What your Kid's Lunch Box says about your Parenting
While everyone was gearing up for back to school with clothes, shoes, and school supplies, I was having major anxiety about what to pack in the school lunch box for my daughter. I'm pretty new to this whole school lunch box thing. We used to call it a "Brown Bag Lunch" back in my day. Why? You might ask! Well, because you literally packed it in a brown paper bag. Nowadays our kids are equipped with fancy Pottery Barn lunch boxes with their names embroidered on them and cool Bento storage boxes inside.
I'm a stay at home mom of three girls. With the exception of making sure things are natural or organic, I've placed minimum thought about what to feed my growing kids for lunch. My days are pretty hectic with the kids, and attempting to run my businesses. Now all I can think about is what the teachers will think about the snacks I pack, and more importantly, what other parents are packing in their kids' school lunches. Will all the kids have cute little Mickey Mouse shaped sandwiches, raw carrots, and raw celery? Will I be judged for packing one too many Oreos?
For years before sending my daughter to school, my News Feed has been filled with mom friends posting their kid's school lunches. I've seen everything from sandwiches shaped like animals, to veggies made into a rainbow. There has been such a wide variety of what parents included in their kid's school lunch boxes.
It seemed to have been a silent lunch box war going on, involving who could pack the healthiest and most creative lunch box. Naturally, I felt inclined to join in.
And so the lunch box war began in my head. I racked my brain about what to include. I struggled with several thoughts - how will I keep hot food hot and cold food cold? Do I use cookie cutters to make the sandwiches into shapes? What's the healthiest type of Juice Box? Suddenly, I realized I was turning this into such a bigger deal than it needed to be. I can do WHATEVER I want. There are no rules I need to follow or standards I need to live up to regarding what I feed my child. It is MY child after all.
As stay-at-home moms, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves. We compare ourselves to what other stay-at-home moms are doing. And sometimes we draw the conclusion that we aren't good enough or aren't doing it right. I have friends with four children that make motherhood look effortless, while I have friends with one that make it seem like they're in the trenches of WWIII. There is no right or wrong way to do this thing called motherhood. We don't have to prove to anyone that our job is tough. It is 24 hours long and 7 days a week of mostly non-stop chaos. We hold it all together without thought or hesitation. It's just what we do. And somehow I run a small business in between the madness of parenting. So the next time you find yourself having anxiety about something as simple as school lunches, remember this - you are enough, you are awesome, you know what's best, and you are doing an amazing job. And for me, I will continue to slay motherhood in my own way, one peanut butter jelly sandwich at a time. (Okay, maybe sunflower butter because the school is nut free). xoxo
*Instagram photos courtesy of @summjen & @barnes_n_noble - mom friends killing this thing called Motherhood.