Mealtimes are a beautiful balance of fun, chaos an anxiety in this house. I’m pretty sure it’s the same in most households. Parents are anxious about weather the kids are consuming enough and when they are it’s a worry that it’s enough of the good stuff. The kids like to sing you the song of their people whilst talking/shouting about their day and putting up a fight about how much they eat because they know you have a sweet treat waiting tonight and are they hell missing it. There’s a chaotic mess of Everything everywhere, stray peas rolling for victory off the table and sippy cups being used to water your carpet (I wouldn’t be that surprised if plants sprouted) it’s just a typical day in any home.
For us there’s a little more to it than that. Another layer added to the mix. My eating disorder is a constant unwanted extra guest looming over us at meal times. Although I’m working through recovery it’s still an aspect of my life I’m having to come to terms with. I have to sound out that voice and find the one that wants to correct me or push me on in the days we already have enough to think about. It’s another layer of anxiety. Another bit of chaos.
I’ve done my best to find a way that works though. To find that thing that helps. And making mealtimes as fun as we possibly can has been that. I try to eradicate the stress and keep things as relaxed and happy as possible. So far it seems to work for us.
I vowed that as baby was weaning I would, alongside her learn about food, good food and the value it has. I wanted to do this for both of us, but really it’s changed all of us. Even grandparents are eating less meat, consuming less sugar and incorporating more nutrients into each meal. As a family it’s been a great journey and we have all got there in time for missy wanting what we eat (which is 98% of the time what she has but what’s on our plate is obviously better -so she thinks)
We keep it fun. We cook as a family, let little miss make a mess and get involved with the food and if she feels he need to wear the food as a facemask we go with it. Keeping it fun helps me stay calm. If I’m calm I’m less likely I’m going to be worked up over food. If I’m calm about food then so is little miss. So mess and intrigue is welcome.
My secret weapon in dealing with all this mess? SHOWER CURTAIN! Pop that bad boy down under babys chair, keep them centered in the room and they can’t get very much dirty. Once they’ve finished pick that bad boy up, shake it into the garden, shower off/pop in the wash and it’s gone like that!
I’m honest about bad days. I tell Scott exactly how I’m doing. If I’m struggling that day I tell him. It helps to have someone there who can support you when you are struggling and who you know will support you in a way that helps rather than hinders you. He uses no guilt or force in getting me back on track. He helps me write the day off and start again the next. It’s okay to have a bad day. Just accept it, cross it off and pick it back up the next day.
I also have an arsenal of quick healthy feel good foods that I can turn to on bad days. Foods that won’t work me up but that are still nutritional. I mean don’t get me wrong there’s a few nights I’ve only managed toast but something is better than nothing.
Thankfully, step by step we are getting there. Missy is eating like a champ regardless to the fact she still has no teeth. I’m concentrating less on consumption and more on variety.
Remember you are doing great, it takes time and you will get there.
Love and hugs,