As I get older, I sound more and more like my mom. Realizing that it’s not a bad thing, must be what others call, maturity. I have similar worries, agendas, dreams. However, I’m raising my family very differently.
Like most of us, I was called inside to sit down at the kitchen table to eat a family dinner every night. My mom always set out bread and butter. We all drank milk, no exception. We usually had meat, veg and starch. The most adventurous meal my mom cooked was her Mexican casserole, which was Fritos and Nalley’s chili with some cheese (Velveeta).
When I was very little, I ate proudly like my dad. Trying whatever was offered. Then one day, I noticed my mom didn’t use salad dressing. I was about 5 and my baby brother had just been born, so to complicate life, I became the pickiest eater ever. Gone were the days of trying new flavors. Everything I ate was packaged, processed and plain. Potatoes became a vegetable and apples or strawberries were my only fruit. Meat had to be plain and usually nothing touched anything else. The only sauce I’d even consider was ketchup and even that I only liked certain brands. I let my diet become complicated by using my crohns as an excuse. It was the ideal excuse to hide behind because no one wanted me to be hospitalized. I found ways so I wouldn’t have to be adventurous, and so, I still ate very basic meals and snacked…a lot. Unfortunately, as I became a parent, my palate had not made many changes.
During my pregnancy, I took my diet very serious. I limited all sugary things. I didn’t have any caffeine the whole time. My crohns even took a vacation. Now, to say I watched what I ate would be pretty subjective. Compared to my per-pregnant ways of facing face first into a bag of Doritos, I was doing great. But, to compare my new foods to a truly healthy person, well, they would have laughed at my attempt. In the end, I did successfully have a healthy gorgeous baby boy.
I proudly made my son fresh organic baby food and he loved almost everything I served. That was a short-lived phase that went nicely into the processed food phase. Well, maybe era. He quickly realized that mommy and daddy ate differently. My husband will eat anything, and I won’t. My son picked up my habits and then improved upon them by finding new ways to limit his foods that I never even dreamed up. He gagged. Yep, he gagged anytime something was offered to him. This would include plastic pretend food. The goal of branching out began.
Whenever I asked my son to try something, to play fair, I’d try it as well. I’m not a very good actress, so when it was “gross”, it was really hard to talk him into trying it next. I found some foods weren’t so bad. However, I also found myself letting my son get away with being picky so I wouldn’t have to try it either. As a family, we ate the Standard American Diet, which really is sad. We knew it was bad for us but each meal can be justified. We are tired. Don’t have anything to make. Never enough time. Grabbing something is easier, faster and everyone can get what they want. We chowed through many bags of grease and constantly talked about how we were going to eat better soon. We filled our fridge full of foods that would spoil before getting used. We always had great intentions. I felt so much grief.
As a stay at home mom, dealing with a digestive disease, you’d think I’d have the time and inspiration to feed my family better than talking my husband into grabbing something on his way home. The guilt I had was compounding daily. Each food choice, I’d know was bad even as I handed it to my son, added another layer of guilt. Every time my guts rebelled, more guilt. Then my husband would go through phases that we didn’t follow. He’d be on some fad diet, usually restricting the heck out of everything, and eating foods I’d never dream of even trying. So, he’d be eating healthy and with guilt, my son and I would be eating junk.
Fast forward to now. We looked at what we had become and decided to make some changes. We have a son that loves music but would rather not play sports. My husband had worn out his excuse of having back surgery and was looking toward a new phase of going healthy, maybe. Me? Man, I’m always jumping into things only to drop it like a hot potato halfway through. You should see the half-finished ottoman I have in my bedroom.
Wish me luck.