Over the past month or so, I have seen a number of articles about different ways in which mothers feel judged or even attacked by the culture at large. Two that particularly stuck out to me were the opinion piece in The New York Times called Motherhood in the Age of Fear and a series that photographer Abbie Fox put together calling out “mommy shamers.”
The first told the story of a mom who was charged with child abuse for leaving her kid in the car for 5 minutes on a cool March day. It then discussed the ways in which parents, but especially moms, are judged for not meeting certain social norms. “We’re contemptuous of ‘lazy’ poor mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘distracted’ working mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘selfish’ rich mothers.”
The second showed images that Ms. Fox took in response to all the different ways that parents/moms are judged from having medicated births to drinking caffeine while pregnant to breast or bottle feeding to how much video they allow their children to watch.
These articles have really pushed me to think about when I have been judgmental of other parents and when I have felt judged. Both are painful and humiliating. The truth is, we are all trying so hard to do the best we can, even if it will never be perfect. So, just as I would hope that someone would show me some compassion and understanding, I hope that I can do the same for others.
No Shame in Your Food Game
As I have been thinking about these issues, I have also thought about how food is another area in which we judge other parents a lot. Is it “real,” organic, homemade, dye-free, sugar-free, whole grain, processed, the list goes on and on. It’s enough to make anyone crazy — no wonder that so many people struggle with deciding what to make for dinner!
For me, one of my top priorities for The Scramble is that I want it to be a place where anyone can feel comfortable becoming part of the community, no matter where they are in their food journey. If you are a boxed macaroni and cheese and hot dogs person, great. If you are an all-from-scratch, no artificial ingredients person, cool. The goal is for The Scramble to help you to share meals together, to have fun around the dinner table, to try new flavors and dishes, to explore cooking more if it is new to you, and, most importantly, to enjoy the food you eat.
I want to make cooking dinner an easier, less stressful part of your day. I want to make meals a joyful and central part of your family time. But mostly, I want you to be happy about what you feed your family, no matter what it is, because there’s enough to worry about without food being added into the equation.
If this approach resonates with you, sign up for a free trial of The Scramble and see how much easier we can make meal planning for you!