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To want to Eat dinner as a family

(113 Posts)
kmini Tue 14-Jan-20 22:55:03

Would like us to sit down and eat dinner together. Probably not every night (the kids are not going to appreciate the expensive meals or the spicey ones!) - but most nights.

Main reason that prompted me was DS (5) and DD (2) are both picky eaters in their own ways, so I'm hopeful it would encourage better eating habits seeing us eat dinner . As a side benefit, it really something that I always intended to be part of family life but I suppose I've just continued our baby/toddler routine and never really committed to it before.

Anyway - after a week of dinners between 6.15 and 6.45 with the kids rather than our usual 8 PM - DH says tonight that he's really not hungry at this time and would prefer not to eat till later.

He says he's happy to sit at the table and agrees about what I'm trying to achieve with family meal time and improving their pickiness - he just wants to actually eat his meal later.

I feel like this really defeats the purpose. AIBU?

His reasons are:
- he's not hungry
- he's too busy with work at the moment to ensure that he eats at a time that means he's hungry at 6.15
- it makes him snack around 9 pm
- he doesn't think he needs to eat with the kids to create a family meal or change their eating behaviours

Can i get your opinions?

kmini Tue 14-Jan-20 22:56:38

He also says normal adults do not eat at this time!angry

LagunaBubbles Tue 14-Jan-20 22:56:59

I'm with your DH. I'm still driving home from work at 6.15 never mind hungry for dinner then.

Gatehouse77 Tue 14-Jan-20 22:57:32

Is it possible to strike a balance over the whole week and perhaps instigate it at weekends first when he can regulate his daytime eating to fit in?

ferntwist Tue 14-Jan-20 22:59:39

YANBU to be a but disappointed and HIBU to say normal adults don’t eat at that time, millions do. BUT he can’t really help it if he’s not hungry and you can’t force him to eat when he doesn’t want to. His suggestion of sitting down with you all is a good one - go with it and he might even start to eat at that time after a while as he’ll get food envy.

Amicompletelyinsane Tue 14-Jan-20 22:59:42

This would really annoy me. I think family meals are so important. It's when we hear most of the details about the children's day. I agree with you.

Littleshortcake Tue 14-Jan-20 22:59:51

We eat a main meal at 1.30 at the weekend and 6 pm very latest during the week. Dh has cereal or something later. 8 is very late in my opinion but I don't think you can control someone else's mealtimes as an adult. I would pick my battles and leave this.

JasonPollack Tue 14-Jan-20 23:01:45

We eat then with the baby. Would he eat alone later or does he want you to also wait? Who is cooking? I would prefer 6 o'clock hot dinner to 8 o'clock microwaved.

I don't really understand what busyness at work can have to do with it except for as a tool to get his own way...

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 14-Jan-20 23:02:39

Well it’s exactly what we have always done (we were lucky that DH worked from home a lot of the time).

I don’t know, to me it was quite important. I think it has contributed to us being a family who all get on and communicate really well (on the whole). Particularly in the teenage years, having that ingrained ritual, where you all sit down together once a day, is really valuable.

Can your DH not make a bit of an effort and eat lunch earlier? He sounds a bit self centred.

PickAChew Tue 14-Jan-20 23:06:23

I would suggest that, if he wants to eat later, he prepares his own dinner if you've not made something that keeps.

And yeah, we eat around 6 with Ds2, who is usually ravenous by then. It's DS1 who eats later, but he doesn't have the same as us and he's 16, not 6.

peanutbutterandfluff Tue 14-Jan-20 23:06:44

I'm with you. Dinner is at 6pm in our house, and whoever is home eats the same meal as our 14 month old at the same time. Usually one of us is working and the other is home but 2-3 nights a week we all eat together.

For awhile when he was younger and I was on mat leave we all ate at 5!

It was a huge change but we got over it. My son is a fussy eater as it is and I shudder to think how bad he'd be if we didn't eat together! Plus I hate cooking so I don't want to make 2 meals!

ViaSacra Tue 14-Jan-20 23:10:43

YABU. Your marriage is unlikely to go the distance if you aren’t willing to compromise.

He hasn’t dismissed what you want out of hand - he’s tried it. He’s spent a week eating dinner at 6 with you and the dc.

It’s not working for him. He’s not hungry then and it’s leading him to snack later, which could well lead him to put on weight, leading to health complications.

He’s offered a compromise whereby he sits at the table while the dc eat. Yet you’re not willing to give up any ground.

cliffsofabandon Tue 14-Jan-20 23:12:16

We eat between 6:30 and 7 depending when DH is home. We have an 18 month old and 7 yr old. I was brought up to eat supper as a family meal so do the same with my kids. If for whatever reason DH isn't home in time he eats later on his own or while we're watching tv

Halleli Tue 14-Jan-20 23:16:57

YABU. If he’s not hungry, he’s not hungry.

Why not try and strike a compromise?

Most nights, he can sit with you and the dc while they eat, and then have his dinner later, but on one special night a week you’ll all eat together?

Friday night dinners are a big thing in our family - it’s the one weekday dinner we all eat together (dh normally doesn’t get home before 8 or 9pm, but always makes sure he’s home before sunset on Fridays for Shabbat).

5foot5 Tue 14-Jan-20 23:20:47

While the children are still so young I would suggest a compromise, maybe a main meal together at weekends - proper Sunday lunch or something? As they get older maybe you can eventually meet somewhere in the middle.

I agree with you that eating together as a family is good and is how I remember it as a child. We all sat down to eat together at 6pm when my Dad got in from work.

In practice when DD was pre-school we were both working full time and she was at nursery, where she got a good cooked meal at lunchtime, so when we got in at 6ish it was a case of get her some tea then bath, bed, story and we ate about 8.

When she started school I changed my hours so I finished earlier and the aim was to try to eat together every night. For the First year it didn't work out. DH had just started a new business and was hideously busy so struggled to get home early and DD was so tired with school that she couldn't wait so I still ended up feeding her earlier.

However from when she was about 6 we managed it during the week. Though on Saturdays we always fed her earlier, got her to bed then had something more grown up for the two of us. (In all senses grin)

kmini Tue 14-Jan-20 23:22:34

Yikes @viasacra - "YABU. Your marriage is unlikely to go the distance if you aren’t willing to compromise".

For the record, we have a super happy marriage and I most definitely know how to compromise.

Also for the record, DH is an amazing dad and husband and not what I would consider selfish.

I think this is why I have gotten my back up a bit - we normally agree on most things which are for the good of the kids and our little unit. This time it just seemed to be about what he wants.

Also for the record, I would prefer to eat later, probably because we always have but just feel like it's time to est together.

angelikacpickles Tue 14-Jan-20 23:26:43

Can you all eat a bit later? We eat with the kids between 7 and 7.30pm.

Bluerussian Tue 14-Jan-20 23:32:30

I'm with you wanting to eat dinner together as a family. Maybe you could have it a bit later if the children aren't too tired? 7-7.30pm seems reasonable.

Notso Tue 14-Jan-20 23:41:01

I'd suggest either eating a bit later or maybe that for example Fri-Sun it's family meals and he eats at his preferred time the rest of the week.

Smellbellina Tue 14-Jan-20 23:46:04

I only put YABU because I eat with the DC at normal DC sort of time, DP rarely sits up with us (sometimes on a Sunday) I leave him to it. He makes himself toast when he’s ready.

You can’t force this stuff or it all becomes a wholly in enjoyable experience for everyone.

On the plus side, now the children are a bit older and used to sitting up, we have a lovely time! DP is missing out but his choice.

kmc1111 Wed 15-Jan-20 03:09:09

Why does it matter whether he eats then or later? The eating isn’t the important part, it’s the spending time together, and he’s happy to do that.

Canuckduck Wed 15-Jan-20 03:18:37

We eat between 6:30-7 most nights and then do bath/shower & bed with the kids. They’re 7 & 10. I knocked the 2 dinners on the head when they were around 3. It’s too much work and I like eating as a family.

Ishotmrburns Wed 15-Jan-20 03:22:00

I think that, once you have children, sitting down to your evening meal as a family as often as possible is very important for a whole host reasons. It's a real shame that your DH doesn't see that. Just sitting at the table with you not eating isn't good enough.

If he's not that hungry then he can have a smaller portion. Problem solved.

HypatiaCade Wed 15-Jan-20 03:25:30

Could you not do a small starter type nibble that you and your DH can eat with the DC, and then have the main meal later?

squeekums Wed 15-Jan-20 03:38:22

I'm with your dh
I hate being told I must eat when I'm not hungry, I end up pushing my food round the plate and it ends up in the bin.
He made a fair compromise by sitting at the table while the kids eat. Time for you to give a little and accept he just isn't hungry then.

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