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.
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.