Because I’m not. Oh, and I am totally judging your choices too.
By: Eden Strong for YourTango.com
I dropped my daughter off at her friend’s birthday party and before I left, handed the friend’s mum a gluten-free cupcake. “Thanks so much for the invite!” I said. “My daughter’s on a special diet and she knows not to eat anything while she’s here, but if you could just give her this cupcake when you guys have cake that would be fabulous.”
The mum looked at me as if I’d just told her that my kid only eats fertiliser and would she mind ordering some for the party. “Oh sure, no problem,” she said with one eyebrow raised and the corner of her mouth twisted upwards to convey her disgust.
Later, when I arrived to pick my daughter up, the kids were still in the midst of eating their cake so I stood outside the party room with the other parents as we waited for them to finish. The birthday girl’s mum stuck her head out the door and offered us all a slice saying, “The kids filled up on pizza and one little girl’s mum has her on a weird diet so there’s a ton of cake left.”
In response, the other parents mumbled, “Some people just need to lighten up; it's a party.” They laughed and talked amongst themselves - amongst ME - about how ridiculous it is that some parents feel the need to be all high-and-mighty with their “organic this and organic that.” One mum even expressed sadness that there was a child who was “missing out on the fun” and they all agreed they'd never want to willingly make their child feel different.
Here's the backstory: For medical reasons, my daughter's on a special diet. To add to that, I've chosen to limit and diversify her diet in other ways that I feel are important for reasons I don't feel the need to explain. Certainly, I don’t expect anyone to cater to her dietary needs or go out of their way to accommodate her, but I DO expect to be respected for the ways that I choose to feed my child.
I'm sick and tired of other parents telling me to just “loosen up, she’s a kid!” I’m tired of catching the stink eye from people when I pack my a daughter a lunch full of things most kids can’t recognise.
I’m over people making me feel like I'm ruining my daughter's childhood because I limit her from certain things. What is wrong with me feeding my kid what I feel is best for her? When I see parents feeding their kids Happy Meals and ingredients I believe can cause pretty significant health issues, it's hard for me to understand why they'd willingly fill their kids up with processed garbage and pretend it's actually food.