Thursday, April 17, 2014

Leading a Processed Food Life

I'm a bad mother.

Before people who know me start defending me, hear me out.

In addition to letting my offspring view violent superhero movies and use technology that I read causes autism (that's a response post for another day), I do not provide a healthy diet. I know full well that everything from aspartame and salt to flour and fructose is hurting me and my family, and yet I continue to feed it to my family.*

The studies on the terrible effects of processed food are many, and the severe intestinal pain I suffer periodically is proof enough. I'm probably even giving myself cancer (down the road). You know what's even worse than severe physical pain? The anxiety I have about being a bad mother.**

Our current parenting culture is one of intense disapproval, from within as well as without, and it is crushing. God how I wish it were easier to read scientific studies than it is to read headline-grabbing articles about what the latest celebrity says is the best way to parent.

So, if I believe they're (somewhat) correct, why am I not heeding the advice of every know-it-all mom posting in my Facebook newsfeed? Why am I not eating fermented vegetables and gluten-free quinoa in six small meals per day? Because...
  • It's disgusting
  • I'd have to completely change the way I shop
  • I'd have to completely change the way I cook
  • I'd have to fight with my family
  • It would cost more (Don't even try to argue this one. It would.)
  • It would be a huge time investment
  • I don't have any f*#@ing time
But Lindsay, if you have time to write this post and to read about Alicia Silverstone and Jenny McCarthy and dozens of other pseudo-pediatrician celebrities, that's time you could spend cooking delicious vegan tofu for dinner. Right.

This post has been several years in the making, so don't ever talk to me about time management. I work two f%*#ing jobs in addition to caring for my children and not sleeping. Not sleeping. Not sleeping.

So what is the trade off for eating nothing but delicious empty calories that come out of lovely crinkly packages (besides my medically unexplained intestinal pain)? In reverse order of importance...
  • Weight gain (Minimal now. Will probably be much worse when breastfeeding is done.)
  • Lack of energy
  • Fear that I will die young
  • Fear that I'm hurting my children
  • Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety
The fact that nothing is worth more to me than my kids contributes to the anxiety. Am I just a lazy American? Do I need to shake up my entire world, my entire life, my entire family with a big lifestyle change? I can entertain the thought, but I just don't see it happening.

It's too hard. I never thought I was someone to shy away from something that's good for my family based on the fact that it's too hard. But it's too hard.

*In addition to what is traditionally thought of as processed food (Cheetos, McDonald's, M&M's, hotdogs), we also eat meat and the occasional fruit, vegetable, and grain from an average, non-organic, pesticide-filled grocery store.

**There are also several studies that prove that anxiety and stress cause physical pain. Vicious, vicious cycle.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that's what you want
Be your number one

I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that's what you ask
Give you all I am

I can do it

But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I'm only human

I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that's what you need
Be your everything

I can do it
I can do it
I'll get through it

But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
Cause I'm only human

I'm only human
I'm only human
Just a little human

I can take so much
Until I've had enough

Cause I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
Cause I'm only human

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday: a typical day in the life

1:12 am: Wake to baby screaming. Feed baby, burp. Lay him back down. Go to sleep.

2:28 am: Wake to baby screaming. Wonder if I changed his diaper last time. Change his diaper. Feed baby, burp. Lay him back down. Go to sleep.

3:02 am: Realize baby is screaming because he doesn't want to lay flat, because he's so used to sleeping upright in his car seat and I'm a crap mother. Pick him up and try to comfort him. Sit him in his car seat. Listen and watch him fuss for ten minutes until he falls back to sleep. Lay awake wondering how little sleep is needed to actually function.

4:10 am: Wake up coughing. Cough on and off for the next couple hours, mostly just terrified that my coughing is going to wake the baby.

7:28 am: "Shit. Ohmygod why didn't my alarm go off?" Discover my cell phone has moved from the nightstand to under my pillow. "Really, Lindsay? Really?"

7:30 am: Stare at the ceiling, feeling guilty that Fletcher is going to miss his 8:10 speech class. Sigh heavily.

7:31 am: Start running around the house like a crazy person to get the kids ready for school (i.e., trying to breastfeed the baby and put Fletcher's socks on at the same time).

8:08 am: Congratulate myself on getting Fletcher to school.

8:30 am: Try to get some work done while holding a wiggly baby. Feed him. Wheel the pack-n-play into the bathroom. Make Truman's day by introducing him to a toy tambourine. Take a shower. Wonder where all my bruises came from.

9:00 am: Compliment Truman on his excellent tambourine playing. Wonder if he's going to be a musician. Watch him go from super happy to super upset in a matter of seconds. Yep, he's a musician.

9:30 am: Start laundry. Feed the screaming baby. He falls asleep. Eat a pop-tart and do some more work. Try to find something healthy to make for lunch.

10:38 am: Baby wakes up. Check the window to see if Fletcher's bus (van) is here yet. It is. Find out later that the van driver had been early today and left a message on husband's phone stating that if no one came out to get Fletcher soon he would take him back to school. WTF. Move laundry to dryer.

10:54 am: Fletcher begs for pancakes and insists on using the new bottle of syrup, not the one that's already open. Wonder if/how other parents manage to serve healthy food.

11:40 am: Clean up kitchen and Fletcher from syrup tornado. Feed the baby. Try to get everyone ready for daycare. Remember belatedly that there's laundry in the dryer.

12:35 pm: Kids are now at daycare. Drive-thru Taco Bell because Fletcher's soggy pancake leftovers really didn't hit the spot. Go to work.

12:55 pm: Work. Pump milk. Work. Pump milk. Work.

7:45 pm: While still obsessing over work projects, drive to meet the family at McDonald's for yet another super healthy meal.

9:04 pm: Back home, put in Captain America at Fletcher's request. Nothing says preschool education like a World War II movie. Feed the baby rice cereal. Try to prevent massive hungry baby from eating the bowl and spoon as well. {see video above}

11:00 pm: Normally this is when I'd be doing my second job, book editing, while the rest of the house sleeps. Since I'm on a brief sabbatical from that, I'm blogging my life instead.