As mothers we are constantly bombarded with examples of what we are supposed to be doing. Pinterest abounds with creative examples of moms doing very cool things with their kids’ food, crafts and parties. And for the women who excel at that sort of thing, great for them! But not every mom has the time or interest in this sort of thing, and our kids won’t grow up scarred as a result. At the same time, the internet provides a lifetime worth of articles on parenting techniques and the latest research on how we’re messing up our kids. Half of these often contradict the other half, but we’re still all left feeling judged and guilty for what we’re doing wrong. The truth is, motherhood is hard and we can make it harder on ourselves by internalizing the guilt and feeling the need to compete with and constantly compare ourselves with other mothers. Someone recently posted a link on facebook to a relatively new, yet very good blog on the Cult of Perfect Motherhood. One of the lines in one of her posts is “Why are we all so afraid of what the other moms will think of us? Why do we see them as judges, instead of as sisters?” This resonated with me as I never want anyone to see my less processed blog as a judgement on how they feed their family.
My less processed journey came about when I realized one day that my pantry (or more accurately shelf since our kitchen sucks and we don’t have enough cabinets) was filled with mostly processed foods, and personally decided to change that. As I’ve been trying to eat less processed foods and share that journey through this blog, I’ve been amazed at how many other people have taken an interest. It’s so fun to see my friends and family as well as a few random people from other parts of the world follow my blog either through WordPress or Facebook.
One thing I worry about from time to time though is that some of these same family and friends will take my journey to mean that I am judging them. I never want to be at a playgroup and have another mom feel the need to explain or apologize for their kids’ fruit snacks. I am so far from the perfect mom that unless someone is actively abusing their child, I would have no room to judge. I yell. My kids watch entirely too much tv. I don’t always remember to read to them every day. Most days I can’t wait for their bedtime so I can unwind with a glass of wine or some non-kid tv or my own. The less processed thing is something I’m trying to be better at, but am far from militant about. There is a very inspirational blog called 100 Days of Real Food about a woman who takes a pledge to completely eliminate processed food from her family’s diet. I completely applaud her for her dedication, while simultaneously knowing I couldn’t realistically be that dedicated. So I do the best I can. And I know that most moms do the best we can.
If you find something useful for your family in my blog, awesome! I’m glad I can share something useful. If not, that’s cool too. Every mom has her own journey. This is just a blog about sharing mine.