Before you get all upset, I don’t have any children. I have six of my own children: two girls, three boys and another girl. They are 28, 26, 23, 20, 18 and 8. I will tell you up front, I love my children with all my heart. They are my reason for living. They are also the source of the most exquisite joy and heart ache, pride and frustration, laughter and tears, and togetherness and loneliness.
How does this relate to weight loss? Very simple, children are fattening.
I never weighed more that 136 lbs and was a nice round B+ cup size. I was very proud of how I looked and enjoyed being whistled at and ogled. Then I started having children. I gained an average of 50 lbs per pregnancy no matter how careful I was. I still looked skinny and had a great figure from the back, but as soon as I turned around people were scrambling for their eyeballs trying to get them off the floor. I lost all the weight with my first five children. Hard work and determination. Nursing and chasing them around all day was also very helpful. Then I had my sixth child. I still look pregnant and she is eight.
Cravings: While people talk a lot about cravings when a woman is pregnant, they don’t often talk about the cravings that come after the child is born.
Mothers with young children often eat things to stay awake during the sleep deprivation of a child’s early years. While fresh fruits and veggies are great, we often crave carbs because our body uses them to provide fuel for immediate consumption. These are prevalent in a house with children. We often have cookies, bread, poptarts, chips, etc. around for children to snack on. Unfortunately, if you are tired enough, you won’t care and will eat the first thing that you can get your hands on. Did you know that a hockey puck looks just like an unwrapped ding dong?
Chocolate: This is often the alternative to eating our children. Though I have contemplated dipping my children in chocolate before eating them.
There are some days when our children just push us to our breaking point. As parents we can feel like failures because we have somehow raised wild, obnoxious children. On these days I often wondered why I had wanted children in the first place. I may even accuse myself of having six episodes of temporary insanity, but then I realize that I’m crazy anyway so it really doesn’t matter. Chocolate helps me to calm down because it often stimulates the same chemical reaction as good sex. (Something people have before children.) This is good because relaxed parents are less likely to eat their children.
Small Children: These sweet little ankle biters are learning to share. One of the first things that they will share are their fingers and their food. Accept the offering.
Yes, it is often soggy and covered in drool but it is important that you let them put their fingers and food in your mouth. If you are willing to accept their soggy cheerio they will be willing to accept your clean crunchy carrot. You may be thinking, “I can’t do that! It’s gross!” but remember that you did swap spit during the conception process. Besides, genetically, it is half your spit anyway.
We all lick our fingers when they have good things on them. Children are no different. Frosting, ice cream, chocolate, fried chicken and messy hamburgers all taste good on our fingers. We often share tastes with our children from our finger. They will reciprocate.
Teenagers: Food is a requirement when talking to teenagers.
I have discovered a couple of very interesting things about teenagers. The first is that their vocal chords are nocturnal and they often don’t talk until you are ready to go to bed. The second is that they talk more with a late night snack. Eating together is a time-honored way of opening discussions with an opponent or enemy. Sit next to or across the table from your teen. Place the snack between and make the same hand to mouth movements as the child. Keep your mouth full, your mind open and listen. This is an important ritual that, when observed, enhances parent teen relations.
Having children can enhance our daily stress. Their need to push every boundary and rule can push us to the edge of cannibalism. They always wait for us to be tired and stressed before engaging in these activities. Probably because that is when we are weakest and most likely to give in. Children will often get on our very last nerve and then dance. About the time we start wondering if they would taste good with BBQ sauce the child will run up, wrap their little arms around your neck and say those fatal words: I love you Mommy! <SIGH> They get to live another day.