13 September, 2007

More on Mothering

A friend responded to my mothering blog earlier and made a comment regarding how she as a working mother makes it work. After thinking it over I was even more disturbed by the TV Anchor Woman from NC. What really got me was the fact that this woman thought she was the epitome of working moms, what a slap in the face it was to all the working moms I know and others! I mean knowing each of the working moms in my life and how connected they are to their children, I was struck by how much more my working moms do and it really did hit a nerve for me. I wanted to call the station and say “Are you kidding”? I mean is this what you are putting out there for working motherhood? I was really taken back at how little she did for working motherhood. Not too mention I worked for the first two years of my son's life. I have been able to see this debate from both sides of the coin.

Working as a mother is a choice for some a necessity for others. Either way it is a true challenge to find a good balance and some days you get it right and others you don't. But the challenge is to always work towards getting it right; giving yourself completely to your children when you are there. It isn't just Quality, but more so being there and living life together, interacting on all levels of humanness.

Ah the debate continues and the discussions abound it seems for motherhood. Each day this week, there has been a piece on the Today show regarding mothers and their trials with weight, nutrition, sleep, exercise, beauty products, parenting etc.

Did anyone hear recently that the European Board of Food or (whatever they call themselves) made a statement that additives were not good for children and may lead to behavioral and weight problems? I watched the piece and about fell over! HELLO!!!!!! Of course the US is concerned now, mostly due in part they are forced to keep up with the European Community, to look into this problem. However, the FDA is not willing to make any statements at this time, but they are considering if additives are necessary and what cause they might have towards our children’s health. The Pediatrician they had on the TV segment, stated that as long as you feed your children a good balanced diet, then there is nothing to worry about, and of course fruits and vegetables are always a good option.

Again, I was struck by the fact, this pediatrician, was not willing to say the following: "A balanced diet consists of …. In whole amounts…. That are not processed…. That are not…. Just like food was intended to be". Are we that ignorant to how food was made to be, perfect in its natural state? Are we that scared to piss off the processed food giants for their votes etc? Well, again, I take a stand and maybe harsher than you might do for your family or not harsh enough, not sure. But I just find it ludicrous that so many in the US don’t even know what food is and how wonderful the process of growing, preparing and eating should be.

I want my children to know what a piece of sushi is, or what a zucchini is or a mushroom or a yellow squash. I want them to know what different types of fish are or what Bison is. I want them to know Farro (wheat berry) or warm rice cereal. They know what honey is and they know that sugar is not a good thing to eat. Am I perfect? Of course not, but I try and that is the testament I wish was prevalent in our society.

What is even more bothersome is the fact that our moms who are very busy; do rely on our government to help guide them. We shouldn’t have to read the ingredient label to decide if harmful High Fructose Corn Syrup is in the item. We should know this ingredient is harmful and our government would not want us to hurt ourselves long term. We should feel that shopping for our families is a safe endeavor and the pesticides that are used are natural and not laced with harmful chemicals which will eventually lead to diseases we are unaware of today, but will be rampant in 25 years. It is a shame our government is not wiling to create better nutrition for our families and it is a worse crime that we are afraid to speak out and educate our society on the harmful outcomes awaiting us.

I wish organic wasn’t seen as a luxury, it is a necessity! I wish local growers were rewarded by using natural methods. I wish our country understood that eating in season and locally is the way to go so we don’t have to force our crop production and loose valuable nutrients in our foods. Not too mention, local seasonal eating is also good for our bodies and the way in which it digests food. Rotation of crops should be standard. Ugh… why oh why is this a struggle to want good nutritious food in its natural state?

Also, I was in the grocery yesterday and looked at a soda that stated natural ingredients and I kid you not, High Fructose Corn Syrup was listed as the 4th ingredient! What? Are you kidding? This isn’t even processed by your digestive system proper! It has to be broken down by your liver, increasing the risk for diabetes to occur. Has any noticed the increase of childhood diabetes in the US?

For my European mom friend and other Europeans, this rant may sound foreign, as you have better access to whole foods, natural foods and your governments are more attuned to producing a great society built from within. Of course those of us who have traveled outside of the US to Europe also know the value of food placed in other countries and how this emphasis on nutrition is lacking here.

If you are concerned about the quality of your food in the US, you are most likely a part of a smaller community, one that is seen as hyper, or weird, or those health nuts. I don’t know how many times, people look at me as if I must be an alien when I stand up for my children and say they are not allowed to eat that. My children look healthy and have no known allergies so why are they not allowed to eat this… DUH! My children are healthy because they don’t eat that! They may suffer from the seasonal cold from winter to spring, but other than that, they are not sick. I have an illness possibly once or twice a year if that. I do believe part of their health is directly linked to the food I serve them and the care I take to offer them nutritious choices.

Again, it isn’t easy being a mom, no matter what “type” you are. We will never be enough, know enough or try hard enough it seems. But we can try our best, give our best and educate ourselves along the way. Tomorrow the discussion may lead down another path it may bring to light something none of us have thought about, but the greatness in being a good mom, in my opinion, is the desire to constantly improve the status quo for your children.

I also want to commend another mom and say that her blog on mommying is a true testament to always trying to be a better mom. She inspires me on many levels. I mean she made her own cloth diapers!!! (She is a working mom with a very high level demanding job, even). You GO WOMAN! What a great thing to do and it shows true commitment to our earth, our children’s health and being creative. Again, each of my mommy friends are fabulous mothers; I just wish that more of you were in the world than it seems I see on TV, or in my community. I feel so isolated and wish we could create a community built on strong values and commitments to quality, the true sense of the word!

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