Never Say Never

By Ellen Schutt

As moms, we all have made those statements. “I’ll never let my kid do (fill in the blank), eat (fill in the blank), get (blank) body part pierced, or join (blank group or sport).” How many times have we eaten those words? I just had a talk with a friend who is researching middle schools for her son. Her “never” statement was, “I’ll never send my kid to private school. We live in a town with a good school system, and we believe in supporting public schools.” But now as a fifth grader with several tough elementary school years behind him and a teaching approach that doesn’t seem to be working for his style of learning, she is rethinking her “never” thought and considering alternative options.

I am guilty as well. I said I’d never let my sons play travel soccer in second grade. “Seven is way too young, we don’t need multiple nights of practice a week, etc. etc.” But my second grader is a great soccer player (if I do say so myself), and he was getting bored and frustrated with the level of play he was experiencing in rec soccer. So now he’s playing travel soccer and loving it. I still don’t like the over-scheduling that goes along with this (see my related blog The Un-Soccer Mom), but he is rising to the challenge with no problem.

The moral of the story: never say never. If my children have taught me anything, it is that they make life unpredictable. The control freak in me hates that they are not perfect, clean, polite, well-behaved angels all the time, but the mother of 10 years in me now appreciates the flexibility (okay, slight flexibility) I have learned in the last decade. I often say that children are the great equalizer – the grocery store tantrums, the 103 fever as you head out on a business trip, the last-minute babysitter cancellation when you finally got reservations at that great new restaurant in town – it happens to all of us and unites us in the great “mom” club in which we all have a lifetime membership.

I’d love to hear from you; tell me your “I’ll never let my child…” moment that is no longer valid and what made you change your mind.

Ellen Schutt is the Chief Mom Officer for Xigo Health, an all-natural health supplement company. Ellen is the mother of two boys, ages 7 and 9, and leads an active life in suburban New Jersey. Professionally, Ellen has been in the natural products industry for more than a decade, where she has developed a broad base of knowledge of dietary supplements and ingredients. She is the founding editor of Nutraceuticals World, a leading industry trade magazine, and has written extensively about all aspects of the supplement business. She was also vice president of sales and marketing for an ingredients company and ran her own consulting business for the past five years. In her role as Chief Mom Officer, Ellen is involved in all major aspects of company operations and leads Xigo’s efforts to interact with moms everywhere and provide valuable content for them about keeping their families healthy. Reach Ellen at and share your ideas and tips for keeping your family healthy.