Food-driven mood

Food-driven mood

I look at my enlarging self and realise with horror that food indeed drives the mood.

Many new-moms are anxious people. I blame it all on the food paranoia. Just listen to a conversation between new-moms. They will most likely centre on the input and output of their children.

If the child has eaten a meal well, the mom is a cheerful woman that day. If the child refused to eat as much as the mom wanted it to, heaven needs to be on the side of the husband for the rest of the day. I don’t blame it all on the mother alone. There is a community of older women whom she is answerable to. In all likelihood, she has a mom or a mom-in-law who will call and check if the child ate well that day.

And there is the output business. There are many normal infants who push out the undigested and unwanted matter once in 2 weeks. Just imagine the stress if you are a mom of such an infant, and you have your mom calling you and asking about the output of the day, every day, and you can say cheerfully ‘Yes, job done!’ only twice a month.

I have many women friends like me afflicted with the food paranoia disease, who can be cheerful only if the meal of the child is consumed to our satisfaction (and this has to happen several times a day), and who will remain tense till it is digested well. In fact, our whole lives now revolve around the input and output process of the child that we have to plan our day’s activities around it. I know a person who actually refers to a chart to meet the child’s daily requirement of vitamins, proteins and such. I avoid talking to her these days as the stress levels of dealing with the child and the older women community is high enough as it is.

As the infants become toddlers, the focus on the food intake remains high, despite all the other stress that the child is going through. If the tiffin box that I pack for my child comes back without her having devoured it completely, I slide into complete depression. The days it comes back empty, I am reassured that I am a good mom.

I realise the mistake. How can I let food drive my mood? So, to feel better, instead of throwing out left-overs from the child’s planned and balanced meals, which is mostly almost the entire meal, I consume it myself.  So, now I am eating my full meals and mostly my child’s meal too. Now, I look at my enlarging self and realise with horror that food indeed drives the mood.