Ok, Let’s get real! And honest!
Who else hates, like literally hates, feeding their kids. I know this sounds terrible but I hate it, I really hate it. I think I might even have some form of PTSD over it.
LOOK – Firstly I want to acknowledge that I know how lucky we are that both our kids can take food orally, have no major allergies, will “try” most things and we have no pathologies that make feeding complicated – BUT I still hate feeding my kids. I literally feel like I cook/ make food to move it from the saucepan/ chopping board and into the bin. Surely, I am not alone in this challenge!
Some background, our eldest was born very prematurely (at 24+0 weeks) and has ALWAYS been a challenge to feed but (as I said above) we don’t need any interventions and she can take her food orally (no tube etc) but she eats almost nothing, like pretty much nothing, is very small for her age. We see a paediatrician and dietician, and all just say she’s “following her curve”, “just give her time”. We had her in hospital last week as she was so lethargic at school they sent her home – I (and the ED Doctors) assumed COVID but it, thankfully, wasn’t. She was dehydrated and hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Her lunchbox was completely full and untouched - WTAF
Look, I honestly try my best to cook/ prepare food the kids will try and (hopefully) enjoy but if I’m being truly honest, I think maybe only 2-3 meals A MONTH actually get eaten. I try cook their “favourites” or the “go-to” meals but nothing really works consistently – unless it’s ice-cream or taste like chocolate/ sweets – arrhhh FMD.
I’m certain my anxiety over their eating is part of our problem (and I’m sure many of you are suggesting that in your heads right now). They know it’s something that gets a reaction from me and the litte buggers know how to push those buttons – so they do. But I can seem to help it, I just want them to get enough nutrition to function and be able to do their best.
I love my kids, blah blah blah, I know we all do – but, if we are honest with each other and ourselves, it’s not an overly glamourous (or enjoyable) role. Don’t get me wrong – I know how lucky we are to have them both (we also struggled with fertility – and I sometimes can not believe how much I wanted/ needed to have kids – the blissful naivety of pre-children me is actually quite hysterical). But there are days, weeks and even months where I am ready to check-out (or check-in to a 5 star resort where everything is done for me – Food, Wine, Cleaning).
This SAHM gig is new to me (next blog maybe) and my mind feels like it’s racing all the time; What time is that class? This class? My appointment? Their appointment? Did they eat this morning? Do they have clean undies on? Do they even have undies on? – Seriously some days who the eff knows!
I have always been a pretty high achiever and motherhood is the first role where I feel I’m failing constantly – and FFS the stakes are high, really bloody high – these are my bloody kids after all.
Ok back to food - shit I can digress! So, meals in our house go like this;
- I ask the kids what they want.
- They say “nothing as they’re not hungry”.
- I suggest the stuff I had planned – usually pasta, protein and some veges/ salad
- They are (utterly) repulsed by my suggestions.
- I just ask that they “at least give it a go” (some good eye rolling usually goes with this step).
- I prepare/ cook the meal (knowing in my head that no one will eat it the bloody food).
- I serve it on the first clean plates (with a cartoon on it of course) that I can find – usually Elsa or Anna or Minions (god help me! I miss my beautiful pre-children crockery).
- I ask/ tell them to come and sit up for dinner. (Hahahaha I am one funny F*cker!).
- They say “no thank, I’m not hungry” (yeah of course they do FMD).
- We then start the “Food is fuel” conversation and how, without it, you can’t get “Big & Strong” and/or “Tall & Fast” unless you eat.
- They look at their meal (that I’ve spent precious time preparing) and very clearly show how disgusted they are with the options I have presented them (yes, ungrateful turds I can hear you saying in your inside voice, and for the record I agree).
- Here – we usually have the conversation about how lucky they are that Mummy or Daddy cook them Lunch/ Dinner and try explaining that lots of children aren’t as fortunate (but, not surprisingly, they couldn’t get a sh*t – At this point I starting to think maybe I’m raising sociopaths - FMD, please stop nodding your head in agreement).
- We then sit at the table and have worthless tries at eating one spoonful at a time, trying to find “food friends” with each mouthful until 20+ mins have passed and they’re annoyed, I’m annoyed, no food has been eaten and I hear the “experts” in my head saying to only offer for a limited time and then take it away.
- So, I (reluctantly) throw good, untouched food (that cost time & money) in the bin and wish I knew where less fortunate families lived to at least give someone something they’d be grateful for - FML
- If it’s dinner they head into the showers. If it’s lunch I’m trying to find the Gin to get me through the afternoon (jokes – kind of 😊)
- Almost like clockwork - 20mins later – they’ve finally realised they ARE actually hungry - *Sh*t Mum was right) and it’s meltdown time because blood sugars are low and the kids are tired (or maybe they’re actually just alien creatures sent to just eff with my head – Mission successful you little bastards).
- I try to find something I hadn’t thrown away, usually plain cooked pasta or a piece of bread with spread and they finally eat something.
- Then, it’s about 3 hours until we press repeat and we do it ALL OVER AGAIN! As I’m writing this, I am realising just how sh*tty my life has become and that maybe, we might some need help with all this (or maybe at least I do).
I know I’ve joked a lot in here but the real truth is – they need to eat and it’s affecting their moods, their growth and my sanity (and my husband’s). I know we are all trying our best but don’t you think sometimes that maybe our best isn’t “cutting the mustard” (what the eff does that saying even actually mean?)
Like all of us, I just want my children to have good opportunities in life and to be good people that are kind and have good friends to help see them through the inevitable up and downs of life. But mostly, I want them to be happy, to look back on their childhood with fondness and not resentment (like so many of us do).
Parenting is bloody hard. It’s bloody hard because it’s bloody important and I care. But some days, I’m done, and I want to find that white rabbit and chase it down that hole and disappear into wonderland for a few glorious hours of peace and quiet – where the chaos and madness are “ok and normal”.
I’m going to stop rambling, so you can get back to doing important “parenting/life” things. But thanks so much for reading this far! I wish for simpler, calmer, and more stress-free days for us all – And hope (at least one of these days) my kids actually start eating their damn food!
If you have any great advice – please, pretty please, place in the comments below!