While everyone was gearing up for back to school with clothes, shoes, and school supplies, I was having a major anxiety about what to pack in our toddler's preschool lunch box. We recently enrolled our oldest son Preston in Pre K- 3. This is his first time being away from home. He's never been in daycare or school setting so I'm totally new to this 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. Now a days 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 two boys. With the exception of making sure things are natural or organic I've placed minimum thought about what to feed my growing toddler for lunch. My days are pretty hectic with him, our eight month old son, and attempting to run a small business. Now all I can think about is what the teachers will think about the snacks I pack, and more importantly, what other parents were packing in their kid's school lunches. Will all the kids have cute little Mickey Mouse shaped sandwiches, raw carrots, and raw celery? Will I be criticized for packing one too many Oreos?
For years before I ever thought about enrolling Preston in school, my timeline has been filled with mom friends posting their kids school lunches. I've seen everything from sandwiches made to look like animals to veggies made into a rainbow. There had 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 in my head began. I racked my brain about what to include in Preston's first week of lunch. I struggled with several thoughts, including, how to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do I make sandwiches? And if I do, how do I cut them out in shapes? Will my cookie cutters work? Suddenly, I realized that I was overreacting; 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.
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. I have friends with four children that make motherhood look effortless, while some friends with one make it seem like they've been 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 sometimes non-stop chaos. We hold it all together without thought or hesitation. I run my small shop Bebe Nourri somewhere in between all the madness. So the next time you find yourself having an anxiety attack about something as simple as school lunch remember that you are enough, you are awesome, and you are doing an amazing job. And for me, I'll continue to slay motherhood in my own way, one peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a time. Well maybe sunflower butter since the school is nut free. XOXO
Instagram photos courtesy of @summjenn & @barnes_n_noble mom friends killing this thing called motherhood.