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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I take that back...about guilt...

Here I am eating humble pie.  If only it would truly make me humble.

So much for not having Mommy-guilt.

I spoke too soon.

Because at supper tonight Timothy was reluctant to eat his refried beans and cilantro rice.  Never mind the leftover salmon crepes.  All he wanted was applesauce and PB&J, which clearly was not on the menu.

So then I urged him to eat just one bite.  He would have none of it.  Then the crisis comes.  Is this a battle I want to wage?  Do I really care if he eats the beans and rice?  Is it worth it?  Am I a bad Mom if I back off?

The debate goes on in my head: should I make an issue of this?  My instinct says NO.  I wouldn't want to be forced to eat when I don't want to, nor would I want to be forced to eat something I don't particularly care for.  But I am not a child and have developed a wide range of appetites for varied consumables.  Don't I want my kid to be as versatile in epicurean delights as my highly developed self?!  At this point in the evening I didn't really care.  Then I feel like a whimpy Mom.

This is the kind of fake guilt I'm talking about.  I imagined a friend of mine with a healthy sense of boundaries over herself and her kids.  I thought surely she would get her kid to eat the beans.  (Here begins fallacy no. 2: comparing).  Maybe I should be as firm and consistent as she is.  Then I thought of her child.  Poor child.  Having such a force to reckon with.  (Begin fallacy #Ilostcount: criticism of the Mom you're secretly jealous of).

I mean, if I want to eat applesauce over rice and beans, I simply help myself to the applesauce.  Why should I expect different from my child.  Because he's a child, not an adult - that's why.  I go round and round.  I play silly games in my head.  This is a waste of time.

Because ultimately kids grow up even if they didn't get forced into eating their beans and rice.  Mommy-guilt tries to pull us into focussing on the non-essentials of motherhood.  These are valid issues, for sure.  Just do they need to consume us?  I think not.

So, from one not-generally-guilty Mom to another: I do  know what it means to have Mommy guilt.

Now, do you have any suggestions for me as to the matter of the rice and beans?  I'm all ears.


2 comments:

  1. Once, my 7 yr old rejected what was prepared for dinner. After yelling (gasp!) he was not being thankful for food, I promptly sent him off to bed,starving. He never dared complained abt what he has to eat anymore.

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  2. Sarah, I don't know the answer. With some kids, a one-time thing becomes a precedent set and a habit hard to break. But...the other side is that generally, we want to treat our children as we'd like to be treated, just as you said. I once made a little boy eat shrimp (it was a big treat to have at our house and we were NOT fixing something else). He whined and said it made him sick. I left for a meeting, and my poor husband spent the next several hours with a vomiting child. He was allergic to shrimp- truly! Talk about being humbled :).

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