I was emailing with my friend Keltie a couple of weeks ago. She lives in Philly and has a baby girl, Ellie, who's a month older than Eamon. She works part time. We were talking about homemade baby food, and I asked if that was all the rage in Philly, and if she felt pressured to do it (no). I said that I sometimes feel inadequate that I don't make all of E's food. I feel like the big thing in Austin is to make all your own food, use only natural cleaning products (who wouldn't want to, but still), wear your baby, co-sleep, cloth diaper, don't let baby cry, etc. I feel pressured, even though I know I should just do what feels right for us.
In any case, this is what Keltie said:
"The parenting inadequacies are sure to pile up (see my sidebar about not documenting her first year) and I'm not wasting my guilt on homemade food. Talk to me when she's getting bullied or something real."
She really put things in perspective for me. I suddenly saw how ridiculous I was being. I mean, I was feeling guilty about buying organic baby food! It's sick. Sick, sick, sick.
Ever since then, a weight has come off my shoulders. From now on, I refuse to feel guilty buying baby food, and I won't feel pressured to make Eamon's food. If I want to make some, I will, but only if I have the time. This week, for instance, TJ and I are planning on making some food for him Wednesday night. We bought asparagus (which I haven't seen in jars, and I'd like to introduce it to him), and summer squash, which E loves. And sweet potatoes, which we haven't made in a long time. I'm actually looking forward to making this stuff together and stocking the freezer. It doesn't feel as much like a chore with two people, and if you have the time and energy, it can be a very satisfying process. I said IF!
Maybe it sounds hypocritical that we're about to make baby food after I just said I wasn't going to succumb to the pressures of making it, but the motivation is different. In the past I would've felt guilty for only making a portion of E's fruits and veggies, but now I'm only doing what feels right and am at peace with buying the rest. And if this is the last time we make it, who cares.
This is all such bullshit, isn't it?