HELP...My mom has called Child Protective Services...Because I am Organic!

Don't let the title fool you! While she has not called C.P.S. yet....I think it is certainly coming. I am at a completely dumbfounded by my parents resistance to my new lifestyle and need to grab some advice. Don't they understand that I am trying to keep my family healthy?!? Please note that I am not knocking those who are not organic. It is a lifestyle choice that we have chosen...but I am hoping you can still help!

Let me preface this rant by saying that my parents are amazing people.They have always been there when we needed them and I couldn't ask for better grandparents than the sets my kids have (yes, i love my in-laws too). My parents dedicate a night a week for my older kids and take them along for special bonding time and are always supporting my craziness...until I became - excuse my french -  "Organic".

Here is the story...
About six months ago, My husband and I began a journey to become healthier. We were a convenience eating family when we started our journey- We ate out at least 3 times a week and bought the meals that made life easy.  After making the commitment to be better parents, we began omitting things from our diet slowly. First to be eliminated was junk food and fast food, next came preservatives and gmo's, and now we are finally 90% organic (I leave 10% for the times we are out with others or at restaurants).  I understand that to others...maybe "Organic" has a different meaning- so I want to clarify.

See still pb& cookies!!!
What does organic mean to me?
-No High Fructose Corn Syrup or Zero Calorie Sugar Substitutes - I prefer to go for organic real sugar
-No preservatives - I gave up on traditional prepackaged foods and began making my own or buying the organic label!
-No processed foods - If it is good for shouldn't have to "add" nutrients
- Eliminated chemicals from household by crafting my own cleaners
- Organic meats a few times a week
- Candy, snacks, and treats are all organic packaged or homemade- They still exist
- No fast Food!

What my parents think it means?
- No SUGAR - This equals BAD MOMMY!
- NOT enough protein for kids! Really?!? Check out 10 ways to get protein as a vegetarian
- Sickly Children who are deprived
- Mommy can't afford cleaning products!
- Mommy withholds life sustaining meat
- Snacks are lettuce, bread, and water - JAILFOOD!
- I can't afford fast food

Note, I can say all of this because my mother REFUSES to acknowledge that I have a website!

How do they handle our new lifestyle? 
Oh boy...let me tell you how they are handling this! They have started hoarding junk and snack foods within their home and FORCE feeding them to my children when they arrive. They also are making "snack" goodie bags LOADED with candy and junk every time that they leave. They buy "extra" cleaning supplies because they are a good deal and drop them off to me. My mother has even commented that my children will "get sick and be ill if they do not get enough SUGAR" - REALLY?!?! When I say no to an item they respond with..."Oh Heather...Let them LIVE" but isn't that what I am trying to do? They have even dropped fast food off at least 2 times a week since we have gone organic.

The effort...proving that there is a misconception about "Organic"..

I thought that I had finally gotten through to them when they made (and ATE!) grilled veggies for my birthday (usually they try to force feed me meat despite the fact that I have been vegetarian for 5 years)! I totally saw my mother eat asparagus..she will NEVER admit to it! They made sweet potato fries and a fruit was so nice!

Then came the surprise food delivery. They recently made what I will call an "effort" to please us (the parents) while they fed the children's need for junk. I am more than grateful for what they did but it solidified the fact that they think "organic" is something way different than I do.  They dropped off 2 jumbo containers of sugary processed drinks (the  label said 40% less sugar so they did try), a pound of  "sugar free" lunchmeat, processed american cheese, along with bagels and cream cheese (the company boasts preservative free and fresh but the ingredients show otherwise). To them, this was "healthy" food so I am appreciative of the attempt. They also baked a "SUGAR-FREE" cake for my son's sugar but LOADED with sweet and low. All night, they made comments about the cake and they couldn't believe that it would taste any good but they did it "since I don't let the kids have sugar"! Is that the only thing that is sinking in?!? That we are eliminating sugar?!?

In reality...My version of "Organic" has made huge improvements in my family!
- We are healthier
- We do more together (baking, cooking, crafts)
- We are saving money
- We STILL eat out - just not as often
- We STILL eat cookies, chips, and cake - just organic!
- Our food has TONS of flavor, is bright, and FRESH
- We are learning that there was NOTING wrong with how my grandmother lived. She made everything from scratch, never opened a "can" of biscuits, and lived on what she had....She didn't drive BUT I guarantee that her first trip would NOT have been to McDonalds!

So HOW do I get this through to my parents--politely?!?!? I am looking to you for advice. I have TRIED making them healthy homemade foods to try--they prefer their McNuggets and have even gone so far as to pack meals for their trips with the kids only to have them returned along with leftovers from the fast food joint!

Any suggestions would be appreciated...from both Organic and NON Organic families....HELP..BEFORE C.P.S. Comes and force feeds my children snickers bars!!!



Juggling Real Food and Real Life said...

Wow! You are hilarious. It does sound like you have a big problem though. In the end it comes back to they need to respect your decisions even if they don't agree with them. If it were only that easy............My folks switched their eating due to fighting illness, but my mother still insists on a weekly fast food date with family. My in-laws used to eat healthier than us, but now I find them feeding cookies and chocolate milk all the time. I suppose it is part of spoiling grandchildren that appeals to them. I have very specific rules for my family's diet and I suppose it can be hard to follow if you don't live the same lifestyle. I appreciate all attempts at healthier eating even if they don't get it quite right. You can't completely change your folks, but I would maybe ask they change some things to make you both more comfortable. Maybe they could get rid of the sugar filled goodie bags for example. I'm sure seeing the scowl on your face when they hand out these bags isn't their goal. Good luck sweetie!

Leah S said...

This is sooo funny! My mother in law tries to argue with me when I tell her I don't want food that are terrible and I want to stop feeding the kids things with food coloring. I am working on changing to all organic and healthier foods but it is hard and luckily my MIL lives in PA so she doesn't have to much influence on what they eat. If I were you I would tell them straight up that you don't want the kids eating this stuff and if they want to feed kids it, they need to have more themselves or adopt some kids! I told my MIL that if she brings that crap into my house I will throw it in the trash and she won't waste her money on it for the most part. I let her give them some things as long as she asks first to make sure they are ok and I gave her a list of healthier versions of snacks that the kids like and she brought those this time. Maybe give them a list of the things they can give them and teach your kids to refuse it. I know it is easier said than done but my niece is 5 and she makes good food decisions and will refuse a cupcake and instead eat some fruit because she understands as much as a 5 year old can. Good luck to you!

Mrs.AOK said...

I don't get this-- this attitude. We {My husband & I} are always having to defend ourselves for our "healthy, evil choices" WTH! Why? I think this would be encouraged, yet we are ridiculed for trying to provide a healthier life for our children. We're yuppies. We're hippies, we'll change... I guess.

I also hate that people just assume I judge them for their lifestyle because I choose to live mine differently. If you want to eat MickeyD's go ahead--that's your choice don't look at me and say, "I know you don't agree with that" I didn't say a word!
Okay sorry for my rant. Great post!

April @ 100lb Countdown said...

I'm not sure. My biggest problem is my husband. He eats more junk and I'm happy without it, but he isn't. I think it'll change as he gets older, we'll see.

The odd thing is when I was pregnant, I started drinking Shakeology, and people would constantly ask if it was healthy for the baby. No unnatural sugars, lots of vitamins and plant based protein. But if I go to McDonald's as a pregnant woman, no questions asked, no hesitation - "it's only natural a pregnant woman has cravings!" Hopefully we'll become a society where real food is healthy, and processed is seen as evil.

I'm stopping by from SSS. I hope you join me for my Fitness Fridays! This is a great post to add! Check out Friday's post:

Anonymous said...

not sure I have advice babe, but I can tell you that everyone loves to give their opinions and I am now at a point where I am telling them exactly what I want to say. You are not depriving your kids, you are feeding them, keeping them healthy, and good job mommy. Stopping by from Super Sync Sunday, good luck babe

Amanda Cantrell said...

My in-laws are this way! I would love to eat healthy and start us on that journey but he stays with them during the week so I can work and they keep candy jars all over the house in his reach level so he can get it himself. I hate that they don't understand that I don't want him living on junk food all day. Stressful to say the least! I am a new follower though thanks to the hop :)

Heather May said...

Thanks! I need it... I invited them for a birthday dinner for my son tonight and made ALL ORGANIC foods...down to the cake! Didn't tell them until afterwards! They were stunned!

Heather May said...

We watch dyes as well. The kids actually CHOSE fruit instead of chips in front of them the other day...they has the choice...PROUD MOMMA!

Heather May said...

Thank you so much for reading and sharing! I don't expect them to ever "get it" but when the kids showed them today by CHOOSING fruit over chips...maybe it showed them that this is not a "DIET" its a lifestyle that we are ALL choosing! Thanks again!

Heather May said...

I delivered 3 babies as a vegetarian and I felt soooo much better than the other 2 pregnancies where I ate meat. I agree that some people are unhealthy during pregnancy but as you pointed out....a snickers bar, ice cream, jar of pickles, and a soda DO NOT MAKE A BALANCED MEAL! Thanks for the read and the invite!

Vegan Mama Eco Baby said...

They won't ever get it more than they do at this point. People are either accepting of the facts about the food and junk out there or they aren't. Older people tend to be less flexible about it- I have witnessed this myself. I tried to be a vegetarian when I was 12 and my Father's Mother couldn't understand it, just couldn't. She kept trying to get me to eat slices of cheese, peanut butter and eggs because I was not getting protein (in her opinion). Even though I wavered on the vegetarian thing my entire life they never understood why the smell of ham made me want to puke.
And the Sweet & Low/Splenda thing drives me nuts! Don't people know that it was discovered in a lab?! By accidentally mixing chemicals?! EWWWW!

I think all we can do is stay educated about what is out there, try and spread the word using factual information and be accepting of those who are just never going to understand that we are trying to live a better, healthier life. Some people just don't think that change is good but there is certainly more to life than snickers and splenda!

Molley Mills said...

I think that your parents need to have some boundaries. You are doing whats best for your family. They need to butt out.
Thanks for hooking up tot he Hump Day Hook Up

cooking with curls said...

Wow...that is crazy! I have no idea why parents insist on forcing their views down our throats. They raised their own children, now it is our time to raise our children as we choose to!!! My mother thought I was going to ruin my children by not forcing them to go to bed at the same exact time every single night. Actually called me names and pitched a fit! My kids are 22 and 19 and perfectly healthy, well adjusted young adults and my mom FINALLY realizes that I knew what I was doing. By the way, I live 2,000 miles away from her for a reason :) I totally agree with you, NO ONE should be eating processed crap 7 days a week. Our grand parents didn't eat that way. Our parents didn't eat that way, okay mine didn't. Good luck :)

Rachel Page said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Your parents are overreacting because they lack education about organic lifestyle.

Joy Christi said...

I feel your pain, not on the exact level but we try to eat healthy, whole foods and limit sugary snacks. My family does what yours seems to do, say they feel "sorry" for my kids and LOAD THEM UP with cookies and junk when they see them. SO ANNOYING. My kids get PLENTY of cookies, I just make them with whole wheat flour, honey, etc. I have tried to call a comprimise, telling them when I AM making them cookies and SENDING THEM PICTURES so they believe me! My kids are far from malnourished, and I have to CONSTANTLY remind them that my kids are the only kids of all the family that are hardly ever sick. At one point, you just have to not worry so much so it doesn't completely stress you out and ruin your relationship. Your kids have the best of both worlds. At least they won't be "sheltered" and when they get to college put on 50 pounds :)
It's nice that they want to see your kids and that they love them. It's nice for them that YOU care enough to provide organic foods. This is so much more than other kids get. I would try not to let the few times they are w/their grandparents stress you out so much. I know, I know, easier said than done. I've lived through MANY FIGHTS! Now most of my family doesn't watch my younger girls. THAT is sad!

kikki said...

I really don't get why some people don't let you be parents. My mother in law is similar to your description and she wants to feed really unhealthy things to my children - or at least to me they seem unhealthy. Also I'm formula feeding my youngest one and my mother in law is always trying to make me a bad conscience. Some people just need a lot attention I guess.
Love Kira