Monday, July 14, 2008

Slate: Why family dinner makes working parents (especially moms) feel better.

An article in Slate magazine talks about the results of a recent study that shows that eating as a family makes parents happier. My working mom was always good about making a family dinner. I was always starving because she wouldn't let us snack before dinner. My childhood experience and my experience living in Belgium and France sealed the deal for my family eating two meals a day together.

When I was 18 years old, my Belgium host family ate breakfast together. When I lived in France in my twenties, my French friends didn't throw keggers, they had dinner parties!

It is noteworthy that although longer work hours predicted significantly greater perception of success in work life, work interference with dinnertime predicted lower perception of success in work life," Jacob and her co-author write.
Eating together in the morning takes about 10 minutes. It's nice to have that moment of calm before the day begins. And in the evening, Mikey loves the direct attention that he gets from the both of us.

My sister told me once that she couldn't figure out why her girls weren't eating, and then she started eating with them and their eating improved. "Now that we're eating together, I can't believe we weren't doing it before," she explained.


grantatee said...

i liked learning more about you in this entry.

i was house sitting for someone last week who had no dinner table, no place to comfortably eat food. i thought this was horrible! my most favorite part about my house in my table, it is where i connect with friends and i love having tea and sharing meals with people.

i never ate food with my family growing up-- i actually have no memories of my parents eating at all. (they always got me mcdonalds after day care... which to be honest, i LOVED at the time).

i am so happy that i get to experience shared meals with my chosen family now. and occasionally my mom, when she comes to visit.


Amy said...

Both my husband and I work but we bend over backwards to make family dinners happen every night. Often we have to cut off work early and then put in an hour after the kids go to bed but it's worth it. Of course, there are those nights when we don't successfully pull it off. And my daughter always notices and comments. On those nights when I quickly throw together food for just the kids and watch them eat, my daughter always asks, "Mommy why aren't you eating?"

It seems like dinner is the time when we can all come together and share the day's happenings. We also play this corny game where we take turns going around the table and telling each person something that we like about him.

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