General chatter - For those that are parents

View Full Version : For those that are parents

05-12-2011, 05:09 PM
Today, I was at my daughter's school and met quite a few other parents. I was shocked by the number of parents that ate organically, excercised daily, some where doing Triathalons and stuff. Would you say this was common with your kids schools?

I thought to myself, where do they find the time. I know I find an hour for excercise for my day, but with chauffering my daughter some days I can't/don't feel like cooking, excercising. Or shopping for specifically organic.

05-12-2011, 05:11 PM
Sounds like possibly you live in an affluent neighborhood?

05-12-2011, 05:15 PM
That's what I was thinking.

05-12-2011, 05:20 PM
Yep, I only have a 2 year old, so she is not in school, but I am a former high school teacher (now a stay-at-home-mom) and I worked in a district in a ritzy area of town and also worked at a low-income area school, and yeah, there were definitely more health-nut parents and teachers in the affluent school district. More Anglo-Saxon as well. Just my experience, I'm sure there are health nuts in all walks of life, but fewer are living in "the 'hood", lol!

05-12-2011, 05:46 PM
No, definitely not the case at my son's school. I also wonder if it could be an economic divide.

05-12-2011, 08:29 PM
Lol you know girls I hadn't paid that any attention . The school is very diverse with kids from all walks of life. But I guess you can say that most of those parents are in comfortable financially.

Now looking at that I can see why how and where they find the time

05-12-2011, 09:55 PM
Now looking at that I can see why how and where they find the time

Being more affluent doesn't mean they have more time. More time than a single mother yes, but they work just as many hours, if not more than the average joe. Actually, since most of them don't work on the clock, they probably work MORE. More affluent people typically have more education. And to get more education, typically, they are also smarter than the average joe. So, they know more about good foods, exercise and it's importance. And, because they are affluent, they can afford to eat organic foods and can afford gym memberships, nice bikes, running shoes, etc.

But do they have more time in their day? Probably not compared to other two parent families.

05-12-2011, 10:00 PM
Just because you're affluent doesn't make you smarter. I tested two points below a genius however I'm poor. I've met some pretty stupid people who were affluent, as well. So the correlation between wealth and intelligence doesn't always hold true. And I'm annoyed by the fact that people actually genuinely believe this load of bull.

05-12-2011, 10:46 PM
Well, I don't know about the parents at my son's school, but I had an interesting evening. My boys play soccer with a local rec league. The "coach" decided that for tonight it would be "fun" for the parents to play soccer against the kids.

Whew! We are an out of shape bunch! 7 out of 12 of the parents there (including myself) were just awful! The other 5 were obvious exercisers, and in really good shape. One was a former soccer player, and he made the rest of us look like we were standing still. LOL

Hmm. This might be my motivation to start working out more. ;)

05-13-2011, 12:08 AM
Being affluent doesn't make you smarter, but it often does mean more (and easier) access to education... as well as more access on a casual basis to health information. An organic, local, or veg*n diet is often perceived by middle and low-income people as a luxury, something that only the wealthy have the time and money to accomplish. And when you believe - you act as if, making your belief true.

Also, even if you've got a good education, poverty can take some choices away from you. "Shopping organic" and going to the gym can often impractical, if not impossible on a tight budget or when living in a low-income area with limited or no access to public or private transportation.

I know folks who do, on a very tight, below-poverty level budget, shop only organic and exercise daily. They don't find time, they make time, but it's not time that most of us don't have. There are ways to incorporate children into the exercise (One super buff friend often says that his children are the best and most durable exercise equipment he's ever had, he suggests that anyone who doesn't believe him try playing airplane with toddlers for 20 minutes).

In our area, a lot of people under the poverty line, exercise daily, though they don't always call it working out or exercise. They play basketball with friends. They walk in one of the many parks, they swim or kayak in the rivers, they walk their dogs (or other people's dogs - I'm looking forward to walking dogs for the Humane Society this summer).

Most people of all incomes choose not to exercise daily and choose to buy less-than-ideal food not because of lack of time or money, but because of a perceived lack of time and money. There are tons of ways to make the time and save the money (there are tons of books at the library that can help).

At all income levels it's often more about planning than resources. We have friends who exercise daily (they're the fittest, buffest people I know - this is the couple using their kids as exercise partners and equipment) and they do more in a day than most people do in a week. Their income seems high until you realize Mom doesn't work and they have six kids, but Mom is uber-organized and the queen of multi-tasking, and keeping everyone on schedule and on-task. Also, she realizes that saving time and money isn't about finding huge chunks of money or time in the budget, it's about finding ways to use small amounts of time. Like us, they also bargain-hunt for everything. Even their hobbies are multi-purpose (The dad hunts all seasons - including musket and bow, not only for sport, but to put protein on the table. He also trades venison for fish, because he doesn't care for fishing - too much time spent not moving).

I'm not saying that with kids it's easy. I don't have kids and don't find healthy habits easy, but we have friends who make it look easy, and not because they're smarter or richer. They've just planned to include in their life, what they find most important (which is what all of us do, whether we plan it that way or not).

One do-it-all friend told me her secret was a messy house, because she doesn't value neatness over actual cleanliness. She claims to have the cleanest messy house in the world, because she only worries about "real" dirt (bathroom, kitchen, laundry). She says dust and clutter don't count.

05-13-2011, 12:28 AM
My son attends what I lovingly refer to as the "hippie school" - we have gardens, chickens, rain barrels... this is in the tightly packed suburbs of a big city. Many families have these things at home too. They aren't affluent, many qualify for free/reduced lunch - although they would never let their kids eat it. High percentage of vegetarians/vegans/organic eaters.

Not many triathletes though... More artist types.

05-13-2011, 02:51 AM
Can we please try to keep this thread focused on the original question, which was whether the parents in your local school district seem to be healthy/whole food eaters/active, instead of on the various outcomes children might have under different diets and in different circumstances? The original topic is interesting, but the tangents on affluence, how kids turn out on various diets, etc don't answer that original question, and have the potential to be more divisive than supportive.

I grew up in an area where most of the moms were the fit types, but I think it varies widely by region, and even by school.

05-13-2011, 03:46 AM
When my children were in school, it was really a mix. I live in Texas, and this is definitely "beef country", so not many vegans. However, it did seem that there were a majority of really fit parents. We have huge participation in all of our local running clubs as well.

05-13-2011, 09:52 AM
My son is too young for this discussion really (11 months) but yes, it's common here amongst my friends with school-age children. I work out daily, my husband is an athlete (and I was too before the baby), bottom line is that people all have the same 24 hours a day and use it differently. I'm up at 4:30-5am to train before the baby wakes at 6am. My husband and I go to bed at 8:30pm rather than stay up and watch a movie (of course before kids, it was easy enough to do both but now we sacrifice that!!!) :p

When there is enough motivation, you will find time :)

05-13-2011, 11:23 AM
My son is only two. Being a working mom is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I work out during my lunch break. I am blessed to have a gym at work. Otherwise, I would struggle to find the time. But I also take Logan in his jogging stroller. Tomorrow I am taking him to a family Zumba class (we will see how that goes!!).

When I make dinner, I double recipes so we can survive on leftovers.

Organic isn't important to me. But I did sign up for a CSA, so I will be picking up a box of organic veggies every week starting on Tuesday. I get to work for home on Tuesdays and that helps a lot.

My hubby and I share responsibilities in relation to our son 50% (I am still working with him on household chores).

I think it really comes down to what is priority to you and what you are will to sacrifice and make time for.

It is hard. Very hard. But also very rewarding. I am training for a triathlon - but I am NOT getting in all the workouts I "should". But I am getting in great shape and that gives me more energy to keep up with my son.

Sorry... I think I am rambling! (as usual!)

05-13-2011, 11:40 AM
I can get organic veggies delivered to my door (large box of fruits and vegetables is about $35) and there is also an organic grocery store near me, so it isn't hard for me to eat organically. I also have exercise equipment at home along with lots of walking trails so not hard to exercise everyday. I know a few people who run and do triathlons. We have a swim center near our house and a lot of people training for triathlons go there, some as early as 4am. I used to go around 6am and by that time, a lot of people were done with their swims and by 7am, it was pretty much dead. So I imagine they fit it into their schedule somehow.

05-13-2011, 11:49 AM
Usually when you have money, and live in a wealthy neighborhood, not only do you have to keep your home and lawn up to standards, but you have to keep yourself that way too.
Your kids have to attend the right schools, go to the right collage, and wear the right clothes. So it stands to reason, if all the housewives, eat organic, and workout, if you live there, than you need to do it too, just to fit in.

Not like its a bad thing...I love organic food and buy it when I can afford it, and I workout as often as I can, so being around a bunch of women who do, probably make a great support system and keep one motivated!