Processed Food And Mommy Wars

I know.  I know.  This may be a surprising post coming from me.  After all, I talk about reducing chemicals in our household cleaners and the value of farm fresh eggs.  We uprooted our lives to live a simpler, more healthy lifestyle and strive to grow our own food.  But, while I really believe in knowing where our food comes from, I still feed my kids processed food. 

Ten minutes on social media will show you that there are a lot of people that are passionate about their food choices, and they are not afraid to tell you how wrong you are if you don’t do things their way.  I’m pretty sure this post will not make me popular with either side.

We homestead, have a garden, raise some of our meat, and make homemade cleaners. Find out why I still feed our kids processed food. #realfood #processedfood #mommywars #homesteadconfessions

Here is why I don’t stress when I feed my kids processed food:

I refuse to put strain on my family’s finances.  Buying all organic, grass fed, non-GMO, gluten free, etc is expensive.  We are working to grow everything we can and make stuff from scratch to make it more affordable, but it’s a process.  I refuse to beat myself up for taking baby steps, and allowing myself time to learn and grow.

Some days, we just get so busy that the last thing I can manage to do is cook.  I try to have healthy food readily available.  But, after several days of only having time to run inside for a quick lunch and coming in after dark, fried bologna with macaroni and cheese hits the spot.  

I will choose feeding my kids processed foods over being a stressed out screaming mommy.  Sometimes, I just have to know my limits.  My kids will get over the MSG a lot faster than the effects of a screaming mommy.

I can’t do it all, and I am okay with that.  I am not defined by my homemade bread or my spotless house.  (And, that’s fortunate since most of the time neither of those exist.)  It’s important to do the best I can… Then give myself plenty of grace.

Honestly, it makes me mad that we can’t simply go to the grocery store and buy food without scouring every label for high fructose corn syrup or whatever cheap filler they decide to use. 

It is maddening that healthy food is so much more expensive than junk. 

However, what bothers me most is the way we, as moms, attack one another for our choices.  Be it the food we eat, whether or not to vaccinate our children, or how we discipline, there is another mom ready to tell us that we are ruining our kids.  The truth is we are all researching, weighing the odds, and making the best decisions we can for our families.  Many times there is not a “right way”.  There is only “the best we can do in our situation”.  And, overall, we need to remember that being able to argue over such things means we are extremely privileged. 

The reason behind Mommy Wars and what we should do about them. #mommywars

Mommy wars are for women that don’t have to worry about if they will be able to buy a cup of rice for their hungry children with their meager day’s wages, or if they will be able to find clean water, or if they can afford basic medical care.  Mommy wars come from a life where not only are all of our basic needs met, but many of our desires.  Mommy wars come from a position of choice, yet we try to take the choices of others away by shaming them for choosing a different path.  Mommy wars come from a place where we have time to manage our homes, plus time to look over and try to manage our neighbor’s home as well.

So, the next time we feel the need to criticize another mom for choosing differently than us, I pray that we will remember how blessed we are.  Then, may we get on our knees and say a prayer for her.

Have you been affected by mommy wars?  How did you deal with it?

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16 Responses to Processed Food And Mommy Wars

  1. Tasha says:

    Right on! We are also homesteaders who buy local what we can’t raise ourselves, but with an impending $1500 car repair coming up, we’ve had to cut back, meaning some processed meals are back on the menu. I haven’t been exposed to the Mommy Wars much as I don’t get off the homestead too often and tend to ignore arses, but I see it all the time and it makes me ache inside.

    • Mandi says:

      Thank you Tasha! I honestly had a hard time posting this because I see so much judgement out there. However, I feel like I need to be honest about our realities.

  2. No one can do it all, all the time, all the perfect way. I love that you would rather take a break with feeding your kids than lose your temper trying to be perfect! And I love that you try to feed them well most of the time!

  3. JoAnn Deason says:

    this was perfect! I love that you said if we can argue over such things we are truly privileged, what an awesome reminder. I think I tend to beat myself up too much and needed to hear this. My son really wanted hot dogs the other day and I just about drove myself crazy trying to figure out how to afford an organic alternative instead of just letting him have a hot dog and realizing it wouldn’t be the end of the world or make me a bad mom.

  4. Lauren says:

    Wonderful words! Thanks for this. I feel the exact same way about food. Sometimes the budge and reality get in the way of that perfect, “pure” diet.

    You are so right about being in a place of privilege! I’m so tired of the mommy wars, too. They are so divisive and unnecessary; we need to life each other up and allow each mom to parent however she feels is best for her family and not judge her for her choices!

  5. Lara says:

    Absolutely spot on. We try to grow and raise a lot of our own food and to avoid nasty chemicals, but some nights just call for a box of Mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. In the long run, the little bit of processed food will do a whole lot less damage than a burnt out, no fun mommy.

  6. April says:

    This is the best thing I have read in a long time! I have recently became a sahm and we lost half of our income by making this choice. We do the best we can and hope to grow a ton of food this summer and freeze and can as much as possible. Right now every “healthy” meat we have in the freezer has a yellow sticker on it because we can only afford those things when they are discounted 🙂

  7. nora says:

    thank you for this most refreshing post!! we all do what we can for the circumstances present in our lives. i am striving for the homestead life for my family, however life has managed to get in the way in an overwhelming way lately. i have been feeling undone of late from those circumstances and your post put some of the hope back in my backbone.

  8. Christine says:

    Excellent post! Well said!!!

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