Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Bad Mom

I’m the bad Mom and there doesn’t seem to be a way around it. Seriously.

When my children were old enough to eat sandwiches, I fed them only whole wheat, my philosophy being they would never have to adapt to wheat when they were old enough and really needed to watch their health. Same goes for milk, from the minute they no longer needed the fat of Whole D, I gave them skim. They know no different. Or didn’t.

Then school started or they were exposed to eating lunch at other kid’s homes and suddenly I started getting, ‘Mom, why don’t you ever buy us this GREAT meat called bologna. Why do we only get ham or turkey?’ or “Mom, why don’t you EVER buy us WHITE bread like ALL the other Moms?” or “Mom, I really like the red milk better, can’t you get that for us instead of the blue?” (Red and blue refer to the color of the lid. Red is Whole, light blue is Skim.)

At first I was kind of snippy and said things like, “Because I love you more than their Moms love them.” Seriously. I did say that. But knowing what a sarcastic person I can be, they didn’t take me seriously and have continued to press the issue.

Flash forward to last week. They won the battle. I know tactically they could not have planned it this way, but it is what happened and they won. I just got tired of the flak and I caved.

We are standing at the vegetable department; I’m picking up salad stuff because we eat a lot of salad. My youngest, the pain in the neck he is, the child that I told blog sister Sally that if her daughter dialed 666 on the telephone she may actually get my youngest, said to me, “MOM! Why don’t you ever pack carrots for our snack? All the other kids Moms do!” Ack! Trust me, it is not like I pack them crap for snack. I pack them nutri-grain bars or goldfish or trail mix with M&Ms. I tried to actually think of something they like to eat at home and put it in their lunches. But now, this is being hollered at me in public!

Calmly I said, “Wait, EVERYONE in your class gets carrots?” and the answer is of course yes, because he is the Drama King, but then, THEN, Son#2 chimes in, “Yeah. Mom. We want carrots. All the other kids have them. Seriously.” (I love when their speech patterns mimic mine.)

I feel kind of bad then. Of course my kids don’t want the carrots in a bag; they want the plastic packaging of the Bugs Bunny carrots with the ranch dressing for ‘dipping’. $2.20 for 3 packages of carrots. I caved. It was the beginning of the avalanche. It just seemed morally wrong to tell my kids, “NO! I am NOT buying these carrots for you for your snack!” (I did tell them we are on the last leg of the prepackaged carrots and they’ll have to go to my packing them… the marketing ploy by this carrot company has gotten under my skin.)

But it went from there. They saw I caved and I was over them and their abundance of flak throwing and as we made it into the bread section, I got a whole new ration from them about bread. Same with milk. And I gave in and my kids are with all the other kids now eating white bread that might as well just be ‘shaped sugar’, and whole milk.

The whole milk thing I am rationalizing. They are growing, they may need the fat, although I assure you, we have enough of it in our diets. I am no health freak. My only issue with the whole milk now is, you should see my refrigerator. I could open my own damn dairy section. I have my non-fat creamer for when I do drink coffee, MY skim milk, THEIR whole milk, and Son#2s lactaid as he is lactose intolerant… and we are now switching him to whole milk lactaid.

So that’s my story of the week. I’m only looking out for the long term health of my kids and I’m the bad guy. I have a feeling they think they won the war. They only won ONE battle. I’m not through with this…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little hint... whenever my kids said "Mom, everyone gets..." or "Mom, everyone does..." My first (and to them most annoying) response was - "Who is "everyone"?"

This just killed the conversation flat 99.9% of the time because in general they could only name 1 or possibly 2 kids out of the entire class! Try it and see. If they could name more than 3 kids - I would give in once in a while.

If I really didn't want to give in - period - I wouldn't even ask the "who's everyone" question. I'd just say, "Well, this is what I like, when you get your own place and buy your own stuff, you can get what YOU like". (that one would always really tick them off)

As a matter of fact - when my son was about 2 months away from his Basic Training date, he was totally pissed off at me because I wouldn't buy a pool table! I told him I didn't want one - if he wanted one he should get his own place and buy his own!" He scowled at me and said, "But I can't afford that yet." And I said, "So why is this my problem? And why should I have to spend a ton of money on something I don't want and will never use when you are leaving in 2 months!" At which point he stomped out of the house to go to the pool hall...


12:27 AM  
Blogger VW said...

You are not and never will be a 'bad' mom. Just normal. And you would not 'cave in' if it was something you really didn't care if they had it. Besides if that makes you a bad mom... all those white bread bologna sandwiches I'm feeding #1 Son would make me a HORRIBLE mom. ;-)

7:09 AM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

You should see the flak my sister gets from my family (me not included). She refuses to give her daughter junk food, at all, period.

She is only allowed wheat bread, fruit, veggies, etc.

She is 5 and has never had chocolate, chips, candy, etc.

And my family acts like my sister is torturing her daughter because she won't let her have junk food. But her daughter is of normal weight while the rest of the families kids are grossly over weight.

I'm glad my sister won't cave into the pressures and her daughter doesn't know what she is missing.

8:59 AM  
Blogger momotrips said...

I did the same thing with my kids. Wheat bread and 1% milk from the beginning. And they love yogurt. However, I can't get them to eat a vegetable to save my life. I stopped making them lunches when they brought them home practically uneaten - even though I packed only what I knew they liked. $1.30 a day each for lunch is worth my time. I HATE making lunches and when they don't eat them I want to scream. Let 'em eat in the cafeteria. Call me a bad mom, I don't care!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids win, that's a fact.

Along the way, sometimes, if the little offspring feel like it, you can negotiate.


11:16 AM  
Blogger zombieswan said...

I think, if I recall the last time I looked, there are actually some white breads that are not so bad. They're the expensive ones, but they aren't all bleached out of any nutrients, and they have added stuff. Maybe you can cave on them AND still have them eat healthier.

What if you get Bugs Bunny stickers (the kind your grandma might have put on envelopes, that little precocious girls put in sticker albums) and put those on your self-packed carrot packages? It wouldn't take that much more effort, and/or you could also get other characters that the kids like.

Just a thought. :)

6:15 PM  

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