For the past week, my toddler has asked me to eat m&ms at least 5 times every day. And at least one of those times he ends up crying over it.
I send him with a pb & j sandwich to school 90% of the time. Those perfect lunchboxes you see on social media with homemade sushi, homemade gluten free sugar free cookies, and exotic fruits? That never happens in my house. And I have yet to figure out how any parent can ever make that happen and manage to do anything else with their day.
We only have dinner all together as a family about twice a month. And that’s about how often I get around to showering these days.
I let my toddler watch TV while he eats breakfast. I even let him eat it on the couch most of the time. How else am I supposed to take care of a 2 month old and get everyone ready in the morning? (Speaking of which- it is rare that I even wash my face in the morning, and half the time I drop Teddy off at school while I’m still in pajamas. THANK YOU to his school for doing a car line in the morning so no one sees me in my 10 year old pajamas.)
I have eaten chocolate every single day since my daughter was born. (Never when Teddy is awake because I don’t want to share.)
We get takeout for dinner about one or three times a week right now. Teddy eats his own dinner earlier with whatever I can throw together for him in 5 minutes or less.
I give in to his demands when I just don’t have the energy to deal with a meltdown. Like when he demanded sprinkles on his toast earlier this week, and made me make him new toast because he didn’t want the one with butter that I already made. I told him the sprinkles were to celebrate his Aunt Lauren’s birthday to make myself feel better about it. 🙂
The reason I’m telling you all of this is that I want you to know that feeding your family and taking care of them is hard for everyone. And in some seasons of life you just need to do what it takes to get by.
Yes I’m a dietitian and I care deeply about nutrition, but I’m far from perfect. I post fun food ideas on Instagram, but most days I throw a cup of Cheerios at Teddy while holding the baby and cleaning up my kitchen from the night before (or two nights before).
You can’t be perfect, I can’t be perfect. But I’m doing the best I can. And I know you are too. I try to remember that our kids don’t need us to be perfect. Nothing magical is going to happen if I give my son the perfect diet every single day, as long as I’m doing pretty well with it most of the time.
Times like this, it makes me so grateful to see some other moms out there on social media who keep it real. Some of my favorites are Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean, Chrissa from Physical Kitchness, and Jenna from Eat, Live, Run. They make amazing, beautiful recipes but they are also honest about life with young kids and show some of the less pretty life stuff in their Instagram stories.
I’m writing this post on my phone while laying in bed with my baby girl. When I look at her face I’m reminded of what is truly important- loving my kids with everything I have and showing it to them every day. To all the moms who are in a challenging season right now, you can do this. Not perfectly, not even close, but that’s not what matters. <3