3 Reasons Why Your Kids Need to See You Eat
I know, it should be obvious that mom needs to eat and if you are a stay at home mom it might be hard to eat without your kids watching. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only woman out there who has cooked for her family, realized there wasn’t enough to go around, and skipped dinner. So my kids didn’t see me eat those nights – because I didn’t.
When I first did it I thought I was doing the good and honorable thing. There wasn’t enough food for dinner – because I hadn’t cooked enough – so it seemed only right that I not eat. Plus the kids are growing and I am not so they need the food more than I do. And yes, I know, enough food by American standards is just that – enough by American standards. Lots of people would consider our not enough as plenty. Ahh, the privilege of first world problems.
1) Because You Are Modeling Self Care
But I digress. So if I cooked not quite enough food and then I didn’t eat – what did I just teach my kids? That my effort is not good enough? That I am not worth it? That is not a message I would ever want to hear one of my kids speak to me, and yet I was modeling it for them. No, Mom, you are not doing the good and honorable thing. Sit down and eat with them. Either take a bite from everyone’s plate as you dish up or make a quick sandwich or bowl of cottage cheese or – something. But sit down and eat with them. Your kids need to see you eat.
2) Because Eating Together is Fellowship
You don’t have to turn on the news or tune in to the internet to know that eating together and talking about your day is important for your family relationships. Have you ever looked through the Gospels and taken note of how many times Jesus eats with people? Especially in Luke? It’s almost funny, but there is something important about sitting down with your husband and with your kids and eating together.
3) Because You Are Setting an Example
This is where it hit home for me. For the times when I served everyone else but did not eat myself, I was not taking care of myself, I was not sharing in the family meal time, and I was setting a horrible example for my kids. I was getting a martyrdom complex about the sacrifice I made for my family – and no one appreciated it. And it was ugly!! Then my daughter would say she wasn’t hungry and give her food to a brother who was looking for more. Oh no!! It offended my senses to see her give her food away – but I had taught her that. She gave away her dinner exactly the same way that I gave away mine.
I would not want my daughters to think that part of being a mom is not eating and I would not want my sons to think that after they get married and have kids their wives will cook for them but not eat themselves. No. Your kids need to see you eat – because it shows that you are a valued member of the family, an important part of the crowd gathered around and you matter just as much as everyone else.