When I browse the aisles of the grocery store, my intent is so pure for feeding my almost two-year-old son the most fresh, organic, and healthy foods I can stock up on. I literally feel like Supermom as I toss some grass-fed, hormone-free organic chicken in my grocery cart alongside a plethora of peas, carrots, and broccoli. For snack, I think to myself, Gavin will have fresh apple slices and bananas. Nothing frozen. Nothing processed. Nothing store-bought. Only the best for my little boy because I am a modern-day Mom that knows better than to feed my child junk.
Fast-forward to 5:30pm. I get stuck in New Haven traffic on my way home from work. I pull into daycare as I fumble for the third copy of the door code they gave me (I got seriously side-eyed because I lost it twice) to get into the building. Paint-covered Gavin is ecstatic to see Mommy and I quickly check his folder to take home any precious artwork he did for the day. As I buckle him up in his car seat, I get a text from my husband that he is working late and needs me to pick up dog food because we ran out. Gavin is excited about this trip as he pets (harasses) the furry creatures in the aisles of Petco as I try to keep him from taking every last item off the shelf.
Its 6:15 now and I know Gavin must be starving. I think to myself, I can cook that hormone-free chicken. After working 9 hours and commuting two, the not-so-Supermom finds herself at the drive-through at good ol’ Mickey D’s. “I’ll take a kid’s happy meal with apple slices.” Hey, at least he will get the apple slices I think to myself and feel slightly less guilty. Organic quinoa tomorrow.
I am constantly in the pursuit of putting my son’s health and well-being first and sometimes find myself taking shortcuts that leave me ashamed as if I’d ruined all the months of healthy eating with one happy meal. Kind of like that feeling when you ate healthy all day and then just stuff a cupcake down after the gym. Ohhh, the guilt. But then I take a step back and know that life gets in the way of your “perfect plan” and sometimes, you just gotta have a Happy Meal (or that cupcake).
The truth is, it’s okay to use McDonald’s french fries as your rescue when you can’t be Supermom every day. It’s okay to use your iPhone as a way to distract your child on an airplane or in a restaurant every once in a while. It’s okay to let them watch more TV than Dr. Sears recommends for childhood development. It’s okay, gasp, for your 2 year old to eat goldfish off the floor. It’s okay. They will be okay. It’s okay to be a part-time Supermom.