I make no secret of the fact that I am a less than perfect mum. In fact, I think the reason people like to read this blog is because it makes them feel good about the way they parent. At the very least, they learn that they are not alone in their sub-par efforts.
But if I’m being really honest, I should probably admit that I’m not always being really honest. There are some things that I feel more embarrassed about and therefore, less inclined to share. It is surely a sign of the clean eating times that I am less inclined to admit some of the things I allow my children to eat than I would be if my child repeated a swear word.
Food is such a complex topic now. Exactly what constitutes healthy and who decides? The onslaught of information is one thing but the fact that much of it is contradictory and it appears to be written by people with questionable authority. It just leaves me throwing my hands in the air. Who is right?
And while the ‘experts’ fight over which foods you should be eating, it means zilch to two children who have their own ideas about what they will and won’t eat. I believe that school lunches will be the unravelling of my last shred of sanity.
I am reasonably happy if I send E off to school with a cheese spread sandwich, a piece of fruit, a piece of cake and some kind of dairy product. But then I read an article on Facebook that basically said none of the commercially available yoghurts marketed for kids are healthy, not even the organic ones. I couldn’t tell you who the author of the article was and what level of expertise they had to be making the claims that they were, but the seed had been sown. Suddenly a food choice I had thought was a sound one was in question.
And then there was the time I was scrolling through Instagram on my phone when I came across a photo of a mother and child sharing a lettuce. The captain said about how a mother and child sat in the sunshine sharing a lettuce. I felt instantly and deeply ashamed that I had never thought to do anything like that with my kids.
So in this age of social media, the messages about what GOOD mums feed their PRECIOUS kids are relentless. Meanwhile tired mothers everywhere are slinking through fast food drive-thus feeling like criminals.
And while I’m confessing, you may as well know my five year old loves fast food fries. I can’t even explain how this happened because like most parents, I made a pledge never to feed my children at ‘family restaurants,’ but hello, and welcome to reality, where the lolly bribes are rife and the TV is on all day long.
What I have taken on board is that using the freshest ingredients in their most natural state is optimal. This makes sense and I think most of us rely far less on packaged goods we have in the past. It’s a great thing. But I also know that I’m never going to keep chickens or make everything from scratch.. I like the idea of home grown fruit and vegetables but not the actual growing them part.
My kids are happy and healthy. They have bright eyes and boundless energy. They eat fruit and vegetables every single day. I wonder if I can give myself a break for a second and acknowledge that this is practically perfect parenting?
Because we mum’s don’t. We don’t acknowledge the great things we do – every single day. We keep it all together, sometimes under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and yet we choose to focus on perceived failures instead. It’s exhausting to be so critical ALL THE TIME. I know you understand where I’m coming from.