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Thursday, January 14, 2010

High Expectations

In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel that I must be completely honest.  In yesterday's blog I wrote that there were Cheerios all over my kitchen floor, which isn't entirely true.  Nope, not Cheerios, but dare I admit...Fruit Loops.  I know, I know...I give my kids sugary cereal, but in my defense, I don't let them drink sugar in juice...its either milk or water.  I'm considering purchasing our own dairy cow for as much milk as we go through in a week. 
I alluded in my last post to the "mom guilt" syndrome that many of us experience.   I don't experience much "mommy guilt" and the majority of the time its not because of other mom's around me.  I know that we are all doing the best that we can, and that by excelling in one area of our lives means that we had to let go of something somewhere else.  My "mom guilt" comes from feeling like its impossible for me to be the mom to my kids that my mom was to me.  The only time we got Fruit Loops was when we went camping and she bought the variety pack of the single serving cereal boxes.  There were only so many sweet cereals in the package, so between my siblings and I, it was a fight over the Pops, Frosted Flakes, and Fruit Loops.  My mom didn't buy Coco Krispies.  If you wanted Coco Krispies, you could pour chocolate milk on your regular Rice Krispies.  If she gave in at all, she would buy a box of Sugar Smacks and mix it half and half with the generic unsweetened bag of wheat puffs.  My mom was very conscientious about the food she put in our bodies.  We ate at home and my mom always cooked from scratch.   Fast food was a treat and saved for good report cards and long road trips to grandparents' houses on holidays.   I cook during the week, but sadly I admit, until recently, we've eaten out most meals on weekends.   The recent halt to eating out has less to do with our decision to eat healthier, but more to do with trying to be fiscally responsible. 
Not only did my mom provide us with healthy foods, but she also is an excellent seamstress.  She sewed our Christmas and Easter dresses.  My brothers had matching vests and bow ties one year for Easter.  She made elaborate Halloween costumes.  My favorite was the Snow White dress she made for me in fourth grade.  I got a sewing machine for Christmas this year, but I won't be sewing my kids clothes.  My goal is to try and make them Halloween costumes, as I was disgusted by the fact that the ones sold in stores were ridiculously over priced and cheaply made.  (We were stapling my son's clown costume together as we walked out the door for trick or treating!)  I should probably start sewing costumes now, if they're going to be done by October. 
I know it doesn't make sense to hold myself to the same standard as my mother.  She was able to stay home with us, and at the time it was more economical to buy fabric and patterns then to buy fancy dresses in the stores.  Today, I can get cute clothes from Target for $3 a shirt and $6 bucks for pants and I'm guaranteed the leg and arm holes are in the right places.  My daughter's favorite dress is actually one we got as a hand-me-down from a friend.  Its black velvet on top on red satin on the bottom.  She loves it because she can twirl in it.  Its obviously a Christmas dress, but I let her wear it in the middle of July to a kinder music class.  It wasn't worth the battle.
I think in our minds we always glorify and create our own fantasy about our mom probably doesn't remember motherhood as glamorous as I viewed it to be on her.  She probably had her own "guilt" issues, they were just different.  She tells me that she admires my confidence and calm as a mother.  I guess, I will continue to read my parenting magazines, books on child development, and consult with my own mother and friends as I try to make the best decisions for my kids in the time and place that we are in, and hopefully far into the future my daughter hopes that she can be as good of mother to her children as I was to her.

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