Well what a week. First week back at school for the kids. A busy Easter making lots of happy memories. I decided to spend this first week of…
freedom being mum getting lots of jobs I have been building up in my head that needed doing around the house. I’ve decided I can’t keep doing this… I need to start freeing up my headspace. It gets so over crowded I can’t focus on the important stuff. I have spring cleaned organised the house a little better as I find it makes my anxiety manifest… does anyone else experience this? Am I just weird…
So this is the start of me trying to prioritise and focus on one thing at a time! Another step closer to understanding how our crazy minds work sometimes and adapting to making it work so that life doesn’t get too much!
So anyway I thought I would go back to the beginning of being a new mum…Fingers crossed some of you may learn a thing or 2 so that you can just get the kids on the right path to begin with. So here goes…
Can you remember what it was like when you held your little bundle of joy for the first time. A love like no one can prepare you for. You vow to do the best by this little person and do everything by the book. All you want is for your child to grow up healthy and happy…
You get to the weaning age and the excitement of watching them eat something for the first time is this massive occasion. Everyone is sitting around this poor child starring and eagerly awaiting to see the expression they may pull. What an anticlimax. They usually spit the whole lot out. Obviously this is normal behaviour. Its a new experience for them. They have to learn what on earth they are supposed to do with this tasteless thick paste you have just put in their mouth. I’m quite sure in the last 6-7yrs this tasteless paste is probably a sweet tasting thick paste? Let me know! Baby led weaning wasn’t even a thing then or maybe it was but not quite as popular as it is today.
As the weeks and months pass by new flavours are given to try. Some they like some they hate but this is where most of us go wrong. They need to learn to like the foods they are eating and the only way they will do this is if it is repeatedly given to them.
I remember many occasion where I would feel like I had failed as a mother if my girls would not eat the food I’d made. You begin to feed them foods you know are not as nutritiously acceptable as you once set out because you just want to survive meal time…
Wow going out in public… now where do I start with this one. Its like the devil has taken over your child and they have turned from an angelic little girl into a she devil horns and all… tantrums in the middle of the supermarket. Your wishing the floor would just open up so that you could fall inside and hide until its all over… giving them treats to shut them up and bribe them sometimes feels like your only option! My husband will openly admit eating out with our 2 was hell. He hated it and would always say can we just not! When I did manage to persuade him the pick of the menu with mine was always chicken nuggets and chips. It was safe. I knew they would eat it and not be hungry. You know it has very little nutritional value but us mums just need an easier life.
If I had my time again I would have persevered with the first stage… Weaning! They may have learnt to like other things. I do also know that as part of development it is quite normal for a child to say they do not like it…just to piss us off! They probably actually love it. Its the No and Why stage… if your not there yet good luck! If you are there have faith in yourself that you can get through this bit unscathed and just do your best. There will be days when chicken and nuggets is what they eat but balance it with healthier choices too.
I see myself as lucky and would never preach to anyone that it’s easy because my girls were not as bad as some kids. They do ok when it comes to eating now! They are not the worst. They dislike fizzy drinks. They are not massive fans of fruit juices (they do drink squash though), like most children they love chocolate and sweets… but they have never really enjoyed the foods that I love to eat. I should actual rephrase this I always assumed they would not like the same foods as me therefore I would give them something I know they would like.
I longed for them to enjoy a wider variety of foods other than pasta in shop bought sauces 5 different ways….and chicken nuggets and chips on a Friday because its the only thing they would ask for when it was daddy’s turn to cook.
Until recently their diet weighed heavily on these dinner choices! On the occasions I would cook everyone the same it broke my heart when I’d slave away over the dinner only for them to turn their nose up before they’d even try it!!! I’ve actually cried and shouted and got so completely stressed out and irrational over it. You feel like there is no point and cave in to something you know they would like. Sweets, chocolate and biscuits were a regular occurance and crisps nearly everyday.
Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these things but only on occasion or in moderation. The pasta I made was always using a jar of sauce and then smothered in a ton of cheese. A lot of the time they didn’t even have a vegetable with it. Biscuits were always in the house and a packet of crisps when they got in from school even if they’d had some already in their lunchbox. I do think depriving a
child anyone of nice foods actually makes a person want it more but you need to find a balance. I did away with the treats in the house for my own sanity… I am probably worse than they are at control. A secret binge eater with a lot of unhealthy habits. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the post I made of my face to face transformation nearly 9yrs apart…
Fast forward to now after changing my own lifestyle I knew I couldn’t stop at my own health. Theirs is more important to me than mine but obviously a healthy mummy is equally as important to role model and raise these beautiful children.
As a girl I didn’t want to have mine growing up with the same unhealthy attitude I had towards food. It really has been pretty bad when I look back over the years. And I think of all the fad diets they have been exposed to and witnessed me trying. The amount of times I would say I am fat in front of them. All things us women with low self esteem do and say. Having to explain why mummy was having something different to them at dinner time. Now the only time I eat something different is if it is something I know they really wouldn’t want to eat like a hot and spicy curry or chilli but even this I adapt for them and spice my own up. Otherwise we eat exactly the same! We love our #fakeaway nights!
I always always eat with them. I feel very strongly about this. I think its fundamental to help a child build their relationship with food into a healthy one. Its important for them to see what is normal behaviour at the dinner table. A chance for them to see that it is acceptable to try food and it’s ok to not like everything but to know we can still try things again. I quite often serve the dinner into dishes… maybe a bit old fashioned but it then gives them the feeling of choice and control. This clever mind trick definitely works with my eldest daughter as she certainly likes to think she’s in control! Kids, sugar and healthy eating…are you ready to make some changes?
Slowly we are making break throughs… we are adding to our list of things they like on a weekly basis now. Food has become interesting and fun for them. Niamh confessed to me just yesterday that she now likes tomatoes… now I’m quite sure she has just developed this like for them as I was exactly the same but we have just learnt to keep trying things and see if we develop the taste buds to like them… whats the saying you need to try something 10 times before you can truly say you do not like something. We work to this rule and the girls actually get involved. How I get my children to try new things..
I am not a typical pushy mum… they still know how to work around me with food. Put them inside a sweet shop and they behave like they have never had a sweet in their life… life is not that hard on them believe me!
For me its about teaching them what a healthy lifestyle is and living it (Fitness with the kids…how I keep mine active). They have school dinners because its free for Ellie and quite frankly I am not someone to make the most of it. Its a whole separate blog isn’t it school dinners! I know they could be a lot healthier but they now quite often come home and proudly tell me they chose the fruit instead of the cake for their pudding at school… this just makes me giddy inside.
Its working… not perfect but its a whole lot easier than it was a few years ago.