Low Stress Parenting

low-stress-parenting

There have been a number of books and articles recently about the high stresses of motherhood, the search for perfection, the anxiety to “balance work and family.” The New York Times Book Review had a piece on “the Mommy trap” (2/20/05). As my children are now both in their early 30’s, one with two kids of her own, I thought I’d take a look at what I did, as I don’t remember being so hysterical about the work of motherhood, even though I was a single parent for most of their early lives, and pretty hands-on. The kids seem to have done well enough and grown up to be decent, loving, honest, hard-working people. And they are nice to me, too. What else could a mother want?

I’ll share here some of my parenting thoughts and practices. Please note, this is a personal story. It is not a recommendation, although if you find here some useful thoughts feel free to take them and adapt them to your own life. Make sure to discuss child carehealth-related ideas with your family and health practitioners. Please note also that as this is so personal, and I’m well aware that there are many different living styles that also have good results, there is no judgment involved about people who do things differently.

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Fat-free Food: A Bad Idea

fat-free-food-a-bad-idea

Mention was made the other day in a class I was teaching about the delights of a specific brand of fat-free cookies. “Have you had them?” one of the students asked me. To me that was like asking if I’d had any fried grasshoppers lately — culturally absurd. “Of course not,” I said, “I wouldn’t touch that stuff for the world.” She looked at me puzzled. “But they’re so good!” I realized how far removed I am from the mainstream, how out of touch with what goes on in the lives of most Americans. Unfortunately, there is little that I can do about it. I keep noticing absurdities and irrelevancies around the issues of food and health, and then I have to point them out. Fortunately, a few people are listening. So let me handle here the issue of “fat free food,” which I believe can be dangerous.

The hysteria against fat has gone out of control. While it is true that excess fat can stress the liver and contribute to health problems, what is overlooked in this issue are two points: a) fat is one of the three essential macro nutrients; and b) some fats are health-promoting, others are unhealthful.

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