Have you seen those TikTok video duets? The ones where a mom is meticulously packing a bento box lunch full of hummus and home made pita chips, exotic fruits and the ancient grains of Greece while the other mom is grabbing a half-eaten bag of cheesy poofs, a Kool-Aid pouch and an unpeeled carrot? They are hilarious! No matter which mom you are, it’s funny stuff.
Which mom am I? I’m the one smack in the middle.
I try as hard as I can to pack a balanced lunch but most of the items in my kids’ lunches are prepackaged. Uncrustables, apple sauce pouches, some goldfish crackers and a Capri Sun are my go-to meals.
To be honest, though, I struggle w/ the guilt of the bento box. Sometimes as I’m packing lunches late at night after the kids have gone to bed and I’m exhausted or in the mornings as I’m also barking orders about getting ready to go, I wonder – am I bad mom?
Wouldn’t a GOOD mom want her kids to have the most healthy lunch they could have? Wouldn’t a GOOD mom spend hours making fresh muffins for her kids? Wouldn’t a GOOD mom raise her kids to savor and be excited about a lunch box full of hummus and couscous and dragon fruit stars and figs? Isn’t that what a good mom looks like?
Yes… But you know who else is a good mom?
The moms that say I don’t have the time to do that, but I want to make sure you eat protein and a fruit and some grain and just a dash of sweetness to end your meal with. And so they grab the Uncrustable from the freezer and the apple sauce pouch and the gold fish crackers from the pantry, and toss in a couple Hershey miniatures from the Halloween stash and hand the bag to the kid as they rush out the door.
Another type of good mom? The moms that say:
“I want to make sure you’re fed, but all this lunch food adds up.”
It costs a lot of money on an already tight family budget so they send their kids to school to buy the school lunch, whether it’s their favorite or not.
There’s also this type of good mom; the mom that says to their child, “You’re in charge of your own lunch. Pack it or buy it – it’s up to you. You need to be responsible for yourself.” It’s an important lesson to learn.
All of these moms are good moms. And it’s up to us moms to say to ourselves, “I’M A GOOD MOM!” It doesn’t matter if the lunch is in a box, a paper bag, a designer lunch tote or a cafeteria tray. At the end of the day, what matters most is that our kids know that they are loved and their tummies are fed.
So go buy a box of Uncrustables, find the best bento box, load up your child’s cafeteria funds or point them in the direction of the fridge because it’s back to school time!