Not so long ago I had rules in my mind about how to be a mother. I refined them as I went, but mostly I was afraid to break a rule and somehow jeopardize something crucial. So lately with two intense, lovable, spirited babes, I’ve been learning what *is* crucial? Isn’t that a gift? A lot of people teeter on the edge of that for their whole lives, not wanting to face some of the fears within themselves. Life has pushed me up against the truth so hard I am bruised and breathless…but I recover and I’m here. What is crucial for a quality life? Food. Real food. Alive food. Unprocessed food. This will still mean different things to different people, but I can say that the developed world is overrun with non-food of which we still consume too much (frozen pizza emergency meals 3 times a week anyone?). Shelter. Clothing/warmth. Love. Hopefully that encompasses a healthy environment (the earth and the emotional environment)
Here’s the thing, like many overly educated women, I read a lot. I read studies and threads on mothering.com and various Waldorf, allergen free family, healthy lifestyle type email groups. I am inundated with a lot of information which groups tend to distort according to their own life experiences and biases and turn into the gospel. The rules. You know exactly what I mean. Every group has their own and will eagerly shun and criticize people who either fall outside the norm their rules can deal with, or who ask too many questions. Sometimes it gets very confusing for a young mother, low on sleep, desperately trying to find the best for her child. Sifting and fighting her way through the miasma of words and statistics and anecdotal evidence. Some people just like the sound of certain philosophies and latch onto them eagerly, only to find life eventually pushes them up against a limitation. That is life, afterall. Nothing is black and white. There is VALID information that contradicts other VALID information. It IS mind boggling. The sooner we accept that, the easier our lives and relationships will be. I honestly think people do the best they can with what they have. So I am learning to stop judging, to throw out the rules. My life has just proven rules are meant for breaking.
Both Noah and Sapphire have led me to this truth. It has been very hard, as I was a born poet and idealist. Ideals are important, they keep us striving, but we have to accept we will not ever get *there*. We are always *here* and that’s that. Sometimes drugs are best for a mother or baby, and only that mama can decide that and you CANNOT know what is right for her. Sometimes vegetarianism is healing, sometimes local food, sometimes high quality animal fats. I have experienced all of these and more.
So I decided to give my baby solids at five months. Not just any solids, but very animal based high quality fats…egg yolks, bone broth, small amounts of organic butter and yogurt, steamed carrots with butter, mashed sardines. He is devouring everything. He is still nursing as much. His reflux has calmed considerably, except when I try to make him vegetarian for a day. What I am reading about his particular needs with GERD is matching up with what he seems to want. For some babies this may not be best (but please if you are suffering health problems check out the Weston A. Price foundation website and read nutrition and physical degeneration and look at the amazing photos. See if it resonates). This is just one of so so many decisions I have made that have put me outside the acceptable boundaries of a clique of people. So be it. Health is crucial as far as Im concerned, and I have seen results with sapphire with this type of diet for her GERD and cavities. Many people with similar health issues as my family have thrived on these recommendations. At some future point what we need may change. I have broken every rule by now, I am committed to following my instincts and my children.
Let’s stand together in our differences. That makes life rich.