On Food and Parenting

Parenting is a full contact sport and there is never a break or a half time.

They should put potential parents through a boot camp to see if they are able to handle the task, but I think this would halt human reproduction. You never get a break while parenting.

Well, I guess there is one when they sleep, but that’s when you need a break. Your body and mind will just go into recharge mode.

It’s not the physicality of it that is what is tiring, it’s the mental, philosophical and societal factor as well. You are responsible for your kids and others judge you if it looks like you are doing it wrong. And if you are really doing it wrong, you will end up in jail or worse.

But at the end of the day nobody knows if they are doing it right or wrong. All we can do is try to keep them fed, well, and “happy.” And happiness is a relative term here, for me and for them. For example, I am happy when we are running around with them playing games, when they are eating a meal I cooked, or when we read a book together. These are just minutes - maybe an half an hour, but there are 24 hours in a day. They only sleep (hopefully) for 8 hours of that. But for my daughters the time it takes me to prepare the meal or the minutes I am checking an email before we play hide and seek makes them sad, bored (often equated with sadness) or upset.

I have worked in the hospitality industry for a very long time and my kids are the most demanding guests I have ever had. And it is constant and forever. It’s not like they finish a meal or a tour and then write a review or talk with management to resolve the issue. They will remember and it will shape their world view of the parents and of themselves.

There was one particular week when my wife and I had to work non-stop for an event. During that time our daughters slept over at Grandma’s and her uncle took her to school. The eldest, Hazell, would see us in the evenings. She was well taken care of, but to this day she remembers that week. She’ll talk about the week that she woke up and her parents weren’t there. Maybe she is guilting us to get something but...I don’t think she is that smart yet. She might have abandonment issues now...sigh. Even though we have take time off from our careers to spend with our kids, the week we had to work and wasn’t home is what she remembers.

As for food, we introduce foods to our daughters all the time. They will make a decision in a second if they will eat it or not. Creating balanced meals full of veggies, meats, rice and breads is just a waste of time. It’s like playing roulette to see what my daughters (I am talking about my older daughter here: Hazell, Luna will eat anything) will eat. Hazell eats more with her eyes than by taste. I have found the best thing to do is to add color or roll it all up in a kimbap rice roll. The kimbap thing though is also a crapshoot because just the other day she decided she no longer likes carrots. And no, she did not tell me before I had made it for her. They eat a ton of hard-boiled eggs, but just the whites.

Restaurants are a catastrophe because it requires my wife and I to wrangle our daughters in while we are trying to eat. If you notice the chaotic family in the restaurant, its not because they aren’t trying, it’s because they are. We could just plop an iPad in front of her but that’s not real parenting, right?

I don’t have any real advice. Maybe I am just venting or maybe I am looking for consensus from other parents. Anyway, have to get back to the grind. Lol?

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