The great grocery guilt monster

Have you ever noticed how women often talk about their grocery shopping and food preparation?

Lady A is an expert at couponing, and tells glowing stories about getting a cart full of groceries and six bottles of Tide detergent for two dollars.

Lady B talks about eating nothing but rice and beans and whatever she can grow and preserve from her garden. Her children are as stringy as her green beans and a perfect picture of health.

Lady C plasters Facebook with her special supplements and diets and talks as though health, wealth, and prosperity are only one nutritional drink away. She genuinely glows with the new lease on life that she has been given.

And Lady D? She loads her cart with potatoes (Oh no! Starch!), chicken (Gasp! It’s not vegetarian!), and frozen vegetables (HOW COULD SHE NOT FREEZE HER OWN?). She buys a bag of chips to put in her children’s lunch for field-trip day, imagining the cholesterol clogging their developing arteries. She adds oatmeal, fruit, ranch dressing, and milk. The cart piles high, and the shame heaps even higher. So she talks about how stupid it is for others to be so strict with their diet. Everybody needs chips now and then, after all.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but think how ridiculous this all is. Couponing is awesome. Being a frugal gardener and a healthful cook is awesome. Selling supplements is awesome. And buying chips for your kids is awesome, too.

But the pride and shame and comparison that goes on over grocery shopping and food preparation is not one bit awesome.

All of these good women are trying their best to feed their families. And Satan is using the perfectly pure and natural instinct born in a woman to care for her family and twisting it with guilt and shame.

Many times, each of these (fictional, but not really) ladies are being noisy and opinionated about their skills–or lack thereof–because they are trying to drown out a sick feeling of inadequacy.

Over feeding their families.

Think about that one for a minute.

Got any better bait, Satan? You don’t think you can get women down with such an innocent thing?

You can, you say?

It’s one of the dumbest and saddest things I’ve ever heard of. And something I have most definitely been guilty of.

Ladies, whether you coupon or buy organic only or eat vegetarian only or feed your kids inordinate amounts of Dr. Pepper, don’t let Satan get you down over such a little thing. Seriously. It isn’t worth it!

Don’t listen to the great grocery guilt monster.

While other kids are hungry, homeless, and unloved, your children are bright-eyed and pink-cheeked and full of imagination and dreams. You keep their hungry tummies filled and you buy and prepare food to the best of your ability. Then you serve it up with a generous helping of love. Trust me, that is enough!

It is more than enough.

Let the shame go, and feed your family in peace.

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10 thoughts on “The great grocery guilt monster

  1. Elana

    And this is an awesome post! 😀 I know I’ve been way too guilty of this too, yet I heartily agree! Just this morning we were reading/discussing at the breakfast table, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?… Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’… your heavenly Father knows you need all (these things)…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you…” Delightfully descriptive and practical and it steps on my toes. 🙂

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  2. Sarah

    Thank you. I feel like you were speaking directly to me. I have been each of these ladies at various times. I feel properly shaken by a new way to look at grocery shopping. I am ready to go and feel ashamed no more.

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    1. I’ve been most of these ladies, too, Sarah. Realizing I was so consumed by shame over the simple effort of feeding my family made me work consciously at letting the shame go and instead thanking God for what I have. It’s still a work in progress for me!

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  3. Victoria Miller

    Well said, sis. I shall go on handing out mug after mug of hot chocolate (with sugar in it, oh HORRORS!) to all the town kiddoes that come to my door to warm up and flip over my couches! 😀 I’ve often struggled with this whole thing with the masses of children I live and work with, and love. I just simply have to give it to God, and what he provides, I will serve with heaping amounts of love. Our cousin Christina once told me, “Better is a little bit of junk food with a lot of love, than no junk food and no love!” 😀 And man did your kids and I live out that one yesterday……..:D

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      1. Lovina

        Thank you, Rosina! When our youngest was diagnosed with an auto inflammatory disease, I heard a lot of food related suggestions as to what might be the cause… Allergies, nutrition… On and on. It wasn’t that I wasn’t considering those things, and I knew every one of the sources had a good heart. But after hearing it a number of times, it felt like my nurturing was being called into question… And good nutrition is difficult to accomplish when a child has an appetite suppressing condition.
        We are so blessed with so many options. Maybe that is why it is so easy for us to lose sight of the most important issue?

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        1. I know how wearisome it gets to have many, many suggestions given to you even though people are trying to be helpful! And I know the condemnation that I can feel toward myself, that I’m not good enough. But you are right, we are incredibly blessed to have so many options! Bless you as you care for your family!

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