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Gym hours and family dinner

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LIGYMMOM

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Apr 1, 2013
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I'm curious to know how other gym parents handle crazy gym hours and dinner. DD is currently a L4 going 11 hrs a week, which I know is pretty minimal compared to what a lot of you are doing. Two of the nights she's home by 7 so we are all able to eat together, but the other two nights, her hours cause her to have to eat alone before practice, while the rest of us eat while she's at the gym. We really miss her at the table! It's always been a time of "regrouping" for us, like a family check in. I hate for dinner to become shoving something down for energy or eating in the car. :(
Fully realizing that as she continues, it will only get crazier and I want to be intentional about creating quality family time as we lose some of these dinners together. How do you do this? Time to get creative!
 

JoyAvenueMom

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Aug 24, 2012
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I will admit it....we sometimes eat dinner as a family at 9pm! Sounds crazy...and maybe not the healthiest...but at least we sit down together. One suggestion I am hoping to implement with the fall time change...is having the entire family eat breakfast together. Even if it's just a bowl of cereal, and my husband just sits there half awake. I think it would still count as a family meal!
 

Iwannabemargo

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Aug 28, 2011
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The only day we get to eat together in the week is now Thursdays ( gym Mon, Tues, Fri, Rugby Wed), however Small Boy will be starting Tennis from 5-6 on Thursdays in November ! Its hard.
 

lhmom

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Jul 22, 2010
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Right now, we've managed ok because DD finishes at 7pm. I do a lot of prep work beforehand, so it takes less time to get dinner on the table once we are home. Will have to be more creative when she has to stay until 8pm. One mom at gym told me that she and her husband eat before her daughter comes home but both will sit with her while she eats dinner to catch up. We may be doing that as well.
 

seoulmama

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Sep 30, 2013
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Our only week night together is Wednesday. DD is at the gym m 5-8, t 5-9, th 5-8:30 and f 4-8. Saturdays she is there 1-5 so we do eat dinner together on the weekends. It is so tough! It took me all of her level 4 year (2 years ago) to get used to it-and when she was a level 4, she was only there 4 days so had 2 nights during the week home. Make the best of the night(s) you do have together. I very rarely schedule anything for Wednesdays. My DH is a teacher, so he is home before she goes to the gym-one of us (or both) try to sit with her at the table when she has hear early dinner-usually at 4-and most often, her big brother is there doing homework so several nights she is with us-we're just not all eating.
 

Bajanswife

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We can't do family dinners on weekdays - even though DD is home from gym in time, it's a rush to bathe, eat and get the homework done. In fact, since this is a critical school year for her and she's not competing until next year sometime, I have been pulling her out of gym early on Mondays and Wednesdays (her coach understands). On the weekend we try to have a special dinner on either Saturday night or Sunday evening, so that we can all catch up.
 

gymgal

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We homeschool so our schedule won't work for traditionally schooled families but on idea is that you could plan dessert for the whole family when she gets home. That way everyone still comes to the table to talk and review their day, but the meal isn't as heavy on the stomach just before bed. And "dessert" can be healthy - baked apple, fruit compote, berries, baked breads, etc.
 
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Fliptwisttumble

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We have always waited and had dinner as a family when DD got home. For the last two years, that has meant dinner at 9pm. DH made it while I brought DD home from gym. This year we've been able to move it up to 8pm as she finishes an hour earlier. Usually a couple of times a month DH and I go out for dinner on a date night while she is at gym - we then sit with her while she eats her dinner so she isn't lonely.

I am out the door at 7:30, so breakfast as a family isn't a viable option. So late dinner it is!
 

gymmiemom

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Feb 28, 2013
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We only eat together on Sundays anymore. My gymmie is at the gym 4 nights a week till 7 o'clock. My son has football, my other daughter has soccer, and my youngest dances. There is absolutely no time from the time they get out of school until 8 o'clock that all 4 of them are home Mon-Saturday.

I cook dinner about 2 o'clock in the afternoon before the craziness begins and people eat when they are home and have time to. It's hard but for now that is just how our life is.
 

my4buffaloes

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Apr 14, 2010
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We have someone at the gym over the dinner hour (4-8ish, 25 minute drive away) 5 nights out of the week. Whoever is home for dinner we all eat together. Saturday and Sunday are definite eating together as a family. Every chance we get to be together we jump on. But I don't give up on a family dinner just because one person isn't there. It is still important to do it for everyone that is home.
 
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skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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Family dinner...i remember those. We try to do 3 on the weekend....Friday/Sat/Sun. But during the week it gets harder. If it was just D, it would be easy as we would all be home by 7. But A has scouts on Monday, robotics on Tuesday/Thursday. We try to eat together Wednesday, but it doesn't always work!
 

mommyof1

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My daughter is home late from activities four nights a week. On nights when one parent can't cook dinner while the other does pickup, our secret weapon is breakfast for dinner. We can get scrambled eggs or pancakes on the table while the gymmie is in the shower. And orange juice counts as a fruit, right?
 

gymmomtoo

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We haven't eaten dinner as a family on a regular basis in years. Right now with just kids at home I have one child (gymmie) at gymnastics from 3:30-8 (she eats when she gets home at 8:20). Then my youngest child is at swimming practice from 6:45-9:45 (bus time in there too). She eats before she goes to practice. Throw in hubby who doesn't get home from work until 7 and you can see we never eat together!
 

Bajanswife

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My daughter is home late from activities four nights a week. On nights when one parent can't cook dinner while the other does pickup, our secret weapon is breakfast for dinner. We can get scrambled eggs or pancakes on the table while the gymmie is in the shower. And orange juice counts as a fruit, right?
Dinner last night was scrambled eggs! I was out walking for exercise and picking up DD (no point coming home between when my work ends and when DD needs picking up - too far and too much traffic, so I go straight from work to exercise and then to pick up). DH had a headache and didn't cook the defrosted chicken like I expected. So we had eggs. It happens. I'd rather that than fast food take-out.
 

GymMom67

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Mar 12, 2013
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This is such a great thread. Right now, my DD is done by 6:30 and we're home by 7:00, so it's not a problem. But starting in January, she will most likely move to a schedule of 5:15-9:15 Mon/Tues/Thurs, and 4:30-8:00 on Friday. She'll probably be off on Wed., but my son has to be at a meeting at church at 5:30 on Wed., and we have to leave right after 5:00 to get there, so it kind of throws that day out as well. She's always starving when she gets home from school, so I was thinking I'll probably just have dinner ready by about 4:30 and let her eat before she go to the gym, so she'll have enough energy to make it through practice, and then let her have a snack when she gets home. This new schedule will be a big adjustment for all of us, for sure.
 

MaryA

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If it makes anyone feel better, my best friend is a demographer, and this summer, while we were discussing our crazy schedules (she is my best friend from high school and my college roomie... We now live half way across the country from each other and cram a lot of conversation into our summer visits) I said something along the lines of "they say children who are involved in after-school activities are happier/healthier and they say kids who eat a family dinner every night are happier/healthier... but it seems like the one doesn't allow for the other!" She assured me that a follow-up study was done to the "family dinner" study and that it's more about finding ways to connect. The act of eating had no impact one way or the other.

Quote from a quick google search...

"Two professors, Ann Meier and Kelly Musick, took a long deep look at the evidence for family dinners. They noted that academic achievement and positive teenage behaviors have been associated with families that ate together in a large number of studies. Yet when they delved into the data and stripped out the quality of family relationships, the degree to which parents monitored their kids, how they spent their time together and the availability of financial resources, suddenly the story changed. The researchers noted that, “We found no direct, lasting effects of family dinners on mental health, drug and alcohol use or delinquency.” It was family connections, not meals, that mattered."

So, while I'm not saying that you shouldn't look for times, including meal times, to connect as a family, I am saying that parents don't need to beat themselves up when it doesn't happen. Our dining room table is used more often as a holding bin for the week's detritus than it is for eating, but that doesn't mean I don't find lots of ways, including driving carpool to/from their activities, to connect with my family.
 

Ingwe

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Apr 14, 2009
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We haven't eaten together regularly as a family in years. Dd does not get home from gym until 10:00 pm 4 nights a week, other 2 kids are at their activites until late evening, DH plays softball 3 nights a week.....

We wing it, those who happen to be home eat together. Its a crazy life..
 
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dunno

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Apr 28, 2009
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the only family dinners i remember was Sunday's and pasta. that was during the B.G. era.:confused:
 
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