It’s a funny thing about being a dietitian, that somehow people think that I think differently about feeding my kids. I mean- I do. I try to keep their meals balanced, try to let them dictate how much or how little they want to eat, and I really try not to sweat it when there is a day that where nothing that passes my kids lips has any nutritional value. You know the days- where it’s birthday party after family dinner after birthday party and you wonder how it's humanly possible for a little being to eat their body weight in cake.
I am lucky to be in a profession where I can educate families as to maintain a healthy diet and how to raise healthy eaters. But the truth is that the very real education of mom life has almost affected my practice as a dietitian more than the other way around.
As a mom-titian (not a word) I would never tell a pregnant women just trying to keep any food down that she should really consider having a salad for lunch, or that she really shouldn’t be standing in her kitchen in pajamas at 2 am eating peanut butter on crackers (totally hypothetical). I realize that “getting your body back” for most women means actually trying to get your hands free enough for the two seconds you can try to shower once every few days, not on looking exactly how you did before a baby decided to use your nether regions as a revolving door.
And with twins I KNOW the struggle of finding the dinner you thoughtfully prepared on the floor around the high chair for no apparent reason other than your kid wanted to see what it would look like as it splattered.
The truth is, that every day I shift between wearing my dietitian hat and my momma hat and I usually have to practice with both of them on. At home it’s my dietitian hat that prevents me from freaking if my kids go a full day without eating, even when my mama hat sure makes me want to! When I’m at work, it’s the dietitian hat that makes sure that the recommendations I make are nutritionally sound, but it’s the momma hat that makes sure that they’re doable and realistic within the life of the client in front of me. The truth is that once you put on your momma hat you never really take it off. As much as other areas of your life can influence your experience as a mom being a mom, and the lessons that come with it influence every other area of our lives just as much. It means that with every picky eater I have in front of me, I have a greater understanding of just how stressful mealtimes can be. Or when a mom complains of a lack of time as a factor to getting meals on the table, I totally get it. I get it all, because I’m a mom too.