My husband and I like to have family dinner. All four of us sit at the table and eat dinner. Both of us grew up with family dinners. We appreciate it and want to continue that in our own family.
But here is our dilemma. My husband gets home late from work---usually sometime between 6:30 & 7pm. I know that he would love to get home earlier, but his commute is at least 1 hr. 15 min. each way (or so it seems) and that is on a good day. About 3 years ago we actually moved closer to the train so that he could cut off about 15 minutes from his commute (30 minutes round-trip).
I give the kids a snack when Boogie gets home from school. They munch happily and boy does it do wonders for a cranky preschooler coming home from school. Usually he is good nature, but if his blood sugar dips, oh boy! So the kids get a snack and glass of milk and it tides them over until about 5:15ish. They start to clamor for food while I'm in the middle of preparing dinner. I try to give them another light snack...pita bread with some hummus or carrot/celery sticks, etc. But by the time they're done, they're begging for more because they are ready for dinner. If I give them more they fill up and by the time dinner rolls around they're done and they'd rather play than sit at the table. If I wait until dinner time to feed them they are so miserable and cranky.
There are times that the kids and I've have sat down for dinner and Hubby comes in the middle or towards the tail-end. He still sits with us and eats...but usually since the kids have been sitting and eating they are done before Hubby and they are ready for bed. So he doesn't get a chance to finish, but instead spends a little extra time with the kids by playing with them and then getting them ready for bed. Mind you, he doesn't complain. He would rather spend any time he can with the kids because he doesn't get to see them for more than 2 hours on any given night during the week.
So my question is what do you do? Do you wait for your husband/spouse/partner to come home before feeding your kids? Do you and the kids sit down early for dinner and your husband joins you when he gets home?
It hasn't been too much of a problem in the past and the kids had gotten used to a late dinner. But recently it's become an issue. The last couple of weeks I've started dinner earlier, but it looks like family dinners are starting to become just the 3 of us until Hubby arrives. We still do family dinners Friday-Sunday because Hubby is either home earlier on Fridays or he is off and of course we're together on Saturday and Sunday.
If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.