Thursday, July 09, 2015
I grew up in a very traditional West Indian household.
My mother is from Barbados and so our meals centered around peas, rice, stewed chicken, and curries.
Having outright planned on never marrying or having children, as an adult I didn't bother to learn how to cook. What was the point? Salad is honestly my favorite meal anyway and after a long day of work, why bother with slaving away in the kitchen? Especially when there was only myself to cook for.
Fast forward several years and I'm now a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. While I was lucky enough to nurse my daughter for the first 2.5 years of her life, I knew the time would eventually come when I'd have to learn to cook for her. Instinctively, I turned to the meals I had grown up with. I bought Caribbean vegetarian cookbooks and my daughter fell in love with the scents and tastes that had permeated my own childhood. When she started kindergarten I bought her a thermos that stayed warm for 5 hours so that she could have the soups, stews and chilis she loved for lunch.
It never occurred to me to make her a sandwich.
It never occurred to me to give my daughter anything less than my best.
It's taken me 40 years but I'm finally doing the same for myself.
I'm giving ME my best, too.
I'm starting to take better care of myself in ways I haven't done before, in part, because I want to be here for my daughter but also, because it's what I deserve.
I deserve to live my best life every single day.
I can't do that while recovering from a potato chip binge.
I can't binge eat and watch tv all day and pretend I'm living my life to the fullest.
That's not who I want to be anymore.
I'm ready to take care of me, too.