This post is sponsored by Ski D'Lite yoghurt.
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. And it is surely a sign of the paleo/clean eating/whole foods times that I am less inclined to admit some of the things I allow my children to eat than I am to admit that I once called my child a ‘f@!k.’
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 authored by people with questionable authority just leaves me throwing my hands in the air. Who is right? And is wine healthy because I just drank a vat of it at exactly a minute past five….
And while the ‘experts’ fight over whether coconut will save us all, it means zilch in the face of three children who all 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 truly do.
I am no Bento box maker but I was reasonably happy if I sent my kids off to school with a vegemite sandwich, a piece of fruit, a homemade cookie 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 were great, not even the organic ones. Now 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 kitchen bench with an iceberg lettuce bathed in the glow of the late afternoon sun and a tow-headed toddler sitting joyfully beside it. The caption explained that this little boy and his mother had just polished off the entire head of lettuce together. Just sitting at the kitchen bench, chowing down on lettuce leaves. I felt instantly and deeply ashamed that I had never thought to do that with my kids. I kicked myself that it had never occurred to me to share a lettuce with my children.
So in this age of social media, the messages about what GOOD mums feed their PRECIOUS kids are relentless, and meanwhile tired mothers everywhere are slinking through fast food drive-thrus feeling like criminals.
And while I’m confessing, you may as well know my three-year-old has an addiction to 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 plenty of sense and I think most of us rely far less on packaged goods than we may 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 tried making my own yoghurt for a while, but it was never creamy enough and Brendon was the only one who would eat it. I like the idea of homegrown vegies but not the actual growing them part.
So I’ll never be a wholefoods blogger but I reckon I’m doing okay. My kids are happy and healthy. They have bright eyes and boundless energy. They eat fruit and vegies every single day. I wonder if maybe I can give myself a break for a second and acknowledge that this is practically perfect parenting?
Because we mums don’t. We don’t acknowledge the great things we do – every single day. We keep shit 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, mamasitas!
Ski D'Lite, now with 25% less sugar, is embracing "Practically Perfect Parenting." They interviewed a bunch of kids to find out how they really see their mums and results can be seen in this cute vid:
And then I made my own cute vid!
I know it's a campaign to sell yoghurt, guys, but the take away message is a good one: we're doing okay at this parenting gig, and probably a lot better than we think. Don't sweat the non-organic, deep fried stuff.