This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.
An advocate of breastfeeding for both its health and nurturing benefits;
Someone desiring to provide and model healthy eating for my children (today we had mac-n-cheese, veggie burgers and fries….some days are better than others); and
Someone with deep curiosity around the intensely personal, primal nature of feeding our young that exists cross-culturally among mothers.
I feel very fortunate to be alive today and part of a generation of women that can experience so much when it comes to equal rights with men. I’m all about competing with men professionally and earning equal pay.
AND at the same time, I like to acknowledge gender differences and embrace all that is inherently feminine. During this chapter of early parenting years, I personally feel a great sense of my own femininity when nurturing my children with their daily sustenance. I feel connected to all other mothers in the world through this practice — including animals — especially birds for some reason. Funny that one of my 20-something nicknames was “Monnie Bird.”
I think the highly personal aspect of feeding our children with love and respect is how we each define what that means a little differently. To tell a mother that she’s not feeding her child right — iye, iye, iye — that can be seriously offensive! It seems to cut to the core of a defining aspect of motherhood.
So without implying any kind of critique if yours is different, here’s a window into my family’s practice of feeding with love and respect:
I have a huge amount of Mama Pride however that when asked what her favorite foods are, my 3 year-old will list, “broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, zucchini, peas, carrots, fish, oatmeal, beans and rice, and lasagna (vegan). And Oat Milk.” And if you asked her about McDonald’s, pop, donut, any kind of name brand candy (with the exception of “lolly pop” which she experienced at a party), or snow cones (popular in Austin), she will say, “What’s that?”
Recently, it’s been an interesting process for me to share the practice of feeding my family with our new live-in cook.
I dreamt up this trade idea about six weeks ago — free room and board in our house in exchange for dinner and breakfast prep/clean-up for five days a week — to help in my anticipated transition back to work full-time. Now wouldn’t you know, the work hasn’t proven to be full-time. Yet. Power of Intention…some day I will have to decline requests from people wanting to pay me to write for them because I’m so overloaded with work.
In the current barely working phase that I’ve found myself in, I struggle with guilty feelings that I should really be preparing dinners for my family because I have the time. And part of me misses the creative process of cooking and the sense of satisfaction I feel when everyone is well-fed and happy with what I prepared.
And, I am still thrilled with the choice to have Jeanine, who has become family, cook for us as it is freeing up time to exercise and connect with the girls at the end of the day — and to relax after the bed-time routine instead of doing dishes.
Our communication is fantastic so that as feelings come up, we can both share our experiences and brainstorm results. A few weeks ago I determined that I really wanted to prepare Sunday night dinners and suggested we drop her dinners from five nights per week down to four and instead — whenever it worked with her schedule — to watch the girls for a few hours/week so that Mark and I can start having regular dates again that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Our latest brainstorm that we’re both thrilled about: I’m going to start sharing in the meal-planning process. This will serve my Mama Bird hankerings.