Magazine article Working Mother

Dear Diary

Magazine article Working Mother

Dear Diary

Article excerpt

My mother had eight kids and managed to get us all to the table every single night for dinner. So why can't I get my family of four in one place at the end of the day?

Monday, 8:35 a.m. Our radio show's hyperefficient producer. Corny, tosses me the latest studies on the importance of family dinners when it comes to keeping kids out of trouble. "If a family eats dinner together regularly, kids have a much lower rate of depression, drug use and smoking," she says. "How many nights a week does your family eat together?"

"Four." I lie so quickly it scares me.


"No," I confess just as fast. I'm a terrible liar. My evening hours are a blur of crash-landing home from work, shuttling my sons to sports practices, playdates and violin lessons, overseeing their homework and sending late-night emails of my own. Yes, there is an intake of food and drink at some point, but rarely does it happen as a pot-roast-and-mashed-potatoes-style dinner for four.

"Try something different for a change," Corny suggests helpfully. "Eat together every night for one week."

No prob. My mother did it for decades. My favorite memories are centered on family dinners-listening, laughing, learning. Inspired, I blurt out, "I'll even cook!"

6:37 p.m. "What aie these?" my 10-year-old son, Brookes, asks, turning over the forks and knives.

"Eating utensils so you can set the table."

"The real table? In the dining room? All four of us?"

Tuesday, 6:19 p.m. Brookes and his 7-year-old brother. Colin, are staring at their plates of pasta. …

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