The Dinner Table: Simplicity & Quality of Life After Trauma
Have you heard the saying, "Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it" by Peter Walsh? 

I know we're all busy.  I know we all feel like we're already doing the best we can.  Families have a new level of difficulties in parenting that no one could have predicted.  It can be beyond hard. 

But life is also really fragile.  It is especially fragile if you or your family has been through trauma.  Life means too much to stay stuck in a whirlwind of stress, particularly within your own home. 

Your job might be beyond your control. Your choice for educating your children might be beyond your control at the moment.  Lots of details about your life might be out of your control.  But the atmosphere created within the walls of your home can be influenced greatly!  Children are in desperate need of simple connection every day.  Kids have always needed that but they do now more than ever.   I see it everyday as a teacher. 

I personally experienced this for years.  Still, even though we struggled in lots of ways growing up, my mom had an unexpected super power.  She prepared simple food every single day and we ate at the dinner table. EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL. It didn't matter what the meal was.  We always ate at the table.  Together.  It was an unspoken rule that none of us questioned. It didn't matter if we were eating microwaved leftovers or Thanksgiving.    

This might sound like an insignificant thing. Not to the wise.  They know that togetherness at meals and routines for impoverished families is crucial for survival.  They also know that routines for ordinary things is the heartbeat of stability.  Kids need stability almost as much as they need love.  Ask any primary teacher.  They will tell you that kids can't learn if they don't feel secure. They literally build trust that way.   

I want to caution you to slow down, if you haven't already.  Make it a habit to eat together as often as possible.  Make it a routine to sit and talk about the lives of each person present at that table.  It does matter what you are serving, but that is less than important in the scheme of what kinds of conversations you get to have.  Sometimes your kids might not say a word.  Don't lose heart. They still need it. 

Quality of life can only follow survival mode if you decide that you want it.  It can and should be simple.  Making it a complicated routine could stifle it.  Don't let that happen.  Your children are depending on you to make your home a simple, loving haven from the stress of the world.   Even kids are experiencing levels of unnecessary levels of anxiety.   Let your home and the routines within that home be a soothing antidote to the stress outside.  

Pray together. Love one another. Eat together. Just be together.  


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