I am one of “those moms.”
I cause problems for other moms and dads and grandparents and teachers and anyone else who cares for my child.
I deprive my child of the joys of eating what everyone else is eating.
Yes, I am one of “those moms.”
Before I was a mom, I was a woman. Before I was a woman, I was a child. My mother was also one of “those moms.” She didn’t let me stuff my face with a bunch of candy at Halloween or cookies and treats at Christmas or treats from the Easter Bunny at Easter. She made sure I ate everything on my plate and that that plate was well-balanced with meat, potatoes and vegetables. She made sure I had fruit to choose from and that I had bread to eat. Milk was probably her biggest struggle. I preferred chocolate to white milk, so I didn’t get much milk.
She did the best she could with the income she had and by many people’s opinions, she did well.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am overweight or if we are going to medically accurate, I am morbidly obese. These words define me today just as they defined me for more than ten years. I was defined as overweight when I was in elementary school and all through high school.
I spent many years learning about how food affects me. I tried eating low fat and whole grains in order to lose weight. But I didn’t lose weight. I tried drinking a LOT more water in a day and I didn’t lose weight. I tried a lot of different things to lose weight and nothing really made a significant difference or was sustainable. But in the last year, I was introduced to the idea that cutting back on carbohydrates and cutting out grains. I found my quality of life improved drastically.
My husband and I decided to see if just cutting gluten would have any effect on our child. And it has. Just by giving him half of a Nutrigrain bar, our son has had horrible gas and abdominal cramping and he broke out in a rash. He has a reaction. It may not be the kind of reaction that requires an EpiPen, but he still is made to be uncomfortable and miserable. And when he is miserable, we’re miserable.
We understand incidents will happen when he will pick up and eat something he shouldn’t that someone else is eating. It happens, but the behavior should not be encouraged for several reasons other than the fact that he isn’t supposed to eat it. Taking another child’s food should be discouraged in general. We are all trying to encourage good manners in children. There are also issues if there is a possibility of passing a sickness, especially if the symptoms haven’t presented yet. This is another good reason to discourage taking another child’s food. Both of these reasons have nothing to due with my child’s diet.
Many may not agree with this decision or this choice to not allow our child to have gluten foods, but this isn’t their decision. It may be inconvenient and annoying when it would just be easier in this day and age to slap together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or toss him some Goldfish crackers when he is hungry. I have found some gluten-free versions of these convenience foods, but in our house, they are treats. For one, they are really expensive, and for two, he still does not need all those carbohydrates. He loves vegetables and fruit and meat.
“But won’t he feel left out when he is older?” I think that depends on our son. If all the other children are having chocolate cake, I can easily make a chocolate cupcake that fits within our diet for him as a treat. I am willing to as I said before buy gluten-free versions of foods as treats when necessary. I have been reading the stories of other parents who are also raising their children within these same nutritional guidelines, and occasionally, it does cause problems, at which point the parents makes the decision to find the best alternative. But my child is at the age right now that he isn’t bothered by these things yet. I am trying to find alternatives that I can make at home for cheaper than I can buy it in the store (doing this will also allow me to make it healthier if possible).
Because I am trying to make healthier meals and snacks at home, I am becoming one of “those moms.” But when I see how healthy and happy my child is, I don’t care if I am given such a label. I am going through all this “trouble” for my family. Maybe other mothers are intimidated by what I make or are jealous by thinking that I have huge amounts of time and energy to complete these recipes. My mother gave up many of the things she enjoyed to make sure that my brother and I had what she was told at the time was the best food for us. I have given up several hobbies in order to make sure we are all eating healthier. I also have a husband who is willing to watch our child when I run around the kitchen. I stay up late cooking if my child needs something for the following day.
I envy those mothers who are able to make their children’s clothes or Halloween costumes. I wish I had that ability and creativity. I would love to have the extra time to take my child to the YMCA for a swim. I wish our house was cleaner. There are areas in which I am not one of “those moms.” I don’t need a special award or special recognition for what I do accomplish, but I don’t deserve unnecessary criticism for focusing on what I decide is important in raising my child.