I just avocado’d myself…
If you are confused by that opening, I’m referring to a rather brilliant and hilarious piece written by HuffPuff blogger Glennon Melton. While I highly recommend reading it for yourself here, the basic gist is a mother recognizing that when people do seemingly amazing things for their children, they actually aren’t doing it to spite you. They really are doing it for their children (at least in most cases). So just chill out, we all have our virtues and faults as parents.
Yesterday I had an avocado moment, but ironically, it was for doing something good for my own child. Picture this – art class for 2-5 year olds. Lots of red clay, lots of mess, lots of fun – genuinely good times. In the middle of it all, there was a break that involved reading a story and … Snack Time. I dread public Snack Times. This is purely self-imposed because I’m rather strict about what my child eats. Call me crazy, but I don’t need my Toddler Tornado to transition from a whirling dervish into a F5. I also want her to maintain some semblance of lifelong health. So I fight to keep sugar at a minimum and no processed phoods (phood = phony food), among other things. But Snack Time seem to have been created specifically for the purpose of defying my food ideals.
And yes, there it was… fruit punch and…wait for it.. peanut butter crackers.
Ok I love peanut butter and I have no objections for it for my own child. But my first thought was, “Are you people insane?! Peanut butter is like playing Russian roulette with children these days.” Then I sat fascinated, waiting for the first parent to freak out.
No one did. Every child sat there eating quite gleefully. Even the peanut butter. The one parent that was silently freaking out? ME…because I had brought my child’s own snack.
When asked if my Tornado wanted a snack, I heard myself babbling incoherently, “Oh no thanks, I brought her own snack. Because… because… ha ha ha, yeah I’m ‘that’ parent. That one people dread. Ha ha ha….” * voice trails off *
Here I was, judging myself for bring a healthy snack for my own child. To be fair, a friend of mine brought a snack for her child too so I wasn’t totally alone here. She just had the gumption not to apologize for it.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how often I’m apologizing for looking out for my child’s health. Look, I’m not the perfect parent. I’m failing gloriously in other areas, but when it comes to her health, I’m doing pretty well, and I should never apologize for it. But with all the “mommy wars” pacifism going on (which has some excellent points to be made) I’m realizing that those of us who are working hard at being the very best parent we can be can be just as easily made the villain. We feel constantly feel the need to justify ourselves for actually doing something GOOD for our children. In fact, we probably judge ourselves harder than anyone else.
So yeah, I’m bringing my own snack for child events so she doesn’t eat phood and who knows what else…you gotta problem with that? ;-)