This blog is just about my life and mostly revolves around my son, Jamie. This blog is a combination of everything, whether it may be a new recipe I tried, a good freebie I found, something funny Jamie said, or feelings I'm having about life in general. There's little rhyme or reason. I'll never win any blogging awards, but I enjoy writing about our lives and I mostly do it for my son. It's so easy to forget moments over the years. I've got all these little tidbits of our life in print and I hope that someday Jamie can enjoy them.

I called this blog Mother of Life, Mother of Loss because of my issues with pregnancy loss and the joy of finally bringing this wonderful person into the world. Truly, I feel the pains of loss, but you won't see too much of that here. I am blessed and I am, above all else, a mother of life.

After all the years of infertility and loss, Matthew and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We were pregnant with twins, but unfortunately, Baby A could not stay with us. Baby B grew into a healthy and happy baby girl that we named Bella Marie. We are so blessed to have two beautiful children.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Clean Your Plate

I've got feeding issues on my mind tonight. Who knows why these issues pop into my head and I can't shake them, but they do. As an overweight parent I am extremely concerned about preventing an eating disorder in Jamie. Obviously, he does not have a weight problem, but my husband and I didn't always have weight problems, either. Matthew was skinny like Jamie going all the way through college.

When I was a little girl I grew up with parents who insisted on children cleaning their plates. "You don't get any desert if that plate's not clean", "If you get it out, you better eat it all." My mother even resorted to holding my nose and shoving offending food in my mouth. Needless to say, I don't do this with my child. He doesn't have to eat anything on his plate if he doesn't want to. Up until this point, though, I've had a rule that if you didn't eat you couldn't have anything else. It just hasn't quite had the ring of being the right thing to do in some ways.

Here's the breakdown of what makes me conflicted. Matthew does not eat cooked vegetables and is very picky. Many of the foods I prepare have to be altered for his benefit. My son, like many children his age, is revolting against vegetables, too. I keep putting them on his plate, but I do not force him to eat them. I just keep introducing them over and over hoping he'll cultivate a love of them eventually. It occurs to me that making him "go hungry" if he refuses to eat what I fix for dinner might be bad for him. On the other hand, if I allow him to choose his meal of choice (which is often cereal), he'll never come around. I know many parents that keep the child's plate around in case they get hungry and decide to come back and finish it. This is likely the new direction I'll move in, but it doesn't seem quite right, either. I want him to eat with us. I want him to eat his main meals on a schedule. I pretty much let him have snacks like apples, bananas, peanut butter crackers, and cheese on demand except when it's within an hour of a main meal. I limit the amount he can eat of these snacks within two hours of a main meal. I don't want him to ruin his appetite for a balanced meal by overindulging on a snack, even if it's a healthy one. Don't get me wrong, he gets junk, too. Sometimes more than I ever thought I would allow. I don't want anything to become "forbidden fruit".

Before Jamie was born I thought I knew everything I needed to know to be a good mother. I thought I would have this motherhood thing in the bag. Now, I often feel so inept and ignorant. It's not so much that I'm learning what I thought pre-baby was wrong, but that there is so many little situations that I didn't even take into account. Sometimes I do some of the things that I strongly believe are wrong because I cave under the pressure of my four year old. Today the words "If you'll just sit still I'll get you a lollipop" came out of my mouth. It's not the first time that I have attempted a bribe. To date, I don't think a single bribe has ever been effective. He did not sit still and he did not get a lollipop.

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