Monday, 27 June 2011

Did we lose the plot?

I am concerned with the current perception that a childhood isn't complete without endless cookies, treats, desserts and trips to McDonalds. I watched an extremely overweight heavy breathing 4 year old eat a box of cookies at the park while the mom said she just couldn't stop him. No matter how demanding your child is you still have the choice to NOT BUY THE COOKIES!

When did we loose the plot? Or more appropriately, when did we loose control?  I read something recently about society’s transition from having children to be laborers on the farm to what we have now - the expectation of having the prodigal gifted child that we pamper, worship and let run the show.  We over schedule them, over and under teach them, hire others to raise them and have higher expectations of them. And you know what all the studies have shown? They are no smarter and no more successful.  In some cases they are just precious pre-madonnas that think because they have a university degree that they deserve to be the president of the company.  More and more they have a great sense of entitlement, and are unwilling to ‘learn the ropes’ or start at the bottom and ‘work their way up’. Or so the article said…

So where do we go from here? The cost of living has soared while incomes have barely changed.  We are broker than we ever have been, and living more and more on borrowed money.  Households need at least two incomes to survive and really would be better off with three (is that even possible?). So we wait later and later in life until we can ‘afford’ to have children or at least until we feel our career can ‘afford’ it. But doesn’t this set a standard for what is important? That what you ‘do’, or ‘how’ you make money and how much money you make is really the important thing?  When we meet people one of the first things we ask is “so what do you do?” Does it really matter? It doesn’t help that our entire identities are now wrapped up in what we ‘do’, our self worth is dependent on it!

I know what happened….mom was at work all day and with what little time she has with her son, she didn’t want to spend it saying “no”.  Love and attention is replaced by stuff. Our guilt causes us to forget that we are the adults and our exhaustion lets healthy food choices fall to the wayside. It doesn’t help that prepared packaged crap is now cheaper than cooking from scratch. I don’t blame her……”it’s the system man”…..

I am, with my limited capabilities, trying desperately to save my kids from this as long as possible.  I know I will not have control of their diets forever but I do know that not once in their almost 4 years have they gotten something other than an apology out of me because of guilt. If I feel that I haven’t done my best by them I tell them and say that I will try to do better tomorrow and that I am sorry.  When it comes to food, we will have healthy real food in this house ONLY. Crap is what you eat at a birthday party.  I am by no means laying claims at being a better mom than any one, we all win and lose at different aspects of this job.  I am only thinking about this because my kids are at an age where I am having more and more social interaction with other parents because of how social my kids have gotten and I have noticed how often they ask me what I ‘do’.  This is so foreign to me. My first inclination is to ask “What’s your story?” or “What are you about?” if all kid based conversation is used up. And to make it even more confusing for me, when I am asked what I ‘do’ my answer is never what I ‘do’ for money. I am not ashamed of what makes me money but it isn’t what I DO.  It is what I ‘do’ with very little of my time – I am a mom and wife 24 hours of the day, I am a friend for a couple.  I am a student for a few. I am a teacher for some.  I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a neighbour, a planner, a thinker, an organizer, and a goofball, none of which I get paid for and they make up more of who I am than what I do 'do'……. heh heh I said 'do do'.


Catherine said...

I love to bake and cook for my family too. I enjoy growing food for them (in my tiny garden!) and make most things from scratch. This takes up a lot of my time though, I admit. And avoiding processed, sugar-filled convenience foods takes planning -- freezing mini muffins or banana bread slices to grab and take to the park. We do indulge in the odd Timbit though -- I don't apologize for that! I spend all of my time and energy being a parent, a partner, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a volunteer -- I don't do a damn thing for pay. What do you do for pay, Em??

Emily Grace said...

Timbit? Gorsh if that is your evil that you are doing great!!

For money~I do the invoicing and book-keeping for a freelance food stylist (he does a lot of the food for Food & Drink magazine) Its part-time but I joke that I make enough to feed me and get my toes done on occasion.

I am also making 'timbit' money from this blog and am in the midst of researching to start up a new business when the twins start school in Sept. But keeping that under wraps until we know if it is a go.