Every day I work hard to be a good mom. There are days where I’m proud of the job I’ve done, and other days when I’m not. I think that kind of goes with the territory. I know I’m not perfect, but I always try to make decisions based on what I think is right for my family. Some of those decisions aren’t the norm, but instead of being proud of paving my own path, recently I’ve started apologizing for them. It’s time for me to stop being sorry and start embracing my differences.
My daughter started kindergarten last month, which means I’ve been getting involved at school, going to meetings and introducing myself to other parents in her class. A few weeks ago, I went to a meeting where moms were chatting about popular meals they serve for dinner. Most of the foods they were mentioning were things my kids never eat, because admittedly, I’m pretty picky about what we have. Most of our meals don’t come from a box or fast food drive through, and I try to serve healthy foods as much as possible (leaving room for special treats now and then.) I stayed quiet through the conversation, because I didn’t want to come off as judging other parents. Every parent has their own things they focus on, and one of mine happens to be the quality of our food. When I came to pick my daughter up from a playdate a few days after this, her friend’s mom asked “What does she eat for lunch?” She named a few foods she asked if my daughter would like to eat, and my daughter had never had them before. Yes, hotdogs are on that list.
After these two experiences (as well as a few others involving the toys my children have compared to other kids), I felt the need to apologize to them. “I’m sorry that I’m different than other parents. I’m sorry I focus a lot on what you eat, and don’t just buy you everything you want the second you ask for it.” When my husband heard me doing this, he pulled me aside. “Why would you apologize for doing things for our kids that you feel are going to make them better, healthier people? Don’t be sorry for that.” The more I thought about it, the more I knew he was right. My kids eat plenty of treats, just not all-day, every day. My kids get new toys and we do lots of fun things together, even if I’m not buying the latest, most expensive gadgets on the market. I do these things because I think they are right for my family, which is why everyone makes the choices they do. I just need to get more comfortable in my own skin and not be so self-conscious about it.
The path towards a healthier lifestyle isn’t always the popular choice. Sometimes you have to turn down seconds at the dinner table, or decide against the rich dessert that everyone else is devouring. Have you ever felt the need to apologize for that, as if you’re doing something wrong? Do you apologize to family or friends for making time to work out instead of things others might like you to do? I think there’s a difference between being selfish, and just saying you’re sorry for making different choices. In the end, we all have one life to live. The way you make yours great isn’t going to be the same as everyone else, but that’s okay. That’s what makes each of us unique.
What do you think?
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