when parenting meets reality

reality

Have you ever met the perfect parent? Well I have to say that before I had kids, I was the perfect parent. In my pre-kids era, I had a big old list of all the things my kids would NEVER ever do, say, or wear. Here are some examples:

  1. My kids will always listen.
  2. My kids will never have boogers hanging from their nose.
  3. My kids will always be respectful and use “inside voices” in appropriate places and situations.
  4. My kids will never hang off the shopping cart crying at Target or run away from me and hide in a sea of clothes racks.
  5. My kids will never have meltdowns in public places.
  6. My kids will never jump on furniture or on each other for that matter.
  7. My kids will always say “please” and “thank you.”
  8. My kids will always be dressed neatly and will never “wear” their breakfast, lunch, or dinner or eat off of the floor.
  9. My kids will never push, hit, or pull the hair of another human being.
  10. My kids will never throw things while having a tantrum. Oh heck, my kids will never throw a tantrum.
Then reality set in when I became a mom. I had to tweek my list a bit. Here goes:
1. My kids will always listen. Except when they don’t and I have to send them to time out.
2. My kids will never have boogers hanging from their nose. Except when they’re sick or when I haven’t gotten around to wiping them yet or I forgot to use my sleeve.
3. My kids will always be respectful and use “inside voices” in appropriate places and situations. Except when they shout and I have to remove them from said place (museum, movie theater, grocery store, library, etc.).
4. My kids will never hang off the shopping cart crying at Target or run away from me and hide in a sea of clothes racks. Except when I lose sight of them for one second and I start frantically calling their name and searching for them, only to find them hiding in a sea of flannel pajamas. 
Can you find my kid? Yeah, me neither.
5. My kids will never have meltdowns in public places. Except when they are cranky and they want something and I say “NO!”
6. My kids will never jump on furniture or on each other for that matter. Except when they get excited about something and decide to celebrate by cannon-balling off the sofa.
7. My kids will always say “please” and “thank you.” Except when they forget or don’t want to and I have to remind them. {again and again and again and again}.
8. My kids will always be dressed neatly and will never “wear” their breakfast, lunch, or dinner or eat off of the floor. Except when they are babies and toddlers and kids, because HELLO- kids are messy and get dirty.
9. My kids will never push, hit, or pull the hair of another human beingExcept every so often when said human being steals their toy and I can’t get in there quick enough to prevent the pushing or hitting or pulling from happening. 
10. My kids will never throw things while having a tantrum. Oh heck, my kids will never throw a tantrum. Except when they do. Because kids are kids and sometimes they get upset and don’t have the capacity to control their feelings. After all, they’re just kids. 

As you can see, I had extremely high parenting expectations before I had kids. I think a lot of (first time) parents do. But now that they’re here in the flesh, I have succumbed to the reality that I can’t control everything. My family is not perfect. The best I can do is teach my kids right from wrong, instill proper values into their lives, and above all else, love them unconditionally. Oh and hope for the best.

momthropology 101


Knock knock.
Who’s there?
High School.
__________

Why is it that it’s the year 2012 and yet sometimes I feel like I’ve been transported back to the mid-90’s? It’s not the latest fashion trends. It’s definitely not the music. And it’s not even the fact that today I spotted at least 3 women (4, if you include me) at the grocery store sporting “The Rachel.”

After careful observation, I have concluded that mommyhood is basically high school all over again. You know, the time in your life when you’re desperately searching to find out who you are and where you most fit in.

In high school, we had the jocks, preps, punks, popular, dramas, nerds, grunge (yes, grunge).

In mommyhood, we have the working moms, stay-at-home moms, soccer moms, helicopter moms, tiger moms, crunchy moms, yoga moms, yada yada yada. And just like in high school where I floated from clique to clique never really cementing myself into one particular group- motherhood has been a similar experience for me. From the outside, most people would probably say I am more of a crunchy-granola-yoga mom because I choose organic foods, I love to exercise and do yoga, and I try to implement an all around healthy and green lifestyle for my family. But to me, I am just a mish mosh of mom types that never really fit into a mold pre- or post kids:

  • I breast-fed both my children well into toddlerhood, but used disposable diapers.
  • I co-slept initially, but kicked them out as soon as I possibly could.
  • I wore my babies for about 30 seconds, then opted for a stroller.
  • I made my own baby food (once or twice), then busted out the Earth’s Best.
  • I put my kids in time-out and yell when I’m mad.
  • I get tired, cranky, irritated- and am not afraid to admit it.
  • I say “no” to my kids, then change my mind so they will stop nagging me.
  • I make mistakes, but try my hardest to learn from them.
  • Potty training is/was a pain in the ass.

In my experience with motherhood, I think it’s safe to say that versatility is key. Decide what works for you and your family and use it. Keep an open mind and be willing to change and adapt. Take our culture’s obsession with fitting moms into a particular group or category with a grain of salt. The bottom line: We’re moms leading different [crazy] lives and we need all the support we can get to feel confident in our parenting choices. You might be surprised to find the best mom friends you meet could be the ones that do the exact opposite of you.

lisa

ps. Meet me in the cafeteria, I saved you a seat.


you say tomato, i say, is that tomato organic?


I have always been interested in health, nutrition, the human body, and wellness. But that’s pretty much all it was: an interest. Before I entered chiropractic school and long before I had my two yogi babies, I didn’t think too much about good health and definitely didn’t take any conscious action to improve and maintain it on a daily basis.

Growing up, I wasn’t aware of organic farming or genetically-modified organisms. I thought a tomato was a tomato and that was that. I was taught to eat my fruits and vegetables, my chicken and steak, and drink my milk. I never asked where our food came from (I just assumed the supermarket) and never read food labels. Just give me a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, m&m’s and send me on my merry way. But it wasn’t just cookies and candy. My mother did prepare home-cooked meals for dinner with the occasional Friday night pizza party. Pop was a staple in our home as well as white bread and potato chips. If my mother worked on the weekend, my father would get us Happy Meals from MacDonald’s or cheeseburgers from Burger King. It was easy. It was cheap. I guess you could say that besides the actual process of eating the food, we were pretty disconnected from everything else involved.

Exercise and health weren’t a huge part of the picture either. I mean, I was a pretty active kid and so were my siblings, friends, and cousins. On any given day you could find all of us pedaling fiercely on our bikes and jumping from pool to pool. There were endless nights of ghost in the graveyard, water fights, dance recitals, and gymnastics on the front lawn. But this was just part of being a kid back then. My parents were well-educated and held fine jobs, but they never emphasized how important it was to stay fit and exercise.  I suppose they didn’t understand what it meant to actually be healthy. I never saw them working out or going for runs. In fact, I never saw any of the adults around me taking control of their health. Most just complained about getting old and having this or that ailment.  I can hear it now:

“Now honey, don’t get old. You get achy and tired and have to take prescription drugs and have no energy and osteoporosis and heart disease and arthritis and (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank).”

See what I mean?

This is a stark contrast from my adult life. Everyday I live and breathe health and wellness. I find it of the utmost importance to maintain health and stay connected to it. Understand that every decision you make has the potential to keep you healthy or cause disease. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Every decision? Seriously? Is this woman nuts?” And you’re right. I am nuts. No, just kidding. When I say every decision, I mean being present (the yogi in me) and conscious of the choices you make for you and your family. Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, diet, nutrition, exercise, and meditation are no exception.

So without further ado, what kind of mother am I?

I am a natural birth advocate.

I am a lactivist (pro-breastfeeding) and intactivist.

I am an organic freak.

I support local farms and sustainable agriculture.

I read food labels.

I avoid synthetic fillers and preservatives in food.

I avoid food dyes such as Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1.

I rally against gmo’s and pesticides.

I despise Monsanto.

I practice yoga (even with my kiddos).

I do not litter, not even a flitter of litter.

I recycle everything.

I am green conscious.

I am a chiropractor.

I am a mother.

Are your eyes rolling yet?? I know, I know.  Yes, I am that mom.  I guess you could call me a “granola,” or “crunchy,” or a “crunchy granola,” or a “crunchy mama.” (Anyone order their free-range, grass-fed, organic turkey from their local farm for Thanksgiving yet?) Honestly though, I think these labels are silly. You can be an “informed mom” and not have to be labeled as the “hippie crunchy mommy.” It’s ok though, I’ll own it. I find it’s very important to be informed on such topics like the need to choose organic food for our families and the need to understand why and how Monsanto is destroying our earth. Monsanto who? We will tackle that in future posts. But for now, here are a few stats on kids health in the US today:

1 in 10 have asthma.  1 in 17 have allergies.  1 in 5 are obese.  1 in 110 are autistic (1 in 60 boys).  1 in 10 have ADHD.   1 in 4 is on prescription drugs.

More and more children with diabetes, high cholesterol, food allergies, asthma, reflux, ear infections, dairy and gluten intolerance, etc etc. The list goes on and on and on.

Why is this happening and what can we do about it?  I really believe we can change what is happening to our kids and our families by taking the following steps:

  1. Take Responsibility: Is sickness something that happens to us or do we create it?  Be responsible for your family and their health as well as your own.
  2. Make Healthy Educated Choices: All food is not created equal. Choose whole, organic foods for your family. These are free from pesticides & gmo’s, artificial dyes & synthetic fillers.  Know what you are feeding your family by reading food labels. If you do not know what a particular ingredient is, look it up. Get moving! Exercise gives our bodies oxygen and energy.  Manage your stress with meditation and an evening out with friends (woot! woot!). Include the kids with a mommy and me yoga class. Get adjusted. Maintain a healthy spine.
  3. Be the Oddball: Know that it is perfectly all right to step “outside the box” when it comes to health.  Choose a proactive, preventative, wellness lifestyle.  Demand quality foods and care for your family.
Please join the Mommy Om community on Facebook and follow this blog for more great tips to natural healthy living.
Yours in health,
dr.lisa