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Friday, September 25, 2009

Things I wish I knew then that I know now

Way back in the olden days when I was a brand new mommy in the late 80's early 90's there wasn't any internet to speak of. At least not in every home, on your phone and there were no laptops that I remember. I was a product of the 80's - more more more things. My Mom didn't can, didn't garden, only sewed to decorate and fed us all (except my oldest brother) formula, canned and boxed foods and diapered most of us with Pampers. She was and is an awesome mother and cook and is able to make some amazing meals. But she loved the convenience, she had 9 children after all.

So, when I started my family I followed suit. Being unable to nurse (long story but trust me when I say I almost starved a baby trying) I went straight to formula. Soy because it didn't cause my babies to be as fussy. I did try cloth diapers for my oldest but was ridiculed out of the room by my "modern" family. This was before all these great new diapers - just a white rectangle and plastic pants.

What I really wish I had done differently however, was the way I fed my family. I am not a great cook, not even a good one so it was much easier to open that box, thaw that meal, throw some nuggets on a pan. Well now their tastebuds are used to all that good stuff crap. They balk at homemade. They want their frozen meals, their canned soup, and please no whole wheat anything. And oatmeal - gross! Even yummy veggies get noses turned up at them.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have:
  • nursed - there are drinks that up your milk supply
  • cloth diapered and cloth wipes
  • made all my baby food from scratch - giving them lots of different veggies
  • fed them healthy breakfasts instead of cereal and poptarts
  • never gone down the skim milk aisle or the margarine tub lane
  • made many more things homemade - nuggets, pancakes, pizza, cookies etc.
  • offered many more fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis
  • water - let them drink water when they were thirsty
  • served them more eggs, whole milk, real butter, maple syrup, honey, fruits and veggies, I would have cooked with expeller pressed Olive Oil and Coconut Oil, cooked more whole grains and NEVER EVER let nutrasweet products in my home.
Well, I can't go back. I can only go forward. Slowly, slowly we are eating healthier. Sometimes it seems excrutiatingly slow. But then I remember how far we have come:
  • Real butter
  • Fruits and veggies are often the snack for the day
  • Whole milk (still balking at organic or raw)
  • Healthier breakfasts - no poptarts anyhow.
  • More eggs in our diet
  • Real Half and Half for my husband's coffee
  • Real cups and plates - no plastic or melamine
  • Real napkins
  • Thermometer set at 67 in the winter and turned off in the summer
  • Cleaning rags are all ripped up unusable clothing
  • Cooking more and more from scratch
What advice would you give to a new mommy??

This was submitted to Frugal Fridays at - go check out all the other great ideas.
Updated to say I submitted this to Food on Fridays with Ann Kroeker. Go check out the great postst there.


  1. Great post! I too am a product of the eighties. I had my first child in 1994. If I had only known then what I know now, our lives would be so much different. I'm trying to make the changes, but am being met with much resistance. Good Luck to you.

  2. Aww, sweetie, don't kick yourself. You did the best you knew how! And you are right--you can only move forward. My youngest (of 4) is nineteen, and I also look back and wonder what things I could have done differently. But you know what? 20/20 hindsight can make you nuts. What if you had done all those things? Is it possible you'd look back and wish you done still more stuff differently? My four have turned out okay (although 2 have always had weight problems) and not one of them has rotting teeth, crunchy hair or brittle bones. Yep, we do what we know best!
    BTW, I was just having the butter discussion with someone the other day! I figure God gave us cream, which makes butter, and we did fine for millions of years. So how can something like margarine possibly be good for us?

  3. I randomly found your blog by clicking through several links and I love it. Especially this post. As a new mom I want to learn from those that have gone before me! So, thank you for posting what you have learned!

  4. Thanks everyone - so long as we are inching our way forward I am good.
    Christine - I am glad you found me ;o) I loved learning from older women (and still do) when I was a new mommy!

  5. Thanks everyone - so long as we are inching our way forward I am good.
    Christine - I am glad you found me ;o) I loved learning from older women (and still do) when I was a new mommy!

  6. Fabulous post! I also love my Mom like crazy, but she did a lot of convenience things. She didn't do it all like that, but on the things that she didn't, she didn't teach us. I didn't even learn how to do laundry until she gave me a quick tutorial a week before I got married and moved out. Because of that, we didn't eat very well and I was kind of useless where homemaking was concerned. I'm trying to learn more and more in the hopes that I will not always be a flunkie.

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