Family Matters?

Dear readers,

Please bear with me, this post is a little longer than I am accustomed to writing, I believe that what I have to share will be beneficial to someone.

A few weeks ago I was invited to Sunday dinner at the home of the Evans family (family of five, three girls plus mom and dad) Ms. E is an old college mate, she didn’t finished college because she got married and started a family. I was excited! Being single has its pros and cons, one downside is eating alone. Anyway, I arrived at 2 pm with a bottle of wine, flowers for Ms. E and crumbs cupcakes for the girls to have after dinner.

Mr. E. greeted me at the door and quickly disappeared upstairs to the bedroom. After hugging the girls and chatting for a few minutes, me and Ms. E settled in the kitchen, opened the wine and proceeded to catch up on life.  An hour into my visit my excitement went from 10 to 0. I was looking forward to a family day, you know the old fashion way families use to spend time. Playing games, laughing and talking over dinner and then maybe a movie with popcorn to close out the evening.

What I got was the girls in the living room engaged in their electronic devices, there wasn’t any talking, no interaction between them, they sat staring as in a trance at their I pads, and their ears were plugged up.  I sensed Ms. E’s embarrassment about the situation, so she justified their behavior by saying that Mr. E has been working long hours during the week, and on the weekends he likes the house to be quiet.

Ms. E and I stayed in the kitchen drinking wine, chopping, cooking and talking. After a while reality set in Ms. E wanted company. She craved someone to talk to, she was feeling lonely and disconnected. There came a point during the period before we ate dinner that the youngest child become restless, she was told by Ms. E to go and play quietly in her room. She was sent to play in her room alone, instead of remaining in the kitchen with us.

The other children were woken from their trance by Ms. E. to set up the table. At 4 pm, Ms. E called Mr. E to the dinner table, by this time the youngest child had fallen asleep, the father said leave her to sleep, Ms. E did not protest.  It took a moment to get out plates filled and for a conversation to start, but it wasn’t a meaningful conversation. The girls answered my questions with short response, and Mr. E mostly talked about how much over time he was doing, and Ms. E kept asking everyone did they want more to eat. During dinner the youngest child woke to join us.

After we ate, Mr. E excused himself to go and full the vehicles up with gas for the coming week. I helped Ms. E cleaned the kitchen, put the food away and to set up coffee and the cupcakes for the girls, they ate a few bites and asked to go to their rooms to watch a show on the Disney Channel. I stayed with Ms. E for another hour and said my good byes at 7pm, there was no Mr. E in sight.

I went home and got out my old family albums and spent time remembering the good old days. I called Ms. E letting her know I got home safe and thanking her for the dinner. I extended an invite for her and the family to have dinner at my house the next Sunday. What I didn’t tell her was that I was going to invite some of my family members so she can experience what a good old fashion Sunday Family Dinner is supposed to be.

What Say You?

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11 comments

  1. Pingback: Family Matters? — dragthepen | Madison Elizabeth Baylis
  2. tcriggs

    I feel so much for her! I have written about this so much, on Bayart (Dinner Time is Family Time, or some phrase like that! lol) and my own blog.

    We have strict family rules regarding technology. No phones at the table. Not even guests. Devices are allowed throughout the day, but as soon as tech gets in the way of ‘the real world’… it’s taken away. The girls have never, and will never, have a TV in their rooms.

    My heart goes out to her… it is tough, especially if you are the only one enforcing, or even expecting, something that should be so natural! But you have to want to fight for it, because, trust me, it is a fight. But the results are so much more rewarding than if I gave up. 🙂

    Like

    • Dragthepen

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the Subject of Family Matters?
      What I also observed was that there was just no family interaction. My friend seems
      to be trapped in a marriage where there is no emotional connection shared between her and
      her husband. She seems to have no voice. She one told me that since she doesn’t bring in an income
      she has little to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tcriggs

        How terrible. There’s a report, somewhere out there regarding how much it would ‘cost’ a family to do all the work a stay-at-home mom does… somewhere in the 90K per year range. It was empowering to me to read, because I took 6 years off from working outside the home to take care of my daughters when they were little. I got mixed responses from people… some good, some bad… but both sides missed the point miles. The reality was that I didn’t need any support or approval from them.

        The fact is, that I WAS contributing, not just equally, but was carrying most all the burden of the family dynamics. No one should be ashamed to stay home and take care of their family. In fact, their status should be equal or I would even argue HIGHER because of their perceived ‘sacrifice’. Because the economic reality was, that it would have cost us MORE for me to continue ‘working’ outside the home after my second child was born.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dragthepen

        I hear you loud and clear. My dad said that the work that a mother does at home is twice as hard as working outside the home. Most people, especially men don’t think that the work women do at home is considered work. they think that stay at home mothers are sitting home all day watching soaps and napping.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tcriggs

        There’s a story I got as an email forward a long time ago… the husband comes home and the kids are running around the house half-naked, the house is a wreck and his wife is nowhere to be found. He rushes upstairs, fearing the worst. Bursting open the door, he finds her still in bed, watching TV and eating chocolates. He says, “What are you doing?” She replies, “Oh, you know how you always say I don’t do anything all day? Well, I decided today not to do any of it.” (Or something like that! lol)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. J L Hunt

    What a very interesting read. It is unfortunate how much technology has taken over some homes…I have observed this myself as well. I’m curious to find out what happens next after they come to your home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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