setting an example

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I think every parent gets to that stage where they realise that their child is mimicking everything they do. This has been on my mind for a while now, because I know that in some ways, I'm not setting a very good example for my little one. Ever since she started on solids I've been quite strict with what I feed her. I don't let her have any sugar at all, and certainly no junk food. Most of her food is made from scratch, and it's also mostly organic. I definitely won't be the mum not letting her kid have cake at a birthday party, but I feel strongly that at this age, she does not need to have cakes/cookies/brownies etc.

But, I am a sugar fiend. I've always had a sweet tooth, and since having Clementine, it's gotten out of control. As a new mum, most of my social life has revolved around cafe dates with friends over coffee and cake. Nowadays we mostly hang out at the park, but we still very often stop for a takeaway coffee and treat. Clementine now wants to try a bite of everything I eat, so I'm discovering that I can't eat my usual treats when she's around. I know that if I want to foster healthy eating habits in her, I have to change my own habits. I definitely have more to say on this, but I'll leave it for another post. For now I'm trying to embrace one of my favourite sayings: everything in moderation, including moderation.

On a lighter note, I'm also trying so hard not to swear but it is tough! So far Clementine only has a few words, but I worry that if we keep up the way we are her first word will be a 4 letter one. Both my husband and I are pretty bad. Just today he was working on something that was frustrating him, and he was muttering and swearing under his breath. "Bloody f&*% s#$t c@#p son of a…" and on it went. He caught me glaring at him and toned it down to, "bloody bastard, mumble, grumble…" Because that's not swearing apparently. It's safe to say that we have some work to do in this department. Please tell me we're not the only ones...


  1. Oh, we're the same way. My husband's convinced my 7 month old daughter's first words will be "D@mmit!" So, we're trying to tone it down with a much cuter "uh oh!" (Found you from A Cup of Jo!)

  2. I just found your blog this week because of your post on A Cup of Joe.
    I love reading blogs from other countries, especially family blogs.
    Your pictures are beautiful and I have enjoyed perusing around your site.

    No! You are not the only one. Haha.
    I am actually pregnant with our 6th baby and I don't know what happened to me during this pregnancy, but to say I love sugar lately is an understatement! I could eat doughnuts all day long!!!
    I never feed my babies sugar..they don't know what they are missing! Until they taste sweets, they are content and satisfied with whatever we as moms place on their plates. and like you, I have never been the mom who doesn't let her kids have cake at birthday parties because I believe that is just plain mean! Like you said...everything in moderation. :)

    As far as the husband and I have actually never been ones to swear. But one of our friends had such a bad mouth, and when his sons were born he wanted to stop and he replaced his "bad words" with sugar. It was so funny to hear him.
    "Oh Sugar! This broke"...or whatever way he would use his words. We laughed quite often at him....but it was for a sweet reason.

    Happy Wednesday to you. I think..unless it's almost Thursday now.
    My sister spent a couple months in Australia and I still have a hard time figuring out what time it is over there!
    So happy whatever day it is. :)

  3. My brother, sister and I grew up with a bevy of allergies. My brother couldn't tolerate sugar and none of us could have milk which limited all sorts of treats. We ate carob (sugar free, milk free chocolate) and occasionally had sherbet but that was the extent of our junk food. However, my parents are HUGE snackers and kept a cupboard above the stove (which I still have trouble reaching) stuffed to the brim with treats. They saved all of their snacks for after we went for bed. I remember getting up in the night a couple of times to find the coffee table covered with treats and I wondered where they came from ;-)

    I will say though, as soon as I got a bit of independence, I went nuts at the convenience store and at friends' houses. It was like I had no self control and ask I knew I'd never get it at home, I gorged when I was out.

  4. Those are definitely two things I'll need to work on! Treats and cursing! :/

  5. Good for you for sticking to your beliefs. We take a different approach with our boys and believe by exposing them to homemade cakes and biscuits for special occasions to teach them that there are everyday foods (eg fruit and veg), sometimes foods (fish and chips) and special occasion foods (cake, chocolate or biscuits) in the hope that when they're older they will make wiser food choices when older. I fear if they are denied them completely they'll crave them more. But my children are older at two and four. We're very strict on not swearing, we've never been big swearers but as your daughter gets older it'll be easier as it's your worst nightmare when they start repeating you! You are right they are such sponges at this age! Loved your article on Cup of Jo too, it's a great series.

    1. That's definitely the approach I'll take as she gets older, but I just think that she's still so little right now, and it's fairly easy for me to control what she eats (I know this will change!) so I'm taking advantage x

  6. I am still working on the swearing (I think I've improved dramatically, husband may say otherwise) and our babies are almost five and almost three. Unfortunately I haven't been doing quite good enough a job as miss three dropped a can of tuna on the ground last week and declared "Oh s**t!" I quickly corrected her with "Oops" but I'm worried the damage may have been done!! So no, you are not alone :) Elisa xx

  7. Oh, I can only imagine how you feel.

    I don't have a child of my own, obviously, but I actually feel the same way. I always wonder when I have a child, am I going to have to stop eating the way I do so they don't follow through with bad habits, such as my own. As for the swearing, Holy Moly, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    To be honest, I wouldn't say I swear often. They aren't really in my vocabulary, unless of course I've severally stubbed my toe, or I am severally frustrated at something. And I hope the father of my child doesn't do the same.

    Keeping it clean for the babies! x

  8. Major potty mouth right here *hand up* I am much better at keeping the swear words to a kind of moderate minimum these days but alas both of my children know some basic swear words and have done for a long time. I have always found though that as I mostly only swear at home and not often in public that they too rarely come out with it in public either. Each time they swear I just don't give it any power and calmly tell them not to say those words. Fingers crossed this works, otherwise I am in so much trouble. Eek!

    As for the food, Holy Moly it is so hard. We are one of those strict families, we eat what I guess you would describe as Paleo but I like to just describe as healthy, unprocessed food. But I love sugar just like you do Gaby and it is so hard not to order to cake sometimes. I wish I could give you some sage advice on this one but alas I have none. Eating sugar whenever they are not looking is my only advice. I have been known to pick up a take away brownie whenever I am kid free :)

  9. Haha the cursing thing made me giggle! After reading your interview on A Cup of Jo (amazing by the way!) I feel as though we should add the tendency to curse in Australia. We do it so much. It's a part of our language. This shouldn't make it acceptable by any means, but I know how you feel when you struggle with not swearing. I often find myself muttering foul words under my breath when I'm annoyed or catching Stephen using a word or two to describe a frustrating employee. It's becoming so natural and I know it is wrong but it can be so hard to stop sometimes because it has become a part of our cultural language! Bloody hell it's a conundrum isn't it!? ;)

  10. The worst part is trying to keep a straight face when standing firm with a toddler (how do other people do it?). If my son's first word is a four letter one—we have the same problem in our house—I'm not sure I'll be able to keep from cracking up...

  11. This is exactly us at the moment. My son is allowed no sugar or junk, but I still have my guilty pleasures, (have had major sugar cravings since little J was born. I'm now trying to makeover my eating habits so that they are more compatible so I can set a good example for him.

  12. A lovely post as always. Others might not agree with me here but, with eighteen years of parenting behind me and three children I have learned to be quite relaxed about the language I uset. Also, I always feed my children home cooked food which is well-balanced - I wouldn't have it any other way - but I have always allowed them their dose of sweet stuff. They have grown to be hugely reasonable in their sugar consumption and they love a wide variety of healthy foods. Also, my language is quite free and colourful at times! I allow myself to be natural. And, really and truly, my children laugh at me, wag their finger in a comical way and KNOW exactly how to behave in public.

    I don't think I could be anything but myself with them and I think that makes them more relaxed too.

    Best wishes,


    1. Thank you Stephanie, this is just what I needed to hear x

  13. No, you're absolutely not!! I could have written exactly what you have just written. I've had 2 kids now and I was a little more lenient with the second. He has my sweet tooth but the older one does not.

    My southern ontario cousins used to try to get me to say fudge when I was starting to swear up a storm but it never took. I'm worse then the Mr.!!

    Hang in there & don't sweat the small stuff-and, apparently, it's all small stuff!! :)

  14. Ha, you are most definitely not alone in this! Luke and I are really bad with language - you should see him when he's watching the football, and me when I'm driving!

  15. I'm amazed that my toddler doesn't swear, I am the worst! Also, I had to say goodbye to diet coke the second she wanted to start sharing. Thank god, if I wouldn't dream of giving it to her I probably shouldn't be having it at all.


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