The small change that gave me my night (and my sanity) back

I have a confession to make. I have hated dinner time in my house for a really long time. I find it exhausting, depleting and just utterly annoying. This is not a problem most health coaches really have, mind you…but it was very true for me.

I got tired just thinking about dinner which I started doing everyday at 4pm when I’d begin the process of making something for the kids. By 5pm, they were starving and I barely had dinner on the table by the time they came running. Fast forward through a very quick and messy dinner and I was left with a pile of pans, dishes and usually lots of food on the floor. With my husband home around 6pm, I’d begin cleaning up and prepping for our dinner ~ never getting very far because of the baths and books and bedtime routines. By the time I’d get back downstairs to cook dinner #2, I just wasn’t interested in eating it anymore. The second dinner and second cleanup seemed like way too much effort. By the time we finished on most nights, it was nearing 9:30pm.

How ridiculous is that? Would you believe this has been going on for the better part of 3 years?

It was dragging me down so much recently that I finally had enough. I see this with my clients all the time. They’re trudging through, having a difficult time of it but are still unwilling to make a change and then…bam, they’re done.

So – we finally have a new dinner routine that makes me so happy AND gives me back my nights. Family dinners! One meal that we all eat at a reasonable time, one clean up and it’s done. I had always pictured us eating together and wondered how other families managed to pull this off with small children.

Obviously, this is not a novel concept, but I had been putting up excuse after excuse as to why it wouldn’t work for us: my husband gets home too late, the kids are hungry too early, they would never eat what we eat, etc..  Time and time again what proves to be true is this: the biggest obstacle to change is taking that very first step. 

Suddenly our nights are different and so much better. My husband gets home a little earlier from work, I plan out our meals in advance and try to make them as simple as possible and we all sit down together. The best part? We’re done with the kitchen cleaned by 6:30pm.  And there you have it, my husband and I just got our nights back. 

Little steps to move forward and to make a change away from what feels hard and tiring and into something I’ve always pictured for my family. I feel pushed and challenged by this new routine, but so happy with the outcome.

What about you? What part of your day weighs you down and what little steps can you take to inch forward to something better?


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