Generations & Goodies

I just want to start out this post with a true story. I am pretty embarrassed about how this is going to go but I want to be honest and share my real life experiences with you. So lets get to it. When Julian was about 8 months old I took him home to visit my parents. He was still nursing regularly and wasn't really interested in food for the most part, maybe a little here or there, but not much of anything. I avoided giving him cereals, preferring to give him pureed or mashed banana, avocado, sweet potato etc, and the occasional bit of oatmeal with breast milk mixed in. Since I hadn't had the opportunity in a while to go out on my own, I headed out to see some friends and do some knitting alone, leaving Julian with my Mom and Dad. Before I left I nursed him, and because he has always refused the bottle I told my Mom she could give him some oatmeal if he gets hungry. A few hours later I came home to a happy baby, I was so thankful to have gotten some time to myself. I asked my Mom if he had any oatmeal and she said, "Yes! He loved it! He ate so much!" I was so surprised, either he was really hungry, or maybe he was actually starting to want solids. I saw the bowl of left over oatmeal on the table and I took a bite. 

"Mom, what is in this." 

"Sugar, cinnamon and butter and milk"


I then proceeded to have a mini freak out, spouting off about all the dangers of refined sugars and non organic milk products etc, leaving my mom almost in tears, and myself feeling terrible. Julian had never had sugar before. I had purposefully avoided trying to "enhance" the flavor of any of the solids I was giving him so that he would develop a realistic pallet, to appreciate the flavors of unprocessed foods. When I told my mom to give him some oatmeal, she gave it to him like she would have made it for me or anyone else. When I told my mom to give him some oatmeal, I expected her to give it to him the way I would have given it to him, plain with breast milk. She was just trying to give him something she thought he would enjoy, and he did enjoy it, so did she. 

My parents and I have a lot of differences in opinion when it comes to raising Julian. It's a fine line to walk on between appreciating the advise and help your parents give you and finding your own voice and way as a parent yourself, being firm with out being offensive. For our family, I find the things we disagree about most are food. I grew up eating a lot of fast food, southern fried chicken, white bread, canned green beans warmed up in a plastic container in the microwave and whole milk at every meal until I moved out on my own. Im not saying my mom wasn't a good mom for feeding me these things, she was a wonderful mother, she just honestly didn't know any better, and to her credit, not a lot of people did at the time. When I finally started having to make my own decisions when it came to food, it was difficult for me to choose the healthier option. It took a long time for me to learn to appreciate healthy and nutritious food, trying things over and over until I got used to it and started to love the way I felt, and how real food tastes. I don't want Julian to have to go through the same experience, not to mention I just want him to be healthy in general, and that in itself if one of the reasons I am so anal about what he eats, why I got so upset when my mom gave him white sugar in his oatmeal.

 There are so many different voices shouting out to new parents about how to raise, feed, discipline and care for their child it could drive you crazy, but when your own parents say something that you don't agree with, or confuses you, or has been scientifically proven to be detrimental it takes things to a totally different level. These are your parents, they raised you. The solution for us was a good conversation about how we are choosing to care for our son and how we need their support and understanding, even if they don't agree with some of those things. Its hard to tell your parents that you think they are wrong, or, at least it is for me. In the end I think you really have to form your own opinions and make your own decisions on what parenting your child looks like, the best thing you can do for them in that regard is to be confident in your resolutions. At the same time, I realized that I do need to let them be themselves, I can't control every thing in Julian's life including the way they interact with him, and thats ok, that is healthy. I have to remind my self that he probably wont get a cavity in his baby teeth if he occasionally has an ice cream cone with them at the local custard joint, and he wont develop a terrible learning disorder if he watches an entire 2 hour disney movie once and a while. 

Have you had any similar situations, or had to have difficult conversations with your parents about your  baby? Id be interested to hear what that looks like for you and your family too.

look how tiny baby Julian was! This was taken the same day of the terrible freak out. 

p.s. I sent this to my Mom before I posted it to make sure it wouldn't hurt her feelings. She just wants everyone to know that because of my harping about and the importance of whole foods she is trying hard to incorporate those things into her diet, and she especially wanted everyone to know that she likes veggie burgers. I love her. 

Thanks for reading.

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