Parenting Lessons.

Feeding Isaac has begun consuming a large portion of my brain space lately.

Here’s the situation:

My daycare provides free baby food for the first year. Do you know how hard it is to turn down free food?? Hard. I love free things. (Yes I have the best daycare ever. They also give us free diapers.)

This food is traditional baby food. Nothing out of the ordinary. But I am trying to give Isaac a good start as a healthy eater and I don’t want to have him eat foods that have sugar added and potentially have been exposed to pesticides and other nasty ingredients.

I also believe that eating locally grown produce is just better for our bodies, our planet, and our local communities. I like having farms and open spaces where I live, and I want Isaac to grow up with that, too. So making my own baby food makes sense. It fits in with my food ethic and the values I want to instill in my child.

So what’s the problem?

One, I am not awesome at going against the norm. I wonder if the awesome teachers think differently of me, or make fun of me as a hippie granola mom. I wonder if they think I’m a snob. Why do I care? I shouldn’t, really. And they have been nothing but accommodating with all of my requests (breast milk, nursing at lunchtime, no juice, etc.)

Two, I don’t have a lot of time for anything. As any working mom or dad will tell you, time becomes a precious commodity when you only get a few short hours with your child daily. So I have to balance whether my desire to DIY baby food outweighs other priorities like time with my family, exercising, showering, etc. For a few weeks, this won out. I bought organic baby food (crazy expensive) and then I just let Isaac have what the other kids ate.

But in a rare moment of lucidity and clarity, I realized that this internal battle is just the beginning. We as parents will have to make decisions for our son daily that might go against the grain (if we are any good, they will.) Next year it might be what he brings for snack, and the year after it might be the types of games we let him play. Then whether we let him drink underage, or go to R rated movies. Who knows. The point is, this is basic training for bigger decisions coming down the road.

And most importantly, more important than the food he eats or games he plays, or what daycare thinks of me, is that we are raising a young man who won’t be afraid to make the difficult decision, even when it isn’t easy. (Yup, paraphrased Dumbledore. Boom.)

That’s my parenting ramble for the day. I’d love to hear thoughts on this. How do other parents feel? Am I just crazy? Do you love free things? How about Dumbledore?

Also, any good baby food recipes??

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