When I was asked to visit our local Mc Donalds in Walsgrave to hear all about the changes they have made and to take a look behind the scenes I should have been really excited. A huge brand wanted to work with me and that’s major. But there was a little niggle in the back of my mind. Introducing MUM GUILT.
I thought about it for about five minutes… Why? I’ll tell you why, because even though the majority of Mums I meet are really lovely, there are some who would totally judge me for working with Mc Donalds. They don’t mean it but, it’s not healthy and maybe they just don’t like the idea of it, it’s not really something you talk about is it? The amount of times I’ve bumped into someone I know in the McDonalds queue with my kids in tow on a Friday after school and one or other of us has made our excuses about why we are there, “oh my fridge broke”, “I ran out of time for dinner”.. the list goes on. Why do we do it to ourselves? Why don’t we say ‘hi’ and leave the rest?! If I bumped into you in the chippy you would think ‘Ahh, that’s nice, they’re having a friday night treat’ , what is the bloody difference I ask you? I get WAY more bribery points for offering a McDonalds happy meal than I would offering a chippy tea, and I’ll be willing to bet you any money that the smaller portions in M D’s are actually less fatty than that of a plate of fried fish and chips, not that I am saying you shouldn’t do that either.
We parents need to be kinder to ourselves, we all (ok not all but most), have treated the kids to a McDonalds. Me & mine always go on the last Friday of term. I’m not saying I make it our regular dinner but come on, it’s a treat, just like the odd bag of sweets, everything in moderation right!? When I was a child we used to go to Mc Donalds as a treat, we used to have parties there with Ronald and all the parents wouldn’t be judging. Nowadays we really do put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. What’s perfect to me is balance, cooking nice meals, having a Sunday Roast every now and again, and treating my children if they’ve been good. Not creating a quinoa and avocado tapas and Instagramming the hell out of it. In fact, next Friday when term finishes I’m going to post our end-of-term treat on my Insta in solidarity for everyone who’s doing the same but feeling just a little teeny bit bad.
I created a poll for one hour in my Facebook support group Mum Knows Best Warwickshire and here were the results from 119 participants:
It turns out most people don’t actually feel that guilty when they go, which makes me feel WAY better. Here’s some of the interesting comments from Mums
“Surely just doing your best to be a mom is enough whether that’s maccys or organic broccoli. It’s hard enough being a mom nowadays. Keeping up with the clubs, play dates, playground mom stigma, and constantly worrying that our children have what everyone else’s get. I’d hate the thought of feeling shamed for doing my best. Surely as moms we should all have each other’s backs. It’s not bloody easy but it’s priceless. I’m a mom to 3feral boys who send me crazy make me poor but fill my heart daily xxx”
” Yes although I always order a fruit bag instead of chips and he has milk rather than juice”
So, as you probably guessed I went to Mc Donalds, I listened to the interesting changes they’ve made to the restaurant designs and menus to incorporate choice & healthy substitutes (fruit bags choice instead of chips, milk instead of fruit shoot). They showed me the fab new interactive Kiosks they’ve introduced and explained how they have changed the face of the restaurants, here’s some cool new stuff…
Interactive kiosks – Yes ladies, you can let the kids use the screen to order their own food, see it as a giant iPad and then they can use the mini ones on the tables to play on while they wait for their food to be delivered to their table, yes, table service is now a thing. No more balancing forty Happy Meals and drinks on a tray whilst trying to get straws from that fiddly machine and attempting to avoid the usual, ‘which table are we sitting at’ debate between the kids. Your food, cooked freshly to order will just appear as if by magic by a Mc Donalds fairy! Speaking of drama, because all food is now cooked fresh to order you can also avoid ‘gherkin gate’ by choosing to eliminate your gherkin at the kiosk!
New Signature Menu –
Coming soon is Mc Donalds new signature menu, featuring Gastro-Pub style food you’ll now be able to enjoy brioche buns and new style burgers. Probably more for the parents. I’m still always going to be a BBQ Chicken Legend kid of girl, but hey, I’ll give it a go. Ps I go to the gym twice a week and eat well including drinking water and wine. I have a balanced diet don’t you know.
Charity – Ronald Mc Donald House – If you know me, you’ll know how passionate about charity I am:
The new Ronald McDonald House at Birmingham Children’s Hospital provides 66 bedrooms our Birmingham House offers families the opportunity to cook together, to eat together and share their experiences. The House also offers a lounge, kitchen and play area for families visiting the hospital for the day. http://www.rmhc.org.uk/our-houses/birmingham/
So, I made myself a Big Mac under expert instruction (hairnet and all) and then I ate it! Thanks for having me Mc Donalds!
So there we are, if you choose not to eat Mc Donalds, that’s your choice. I’m so not judging your parenting skills, you do you and I’ll do me. We are all finding our way along this journey of Motherhood as best we can, and if that means taking my own children for a fast food treat once every 6 weeks, then slap my thigh and call me a Bad Mom.
This blog post is sponsored but every single view is my own. You can read more at http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/whatmakesmcdonalds.html