Sunday, February 08, 2009

Maintenance: Malik vs Mom's Sanity

Malik has started on solids for around two weeks and, as I had done with learning everything there is about breastfeeding, I began reading wide ranges of (online) literature on infant feeding. And, as I had with weighing the pros and cons of breastfeeding and expressing breast milk, I began weighing the pros and cons of homemade food and commercial baby food (jar).

Most articles advocate homemade baby food for freshness, nutrition and substance control (texture, combination, etc). Not to mention the slogans of 'if you can give your baby the best, why settle for good' and 'feed with love'. Some articles take into account the issue of practicality (working moms, affordability, hygiene, etc) which are less judgmental towards commercial baby food (fortification, controlled hygiene, etc). Then the debate of practicality continues to the solution of freezing homemade food.

And it goes on. And on. And on.

So did a bit of my sanity.

Then I stumbled upon a blog, written by an articulate, caring mother saying that, in the middle of all this debate over nutrition, practicality, what-have-yous, the most important thing is for the mother (or parent) to maintain sanity.

You can give your child the best of nutrition but it won't substitute your time spent stimulating their development by being 'present' (broadest sense of the word) for them when playing, learning, interacting. I do agree that nutrition is important, but it is not either or. It should be a balance between both.

So I guess, I advocate for whatever works. To each parenting style their own. Homemade food is not always best when the parent has no energy left to play with their child.

So I guess, the saying 'if you can give your baby the best, why settle for good' should be applied in a broader context. 'Best' is not only exclusive to what they eat but it also includes reading them books, singing to them, bathing them, changing their diapers and not so easy on handing them over to nannies.

And, as a working mom who is doing her best juggling both worlds, I will also try not to be judgmental towards those who decide otherwise.

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