more food issues

Getting kids to eat is a hot button topic for a lot of moms because so many of us were raised to equate caretaking and loving with preparing food. It's The icon of mothering, right? So it's easy to get a lot of our own internal stuff tied up in whether or not our kids are eating what we offer them, when we offer it. It can feel like a personal affront when they don't choose what we provide. That's true in areas besides food - those of us who've tried to homeschool before unschooling have often had that feeling of "I worked so hard! How can you not care?" We tie our hearts and our mom-egos into our offerings.


Sometimes moms get "lucky" and kids go along with what we want without too much of a fuss. They eat what we give them or do things we enjoy and it's tempting to pat ourselves on the back and say "yeah, that's me being a good mom." It's important to give kids credit for being themselves. I didn't "get lucky" in the sense of having kids who would go along with my grand plans for their perfect childhood but in another sense, I did get lucky because my kids dug in their heels and got me to see how much of what I wanted "for them" was really about me. Dang. I have great kids for unschooling, in that sense.

My stepson was a "good eater" so I got a free ride in the food department until my daughter came along. But I also was a "picky eater" as a kid and I know that feeling of sickness and dread that can accompany a meal from both sides. I'm so sad that my mom didn't get a kid who loved her cooking, when cooking was such an act of love to her. I'm glad I didn't do that to myself, or my daughter. My heart can be joyful sitting with my kid, having a snack together because I've learned not to tie my pride or my heartstrings to what my kid eats. She can be herself. And I can feel good about that.

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