Rebecca Eckler: The Time of Day I Detest the Most with a Newborn

In theory, it is nice to have “family dinners.” Just not with a baby. What is fun, exactly, about trying to eat your own meal, while your baby is sitting in his high chair, whipping spoons or food across the room?


 

Everyone with a newborn has ONE thing they detest doing. For some, it’s diaper changing. For others it’s bathtime. For others, it’s putting the baby to sleep. And for others it’s feeding them (a process that can take up a good hour of your life, three times a day.) For me, it’s dinnertime. Not my 11-month old Holt’s dinner time. But MY dinnertime, of which the hour has now been changed drastically.

My friends have always joked that I’m like a senior citizen. I visit Miami so often I may as well BE retired there. I like to eat at 5 p.m. I like to go to bed at 9 p.m. But now? Well, I’m now eating dinner at 8:30 p.m. (So, my friends, suck that!)

But it’s not because I WANT to eat a late dinner. It’s because I actually cannot stand to eat at the same time as my baby, or even if my baby is awake, or even if he’s in the same room. In fact, I now REFUSE to do so. I will only eat dinner AFTER Holt is put to bed for the night. Why? Because, like Murphy’s Law, and every parent will know this or will find out soon enough, that whenever you have prepared a meal for yourself and done everything in your power to make sure your baby is happy right before you sit down to eat, that that baby will start to fuss…no matter what.

What the heck is up with THAT? As soon as you sit down and just pick up your fork, it’s GAME OVER. As soon as that fork is in your hand, your baby will start wailing. I swear, I rather not eat at all then have to eat dinner when my baby is awake or near me. I get so frustrated (rather I did before I changed my eating time) that I couldn’t sit down and take even one small bite before the dude would start screaming or trying to climb up my leg.

In theory, it is nice to have “family dinners.” Just not with a baby. Because what is fun, exactly, about trying to eat your own meal, while your baby is sitting in his high chair, whipping spoons or food across the room, or dropping his toys on the floor again and again? Absolutely nothing.

So now we put Holt to bed before I sit down to dinner. And, frankly, it’s changed my life. After months of having the most un-relaxing dinners, akin to a root canal, I finally threw my hands up, and said, “Not eating until he’s sleeping. EVER!” So now my fiancé’s and my dinner is eaten at the adult time of 8:30 p.m.

I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life. We can actually have conversations without me saying, “What the hell? I’m NOT picking that up for you again Holt! What was that you said honey?” My advice for every new parent would be don’t even TRY to eat dinner at the same time as your baby. You will not enjoy yourself. Unless, of course, you are trying to lose weight. Then, by all means, have your baby with you at dinnertime. Because you won’t get a chance to eat. In fact, it is a brilliant way to lose weight.

But I like to eat, without a toy being whipped at my head or hearing the sounds of a crying baby or having to bend down and pick up a toy for the millionth time. But, hey, that’s just me.

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