ControverSunday: Mommy Vices. Pass the Wine, hold the cupcake.

Welcome, ControverSundains.

This week, the ControverSunday topic is Mommy Vices. So Let’s talk. Join in the conversation by writing a post, getting your badge from Accidents, sending some love to Perpetua for coming up with this fantastic bloggy thing, and come back here and post your link for the link up. Or, just read and comment on the posts of those participating this week. It’s all good.

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The Cheeseblog

Our Lady of Perpetual Bread Crumbs

The Disgruntled Academic

We talked about this a bit in the ControverSunday posts re: The Culture of Pregnancy. But I will say it again. People start noticing/commenting on/ glaring at you/ trying to change your behavior re: mommy vices the millisecond they know you are pregnant. You know, that glare you get when you are in line at Starbucks? (From totally strangers that have no idea if you drink 3 cups a day or if this is your one cup for your whole pregnancy.) That’s the typically one, isn’t it? It starts there and just keeps going through out Motherhood. People suddenly have opinions. And not just about your parenting choices. There is something about motherhood that seems to make your bad habits fair game for criticism. Some bad habits more then others.

And some for good reason. Cigarettes, for example. I feel those things have no place any where near a pregnant women or children. Period. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to stop a parent smoking near their kids and tell them they shouldn’t, I believe they shouldn’t. Full stop.

But the rest of the mommy vices? Caffeine, chocolate, wine, cupcakes, trashy magazines, crappy tv, ect.? Whatever. Really. Some of these things warrant some caution well pregnant or nursing, but other then that…. whatever.

I have two mommy vices. Wine and food.

Mmmm wine. I do think one needs to take into account a couple things, re the mommy vice of alcohol. If you are pregnant or nursing, there is good reason to stay away. And I am always mindful of my ability to take care of A when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Getting yourself so intoxicated to the point that you can’t be a responsible parent? Not a good idea unless you have someone who is willing and able to step in for you. That being said- I likes my wine. And I will tell you honestly that I do partake in a glass or two a couple times a week. And when I was nursing? Well, I subscribed to the old wives tale about a small glass of beer in the late afternoon was good for milk production. I had a glass and enjoyed it. I suspect it did little to nothing for my milk production. But. It helped my stress. And I very much doubt it did any harm.

Here is the other thing- why are some mommy vices more no-no’s then others? For example, I have been pretty open about how I am not exactly the size/shape I would like to be physically. But I never got glares, pregnant or otherwise, when I ‘snacked’ on a muffin. Which is pretty much the same thing is cake. (Unless it’s one of my uber healthy mini pumpkin olive oil muffins.)

I am not advocating more judging. I think we Mom’s have it hard enough. And then to be held to some ridiculous high ‘but you are a parent’ standard? Seriously. I need my vices to get me through the day sometimes.

I am just saying that I find it odd the vices we pick on and the ones we don’t notice. We joke in pregnancy about the weird, largely unhealthy, food cravings. People even encourage a pregnant women to give into those cravings. But from a health standpoint, which seems to be on the grounds that most of the mommy vice judging is done, an unhealthy diet* is just as bad or worse then some of the other vices!

I guess what I am saying is that I get we are suppose to set a good example. And I am all for that. I certainly think I need to eat better to set a good example for my daughter. But give up wine? Never. Like never ever. I deserve a glass at the end of the day. And if someone thinks that’s not okay? Fine. But you aren’t changing my mind on this one. I like wine. I drink wine. I am responsible. End of story.

All that said, I have been thinking lately about the concept of indulgence. It says something about our society that when we are tired, stressed or upset we want to indulge in something which is not good for us. I don’t think one glass of wine a couple times a week is unhealthy, but my tendency to crave cookies, cupcakes and chocolate? Not so good. And I know it. If indulging in these things as much as I do is harming my health and setting a bad example to my daughter about using food for comfort, how is that okay? Why do I let myself justify that by thinking that ‘I deserve it’? I deserve to continue to cycle of being overweight and unhealthy? It makes ‘deserve’ seem like a pretty messed up concept.

I am not trying to judge anyone else here. I am just being honest with myself. I think it is completely reasonable for all of us to have something to turn to when we need a bit of comfort. And being a Mom is a hard job. But I do think we need to question ourselves when our ‘comfort’ is doing us more long term harm then good. Why can’t my comfort be going for a run? Or reading a good book? Why are we more comforted by vices then by good habits?

I am kinda coming up inconclusive on this one. On the one had I think there isn’t much wrong with many of the mommy vices, in moderation. On the other hand… why do we find comfort in things that are bad for us? There has to be a healthier way.

*I should clarify, re: unhealthy diet. I am a big fan of fresh, un-processed food. If you saw me in the grocery store with my cart, you would probably think my diet was pretty good. And it is. It is the extra’s that get me into trouble. I need to work on portion control and a number of bad things I indulge in too much: pastries, cheese, ice cream, chocolate, bread.

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13 responses to “ControverSunday: Mommy Vices. Pass the Wine, hold the cupcake.

  1. Brooke August 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I was going to ControverSunday this weekend, but I was busy cleaning.

    If I could drink, I would be all over the wine. My mom said it’s what got her through our childhood, and I totally believe that!!

  2. Cheryl August 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    “I like wine. I drink wine. I am responsible. End of story.” Exactly! As long as you know where the limits are for you, it isn’t anyone’s concern.

    I wish I had an answer for you on the comfort food issue. This is a huge problem for me and, while I do try to eat well while pregnant, I also let myself off the hook a little too easily when it comes to so called “cravings”. Am I actually craving kettle chips or have I just decided to get some and blame cravings?

    I am in the same “whatever gets you through the day” camp as you. I just wish, like you said, I could look forward to healthier rewards at the end of the day.

  3. Partial August 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Wine is my vice too. But since I’m pregnant again, I’ve taken a hiatus on that one. AND YES. I FEEL VERY GUILTY ABOUT TURNING ON THE REAL HOUSEWIVES WHILE I FEED HER CHEESE BUNNY CRACKERS TO KEEP HER OCCUPIED. There. I’ve said it.

    I guess my other vice is using mommyhood and the pregnancy as an excuse not to get more writing done. It’s a good one to defend my internal guilt about being lazy. It’s the vice that bothers me the most probably.

    • amoment2think August 31, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Ha! I think we all have our version of real housewives and bunny crackers!

      Yeah, I use motherhood as an excuse for being lazy! Like I would work out… but….. So I hear ya.

  4. clara August 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    It’s funny you mention running because last week I was having such a day. And I really, truly, needed to sweat it out. This is new for me. Ordinarily I would want to slouch on the couch and eat a lot of cheese and then some chips to balance things out.

    Holy crap did the run ever help. Fresh air, talking to myself, sweating. Slept like a log and had an awesome next day.

    Some days need more wine. Some days, running is better.

    Anyway, I meant to let you know I was controversing but the kids stole my computer. Then you figured it out.

    • amoment2think August 31, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Clara- I might just blow up and print this comment and plaster it on my wall. Really.

      LOL- no worries. Thank goodness for google reader! I need to add you as a link in the post though…

  5. Megan August 31, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Ugh, I was totally going to write a post this week (love a chance to discuss my love affair with wine), but I passed out in a Midol coma during the baby’s nap yesterday and missed my chance.

    I think I’m going to go write a post about how much I hate my uterus, instead.

    In any case, I definitely think you are right about the potential harms of allowing ourselves to indulge in overeating or just eating the wrong stuff. I have done so much of this in the past. Like, I’d have a long day at work and feel like I “deserved” fast food. These days, I don’t see that stuff as a reward, but I will overindulge in something I’ve baked or have one too may glasses of wine and wake up with a headache.

    Like, Clara, I turned to exercise the other day (though, unlike Clara, I can’t jog without hyperventilating), but I took Charlotte out in the stroller for a nice, brisk walk. I felt great when I got home. My spirits were lifted, I had more energy, and I had nothing to feel guilty about as when I eat too much pie.

    But, will I make the decision to walk instead of eat next time? I don’t know. Certainly not every time, but hopefully I will at least some of the time.

  6. The Disgruntled Academic August 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I’m still working on my post … were in the middle of a move so my interwebs presence will be spotty at best.

    But I totally agree with you on the wine front. Moderation, but it’s up to you to moderate. Done. I confess, I had wine in my third trimester of pregnancy, maybe a glass a week — everytime I had one, Mr. Disgruntled would joke, “There goes Harvard” or “There goes Princeton.” I think at this point, the Noodle may just squeak by at a correspondence school for typewriter maintenance.

  7. Ginger September 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I was going to post this week, but two of my own vices (taking on too much and procrastination) caught up with me. And lord knows I’ve got more than enough bad habits to talk about: diet coke addiction, a love of fast food (well, all food actually), no interest in housekeeping, would gladly sleep until 11 am every day, media addict, TV junkie…well, you get the picture. I’m by no means perfect, and fully admit and embrace my “vices.”
    Thinking about this all week has really made me realize, even more than I already knew, how much we as mothers worry about every little thing we do. I mean, is anything we’re really talking about a true vice? Bad habits at most. And yet we all have these things we do that we worry about how it’s going to affect our kids or families.

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