As mothers and fathers, we carry a tremendous amount of weight on our shoulders. We provide, we nurture, we nourish, we educate, we protect, and we impact our children’s lives. However, at times, we fail, we give in, we give up, we don’t care, we make mistakes…we throw up our hands and feel like the biggest losers. We aren’t perfect, nor will we ever be perfect. We know this. We feel this. But, can we ever learn to accept this?
When we choose to change our family’s nutrition, we go through waves of highs and lows…and towels thrown on the floor in frustration. We so want to change our nutrition. We SOOOO want to give them the best. We SOOOO want to provide the top-quality products that we can. We try and we try to make room for it in our budget, but when things get tight and bills come in, we have to make choices.
Oh, the guilt. I know it, cause I feel it too. I remember making the most delicious, roasted chicken legs for my kids one night. They LOVE chicken legs. They love getting their fingers dirty and not being forced to use a fork. They relish every delicious bite. I hear my 18 month old going, “Mmmm,” slurp, “mmmm“, over-and-over that night, literally licking the bone…sucking on the delicious cartilage. I remember my daughter saying to me, “These are the best chicken leggies ever, Mommy”.
I should smile and be happy, right? My kids are eating chicken! They are eating Brussel sprouts. They are eating asparagus, for God’s sake! However, happy is NOT what I felt.
You see, we had just lost A LOT of money. I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars. We had to make some serious budget cuts and buying grass-fed meat, free-range poultry, farm fresh eggs, organic produce, expensive raw milk…this stuff was the first thing to get pushed to the back burner. We just couldn’t afford it.
I know they tell you to make quality food a priority, but we were, literally, having to save any extra penny we could. Buying the best quality was not attainable for us.
So, as my son is gnawing on a chicken leg, I’m thinking about all the hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives that he probably was ingesting. Oh, the mommy guilt. Mommy guilt will crush you. It will crush your confidence in an instant. It will break every good thing that you have done for your family and tell you…you’re…just…not good enough. You’re just not smart enough. You don’t try enough.
We make the best choices we can for our family and no one else can tell you that you could make better choices.
You see, our best, is relative to each person. You can relate this to lifting heavy weights. I often talk to other women about how I love to lift heavy weights. Some ask what my numbers are and when I tell them, they say they could never lift heavy weights. Then I explain to them that heavy is relative to each person. Heavy to me may not be heavy to you. Heavy to you may be heavier than someone else. However it’s all still heavy! However it’s all still our best!
When people start eating Paleo they think that they MUST buy organic, free-range, grass-fed, pastured foods. I don’t know how many have even been detoured from eating Paleo because they know that can’t afford this. More important than this, should be eating REAL foods. More important should be moving off of processed foods. More important should be that WE ARE ACTUALLY TRYING.
So, I bought my factory farmed chicken legs and I watched my kids eat them…and I felt it. I felt that guilt. But, when I saw my kids enjoying it and I knew that I had done my best to put the best food on the table that I could…I smiled.
I smiled back at them and said, “thank you” and I meant it. I kissed their greasy lips, and I really did mean it. And, you know what?
My kids still love me. Love me to the core.
Steps to making wiser choices when your budget is limited:
Check out how I save money here.
Buy whole chickens and make stock with the bones.
Shop at meat markets where preservatives are not used.
Check Craigslist for local people selling farm-fresh eggs.
Shop at Farmer’s Markets. Remember local is, sometimes, better than organic that has come from across the country.
Don’t make meat the highlight of the meal. Incorporate it in to your meal.
Do the best you can and let go of the guilt!