Monday, January 27, 2014

mommy-guilt

Anytime I write something I feel is controversial with the intention of sharing, I end up editing into oblivion as to not offend.  This post has been sitting, ready to be shared for weeks.  But I've been so scared of upsetting anyone's delicate sensibilities, I've held off till now.  However...

Keep in mind, if you think this post is singling you out, it's not.  If you get offended, I'm sorry.  That wasn't my intention.  I just had a mental breakdown and thought you ought to know.



I have mommy guilt.  Not the, "I just hid in the pantry while I ate a pop tart" mommy guilt.  The soul deep, massive, overwhelming "my kids eat gluten and dairy and I don't buy organic everything and their teeth will fall out because I use granulated sugar and I buy fast food like once a week and we watch tv, use store bought deodorant, don't make our own laundry soap and they go to public school" kind of mommy guilt.  I am drowning in it.

I tell you, if one more person says to me that I shouldn't eat sugar/bread/pasta/non-free-range eggs/meat/poultry/dairy/processed-anything/canned food I will run screaming into Dunkin' Donuts barefoot and the police will find me there stuffing myself into a processed, sugary, gluten coma.

I often fall into despair when I make a grocery list.  My budget doesn't always allow me to buy only "the good stuff."

I feel shame because my kids *gasp* eat bread!

Why?!

Why do I beat myself up because I cook from scratch and yet I still feel like I'm not measuring up to Suzy Q. next door?

Am I really doing such a HUGE disservice to my family because I'm not gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian or whatever the next "free-arian" is?

Why am I, and the way I live, seemingly not good enough anymore?

Please note: I realize that many of these diets are very necessary for some people.  I have friends who I love that eat fermented food and I don't shun them.  I have others that get violently ill if they eat gluten and I am not saying they should.  I don't want them to be sick!  Certain people NEED to eliminate many things from their diet in order FOR their bodies to properly function and for them to be at their best.  I am not upset or annoyed or anything else with them for sharing their lifestyle and diets with us. 

I just want to know when did it become not ok to eat a normal, balanced diet?

I'm not talking about ding-dongs and diet coke for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch and potato chips and fried chicken for dinner all while you sit on your Hoveround.  I'm talking Brazil Butt Lift DVD's, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, a bit of dairy, chicken and beef... it's what's for dinner.

God gave us all one body and we should fuel it and take care of it to the best of our ability!  Which is what I try to do, but I can't do it ALL.

And everyday, on tv/facebook/instagram/pinterest I am bombarded by it all.  I am reminded that I'm not doing exactly what the experts say.  That somehow, in some way, I'm irrevocably messing it up.

And then I feel guilt.  Which leads to frustration.  Which leads to me hiding in the pantry and crying while I eat Stevia with a spoon.

It needs to stop.  And not just because Stevia is gross.

God doesn't ask me to be perfect.  (Which is a really good thing.  Because I obviously have "issues" with perfectionism...)

So this year, I'm just going to do my best.

And sometimes if my best is pizza from Papa Murphy's so I have more time to go play at the playground with my kids, or spend a few extra minutes talking to my husband about his day and not ignore him to go make dinner, then that's what it will be.

I will stop reading every-single-thing-about-every-single-diet so I don't feel shell shocked.

I will continue to mainly cook from scratch with quality ingredients.

I will make small dietary changes when necessary and not feel overwhelmed.

I will be confident in the knowledge that my family is happy and healthy, even though they didn't have $5 a doz. cage free eggs for breakfast.

I will be thankful that even when I can't afford a cart full of only "the good stuff" at the grocery store, I am provided for and able to afford groceries period.

Because I am good enough.

And if I stop stressing so much about food, maybe I'll have time to make my own laundry soap.

8 comments:

Robin said...

Very well said, ma'am. As mamas, I think we need to adopt the Stuart Smalley mantra, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

valarie quick said...

Awesomepossum! You have arrived at the Well of Forgiveness! Eat hearty, dance like it's fun, and enjoy God's blessings!!!

sashby07 said...

I agree!!! And what's wrong with a Twinkie and coke for breakfast every now and then. Lol. We tried paleo for a while. While we liked it, it wasn't realistic. I would rather spend time with my kids coloring or playing outside than half my day prepping for one meal. And I love my carbs and starches. You're doing an amazing job! As long as your kids are happy and healthy, screw em ("em" being the health freaks who cram their "perfect only way it should be" lifestyles down our throats!). Cheers to Taco Bell!! (For the record, that's when you made me mad at you and what I was reading.... Every time I hear "Taco Bell" I then crave it for the next few weeks and gorge myself on their tacos a little more than I should. Lol... Not really mad tho... But I'm going to have to get Taco Bell tomorrow... Stat!!)

Brynn said...

Oh Sarah! LOL! I don't know any "lifestyle crammers" personally but I'm sure they are out there. And for your Taco Bell, I am a Torchy's (local taco joint) fanatic. So I get it. Sorry. :)

Katrina said...

Well balanced and well written. Mommy guilt is definitely a huge problem -fueled even more by all the "perfect" images of things that we see on the internet and feel that we have to measure up. On the other hand, we are seeing a counter-culture of "I have a huge messed-up life and l'm proud of it" with a bunch of swear words thrown in. It reminds me a ton of the school yard - bash on the smart/talented/etc kids and glorify my loser-ness so that I feel better and my friends feel great being losers too. It's a delicate balance. So I found your post refreshingly balanced. You rock, Momma!

Leslie said...

Love it Brynn! Great post and I think you did an outstanding job communicating your feelings in a funny, lighthearted way while also making great points. -Leslie

Libby said...

AH-MAZING. I needed to read that. I'd rather impale myself on a sharpened breadstick than make my own laundry soap. My mommy guilt is pretty brutal too. ALSO, I tend to self-sensor because I hate the idea of offending some yet-unspecified person. Bravo, Brynn. Great read.

Ronnie said...

AMEN and AMEN!!!!