there is always a space for them at the dinner table and that we can always make room for a friend. I want them to always know that they can find nourishment in our home.
The by-product of our dining together each day is that we are closer as a family.
I never knew that our time together, gathered around the table, would be the best part of our day. It gives us pause. It gives us a place to talk and listen. To laugh and be silly. To appreciate one another.
Even when our meal consists of takeout pizza or kids meals from the drive-thru, we make an effort to gather around the table and enjoy each other's company.
Our dining room table is absolutely our place of nourishment in our home, both in the literal and figurative sense, and I cherish every bite.