After a recent trip to the grocery store with both of my boys in tow, I was chatting with my mom on the phone. I mentioned the fact that the kids had thrown a number of “junk food” items in my cart to eat for lunch that day. Their selections? Hot dogs, Cheetos, and peanut butter cookies.
My mom laughed and jokingly said, “what would people think of the The Seasoned Mom feeding that stuff to her kids?!”
Please notice the giant-size bin of cheese balls in the background. On this particular day, that was “afternoon snack.”
That’s when it occurred to me: people who don’t know me well, and who only see very brief snippets of our life on this blog, may make certain assumptions about the way I raise my kids. Well, today I’m here to set the record straight!
Yes, I let my boys eat Cheetos and Oscar Mayer hot dogs. No, not all of the baked goods in our house are homemade. And yes, my kids are very familiar with the McDonald’s Happy Meal. And you know what? I’m totally fine with that. My ultimate goal as a mom is to raise healthy, happy kids. In my mind, that means balance in all aspects of our life.
Balance means different things to different people, but to me it means doing the best that I can, at any given time. Sometimes the best that I can do is a can of chicken noodle soup for dinner or a carry-out pizza. But often, I do manage to put together a homemade meal that even includes a few vegetables. While they might have Kraft mac and cheese some days, they also eat a variety of organic lean meats, seafood, whole grains, and locally-grown fruits and veggies on a regular basis. It all balances out in the end, right?
And while I try to keep my boys busy with art, activities, and books, they also have plenty of downtime when they play with an iPad or watch a TV show. Again, I’m fine with this. Crafts, field trips, and learning experiences help to keep my kids entertained and active, which ultimately leads to less fighting and a less-stressed mom. But sometimes an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t all bad when I just need a few minutes of peace to get dinner in the oven. Again, in my mind it’s about balance.
I don’t blog about the fights that my kids have over trucks, or the arguments that they have over the remote control. You don’t hear about our struggles with weaning from the pacifier or our sometimes less-than-desirable behavior in public. Hearing me whine or vent my frustrations probably wouldn’t make for very interesting or helpful posts, and it’s certainly not what I choose to dwell on – especially when I have so many wonderful things to be thankful for.
So the next time that you feel as though you’re in over your head, you can’t possibly change another diaper, or you will absolutely explode if you have to listen to one more temper tantrum in the aisles of Target….believe me – I’ve been there, and so have all of the other moms out there. Take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back. We’re all doing our best and our children thank us for that. Even when our best isn’t always perfect.