Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Second guessing myself

A recent conversation with Goofball turned into me thinking and questioning myself.

I am not very word for word but basically I was saying I needed to swing by the store to pick up hot dogs, buns and Fritos.... I was making chili. I said the boys could eat hot dogs, K would have chili and I would have chili dogs. He said my meals were too complicated. Well we discussed and fine. I then mentioned that my ex used not like me to cut up/add onion and peppers or anything to spaghetti sauce. It had to be out of a can or jar.... nothing else.... Now I found out he eats it with stuff added. Goofball's reasoning "New wife".... Yes probably. He has changed a lot and that's fine. He is allowed, I guess....

But I honestly don't remember what it was that he said but it was basically that I didn't push to make them all eat the way I want them to..... as in, I want chili dogs, we are having chili dogs. Why should I do that when I can separate the ingredients and everyone is happy.

Does this make me a bad person? I mean I know my kids are picky eaters.... they are getting better but still not nearly to the point I want them at but I don't push them. I am too sensitive to eating disorders which they already have signs of (emotional eating) and I hate that.

Ya know when they were babies I did all the "right" things. I offered a variety of foods, veggies and fruits. They ate everything for the most part. H didn't eat spinach but that wasn't a big deal to me..... More for me! But this was really the only restriction.... Then suddenly around age 4, they both stopped eating like the used to. They became picky. They got to the point that they wouldn't eat at all... Just refuse. So I started just adapting my menu. So spaghetti became either with sauce or mac-n-chz. (Noodles with cheese on them). Chili dogs became choices.... but basically the same meal, just changed a bit.

L offered a new challenge for me. I made all his baby food. I didn't buy one jar of food for him. With K, I ONLY feed her baby food. I followed the book to the letter.... What can I say? I was young. With H, he was hard to get full so I started feeding him pretty much straight from the table around 6 months. But with L, I thought, "I can totally make all his food!" See my thing was I had a really hard time breastfeeding. I wanted to but I always seemed to fail. I didn't realize all the great resources that could have helped me or I would have tried anything. So when I heard how easy it really was to make baby food (easy peezy!!! I swear), I did it. I worked every Sunday making sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears and apple sauce.... etc... It was so much fun and he ate so well! His fave was avocado and banana. Turns out avocados are a great first food, then added with banana makes a great "second stage" food. It was great. He was not picky until...... age 2..... He has been my worst one of them all. He often doesn't even eat the adapted meals I make. I can't get this kid to eat period. So I adjust.... I'm easy.

But I often feel like I am a terrible parent for not pushing this. I decided a long time ago that I would pick my battles. If this doesn't bother me, why push the issue? Like I said it is easier for me to just cook what they like rather than what they don't. And now nobody else put the four of us live here so why not. Oh and trust me it was worse with their dad here.... He was King of the Picky eaters. I figured it was my punishment for being picky as a child..... but I learned that I am not a picky eater.... Oh don't get me wrong there are things I would prefer not to eat (why waste calories) but my mom has said that I wasn't picky. She said if I didn't like say the onions in something, I would just push them to the side a little and not say a word. Then when I cleared my plate, I threw them out.

At any rate, I am always questioning my decisions, especially now.... It is almost 100% on me to make decisions for them, 100% for the day to day things, only like 80-90% on bigger things. So I question and second guess everything. But I have to just say this, I am not sorry that I have adapted my cooking and menu to fit their tastes. I picked my battles and this is not worth my time. I do feel like I put my foot down when it counts. (Like just a minute ago with the dishes)

So I guess what I am saying is that I am just doing the best I can and hoping they turn out okay. What more can I ask for?


belinda said...

I tried cooking meals that everyone likes, but there is always someone who complains. That is why I have peanut butter. I won't cook seperate meals and everyone has to at least "try it". I had 7 kids so each would get to chose a meal for supper. This worked very well for us.

Karen said...

It's hard to balance every single mealtime into an occasion where everybody's happy with what they've got. I think your methods are fine. I do exactly the same. I don't offer a variety of foods but I do vary the main ingredient. Some nights I make spaggy bol and as my daughter doesn't like minced beef I brown it off separately to the sauce, serve the sauce on her pasta, then combine the meat in for the others. Potatoes are the same, Sam doesn't eat them, so I'll do rice for him instead. It works for me and mealtimes are just one part of the day I could do without battles so I'm flexible - to a point.

Fairy said...

I go through this too. Lately, what it's been is if you don't eat what is for supper, you can have another leftover from the fridge heated up, but I do not make a special meal. What you are doing with chili dog and hot dog is totally fine because the main meal is the hot dog (IMO) and the chili is just a topping. Unless you are making the chili fresh that day. Know what I mean?

But if I am having a bad mood day and don't feel like dealing with the whining, then I'll totally make something as a meal (for everyone) that I know my DD will gobble up.

We do always encourage trying new things. She gets points on her chart for trying new things and we work on the veggies issue.

Margaret (the misanthrope) said...

Well, when I was a kid, I was one of the world's pickiest eaters. My mom's rule was this: She would make one dinner per day, and if we wanted to eat it, fine. If we didn't, she wasn't going to make anything else - we were on our own. As long as the replacement meal was nutritious (PBJ, healthy cereal etc.), she was OK with it. But you need to do what works best for you and yours.

Charlene said...

My hubby and kids aren't picky, but I am! I eat very little meat (just don't like the texture) and my family eats alot of meat. I do try it, by putting a few small bites on my plate and make "an effort".

I think if you don't mind doing it, than it shouldn't be a big deal! I won't do it, but then again I have six kids and that would take way too long. So they eat what I make, which is usually stuff they like anyway.

And all my kids have gone through a picky stage (Nicholas is going through it now). He'll eventually get over it just like his older siblings.

Robin said...

Hi! I'm on I heart single parents too. I just started a new group as well. Hope you will stop by and say hello. It's always great meeting new single parents. Hope you have a great weekend. God Bless

A Single Mom's Life said...

Hiya! Geting a second to drop by. Here is my view...first if you are doing your best you can do, that is all that matters! I pick my battles, and probably many people would smack me upside the head if they saw some things I let Sunrise get into. (ie. Drawing with washable black marker all over her body..loL). I have an opinion on meals..but my opinion is only for me. I hesitate to share it because I don't want you to think I think you are wrong, because I don't. But I'm going to anyways..lol. My view is that I am not a short order cook...Sunrise will eat or not eat what I put in front of her, end of story. Though she is still only 2, I am worried it will become an issue 3 years down the road. But like I said that is just me..{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}You arent bad.

TxGambit said...

Thanks for all the views on this. I don't go out of my way to make things for them, I just tweak what I do make so that they can have what they like. :)

And, thankfully, the older two are starting to eat more variety and try things they wouldn't in the past.

So we are working on it and making progress. I just don't have the time or energy for fights. :)