We all need a little kindness

Loved watching the Golden Globes last night, somewhat miffed that I muted the TV during Jodie Foster's speech, Jessica Alba looked the hottest. That's all I've got.

What I really want to write about, of course, is food. Or the lack thereof:


That's what my fridge looked like on Friday night. And, the Peapod truck didn't come until Sunday. We had enough for meals, but nothing to snack on all weekend...pretty much just due to the fact that all of a sudden I have two boys who are apparently growing like weeds, we're now eating approximately one loaf of bread per day and I'm really bad at estimating how much fruit/meat/milk etc to buy each week.

So I got all down on myself for poor planning; I bitched and moaned (internally, of course) about how I'm going to buy double the food for the same amount of money; I (momentarily) committed to letting the family eat first and picking at their leftovers rather than serving myself a whole plate of food which, arguably, I'm not even enjoying anyways because dinner time is so hectic around here.

But since Friday I've had some time to think. And as is helpful any time you're talking yourself down from a ledge, I was able to take a breath, step back and relax. To be a little more kind to myself. To not immediately want to place blame or react irrationally just because this is another change in my problem area of food and finance.

We're not going to go broke because I stop at the store for some extra fruit during the week. I might even splurge on a few boxes of Kleenex rather than keeping  a roll of toilet paper by my bedside.

I'm not a bad mom because I ran out of blueberries, apples, pears, puffs, breakfast sausage, meat and bread. Suddenly, my 2-year-old is devouring all of the above. Who could have known? Two weeks ago he wouldn't have eaten half of what's on that list.

Who put the cap on what I spend on groceries each week anyways? Not that I'm throwing my budget out the window, but who am I kidding? Where did I come up with these numbers? I always set the bar low and then end up going over, taking more money from one "envelope" to put in the grocery pile. It's fine. I'm not wasting our hard-earned dollars on Doritos and Sprite. If we need more strawberries, we need more strawberries. You can drive yourself crazy trying to get the best deal, use your coupons, go to the cheapest store, buy organic only, local meat and dairy, the list goes on and on. There has to be some flexibility. Any plan or lifestyle or dietary change has to fit the rhythm of your family. Know thyself.

And this: If I find myself writing one more post about eating healthy on a budget, I really think I might hit myself in the forehead with this laptop. I know all of the tips and tricks. I know which companies put artificial colors, flavors and additives in their foods. I could teach a class on nutrition, strength training, the Dirty Dozen, you name it. I'm doing the best I can, and if that means a string cheese, crackers, an apple and an orange for lunch because I'm in a rush, it's a heck of a lot better than going through the drive-thru at Burger King.

So you may find me writing more about the "faith" part of my "Food, faith and finance" tagline these days. I think when you're kind to yourself in your area of need, you have less to write about. And I just can't take one more day of self criticism when it comes to what I buy, where I buy it and how I cook it. I'm doing the best I can. Wasn't it the Bible that said "Therefore, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink"? I'm tired of worrying about it. Now that doesn't mean I'm going out for burritos tonight for dinner...it just means that all of this thought and energy could be put to better use elsewhere. I'm a wife and a mom. I have dishes to wash, floors to vacuum, kids to read to, a gym to join (and I finally decided which one!). It's time to be kind to myself in this area, loosen up a bit — responsibly — and watch the miracles start to unravel.

It's also time to put the fun back in food. I used to enjoy clipping recipes, trying out new dishes, paging through the latest Cooking Light. Now, mealtimes have become rushed, tense, uncomfortable and unloving. The vision I had — and still have — for my family is to be gathered around the table, passing the milk, enjoying great food but more importantly great company. We can bake together and not feel guilty that we're having something sweet for dessert. If it's made with maple syrup or honey instead of sugar, even better. But I'm done with the guilt tripping and the comparing myself to others and trying to see things through someone else's eyes.

My family doesn't love me for who I'm trying to be.

They love me for who I am.

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