I am very happy to announce that I have remained dairy free for a few days now. I’ve been diligently checking packets and refusing foods that I cannot verify as dairy-free.
However, I am spotting a potential pitfall of this obsessive packet-reading, being that I seem to have shifted my focus from eating healthy foods that are naturally dairy-free to trying to find acceptable substitutes to the foods I want. I’ve eaten a lot of dark chocolate mousse and protein bars so far this week.
I hope that by noting and admitting this in this public space, I will keep this budding bad habit in check, if only to save face!
I will update this blog soon with my progress, so watch out for any omission of this particular issue (in the event that I’ve simply scoffed a week’s worth of fake chocolate and iced buns).
As for whether my son is feeling the benefit of this change? Its kinda hard to tell as any progress is probably being compounded by what appears to be early teething. This week, he has mostly been grumpy.
A small victory, but today is the first day I’ve gone 100% dairy-free in 4 or 5 years, so I feel this is noteworthy.
In truth, I don’t think I’ve actually ever gone a full week 100% dairy free – see my post about being a rubbish vegan – so if I achieve that then I’ve probably smashed my previous record.
If I manage two weeks dairy free, then I really hope by that point that my baby will be feeling the benefit as the amount of lactose/animal protein should be massively reduced.
So, I’m 1/14 of the way there..? Unfortunately no celebration cake for me though.
A confession: I’m a rubbish vegan. Despite years of discomfort as a result of various food intolerances, I just can’t seem to crack the dairy-free bit.
I’m really good at being a vegetarian, as meat and fish holds no interest for me whatsoever. But dairy is an issue, which is ironic because it is quite evidently the food I react to the most.
Why do I struggle? Two words – junk food. I eat too much of it and psychologically don’t particularly want to give it up (because it’s tasty, duh) so I have a huge blind spot when it suits me.
It’s quite ridiculous really. This morning I ate a bowl of cereal with dairy-free milk, then later had a dairy-free latte with a croissant – y’know the all-butter pastry(?!). I was halfway through the damn thing before I realised my mistake.
Sad really, isn’t it?
Anyway, now that my motivations for the move towards a vegan diet have changed – though technically it’s a dairy-free (not choice) / vegetarian (choice) diet – as my son appears to be reacting to my milk, I am finally going to give it a proper go.
Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to go fully dairy-free. No all-butter pastries or milk chocolate in sight!
Updates to follow… Fingers crossed.
Anxiety has an annoying consequence of making regular life activities harder or even downright scary. Add a couple of feral lemmings into the mix and the results are terrifying.
If you’re wondering what could be so bad, here are some real life examples of anxiety-inducing parenting stresses:
- The responsibility. A pretty obvious one sure, but it’s a biggie. Being responsible for the wellbeing of someone else when all you want to do is hide under your duvet is hard. Just don’t read the news, ever, or you’ll never leave the house.
- The social interaction. Yes, you absolutely have to speak to other people, or even seek them out on purpose. Whether it’s a medical professional, health visitor or (the worst) other parents, there are times when it is simply unavoidable and actually in the best interests of your child. Don’t even get me started on social anxiety of toddler groups – because evidently misery lives company. Clearly there is nothing you want to do more when you are stressed and sleep-deprived than publicly argue with your toddler about the morality of snatching, or negotiating their participation in ‘singing time’ before dragging them out to the dulcet medody of their tantrum with your free arm (newborn is in other).
- The lack of hygiene. Nappies aside – given the choice, would you wish to spend your time around little people who like eating everything from fluff found under their bedroom rug to their own snot? Me neither.
- The lack of a schedule. Time for kids works on a more relative level than we are used to. For example, pooping exactly two minutes before you are leaving the house, being sick exactly one minute after being passed to a kindly relative and being asleep/awake at the exact opposite times you need them to be. You can plan your days until you are blue in the face, but don’t think for one second that the reality will be anything like you are imagining. If you are the type of person that gets tummy pains at even the idea of lateness, I recommend just throwing away your clock and winging it.
- The lack of control. No, you may not poop/have a shower/do anything in peace. Self-care is now a distant memory. Just face it, you are no longer in control of your own destiny. Young children operate on a different plane of existence and there is no changing this. Suddenly, you appreciate the little things so much more.
- The lack of logic. When the toddler years hit, you may find yourself stuck in an argument with a small person who was insistent that they wanted to go to the park during nap time, but now they would rather lie on the cold floor and nap than put their shoes on to go to the park. Also, beware possible arguments about how you don’t actually influence the TV schedule, or the forces of magnetism (when applied to toy trains).
- The lack of personal space. My partner has to ask special permission to hug me now, because having two kids constantly touching me is so overwhelming.
- The inability to relax. From storming into your room at 3am demanding cuddles, to suddenly running down the dark hallway towards you like a crazed animal while you are watching TV, you are always at risk of nearly soiling yourself. For mothers of breastfeeding infants, it’s the constant threat of them biting your nipple without warning that keeps you up at night.
So whatever your triggers are, parenting is sometimes likely to feel akin to immersion therapy.
The good news is, your child is probably one of the people on the planet that you can spend time with without it being too socially draining. Plus, they love nothing more than hanging out with little old you!
Also, while parenting may contribute to anxieties in the present, it can also be a reason to feel more positively about the future.
Honestly, I don’t think I ever really considered the future at all before I had kids as I never felt sure that I had one. But now, no matter how hard the day has been, I always look forward to tomorrow (even if it’s just because today is over!).