We are Amy and Aaron, a 30-something couple that lives in River North with our 17 month-old daughter, Mia. We have been married nearly five years and of those five, we have worked together for almost four.
Yes, we work together. We own a small real estate business and, on average, we are together almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.We wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it works for us.
Because we are working parents and spend a good portion of our day away from our daughter, having dinner as a family is extremely important.
Once six o’clock rolls around it’s all about family. We sit down to dinner about a half hour after we arrive home. At the table, our work conversation ceases and all of our attention is on Mia. We do not watch television or check our phones. We do try to put a well-balanced meal on the table.
Even though Mia is still very young, we engage her in the conversation. We like to ask her how her day was, what she did and what would she like to do after dinner. Of course a lot of her responses now are babbles, but our goal is to get her used to this part of the day at a young age. We want her to know that the dinner table is a place where we share a meal and some conversation, not dine and dash.
Not only are family meals a great way to spend time together, but studies show that families who eat dinner together have better communication skills and build stronger relationships. Children who participate in family meals have better grades in school and are better adjusted as teens and adults.
And families that eat together are generally healthier. They eat more fruits and veggies and drink less soda and other sugary drinks. Plus, a Harvard study found that children who ate family dinners frequently had healthier eating habits, even when not dining at home.
After working all day, we truly relish the time spent with Mia at the dinner table and our dog appreciates the leftover scraps Mia throws on the floor. Just because we eat together, doesn’t mean it’s any less messy.