Monday, 5 November 2007

Motherhood & Food Choices!

I didn't watch the fireworks at Blackheath on Saturday. I wasn't there. I was wonderfully tucked away somewhere divine in the Cotswolds enjoying a heavenly break away from all the hustle and bustle of daily city living. You'd think that having secured a great family suite, booked nannies for the whole day to entertain my little one, and indulged in a lineup of spa treatments for myself and hubby that I'd have nothing to complain about. Of course not, that is not how things go with me.

What I am about to rant about is purely and solely my own personal opinion, not affected by anyone in particular and any resemblance to anyone (including the present reader) should be considered totally coincidental. I don't know you but if you fit the description then tough luck!

The little piece of Heaven I visited over the weekend is a very family oriented place. They provide a creche with the most updated toys and every technical gadget out there, from PlayStation to x-boxes to a fully functioning cinema theatre, you name it and the kids could get it. The menus on the other hand were not so accommodating and flexible so, here is where my rambling - if you would like to give my grievances a name - starts.

Of course I want my child to have a healthy meal. Of course I would want him to choose organic foods and of course I want him to be the perfect child who heads for carrot sticks instead of salty sticks and chooses strawberries over fudge cake any day. Of course I'd like him to turn away in disgust when faced with the option of fried fish and chips and go instead for a vegetable bake of cauliflower, broccoli and aubergine. Sure, I'd like that! I would applaud you if your kids were like that. Good on you! However, my son doesn't always fall into that category but I love him just the same, I am a great mother. Live with it!

I am so sick and tired of being judged and labelled by what my son puts into his mouth. We do make great food choices most of the time only he at time chooses not display them when we're out in public. And this weekend was just the case. All he wanted to eat the entire two days were fish and chips for dinner. Was that too much to ask? Obviously it was.

As soon as we tookk a look at that menu and our heart sank. We had promised him that if he was a good little boy all day and ate a good breakfast and lunch he got to choose whatever he wanted for dinner. We thought it was a fair deal and so did he. Sadly, the restaurant thought otherwise. When we placed our order here's the same conversation we had over two nights in a row with two different waitresses after they had sat us down and given us the menu:

Waitress: Good evening, So what have you decided for the little one tonight?
Me: Well, I'm afraid he doesn't want anything that is on the menu. Could he have the fish and chips?
Waitress (with a look of total disbelief): Really? nothing from the menu? But it is such a diverse menu. How come he doesn't want anything? (As if I were supposed to force feed him and give him no say in the matter).
Me: Well, they all seem like really yummy choices but all he fancies is fish and chips and this is a pub so you could get some for him?
Waitress (same look but with a condescending smile): Sure we have that, but wouldn't you have him choose a more healthy option like the organic varieties on the menu? All the other kids are having choices from the menu (and she looks at my son as if he were an alien with two heads)
Me (getting really annoyed now) and by now most of the eyes of the wholier than thou mothers had turned to this dialogue: That's very nice of you to suggest and usually he really likes vegetables very much, don't you mummy? (a big fat lie), but could I have the fish and chips tonight and if not then maybe I could have a word with the chef?
Waitress (not smiling anymore): Very well, I will make it fish and chips. And for dessert, the fruit salad or the chocolate fudge cake?
Me (smiling icily): The chocolate cake would be just fine thank you as he had fruit for lunch today (another big lie - but I had an audience that I couldn't let down).

So, that's how it went with minor changes the next evening. So my question is this: Why should I be put on the defensive and belittled by what my son chooses to eat on a specific day of the week? They don't live with us and see how or what we eat most of the week. They know nothing about us and if they want to sit back and convince me that their children don't put up a fuss at meal times, then all I have to say is rubbish!

Do you know that the worst Judges of women are other women? and the worst kind of women Judges are mothers. What is it about a woman that as soon as she falls into the 'mummy' category she becomes whollier than thou? This weekend I was literally told off to my face about giving bread and butter to my son. I was told off by a mother of three wild brats who mistakenly felt that she was better off than me because she had three kids (not one) who were all running wild in the restaurant but who ate their vegetables obviously. She had the audacity to make me feel uncomfortable and guilty about my son's dinner and I had the better behaved one. Give me a well rounded, well mannered kid any day and he can eat whatever.

Don't preach me what to feed my kid and I will leave you alone to do your own thing. Do we have to belittle other mothers to feel better at our own motherhood? Do we feel so dissatisfied with our roles as mothers that we try to find every possible situation to reassure ourselves that this is what we've always wanted to be and not only are we satisfied but are perfect at it? Wake up ladies, it's not a race! It's not perfect and motherhood is damn hard. You get no trophies either love, so stop trying too hard!


1 comment:

Knit Nurse said...

"Give me a well rounded, well mannered kid any day and he can eat whatever."