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Sunday, April 06, 2008

What 'Crusts' in your life need to be cut?

This is an article I wrote for our April MOPS newsletter. I think it's a good reminder for all of us. Hope you enjoy. (BTW--didn't our newsletter coordinator find the most perfect photo for this?)

I was one of those moms who swore she’d NEVER cut the crust off. Learn to eat everything—waste not, want not—and all those things I’ve been taught. Then a few months ago, a teacher friend of mine was talking about bread crusts and how she doesn’t understand what the crust issue is about. My friend had a profound insight for me. Bread crust has no nutritional value. It’s a texture issue, not a nutritional lapse as a parent.

Believe it or not, that comment said flippantly struck a deep resonating chord within me. My middle child will throw away over half a sandwich because he will not eat within an inch of the dreaded crust. When I started cutting crusts off his sandwiches (and trust me, I can cut within millimeters of crust), he began eating every bite I gave him.

To my chagrin, I discovered that crusts aren’t the only things I hang onto. In my daily focus of getting my to do list done, I sometimes overlook the bigger picture. If crusts are only a texture issue, what other things do I needlessly force onto my children? I’ve started trying to look at the bigger picture of life. Sometimes I’m hanging onto a standard or a rule because it’s the way I was raised or because it gets my to do’s checked off. When I look at the bigger picture of my children’s life, I realize some things I hang onto need to be released.

If cutting a crust means my child eats 95% instead of 45% of a sandwich, isn’t a crust a good thing to let go of? I no longer feel like I’m spoiling him, I’m really giving him more to eat. I’ve looked at and relaxed some other rules I held dear. And in my own relaxing of things that might have been a little unreasonable, my children are finding more space to grow. They are able to voice their opinions and concerns to a mom who tries to listen, instead of giving a knee-jerk response based on the rules of how she was raised.

So while crusts were the catalyst, I’ve realized the issue isn’t the crust, it’s my own hang-ups. If my children don’t have freedom in my home to question things they find unfair, how can I expect them to question situations in life (or laws or work policies) that are unfair? I hope you’ll take some time ask yourself which crusts in your life need to be cut out—then start trimming.

1 comment:

Jennifer C said...

Great article Robyn! Thanks for sharing!:)

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