Saturday, August 28, 2010

Personal Forgiveness

I am so there.

I am in the middle of that week where DH has worked late, the kids have been screaming messes, my inbox is overflowing and I have hard work deadlines to meet next week. Not to mention that last week was the same high stress at work, and we hosted my folks all weekend. This was a true blessing, but instead of taking Sunday to rest, I threw a party and cooked a from-scratch meal from CSA and farmer's market ingredients for 7 adults and 4 kids. Don't misread me, I didn't mind having the party (I was thrilled-it was really fun), but now here I am with no clean laundry (laundry machines are 12 floors downstairs) and a freezer full of rock hard meat, blog posts to write, thank you notes from the kid's birthdays, soup and other real food kid staples to make, on top of the daily childrearing responsibilities I have before and after work, and I have exactly 2 hours a day to do these tasks. And the bonus? With the 6 hours of sleep I am getting every night and the frenetic pace of my everyday life I am feeling really run down, and maybe a little bitter.

I understand why parents turn to take out and lunchables. I am so there! I am not some magical meal planning fairy. I encounter the same real world obstacles you do. My kids ate salami sandwiches for dinner twice last week. But when someone jumped in front of my subway train last Thursday triggering the train's emergency brakes and trapping me underground in a 100 degree tin can for over an hour, what was I going to do? I give my kids dinner every night, the baby sitter does breakfast and lunch. She works a 10 and a half hour day, so when I waltz in an hour late, she is pretty much out of tricks.

I committed to eating real food and not turning to processed foods. I keep easy things (like whole wheat bread for sandwiches) at hand, but lately walking into the kitchen is daunting. I have a bowl full of tomatoes sitting on my table and one kid that eats them and one that doesn't. In fact in the last two weeks it seems that my kids are eating exactly opposite things, so someone is always screaming. And if you want to tell me 'keep with it, it takes 30 times before a child likes something'. That's all well and good, but I am not sure how to get my three year old to try something without physically prying open his mouth and shoving it in (and that didn't go so well...and no, I am not kidding).

Right under the header for my blog I show my mission statement. The most important part of that is NO JUDGEMENT. Where I am right now is why. I took a client to lunch the other day and all I can wonder is whether or not my hamburger was made from grass fed meat (it probably wasn't), or if the aioli was made from olive oil or soybean oil (probably GMO soybeans) and while I am positive that the french fries were real potatoes and not frozen, they too were probably fried in GMO soybean oil. But I did pass on the ketchup with HFCS, at least that was clearly written on the label.

Everyday I try to make the healthiest choices for me and my family. This week I had no energy and a fridge full of weird food. So what did I make? Pasta. I sauteed some tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and then poured in some white wine. Then I threw in a can of chickpeas and a bit of fresh parsely. I finished it with a handful of feta cheese. It sounds really good right? Well it wasn't. The kids HATED it and even I didn't care for it. Thing 1 tried one chickpea, but only after he saw the cat eat one. He hated it and spit it out on the table for me to clean up. This just wasn't a winning recipe, the whole bean and pasta combo was really misguided.

But today I forgive myself, I did the best with what I had. I didn't order in. Small victories. I am going to take this one day at a time. A wise Weight Watcher's leader once said to me 'If you forgot to brush your teeth one night, would you never brush your teeth again?' This is really true, taking care of ourselves is day in and day out. Don't stop now, everything good thing you do counts in bettering your life. Even if you only make a couple of changes like going to whole wheat bread and grass fed meat, you are better off than you were before. And I won't judge you for just being where you are today.


  1. +1
    We can only do our best. Thanks for your honesty.
    I feel guilty at times as well, but my wonderful hubster reminds me that we feed our child the best food we can manage with both of us working full time.

  2. It is hard, especially when your kids are just changing over after being trained to like the artificial tastes of fat, sugar, and processed corn. The best I can tell you is to figure out a couple of easy meals that everyone will eat and use those as backup. For us, it's tostadas, stove top mac n cheese, and spaghetti.

    It is hard when you realize you don't have anything grab n go, and to GET something grab n go means you have to prepare something on a different day! Planning ahead isn't my strong suit.

    Picky toddlers - have you thought of making a batch of healthy pancakes, and freezing them, or waffles? Will he eat those? Hang in there.

  3. Thanks ladies! It really is alot of work to do this, but our health is worth the extra effort.
    I have been meaning to buy a waffle maker recently, but when I say I don't have a place to put it in our 80 sq ft kitchen, I ain't kidding. I should make some pancakes and freeze them though. That is a great idea!

  4. I've been in the same boat. In fact, yesterday I was thinking the same exact thing that there really isn't anything grab n go to eat that isn't processed. For my grab n go I end up grabbing fruit but that's not always available. I admire your goal of eating more healthier, we're doing better in our family but you are definitely a couple steps ahead of us. Keep up the good work!

  5. I don't even have kids yet, just me & the hubbie & I still struggle to deal with real cooking somedays. It is a constant battle in this instant gratification society to remember that real really is better, even if it takes more effort. 'Cause when work has been stressful & you finally get home, cooking is the last thing you want to think about. And while it sounds like a great idea to do lots of cooking on Sunday and then freeze it for the week, who really does that consistantly?

    Good for you for not judging yourself. Women are awful at that, aren't we? Just remember there are lots more of us out there struggling with you. And you are doing a great job of leading the way! :)