Evening meal 6.30 for 9&11 yo DC's is NOT 'too late'...

(141 Posts)
wol1968 Fri 17-May-13 14:15:35

I'm fed up of DH chuntering and grumbling if I don't get the DCs' dinner done before 6pm. I do aim to do it, and we all do have dinner eaten and cleared up before 7pm on most nights. But with the best will in the world, I get days when my timing slips. Interruptions happen, preparation takes longer than intended, sometimes I'm not on form, I get sidetracked and my organisation is crap. AIBU to get really annoyed when 'D' H starts rolling his eyes and making critical mutterings about what I should have done when and know darn well exactly what I should have done when but I was being crap and didn't ? AIBU to be even more annoyed when we then get an 'unexpected' phone call from MIL (who always did 'tea' at five when hers were kids) in the middle of our meal, and H then has to disappear into the next room with the phone, pretending to have eaten, with me being the one to keep the kids quiet in the kitchen?

He says he does this so his mum doesn't tell him off. I told him it was none of his mum's business what time we had our evening meal. And I don't think 6.30 or thereabouts is that catastrophic for 9-11 year-olds anyway, is it? 7.30 might be taking the mick a bit on school nights, I suppose...

Off to keep up with the ironing.

noblegiraffe Fri 17-May-13 14:17:25

If he wants it earlier, presumably he knows where the kitchen is.

Pretending to your mother that you've already eaten wtf?

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Fri 17-May-13 14:19:16

he sounds like a twat.

SandStorm Fri 17-May-13 14:19:17

You don't have to answer a ringing phone.

Mintyy Fri 17-May-13 14:19:42

Yanbu. My dc are 9 and 11 and we rarely eat before 6.30pm. Everyone was alive and happy and healthy when I last checked.

Your DH has issues.
We're lucky if we've started to eat by 7pm most evenings.

How does he help with meal prep other than rolling his eyes?

simonthedog Fri 17-May-13 14:19:56

maybe your DH could help so tea is ready earlier. I don't think 6.30pm is too late for 9 and 11 year olds though.

Mintyy Fri 17-May-13 14:20:07

Actually, mine are 9 and 12, just remembered blush.

Kamer Fri 17-May-13 14:20:28

Mine are 9 & 11 and no 6.30 not too late. We have dinner between 5.15-6.15 depending on activities, how hungary everyone is, etc. How ridiculous your DH pretending you have already had dinner in case his mum "tells him off"!

forevergreek Fri 17-May-13 14:20:44

We eat around 7pm every night, sometimes later. With 2 and 3 year old. No one would eat at 5pm, it's far to early, and we are busy around that time so it's when suits.

I'm assuming at 9 and 11 years they are sleeping roughly 10 hours a night which is fine for their age. Surely they can go to bed at 8 and wake at 8 of they needed longer.

I think it's good as it Helps them not get into the habit of snacking all eve ( 5pm dinner, they prob would by 8ish)

Mintyy Fri 17-May-13 14:20:59

Who wants to eat at 5pm? Surely only little kids and very old people who go to bed early.

5madthings Fri 17-May-13 14:21:36

Yanbu, mine are 13, 10, 8, 5 and 2 and we often don't have dinner till 6:30 because of DPs shifts, its fine.

its a lucky day in my house when we eat before 7.30.

Mine are 9,14 and 15. They have survived thus far.

sooperdooper Fri 17-May-13 14:24:35

Tell him to make it then confused

Miggsie Fri 17-May-13 14:27:48

DD is 9 yo. We eat at times ranging between 5:30 and 7:30 - sometimes later if my brother visits.
It is mostly dependent on hunger and what we are doing that evening.

Is there really a cut off time for eating and after that your child's digestive system has a wobbly?


And why do grown men listen endlessly to their mothers and treat their wives like half wits?
Why can he not admit to his mohter that you don't do things just like her? Who is a cowardly git in this case?
Why does MiL care - is she the meals police.
If she rings tell her to go away, you are eating.
A grown man still scared of his mum - really? He needs help.

Instituitions like prison and hospitals feed people at 5pm so they can crowd the entire days meals into a single kitchen shift.
Now I'm intrigued as to what MiL used to do in the evenings that she had to shovel the food into the kids so quickly.

If DH feels that strongly about it, he can do the cooking or tell him mum it is none of her business.

Incidentally eye rolling and tut tutting are signs of disrespect and you should tell him to cut it out right now.

sooperdooper Fri 17-May-13 14:27:49

And if the phone rings before then just ignore it, how sad to have to check what time you're eating, tell your Dh to ignore it!!

We eat at 6:30. It seems to be a good time for all of us. DH is home from work and after school activities are usually over so it's just right for us as a family. DS is 6 and I have older teenage DDs. We are cleared away by 7 most nights and DS gets an hour of TV with his dad before bed.

The only one that grumbles a bit is DD1 but she is away at Uni and has got into the habit of eating at 5:30. I have recently discovered that this is so she can fit in a toastie or they share a pizza for supper.

PearlyWhites Fri 17-May-13 14:29:32

I think it's very late for children 5 - 5.30 is normal but is not your Mil business

Mumsyblouse Fri 17-May-13 14:31:11

How extremely odd- do you really all pretend to have eaten if MIL comes? Why? I don't get it and I don't get what he's moaning about, is he very anal about time/deadlines elsewhere in his life. There isn't a 'set' time for eating enshrined by law and a 9 & 11 year old won't explode if they haven't finished by 7pm!

SirBoobAlot Fri 17-May-13 14:31:17


Tell him he knows where the kitchen is. And who the fuck does he think he is to tell you when you 'should' have done dinner for?

livinginwonderland Fri 17-May-13 14:31:20

1) Ignore the phone.
2) If DH wants them to eat earlier, direct him to the kitchen.
3) I often didn't eat dinner until 7.30pm cause of my parents jobs (plus I didn't get home school until 6pm) and I'm not dead yet.

calypso2008 Fri 17-May-13 14:31:33

I live in Spain. Last week was my DD's fifth birthday party. At 6.30 I served up the sandwiches, crisps, juice etc ... a bit later, the cake. I was chastised, verbally by one mother - she was outraged it was so early. For 4 & 5 year olds!

I was mortified sad

They don't eat until 10pm. Even with the little ones. Me, at home, DD normally eats around 6.30/7pm. Nothing wrong IMO for your children, at that age to be eating when they do. It would seem completely reasonable to me.

Your DH is a bit strange though, worrying about what his mother thinks confused it really is none of her business.

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 14:35:40

I think it is a bit late and would aim to have diner on the table by 5.30 and eaten by six.

Then the 9 year old has 2 hours before bed.
Plus if school lunch is at 12 then it is a long wait until 6.30 for a meal.

calypso2008 Fri 17-May-13 14:40:13

But surely the children aren't home from school until 5pm? cantspel they are older children.

OldBeanbagz Fri 17-May-13 14:47:12

We very rarely sit down for dinner before 7pm and my DC are 11 and 8 (that's on school nights too).

Your DH is being unreasonable and his mother isn't helping either. Gone are the days when people worked 9-5 and had dinner on the table at 6pm. Families just aren't like that any more.

My own mum has a habit of phoning up whilst we're in the middle of eating and always ends up wittering for hours chatting away whilst me dinner goes cold.

FreshLeticia Fri 17-May-13 14:48:28

Surely it's what suits your family routine that matters? I am never home from work in time for us to eat before 7:30, even when I prep all the week's meals on a Sunday. Maybe if we ate fried crap inbreadcrumbs or ready meals it would be an hour quicker but I think I prefer my DCs to eat decent food a bit later. They were fit and healthy last time I looked and they have no problems sleeping. Youngest is just 9 now. Even on 'get your own night' they don't eat early.

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 14:49:49

A nine year old is still in primary school and will be year 4. I dont know of any primary schools that finish later than 3. An 11 year old will be in year 7 of secondary and again school will be finished by 3.

when mine wee that age I didn't get in from work until 6.30pm we never ate before about 7.30pm, they are still alive and well, they just had a snack after school.

calypso2008 Fri 17-May-13 14:53:09

Ah, right, sorry, cantspel I didn't realise it was so early. That is when we have just finished eating lunch!

But, I still think, home at 3pm - snack (fruit or something) and dinner at 6.30pm is more than reasonable.

calypso2008 Fri 17-May-13 14:54:39

My DD is 5 (as I said) and finished school at 5.10pm. We get home, she relaxes, and then we eat at 6.30pm.

vintageclock Fri 17-May-13 14:56:24

DD is six. We normally eat between 6.30 and 7.00 but sometimes its a bit later. To be honest I'd rather give her something homecooked and serve it up a bit late than just throw a pizza or waffles in the oven every evening after work in order to eat a bit earlier.

Your DH is being ridiculous. He also needs to grow up and realise his mum can't tell him off for having his dinner too late anymore.

Samu2 Fri 17-May-13 14:56:28

We eat a 5.pm so I think 6.30pm is very late but not exactly a big deal.

However, your husband sounds like an arse in regards to this.

JenaiMorris Fri 17-May-13 14:58:44

I think it's a bit odd to have dinner before 19:00.

I suppose tiny children who are in bed early have tea at 6 or something. And we often have Sunday lunch in the late afternoon so that kind of covers an early dinner....

Anyway, YANBU. Your husband is being an arse and his mother sounds intolerable.

OwlLady Fri 17-May-13 14:59:26

I think he needs to cut the apron strings
6.30pm -7.30pm is perfectly acceptable imo for a school night

Thos who at 5pm? do you all get in early from work? or do you eat separately from the children?

seeker Fri 17-May-13 15:02:25

If you eat at 5 aren't you starving by bedtime?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 15:03:06

I would think it very strange eating so early, nobody in this house gets dinner before about 7.

I don't know how people manage to eat at 5?

I don't finish work til 5, I'm not home til 5:30. It seems a funny time to eat dinner.

seeker Fri 17-May-13 15:05:21

7's quite early for us- always has been since they stopped being toddlers.

Unami Fri 17-May-13 15:05:25

I don't understand why so many people in this country seem to be obsessed with eating dinner very early. I can't imagine eating dinner at 5pm (that's snack time, not dinner time for us). Personally, I think that national consumption of ready meals/convenience food is largely due to the early meal time thing, as it is bloody hard if not impossible to prepare a freshly cooked meal to serve at 5pm, if you don't finish work till three or four - and most people don't finish anything like that early, so I don't see how people make it work at all, unless they work at home, do full-time childcare.

Nothing wrong with eating ready meals if that is what you choose to do and enjoy, but I do feel the dinner at 5 culture is stopping a lot of people from cooking fresh food.

If I ate my dinner at 5, id be hungry by 8pm.

Do you all go to bed early as well?

seeker Fri 17-May-13 15:06:42

Ditto. Tantrums. We'd all be desperate for supper!

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 15:08:02

I agree with, well, everyone. If your DH is complaining, tell him to cook. And 5 pm? Most people are still at work or getting home are they not? Say you prefer to eat as an entire family.

FWIW- we eat about 7. And DC3 is not quite 3 years old. It suits us. He has a snack at about 4 pm of fruit and hummus and breadsticks and is fine to eat at 7. Bed by 8.

Er, your husband is insane

Sorry that's probably not very helpful

forevergreek Fri 17-May-13 15:15:59

Ditto we never et edited 7 as not back from work until 6.30/7

LaQueen Fri 17-May-13 15:17:20

Pah...if my DH came home, to find dinner on the table at 6.30pm (or at any time, to be honest) he'd think he'd walked into the wrong house, or that I had pranged the car.

As for 'he doesn't want his Mum to tell him, off' - is your DH 12 years, or something hmm

Is your MIL's life so barren and empty, that she finds the minute details of when/where you all eat actually interesting, or of any importance hmm

Or, is she so pathetic that she feels that this is some sort of bizarre Better Mum contest that she is winning hmm

If the most praiseworthy thing my DH, or my DDs, could think of to say about me was that she gets the dinner on the table before 6.00pm every night - I would think I had epically failed as a person, wife and mother.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 17-May-13 15:20:09

Dinner is at 6 or 6.30 every day in my house, sometimes the kids eat in their pjs if we are have 'haute cuisine?' which takes longer to cook. I mostly get in from work around 6 so otherwise they would starve.

kmdwestyorks Fri 17-May-13 15:22:39

Feeling the need to lie to his mum about it is more wierd than wanting his dinner at 6.00pm.

Did she make him go hungry if he wasn't at the table on time?

any why the assumption you should always make it?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-May-13 15:23:06

I also want to know why he has to pretend he's eaten, why he has to answer the phone if it rings while you're eating and why he can't make dinner himself if he has a problem with its current timing.

Do you not all eat together?
At that age we would all sit down at about 7. If you are preparing two sittings there is no wonder you are busy.

Chandon Fri 17-May-13 15:31:13

This is weird. Your h sounds weird.,

Also, as a mum of kids same age as yours, is it really that hard to " keep them quiet" whilst Dh has a call? I manage calls with my Dc in the house and nobody shushing them. Most days anyway wink....

What time would it suit the kids to eat? Mine can last until 6:30 if they have a decent snack ( sandwich and biscuit) at 4. Wen do they get hungry? I'd take it from there.

halcyondays Fri 17-May-13 15:32:07

no, its not late, pretty normal I would have thought and what does it have to do with your mil?

Glad people who work till 5 or later are chipping in now, I was starting to feel like a pariah!

I work till after 5, get home between 5.30 and 6, eat between 6 and 7, kids in bed at around 8. (They have a snack and drink around 4 when they get home from school.) They are 4 and 6. Ds(6) is morning person, tired by that point and would benefit from earlier tea and sleep. Dd(4) is a night person and really struggles with bedtime at 8, she would be much better off in a culture with siestas and late bedtimes. But this is basically what is possible given the way our family and work lives work.

bigkidsdidit Fri 17-May-13 15:34:11

I've never understood how people manage to have family meals with very small children. DS eats at 5 and bed at 7. DH and I eat 8.30 ish. I can't wait till DS is a bit older and we can compromise at 7ish for dinner. I can't imagine eating at 5 confused

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 17-May-13 15:34:26

We eat between 6-6.30 on a school night, sometimes not until 7at the weekend. Dc are 8 and 6.
If we ate earlier they'd be hungry again by bedtime.

Last night ds1 ate between 7.30-8pm, but then he didn't go to bed until 10 (hes away and didn't have school today)

Cantspell, a 9 year old might be in year 5 (not that that really makes a difference)

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 15:40:15

IneedAyoniNickname You are right I was just going on the age mine were when they were in these years.

My oldest is eating his diner now but then he is 17 and always starving after school. He will no doubt have supper at around 9 oclock.

whois Fri 17-May-13 15:40:46

I'm partial to an early tea. Yes, I call it tea much to the amusement of my southern friends.

DH being a bit if a twat about this, tell him he knows where the kitchen is if he wants to eat early!

SusanneLinder Fri 17-May-13 15:42:18

5pm? I havent even got home form work!

If my DH had a strop about what time his dinner was, I'd tell him to cook it himself. telling his mother he has eaten, is he a man or a mouse????

When myyoungest DD was a baby, she was fed early, by defrosted home cooked meal in freezer. rest of us ate when ready.No one died.

I would never presume to tell my 24 year old DD and mother of two small children when she should have her dinner. Kids can snack when they come in from school.At 9 and 11, they arent babies!

whois Fri 17-May-13 15:42:34

Oh, and when I was a kid it was usually: snack eg kittcat or piece of toast at 4 after school, tea at 6, supper before bed eg banana in yog, cheese and crackers.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 17-May-13 15:43:09

God the miserable bugger, tell him to sling it.

It's not to late at half 6. We ate at that time when dd was younger (say 5,6) and then as she got older we ate later. About 7 or so when she was in junior school and about 8 - 9 when she was in senior school. I wouldn't have been in to cook any earlier than that.

It's fine, we had a routine.

I couldn't eat that early without wanting to eat again later, as others have said.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 17-May-13 15:44:23

I would give your kids some whistles and bongo bongo drums to play with during the telephone calls, frankly.

God I am a sourpuss at the moment. keep on reading of these fucking godforsaken miserable entitled husbands from the ark on here. Depressing.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 17-May-13 15:45:30

hahaha at lequeen. What she said. grin

rainbowbrite1980 Fri 17-May-13 15:46:36

People have dinner at different times, depends what works for your family. Your children are totally old enough to help themselves to a snack after school to keep them going if they're hungry. We eat at 5pm, b ut if I worked that would be different - my children are 5, 3 and 1. My friend with kids the same age as mine eats at 6 - 6.30pm. Your dh knows where the kitchen is if he doesn't like it!

Samu2 Fri 17-May-13 15:53:40

I am never starving before bed and no are the children.

I don't work so I can easily cook a nice meal while they are at school. My youngest children are in bed at 7.00pm. I like to eat with the children, but I don't eat dinner so by 5.00pm I am ready to eat as well.

HalfBakedAlaska Fri 17-May-13 15:54:45

How spineless! He's scared she'll tell him off? Is he 2? Tell him to grow a backbone.

Samu2 Fri 17-May-13 15:55:19

That was in response to the question by Seeker about being hungry.

Obviously if people are working they will naturally have to eat later.

Pinkflipflop Fri 17-May-13 16:04:07

Tell your MIL to mind her own feckin' business

Tell your dh to feck off into the kitchen and help cook the food for the dinner.

I hate in laws who stick their noses into children's business and I also hate lazy men who sit on the armchair and dictate how things should be done whilst doing nothing themselves!

schooldidi Fri 17-May-13 16:04:59

We try to have dd2's dinner ready by 6pm as she's only 3 and needs to be in bed by 7/7:30.

Dd1 (13) eats with us much later (although she has sometimes prepared her own meal because she's fussy about some foods we like), usually about 7:30/8, depending how long it takes to get dd2 into bed.

I couldn't possibly have a decent meal ready for everyone by 6pm as neither of us get home til 5:30 during term time (in the holidays I suppose I could do it but we like to be out and about doing things), so dp makes dinner while I put dd2 to bed, then she eats the same meal at 6pm the following day when it can just be reheated which is quick.

Sunnymeg Fri 17-May-13 16:09:21

We eat at 7.30pm, DH is type 1 diabetic and that is the best time for him on his regime. DS used to have an earlier tea until he was about 8, but now we eat together even on school nights. DS has milk and a snack when he comes home from school, and is fine. He goes to bed at 9pm.

ouryve Fri 17-May-13 16:11:00

So long as they've not gone since noon without eating, I don't see the problem with 6:30. We eat at 6-ish. We ate earlier when DS2 was small, or else he'd fall asleep halfway through the meal, but he's rarely tired before 8, now that he's 7, so 6pm it is. It means they're not hungry again before bedtime (though DS1 usually scrounges for food when I make packed lunches!)

Helpyourself Fri 17-May-13 16:13:44

How common. wink

Mintyy Fri 17-May-13 16:16:33

Fee! you said it Helpyourself grin.

crunchbag Fri 17-May-13 16:17:14

We eat any time between 6 and 7, no set mealtimes just depending on what is for tea. The only days the DC eat at 5 is when they have football training and then they eat more when they are back home.

Your DH is ridiculous in pretending to have eaten at 5 when his mum phones and why are you keeping up the pretence by keeping the kids quiet?

There are some very....twattish DHs apparently.

I have read thread after thread the past couple of days about DHs who expect their wives to literally clean up their shit, run around after them, dictate what time they should eat, basically run everyone's lives whilst doing fuck all.

It's amazing how some people think that being in possession of a penis makes you somehow superior.

calypso2008 Fri 17-May-13 16:24:07

Helpyourself grin

Sugarice Fri 17-May-13 16:24:55

He lies to his Mother in case she tells him off? shock

What a tool he is, does MiL interfere in other areas and still maintain a vice like grip on your H?

Mine are 9, 12 and 15. We get home around 4ish (DSs get back before me and DD - her school finishes at 3.30 and we have a 30/40 minute journey home) They snack on fruit/yoghurt/toast when we get back and then we eat dinner at 7ish when DH gets back from work. If I'm lazy/it's holidays or weekends it can be later.

I'm repeating what many other s have said but a, if he has a problem he knows where the kitchen is and b, his MIL will tell him off? Yeah, no. Tough on him then.

bringonyourwreckingball Fri 17-May-13 16:26:31

I can't wait for mine to be that age so we can all eat together around 7. I don't get in from work til 6, dh rarely back before 7, kids eat at childminders and we eat at 8:30/9. At weekends we all eat around 6:30 though, sometimes later

LaQueen Fri 17-May-13 16:30:20

I know, back in the begininng my MIL used to look like this hmm at the fact, I didn't have dinner waiting on the table when DH got in from work.

It wasn't her fault. She just had me confused with someone else...someone who actually gave a feck about her opinion wink

motherinferior Fri 17-May-13 16:30:53

I'm not bloody eating at five.

When I cook we eat at 7ish. More or less the same when Mr Inferior cooks. If one child (usually DD1) is starving we might eat earlier. If I can be arsed.

Bobyan Fri 17-May-13 16:31:01

Cooking and ironing.
Maybe you should shove a broom up your arse so you can sweep up as you go along as well...

wonkylegs Fri 17-May-13 16:33:16

We eat at 6.30ish every night, sometimes even 7pm and DS is 5.
He gets a substantial snack when he gets home but is otherwise fine.
If we eat earlier he gets up at night saying he's hungry.
Before he went to school he would eat dinner at nursery at 4.30 but then have a huge snack at 6.30 when we got home. Once he was at school, he didn't get back from after school club until 6 at which point I raced to do dinner for 6.30. I'm currently not working but we've stuck with the timetable because it works for us.

StuntGirl Fri 17-May-13 16:37:16

Jesus, we eat at like 8 or 9. But then we don't have kids. Couldn't eat earlier than 7 though I don't think. Balls to this 5 o'clock business, I'm still at work at that time!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 16:38:56

He sounds like a twat, all things considered.

Sorry, I know he's your husband and everything.....

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 16:41:11

Are you a SAHM?

Does he do very little around the house?

Was his mum a SAHM and a paragon of housewifely virtue and her DH did very little around the house?

SlimFitWellies Fri 17-May-13 16:46:09

I started a long anecdote then lost the will to live.

OP, seriously..... how is your relationship otherwise?

motherinferior Fri 17-May-13 16:49:10

I would also feel very sad if I'd eaten by 6pm and as if there was nothing to look forward to so I'd probably drink and eat chocolate

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 17-May-13 17:01:06

And what are you cooking every night?

If it involves "timing" and preparations it sounds a bit elaborate.

The ones person I know whose DH insisted on a cooked meal every night at a specified time was married to a big old bully

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 17-May-13 17:23:01

I am going to give up posting my boring old crap and just start saying 'I agree with motherinferior' as I think I agree with everything she has postyd ecently grin

motherinferior Fri 17-May-13 17:29:19

I am most flattered, GOML. grin

Yama Fri 17-May-13 17:33:02

Is your dh the boss of you?

We don't answer the phone when we are doing something important.

I don't accept unwarranted criticism from those who are supposed to love me.

PandaG Fri 17-May-13 17:33:48

we eat at varying times depending on DCs after school and evening activities. I usually cook, and aim for about 6.30 so we all eat together once DH is home from work. Tonight, however DC are having chippy tea, and Dh and I are having a curry a bit later. End of a long and busy week and I CBA to cook, plus DC will enjoy chippy - bit of a post SATS treat!

Geeklover Fri 17-May-13 17:37:44

When I see these posts I often wonder if there is a north/south of the border divide in this.
In Scotland I don't know anybody that eats late like that.
I do see half 6 as being late to eat and so would all my friends and family. I'm not saying it never happens it does when we ate busy but we would class it as a pretty late dinner.

Secondme Fri 17-May-13 17:45:06

Dc are 12, 9, 9 and 8 and sometimes the older two have dinner at 8 after swimming. (On a Wednesday) blush I can't get it done before so I do it after. They are still alive so I'm not sure why your dh has a problem with it because it doesn't affect anything unless they would e in bed by this time otherwise. hmm
No-one's allowed to leave the table when we eat for anything (except doorbell when expected) even dh. We survive!

Secondme Fri 17-May-13 17:45:55

We live down south if that helps...

bigkidsdidit Fri 17-May-13 17:46:28

I'm in Scotland Geeklover and we eat at 8.30 ish

Unami Fri 17-May-13 17:58:12

I'm in Scotland. Eat about 8. So do most of our family/friends. I do know a lot of people through work who always eat early - 5.30/6. I just don't get it. I can't see how you can get home, wash your hands, prepare a meal and serve it in that time. It must be stressful.

Hulababy Fri 17-May-13 18:11:54

11y dd usually eats at 6:45-7:00pm once DH is home from work. Has done for ears. Not a problem here.

Tee2072 Fri 17-May-13 18:13:13

Next time MIL rings during dinner yell very loudly "get off the fucking phone, your dinner is getting cold!!"

CouthyMow Fri 17-May-13 18:13:31

I think 6.30pm is too early for dinner!

OK, not for my 2yo, but definitely for my 9, 11 and 15yo!

They want to be out playing until 6/6.30, then they come in, have dinner, then we have 'quiet time' where they do their homework.

While they are doing their homework, I wash DS3 (the 2yo).

Then again, dinner crept later because at DD's Secondary (soon to be DS1's too), they have lunch at 1.15-2.15pm, depending in what sitting they are.

Dinner at 6 was just too early of DD had eaten lunch at 2pm.

So now they have all got used to it. We all eat together, even the 2yo. He's never known any different.

I don't see Spanish DC's keeling over and dying because their dinner wasn't on the table at 6pm!

If my DC's are hungry before dinner, they know where the fruit bowl is...

RoganJosh Fri 17-May-13 18:16:48

I'd think that it's what works for your family.

We eat at about 5.30pm because the 4 yr old needs to go up to bed at 6.15pm or she's knackered. Ironically the 1&3 yr old go up a bit later. I have a repertoire of thing that are very quick to prepare, or a slow cooked etc. I still find it a rush though. We do all eat together now, as it was pretty wearing to be cooking twice. In lucky in that H works from home and appears at 5.03pm!

If it suits your children then why does your H have a problem with it? Are they crying with hunger/late to bed/filling up on snacks because of it?

SAHRum Fri 17-May-13 18:39:05

1. tell him to make the fecking "tea"

2. er, how old is your husband that he scurries off to answer the phone lest his mummy tells him off?

3. NO ANSWERING THE PHONE DURING DINNER - sorry for shouting but that's a real pet hate of mine SO rude and that goes for texting, tweeting and fbing in the middle of a meal. URGH.

defineme Fri 17-May-13 18:48:55

Can't we all be different?
We eat any time between 4 and 7 depending on activities/work. We eat together. If I eat late then I snack before so I prefer to eat early and it works for me if I'm exercising/working later. If the kids eat early they'll have a snack when they get in later too.
I have lots of friends who eat late, but feed their kids earlier. Or all eat later. I used to think people who ate later were either foreign or posh, but then I grew up a bit!
I think the real issue is your dh, ruled by his mother and quite happy to treat you like crap.

SAHRum Fri 17-May-13 18:50:29

those dishes done yet OP? grin

BenjaminButton172 Fri 17-May-13 18:55:40

I like to have our meals between 5-6.30pm depending on what day it is and what we are doing.

My dd (9) goes to bed at 8 and doesnt snack after tea & neither do i & i go to bed much later than that.

I do think eating after 7pm every night is too late for children especially if they have to get up for school the next day. However once in a while wont harm them.

heritagewarrior Fri 17-May-13 18:56:31

We are trying to move the time of our evening meal back to 6-6.30pm and I have 2 4.5 year olds. When they go to school in September, we want to eat together everyday, and 5pm is much too early for me and DH......

seeker Fri 17-May-13 19:35:47

"I do think eating after 7pm every night is too late for children especially if they have to get up for school the next day. However once in a while wont harm them."

Out of interest, why is it too late?

5madthings Fri 17-May-13 19:48:52

I must be really odd as we have always eaten at 6:30ish, occasionally earlier and also later, once we had children we just continued to do the same, it didn't occur to me to move mealtimes earlier.

I am a sahm so technically the children could eat earlier but then I would just have to cook again for myself and dp later or reheat DPs dinner when he got in from work and I can't be arsec with two dinner times!

The madthings get a snack on way home from school, we often aren't in till 4:30-5pm anyway if we go to friends/park or they have clubs etc. It would be a mad rush to have an earlier dinner and it just never occurred to me to do.

alphabetti Fri 17-May-13 20:01:41

I work full time so my 7 and 9 yr old go to childminders or get collected by my mum after school. The days my mum collects them it's either dancing or gymnastics so they get a snack aft school then dinner bout 7. On childminders days they usually given drink n biscuit n fruit about 4.30 then get dinner bout 6.30/7. There is nothing I can do about feeding them earlier so there's no choice in the matter and they are totally fine, happy n healthy. You have just got to do whatever works best for u and your family not what pleases the mother in law.

SacreBlue Fri 17-May-13 20:10:12

My 14yo would 'die of starvation' but frankly since he arrived home today he has had THREE meals already and it's only 8pm hmm

If your hubby is that bothered he can get off his a** and do it. My 14yo is well aware that I will make one dinner, work permitting, and everything else he can get himself - if a CHILD can do that, why can't your adult DH?

And lying to mummy? I really can't process that without imagining your DH in frilly bloomers, soft blue hat and lacy collar crying "but muuuummmy" <shudders>

Piemother Fri 17-May-13 20:18:06

I'm so with you about the phone SAH that would drive me mad. It did with exh this bloody phone that had to be answered no matter what. I don't answer the phone or the door if I'm
Busy grin

intheshed Fri 17-May-13 20:20:30

My kids are ravenous after school, so by the time they've devoured the contents of the cupboard at 4pm (when we get home) I doubt they'd be hungry at 5!

MILs are weird- I remember mine telling me off whenever we stayed at their house for feeding 1yo DD at 5pm because that was her normal dinner time. She always has dinner on the table at 6 and therefore that is the only time anyone is allowed to eat in her house!

Plomino Fri 17-May-13 20:21:41

When I'm at home , as a rule , we eat at about 6pm , give or take a bit , which fits nicely round the after school swimming / before cadets / taking DS1 to work etc , and allows everyone to sit at the same table and eat , and gives everyone a decent bit of space to do their thing , before a wind down for bed .

When I'm at work , and DH takes over , it's a bit later than that , but it seems to work for him .

I suspect that whatever time we ate , my cupboards and fruit bowl would still look like the locusts had visited .

cory Fri 17-May-13 20:24:45

Ime the visit from the locusts is inevitable: it's just a question of whether it comes before or after dinner. Though ds doesn't really see why it has to be either or grin

Plomino Fri 17-May-13 20:25:12

I take that in order to improve the issue , the DH will hereafter be doing all food related tasks himself ? Because he would be here .

DH rolled his eyes at me once . In 1991 , with my back turned . Except he did it opposite a mirror and I caught him . That was the day his dinner went to the dog .

Like LaC's DH my DH would probably keel over with shock if I had dinner ready and waiting for him.

We usually eat about 6.30 -7pm and my two are only 6 and 3 years old!

LaC? I meant LaQ...

BOF Fri 17-May-13 20:43:25

Plomino, you sound like a formidable woman grin

SacreBlue Fri 17-May-13 21:04:03

Ditto cory sometimes I think I will explode a blood vessel if my DS claims 'starvation' again 10mins after already eating.

It is good practice <serious face> to get kids and mummy's boys to get their own food if they are too hungry to wait and to stop unnecessary interruptions at mealtimes. I'm fine if someone inadvertently calls during dinner - can't be helped occasionally - but pretending not to be busy/eating? Um not after the first couple of times!

Our usual dinner time when DP is working is around 6:15 to 6:30. We've done this since DCs were young and they are 13 and 9 now.

They have a snack when they get home from school and we like to eat together as a family.

And unless it's urgent, anyone calling us when we are eating gets told we'll call back.

FuckThisShit Fri 17-May-13 21:11:35

DD3 is 4 1/4 and we eat supper around 7 on school nights. Weekends it'll be anywhere between 7 and 9.

nenevomito Fri 17-May-13 21:17:02

grin @ Plomino

deleted203 Fri 17-May-13 21:18:06

We eat at 7.00pm every night, because that's what time DH gets in from work.

DCs are aged 21 - 7.

nenevomito Fri 17-May-13 21:18:54

On the weekend we eat at 5ish but 6ish during the week. But I'm in the frozen north and we need sustenance early to stay alive.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 17-May-13 21:47:02

We eat at 6. But your husband is a cock. Tell him to get his pinny on if he wants it earlier.
Good Lord, sometimes I come on here and thank my lucky stars I don't have some knob of a husband to answer to.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 17-May-13 21:51:57

6:30 is NOT too late. Tell him to sort it out himself if he wants it earlier.

What is with some men honestly.

We always ate later than most people, DD has made it to 19 without any issues or dying of starvation.

LaQueen Sat 18-May-13 13:45:07

"The ones person I know whose DH insisted on a cooked meal every night at a specified time was married to a big old bully"

Agree Jaime the only person I've known to get all anxious if the dinner wasn't on the table, on the dot of 5.30pm was my MIL. She would jump through hoops to ensure this happened, in order to please my FIL...

She even carried on ensuring that Sunday dinner was prepared, and on the table for 5.30pm, even when he stopped ever coming home from the pub, for it shock

Ironic, really...I've never cooked Sunday dinner for DH, in nearly 22 years...and, there's MIL concscientiously cooking it every Sunday, for her DH who never eats it hmm

MirandaWest Sat 18-May-13 14:15:42

We eat at different times depending on what activates the DC have. Tuesday is early as DD has Brownies at 6:30 so eat about 5:45 ish. Wednesday is about 6 as DS has cubs at 6:45. Other days are around 6:30 to 7:00 ish. DC are 9 and 7

arabesque Sat 18-May-13 14:22:30

Tell your DH that times have changed. The days when mothers all stayed at homd, served up dinner during the day and had the children's tea on the table the minute Blue Peter was over are gone. Nowadays a lot of mothers are out at work, at least part time, and are only getting home at about 6 o'clock (if they're lucky). As a result a lot of fathers now get involved in making the evening meal as opposed to complaining if it's not on the table at the same time every evening. And a lot of people have now got out of the habit of eating very early in the evening ( and as a result raiding the bread bin or biscuit jar at 8pm) and are quite happy to eat later or keep meal times a bit fluid.
As for lying to his mum in case she tells him off for not having dinner over by 6.30 - does she also pop over every evening to read him a story and iron his shirt for tomorrow?

How odd! We don't have dinner until 7-8ish, quite often that's DS 20 months too. If he's tired and hungry because he's not napped, he eats earlier before going to bed, but for the most point we all eat together. I like it.

I grew up with always having dinner at 6. Dad would walk through the door at 5:45 and mom would serve dinner not long after. It was nice, but it doesn't work for my family

LifeHuh Sat 18-May-13 14:35:52

Always interesting to see how other people live!
We have never eaten before about 6 - we ate together when DH got home from work,with a bit of juggling if anyone was exceptionally hungry or tired.
Neither DD or DS went to bed before 8.30-9ish,even (especially!) when they were babies,DD particularly treated an early night as a late nap for years and would be wide awake and raring to go just when we wanted to sleep....
I can't get to 8ish without eating without getting really tetchy,but couldn't eat at 5 either!

DH should cook tea himself if he wants it done earlier,and man up and admit to MIL that no,he can't talk because you all are eating.What can she do,for heavens sake?

Wolfiefan Sat 18-May-13 14:53:19

My 3 year old needs to eat at about 5 or 5:30. My 9 year old could happily wait. If the kids aren't shattered (at 6pm I'd say unlikely!) or fading away from hunger, then what's the problem. Why should anyone who doesn't live in your house dictate when you eat?!? Weird!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sun 19-May-13 14:42:17

'But your husband is a cock. Tell him to get his pinny on if he wants it earlier.
Good Lord, sometimes I come on here and thank my lucky stars I don't have some knob of a husband to answer to.'

EXACTLY. IfNotNow, you're my new hero.

Londonseye Sun 19-May-13 14:54:42

630 used to be "very late" when my kids were younger. But the older they get the less late it seems. We eat at 5-6pm ish as that suits us. Sometimes we don't have a dinner time at all and eat on the go! Glad my MIL couldn't care less, but if she did, she would be told to mind her own.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 15:00:03

I've never had dinner before 7:30 and that's when DS was younger too.

Surely 5pm is tea time (meaning light snack in the middle of the afternoon), not dinner.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 19-May-13 15:57:08

Pretending to his mother he has eaten is pathetic and spineless.

My 16mo eats dinner at 18.30 as a matter of course.

If he wants it serves at a particular time he had best cook it.

*disclaimer my ex regularly used to serve 'dinner' at 1 am by which time I hd usually given up and gone to bed. He would considerately wake me for it though hmm

wol1968 Mon 20-May-13 11:29:08

Cheers everyone, thanks for the perspective! thanks I've always thought H was a bit neurotic and OCD about some things. He's not lazy and he doesn't sit around - in fact, sometimes I wish he did, he's always on the go in the evenings with allotment stuff/DIY/household accounts etc. etc., all very thrilling and fascinating as I'm sure you can imagine hmm...and of course he's better at housework than I am - he's a great one for finding corners of dust behind heavy cupboards that I haven't been able to get to, not being much of a weightlifter. And of course, all this busyness in the evenings makes me feel much too guilty to sit and relax. Hence Mumsnet when he's not here. grin

I'd love for us to actually go out somewhere to enjoy ourselves. Nothing much. A film, maybe, or a concert, or a meal out of an evening. But I know what he'll say. 'We can't afford/justify it'. Miserable sod. Last of the big spenders, us...

Surely, if you can afford or justify something is a joint decision. Do you get a say in the household accounts and how the money is allocated. I do the household accounts side of things but DH has an equal say on what we spend and how we spend it. We both also have some pocket money each month that we spend how we like.

valiumredhead Mon 20-May-13 12:49:37

Can't we all be different?
We eat any time between 4 and 7 depending on activities/work. We eat together. If I eat late then I snack before so I prefer to eat early and it works for me if I'm exercising/working later. If the kids eat early they'll have a snack when they get in later too.
I have lots of friends who eat late, but feed their kids earlier. Or all eat later. I used to think people who ate later were either foreign or posh, but then I grew up a bit!
I think the real issue is your dh, ruled by his mother and quite happy to treat you like crap.

This ^

DollyClothespeg Mon 20-May-13 13:01:46

I'd class 6.30 for tea late, as they're usually in bed for half seven in this house (yes, even the 9 year old! grin
We usually have tea about 5ish. Any later and they're declaring they're dying of hunger. hmm
It's absolutely bog all to do with your MIL, that'd wind me right up! Everybody's different. Just because she did it at that time doesn't mean you have to.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 20-May-13 18:13:13

Why thank you ladyclarice!

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 20-May-13 18:31:13

I'm rarely home by 5,and neither is dh!

If you are eating so late the kids aren't getting enough sleep, then it's a problem. Other than that, it's whatever works for you and your family!

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