Oh the delights of the festive season! The decorations, the gifts, the happiness – there really is a reason why they call it “the most wonderful time of the year”.
And what’s not to love – it’s a time of friends, family, giving and EATING! Yes, one of the things I love most this time of year is all the delicious food and drink that can be non-guiltily consumed (until the New Year weigh-in that is). From the meats, to the mulled wine, to the soft seasonal cheeses – you just can’t beat a bit of festive gluttony at this time of year. Yum!
Except this year, of course, I am eating for two. Again!
“Hooray – more food for me” right?!
From pate to parma ham, brie cheese, blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese (in fact most cheese), game, shellfish and more, the list is pretty endless in terms of foods that I “should not” eat at any time of year…let alone this time of year when it seems to mainly be on offer! Don’t even get me started on the festive tipple of red, white, mulled and creamed beverages (hello Baileys) that I am missing out on…
I suppose I shouldn’t complain really. But then again, being pregnant, I am pretty much allowed to complain about anything I want. So yes, “meh” to all this pregnancy health warning malark, because I have a confession to make… In the last three weeks of being home, enjoying my home comforts and my favourite time of the year, I have…
- Shared a pate and bread starter dish with my husband at one of our favourite restaurants
- Eaten, perhaps, three spoons of the Tesco Finest game pate that my husband bought for home
- Eaten a whopping TWO slices of yummy parma ham
- Had three sips (at different intervals) of hubbie’s mulled wine (its sooooo warming)
- Eaten a prawn cocktail (prawns are ok though, right? Or are they not…I’m quite honestly not sure)
- Had a bite of brie cheese
- Had a bite of blue cheese
- Had a bite of some other delicious soft cheese that hubbie was scoffing (it’s him leading me astray, I swear!)
- Eaten “normal” ham on expiry date
- And most naughtily (do I even dare admit this?) drunk around five glasses of Bucks Fizz (4%) at different intervals!
So, gulp, come at me parenting police! I’ve really not been a “good (pregnant) girl” this Christmas.
According to the NHS website too, I’ve put myself and my unborn baby at risk of a whole number of awful illnesses, including; listeria, salmonella, toxoplasmosis, mercury poisoning, worms, liver disease, and quite possibly a whole bunch more.
It’s actually overwhelmingly horrific and terrifying to read, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a bit awful and guilty about it. But then, with everything that I have come to learn and understand in my almost 2.5 years as a mother, I also say this… “WHERE THE EFFING-HELL DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?!”
It’s a difficult one, because yes, I fully understand and appreciate that there needs to be warnings and education around potentially harmful foods. How terrible if there wasn’t?! And I fully understand and sympathize with the fact that pregnant women and their unborn children can be effected by the illnesses listed above. It’s important to know too that some people fight and overcome addictions during pregnancy, and that “just one small glass” of Bucks Fizz (or something stronger) might not be possible for all.
On the other hand, you risk your life and the life of your unborn child simply by leaving the house. How much more dangerous it must be to cross the street than to eat a spoonful of pate? How much more dangerous it must be to get in a car and drive down a motorway or an icy country road than to enjoy a little cracker with a tasty chunk of gorgonzola on it? And how much more dangerous I assume it is as I waddle down two flights of stairs with a hefty pile of laundry in my arms as my toddler runs circles around my ankles?
It’s all relative!
My point is that for most healthy women, there is such a thing as discretion. As with anything in our lives, we need to make choices about how it will affect us and those that we love around us. And as any first-time Mums will soon come to understand too, there is a whole slippery slope of guilt that has the tendency to engulf you when you become a parent. It can be utterly soul destroying if you let it in too far. These “bad” foods, as I have come to realize, are one of the very first things that will make you feel utterly sh*t about your failings, BEFORE you’ve even become a mother!
With this being my second pregnancy, I am definitely a little more relaxed about the whole thing. Did I enjoy a sneak eat of pate and ham and cheese when pregnant over the festive season with my first? Hell yes! I just felt MUCH worse about it.
So come at me “sancti-mummies” if you feel I bring shame and danger and disobedience to the wholesome name of “mother”. But to everyone else slightly worried about being slightly naughty in terms of these “bad” foods, try not to let the guilt in. To me, a little naughty gluttony (especially at this time of year) can be overlooked, as long as it’s not overdone…
So on that note, I hope you’re all having a wonderful, fat, festive Christmas so far!
(P.s. I vow to never-ever be pregnant again over Christmas…it’s not as much fun!)
(I stole a perfectly safe Heavenly Tasty crisp…hence his look of thunder!)