Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Why I have always made my kids' lunches

I've been asked this question numerous times throughout my kids' school years.  Why don't your kids make their own lunches?  It's a good question!  Usually it comes with a little sprinkle of disbelief, because it doesn't gel with the level of independence and responsibility we generally require from our kids.  The last time I had this discussion it was with someone who has only known me a short time, and doesn't know our family dynamic all that well.

To be fair, Mr Busy has broken all the rules of expectation.  I don't actually make his lunch for him, but I do send him to school with a bag full of tinned spaghetti and cup-a-soups.  And yes, that doesn't gel with my beliefs about food vs food-like products either.  But this is a difference between the boy eating and not eating.  Like his father many years before him, I found a number of lunches languishing in the bottom of his school bag, and I am vehemently opposed to wasting my time and energy making food for people who won't eat it.  So the man people in our house get no special lunch treatment.  The flip side for Mr Busy is that he won't take food if he has to make himself.  I'm paying a pretty penny for him to go to school, so I want his brain to actually work.  Therefore I send him with things he'll actually eat.  And that can sit in his bag or locker and won't go off.  It's a definite compromise on my part, but I think it's working, for now.

The real reason I've always made my kid's lunches (and was prepared to make Mr Busy's through to the end of Year 12 as well), is purely and simply about my own self-preservation.  Yes, they can do it themselves.  They all cook dinners, they're all very capable.  But this is the barest, most selfish reason for making lunches for capable people:

I can't stand listening to the kids fighting the kitchen in the morning.  Cannot.  Even.

When the three of them were still in school I would make their lunches and pop them in their designated colour of Tupperware sandwich box along with a snack and piece of fruit next to it.  It was their job to pack it into their insulated lunch box and into the bag.  There.  They won't totally devoid of responsibility in the process.  Just the being in the kitchen part!

These days I have no idea if the girls are at Uni for lunch or at home, or at church, or at work...  Baby adults with University schedules are a whole other beast.  I only really make my own school lunch now, and provide Mr Busy with non-perishable options.  And a lunch order on Thursday's.  Yep.  The youngest is spoiled, because I got tired of parenting.  Sorry girls.  You wore me out.


Six Little Hearts said...

We make our kids lunches and even though our eldest is 17, I haven't even thought to do otherwise! It's just easier to lump it all together and streamline the day.

Cate Brickell said...

well if that isn't the best reason ever to keep making lunches! I have been making sandwiches, but it hasn't stopped the bickering, which is only set to get worse next year as the smallest heads off to school... I'm sure there's a trick, but I have no idea what it is!

Unknown said...

I completely understand! When all mine were at school I always made the lunches as I couldn't stand having them all in the kitchen at the same time! And I love your last comment! So true xx

Joolz said...

I made school lunches for my two girls right through to Yr 12. I just felt happy knowing they had a sandwich (ham and cheese or Vegemite or peanut butter)to eat for lunch. So many kids went to school with nothing and resorted to a packet of chips for lunch. By the time Bri was in Yr 12,(and my other daughter was off at Uni) leaving on the school bus at 7.30am, I was sending her with a hot toasted Vegemite & Cheese sanga and a chai latte in a travel mug for breakfast. Quite often I'd make a batch of choc muffins too. She was the envy of the whole bus! It was something that I just loved to do.

Denyse Whelan. said...

I made the kids' lunches (the sandwiches or rolls) in advance and they are ready to grab from the freezer and the pantry had a stock of snacks (*this is before the politically correct snack era) and a popper drink. Once a week the kids bought a canteen lunch. Mornings were challenging enough just getting myself and the kids out the door for school without making lunches then!