One of the things that bothers me the most about the movement to talk about what we’re feeding ourselves and our kids is that it comes with a whole bunch of people who use it to be Judgy-McJudgy. This post is not for the Manhattanites who buy $8 organic avocados so they can feel better than other people, or for the suburban stay at home mom who tells people they eat organic so she can look down on her fellow mom-sisters and try to shame them with the money her husband makes.
So here it is. The low-down dirty on the feelings I wrestled when I figured out that the food I was feeding my kids had a profoundly negative effect on them. If you read Brene Brown’s Rising Strong, these feelings are all listed in relation to failure. Which is exactly what I felt like.
In no particular order:
Heartbreak. My poor little people. They have been suffering since before they were even born. The food I was giving them was making them act crazy because it was messing up their nervous systems. And then I was yelling at them when they acted crazy when I was the one doing the cattle-prodding.
Embarrassment. Good lord. Feeding your kids really unhealthy food is for people who are uneducated and have tons of unsorted emotional baggage from when they were kids. I have a business degree from a prestigious liberal arts college and years of therapy under my belt. I have no excuses for doing this. None.
Panic. Everything I’m reading tells me that I have been feeding them things that negatively affect their development for YEARS. My son is almost out of his formative ones. What if I’ve done irreversible damage? How the hell do I look myself in the mirror in the morning if I’ve harmed my own children through my ignorance? Oh, and no small thing – how the fuck am I going to sell this to my husband, mid-westerner extraordinaire and great lover of all things related to processed meat?
Desperation. Where do I even begin? There is so much to change. How do I know if I’m making the most useful changes first? THIS IS GOING TO BE SO.MUCH.WORK.
Shame. I am a horrible mother. I am a failure as a human being. What kind of moron feeds her kids poisons on vegetables and then reprimands her kids and complains about how they’re acting nuts, like a self-absorbed, ignorant asshole? Me. I’m a sewer rat.
Grief. Our lives as we know it is going to change. My husband is going to be pissed. At me. For a long time. And my sense of safety around what rules and regulations are supposed to be in place to protect me as an American is really going down the tubes.
Outrage. (And Straight UP Rage.) What the hell?!?! How could a first world country allow this? Aren’t we supposed to be some of the luckiest people in the world?
I’ll delve more into each of these topics later throughout the blog, but I want it to be known I can completely understand why some people won’t even listen to the chatter about food because it’s just too much to have to deal with these enormous waves of emotion in addition to the huge lifestyle changes that are required, not to mention the monetary investment.
I just couldn’t continue explaining the organic definitions without addressing the elephant in the room. For each of the emotions listed above, I’ll blog about how they’ve evolved and changed over the last few years and some of the things I’ve come to understand about myself and the world around me.