So I have a problem with what my children are being fed at nursery.
But the real problem is how I go about addressing this. As an educated, independent mother of two why all of a sudden have I been struck mute on the subject of how my children are cared for….(and by way of a bit of context…i did my visits, checked the menu – it looked good, spoke to the chef who assured me they only served healthy food etc… etc… it is also only one of two nursery in the area, the other is full)
I feel precious.
So I do understand that as children get older the food horizons broaden -that might include an ice cream on the beach, or a burger on a road trip, but surely these should be by exception? Surely it should not be common place in places designed to be leaders in child care.
Am I being unreasonable to point out that Angel Delight, Ice Cream, Jelly and Custard are not the most nutritionally sound of desserts?
It’s not a rhetorical question. I need to know.
All I do know is that 1. I wouldn’t eat these because they are essentially ‘junky’ and would make my muffin top larger than it is already, and 2. what about a real food pudding, a fruit and crumble or wait up, a piece of melon, or a carrot muffin. I am not anti dessert, I am anti junk. Is wanting real, less sugar-filled, naturally coloured food an odd, out of the normal, overly precious want?
I feel cruel.
How can I say I want my children to eat something different while the rest of their peers tuck into bowls of custard and ice cream. I don’t want them to be social pariahs. I don’t want them to be the ones nursing a sorry looking banana thinking ‘our …evil…witch mother wont let us have a delicious piece of chocolate brownie…again’.
I cant explain the concept of being cruel to be kind to a two year old, and I kind of resent being put in a position by somewhere which should be the ‘best of places’ for children, that I need to be considering it.
The irony is that I am a mother for whom motherhood has been the dawning but certain realisation that I am not just here to facilitate what my child wants and rather what they need. … that might make me sound like a bitch, but you know what … no ones toddler makes wise choices faced with a bowl of Malteesers verses a bowl of grapes. Fact. So again its not a rhetorical question… am I being mean spirited?
I feel like ‘that mother’.
God no one wants to be ‘that women’.. seriously I have enough friends who are teachers to know that being the ‘pain in the arse parent’ is not a winning solution.
I also like the people who work at nursery. I don’t want them to think of me as that hoity toity mother for whom nothing is ever good enough. I am not a confrontational person. I don’t want to tell them that they are wrong. Tell them that I think their lazy and/or uneducated approach isn’t on. Tell them that I think they are acting against the best interests of the children in their care. Because that is how it will come across.
I feel like I will be perceived as critical of all those mothers who don’t mind.
…who haven’t complained. Who feed there children like this on a regular basis. Broadly speaking I am not. Each to their own.
The problem with the parents isn’t that everyone doesn’t love their child – but that that love is expressed differently. Because, by and large, we are all doing our best, doing things differently is by default criticising some one else – they chose to do something else. It is a bloody minefield.
Do I privately think you’re stupid if you feed your child McDonald’s 4 times a week? Yes. Do I think your failing if all your 4 year old will eat is ice cream, Doritos and Lucozade for breakfast lunch and tea. Yes. Am I verging on saying that allowing your child to drink Red Bull is tantamount to abuse. Yes.
Would I be so impolite as to tell you this. No. But then that is because I think I am right on these issues.
What if I am not?
What if asking for the food world I want for my children is equally as mental as I think letting your child eat a whole pack of cookies is?
For those of you starting to hate me I will also say that individual parents are not organisations taking money to look after children. Organisations who should be setting an example. Who have the unique opportunity to be better than all the harangued and sporadically lazy parents out there. They are literally qualified professionals. They have the opportunity to make a HUGE difference and they are squandering it because ice cream is an easy bloody option. Thats not professional in my opinion. Is it just me?
I feel judged.
For all my passionate outpourings. ..just so you have me right. I have a bar … a large bar… of half-eaten Dairy Milk in my fridge. I am writing this at the kitchen table where I am drinking a cup of tea that I wish had sugar in it. I am a size 12 ‘waddler’ rather than ‘runner’. I wear tummy tuck control pants if I need to wear a dress and would like to be 5kg lighter. I would probably fall into the ‘comfort eater’ category and crave the self discipline of the Ellas of this world.
How can I expect to be taken seriously when clearly I haven’t got a grip of clean eating myself? I am akin to a non practicing Jew who demands her children don’t eat pork while eating a bacon sandwich. WTF? No one likes those kind of hypocrites.
So what am I entitled to say? What is reasonable to expect? Am I going to turn around in 3..6..9 years time and say ‘no damage done’ if I say nothing? Am I going to consider myself as a failure by not standing by the courage of my convictions? Am I in fact being that failure now?