As a mother of three daughters: a soon to be 16 year old and 12 year old twins, my every day goal is to make good healthy decisions for myself so that I can be around a long, long time and so that as adults my daughters will make healthy lifestyle choices through the examples I am setting for them now.
It's a constant struggle however as I so badly want to absolutely forbid all McDonald's french fries, soda pop in my house and candy store adventures. However, while I am fairly extreme in my own personal healthy lifestyle choices, I have a husband who believes in enjoying these delicacies more than I do and allowing our kids to indulge fairly often. So where and how do I draw that line in the sand? I never want to be "that mom" who restricts treats every day.
So I did what most mothers do and turned to a like-minded girlfriend for advice on the matter. "How do I get my husband and kids to follow my nutritional advice and wear sunscreen and stop eating fried and sugary crap?", I asked her desperately. Her answer was to continue to lead by example and they will make good choices on their own. She also cautioned about getting too stressed about it and losing my mind. "It will all work out", she said.
We have all seen examples of parents who ban all treats and sugar and the kids go hog wild and binge when out of sight of their parents. I would never want this for my kids. I would much rather lead the horse to water than try to force them to drink it. In other words, I want to keep educating them on "my why" behind my lifestyle choices and hope that they order that healthy menu item rather than burgers and fries. After all, I used to drink maple syrup straight from the jug and thought that fries and gravy for lunch every day in high school was a good choice. I shudder at the thought but also learned that I turned out ok once I became educated in proper nutrition in my twenties and thirties.
After all the discussion and worrying unnecessarily over choices I can't always control, I have decided to take my girlfriends' advice. I am going to save my own sanity and allow my daughters to make their own choices (with limits of course) while setting a good example and educating along the way. I will, of course, continue to eat and live as clean as possible in terms of my diet and natural personal care products and home products, manage my daily stress through yoga, breathing and meditation, and exercise my way to a healthy body and mind. I'm sure in the end I am worrying for nothing and everything always has a way of working itself out. And moderation truly is the golden key to everything in life.
p.s. As I finished writing this blog today, I saw my eldest daughter making a healthy banana smoothie for lunch. Hallelujah! Maybe it is working after all.