Do you remember the way life was for most of us growing up when we’d go to school, go home, do homework, and then be called to the table where we’d all sit together and talk about our day? I miss those times.

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In all fairness, I hated our nightly family dinners by the time I’d become a teenager because all I wanted to do with shovel down my meal so I could be excused (remember when we used to have to ask to be excused from the table?) and go on with my evening.

But, now that I’m a wife and mom and living in an insanely busy time with way more distractions than were around when I was a kid, I long for those simple days of taking turns going around the table and catching up. When I look back on my childhood, so many special memories were made sitting around the table and the reality is that I miss those times. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing my son a disservice by not making family mealtime a part of our daily lives.

In our house, my husband is not even physically home during dinner time, it’s just me and my boy, and 9 out of 10 times as soon as I finish cooking the phone rings or an email comes in and something "urgent" is dropped in my lap which "needs" immediate attention.

So, instead of sitting down and sharing a meal with my son, I find myself making a plate for him and then getting to work on whatever needs immediate attention and lately, I've had this feeling festering inside of me and it has grown so strong that it's like I can almost feel it bubbling up which I know makes no sense but it's there and I can't ignore it anymore.

I miss the simplicity and specialness of family dinners and the more I feel backed into a corner by everything and everyone, the more I want to push back. I am so tired of feeling obligated to put my family second because the world that we live in tells us we must be instantly available for whoever wants or needs us and if we aren’t, we’re made out to be the bad person. No. I'm done buying into that school of thought.

I guess I’m just going to have to grow a thick layer of skin and brace myself for the title because I NEED to take back my family time. I NEED to shut off my phone and the television and all electronic devices and give more of my attention to my family and stop worrying about how me giving my time to them will make me appear because, in the end, nobody’s opinion of me matters other than that of my husband and son.

I know this is going to be hard and absolutely exasperated by the fact that I am an anxiety-riddled people pleaser, but I have to do better by my family and I’d like to invite you to join me in pushing back against the demands of others and taking back your family time. These years go by way too fast and we won’t be able to get them back. That’s a very sad thought for me.

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