Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Papa Saigh is bumblebee.

Typical Tuesday 😆. Papa Saigh comes home from work yesterday, dressed as a transformer to surprise our Bumblebee-obsessed 3-year-old. Jimmy wore his Optimus Prime costume to school this morning to show his friends. I’m pretty sure that Jimmy’s year was made! I’m so thankful to have a husband who works so hard to provide for our family, and still takes time to do special things like this for his kiddos!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Moldy wieners + mom shamers.

Recently, I posted a few pictures on our social media pages of an Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners package that I ordered from Target (via Shipt). As I was getting ready to pop one of the hotdogs in the microwave for my 3-year-old son's dinner, I noticed green spots through one side of the clear packaging. I took one of the hotdogs out, sliced it open, and discovered the green spots inside the hotdog as well. Obviously disgusted, I snapped some photos of the expiration date (May 2019), packaging, as well as the product, and emailed them to Oscar Mayer and Kraft so they could alert consumers and look into the issue. I also shared the photos on social media to alert our friends, and encourage other parents to inspect the food that they buy from stores.

I feel a responsibility to respond to the people who took the time to leave judgmental comments on my social media post, and to stand up for all the moms who have ever fed their child a hotdog.

First of all, I have absolutely ZERO shame feeding my kids convenience foods like hotdogs. Heck, I've even watched my over-tired, hungry 1-year-old gobble up Kraft Mac & Cheese off the kitchen floor, because the thought of trying to secure his flailing 25.5 lb. body into his highchair would have sent me over the edge after a long day at home with all three kids.`I've even let my 7-year-old choose a Pop Tart for dinner because she wanted to make it herself, and she was so proud of herself for plating that Pop Tart with a side of baby carrots and apple slices. Sometimes, it's just easier to choose your battles, give in a little, and take the convenient route... all in the name of sanity.

Second, I know that mom-shaming comments from judgy people, come from a place of insecurity. How do I know this? Well, I consider myself to be a former "judgy mom" and "mom-shamer".

When I was pregnant with our first child, and in the years following her birth, I made countless "My kids will NEVER..." comments.

"My kids will NEVER use an iPad at a restaurant."
"I would NEVER give my baby formula."
"My kids will NEVER run around in public with a runny nose."
"I would NEVER let my kid cry on an airplane."

I was the stay-at-home mom who exclusively fed her baby breastmilk, and made ALL of her food from scratch. I took her to enrichment classes and swimming lessons before she could crawl, considered forgoing our pediatrician's recommended vaccines, sanitized every pacifier that fell on the floor, and had a nightly bedtime routine that included songs, books, a dimly-lit room, and 100% of my undivided attention. I couldn't understand how other parents' houses were "so messy", how parents could EVER consider feeding their children processed food, and I even scoffed at other moms who chose to go back to work after they'd had a baby.

I mean, why on EARTH would a mother choose to have a nanny, grandparent, or daycare "raise" her child?!

Yes, I'm Melissa Saigh, and I'm a former mom-shamer.

All of my judgments came from a very insecure place. At the time, I was struggling with an undiagnosed Postpartum Depression/Anxiety, and I was terrified of "failing" in my new role as a mom. I judged other moms to make myself feel better about the job I was doing.

Isn't that sad?!

Parenting is a MUCH easier job when you're not a parent, or when you're parenting from the sidelines. But once you get in there and get your hands dirty, and you're face-to-face with a toddler on the verge of an epic meltdown, while struggling to help your school-age child with her homework after dance class, while trying to prepare a bottle for your screaming infant, while trying to get a healthy dinner on the table for your family...


The amount of pressure today's moms are under is pretty terrifying. We're constantly being told that the food we're giving our children is "toxic", and our "parenting styles" could be harmful to their development. If we don't send our kid to school with a heart-shaped organic sandwich for lunch, or sign our babies up for the music class that EVERY other mom is posting about on social media, or give our toddlers a hotdog for dinner, does that mean we're failing at our job as a mom?!

It's no wonder that so many moms are pouring themselves a glass of wine around 4 p.m., or popping an anxiety pill just to get through the day. Keeping our kids alive, safe, feeling confident, loved, and cared for in today's world is hard...ESPECIALLY when the mom-shamers are standing on the sidelines with their judgmental feedback on the job we're doing.

Sometimes, moms need to stop and ask themselves...

"What would my mom do?"

I grew up in the 80s, and my mom most definitely didn't hover around us as we played outside. We stayed outside with the neighbor kids until it was dark, rode our bikes on busy streets to buy candy at the gas station, and my mom often served Kraft Mac & Cheese with hotdogs for dinner. I'm pretty confident that she wasn't stressed out about the NON-whole-grain pasta she fed us for dinner, and she wasn't having anxiety attacks over sending us to school with a slice of white bread and piece of processed cheese for lunch. My mom even sent us to a daycare where the daycare lady smoked cigarettes in the house.

Guess what?! My siblings and I turned out OK, and I think my mom did a fantastic job raising us as a single mom in our early years.

We've all heard it before, but the mom-shaming MUST STOP. After three kids, three separate struggles with postpartum depression/anxiety, and an anxiety attack this year that kind of came out of nowhere, I have made a commitment to myself and my kids to stop stressing about every parenting decision that I make. I've discovered the beauty of having a little thing called "empathy", and the discovery has been life-changing.

Every person is dealing with things that we know nothing about. Everyone has internal struggles, and most people are dealing with some sort of sadness or loss that we may never understand. That is why it is so important for moms to have each others' backs. If you're truly concerned about the processed food another mom is feeding her kids, take the time to bring her a basket of fresh fruits and veggies, or even make her dinner, instead of taking the time to make a judgmental comment. I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

And mamas, if it makes your job a little easier tonight... Grab that package of hotdogs out of the fridge and pop them in the microwave for dinner tonight! You'll find no judgement here. Just make sure to check for green spots first;)

* UPDATE: The people at Oscar Mayer replied to my email today, and this is what they wrote...

And yes, I will feed my kids hotdogs again. And I might even buy Oscar Mayer Wieners again.

Judge away.