A Happy Meal

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He’s a good hand model, don’t you think?

On the fast food school of thought, there  are two extreme categories of moms :

  1. The moms that only feed their kids organic food and look down on other moms for not doing the same.
  2. The moms that feed their kids fast food very often whether it be by choice or because that’s all that they can afford, such as my childhood.

Then within those two extremes are what I like to call “the norms”:

  • Those that feed their kids organic foods but don’t give a crap what you feed your kids.
  • Those that try their best to just feed their kids healthily, whether it be organic or just regular home cooked meals, but every once it a while they see no harm in getting their kids a happy meal.
  • The moms that are the same as the last one listed but rather than being okay with it, they feel a bit of shame when they buy their kids fast food.

I’m guessing that the majority us fall into the latter because we know that in this day & age it’s considered a bit of a mommy faux pas amongst the masses. As mothers, we’re shamed for absolutely everything. Public breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, dressing too frumpy, dressing too scantily “for a mom”, not wearing enough make up, wearing too much make up “for a mom”, staying at home, working full-time  and having to use daycare, drug free birth, drug assisted birth, being too skinny, not being skinny enough…  And towards the top of the list WHAT WE FEED OUR KIDS.

In 2016 there’s both a hunger for convenience as well as education. We’re now the most aware we’ve ever been of what’s being put into our foods and we’re not happy about it. We try to protect our children the best that we can… But that DOES NOT make us bad mothers if we decide to go to a drive through and give our kids a happy meal every once in a while.

Fast food chains have been given a terrible name but the truth of the matter is, the choice of whether or not to eat it is pretty much ALWAYS THERE. No one is forcing you to go, wait in line, order, pay for your food and eat it.

When we went through the McDonald’s drive through and bought our daughter her first Happy Meal recently, I felt a tinge of guilt for buying her all the greasy goodness in a small box… Oh that deep rooted mommy guilt, you get me every time. My husband, however, did not feel the same way. He reminded me that we both have our own history with fast food, for him particularly McDonald’s.

My husband East is a humble man. He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and it definitely wasn’t always easy. When he first arrived in California from Singapore 12 years ago, he had $300 dollars in his pocket and a backpack full of clothes. Through his quest to become a better tattoo artist, there were a lot of days that there just wasn’t a lot of, if any money left over after buying supplies he needed for work and paying for his hostel. He’d be left with close to nothing but if he had $3 to his name he knew he could go to McDonald’s and order 3 chicken sandwiches (off of the then dollar menu) and go to bed that night with a full belly. For him, looking back on that, he’ll always be forever grateful to McDonalds. The place that so many choose to very openly hate.

For me, as I mentioned before, my family grew up struggling so most of my meals as a kid were comprised of either: Dinty Moore beef stew, frozen lima beans heated up in a bowl, or fast food. I’m grateful I had the last option in those days because stew gets real old, I’ll tell you. But now just having the choice of ordering fast food as an occasion as opposed to a means to live, is a luxury in my mind. It’s an accomplishment to me that it’s no longer a necessity and a reminder of how far I’ve come. And that is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

I remembered seeing this eye opening post written by a former McDonald’s employee a few months ago that I HIGHLY recommend everyone take a moment to read. It too, made me feel better about no longer shaming myself for simply living my life and feeding my child a damn happy meal with a cute little toy in the box.

I’m not here to advocate for Mickey D’s or even for fast food chains in general. I am here however to advocate for YOU mama. I’m here to remind you again that your choices are your choices alone and life is all about finding a balance. Screw what society accepts or doesn’t accept about you as a mother, you’re doing just fine. I’m writing this post because it started off as a joke between my husband & I. I wouldn’t normally admit to more than the nice little homemade fresh fruit smoothies I make every other day for my daughter, but if anyone’s going to speak openly about the mommy faux pas, it’s certainly going to be me. We have to start giving each other and ourselves a break. We’re working too hard and stressing too much not to.

Chill mama, you’re doing an awesome job.

xo Alyssa’s Roses

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