Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why you can't win... :)

This is the "pre-post" to my next post. It is about my June this year but "my June" was influenced by this experience. In some ways I feel like this is a post for everyone (at least all 3 of you who read this blog). I bet everyone has felt this way at least once a week...

A few months ago someone asked me about what I do for school lunches. I mentioned a few ideas and asked her about what she likes to do. My older children and hers are similar ages. She mentioned some ideas that she uses. Then she asked me if I did all the different things we had talked about (should have seen it coming right here). I told her I actually don't do any of them now. I used to do a lot of them but I have my boys make their own lunches now. And that is how I walked into that trap.... She pounced. "Really, you don't make your kid's lunches. Oh, I could never do that...it is something so special for a mother to make your lunch. I just want to send my kids to school and have them know that their mother loves them." And there you have it...BAM!!!!!

But this is why you can't win...

If I had been TOTALLY honest I would have said. I "let" my older boys make the lunches. I don't do it because I am lazy. I think it is good for them. I am going to send them out into a world at 18 where I can't even talk to them. They need a few basic skills. They need a chance to make healthy decisions for themselves and start to realize and plan for what they need. I don't leave them to fend for themselves.  They make decisions based on what they are willing to do. I make egg salad and tuna for them so they can make their own sandwiches along with peanut butter. They decided they don't want other types because they are "too hard" to make. I let them have juice once a week but they had to choose what they want to drink the rest of the week. They chose water and v8's. I keep a steady supply of fun and healthy snacks. I still make muffins or even cookies for their lunches. BUT...Josh and Hy know in the morning that they have to pull out everything and pack up those lunches. They naturally worked out a system where Josh makes the sandwiches before he goes to school. He then packs his lunch. Hyrum is then in charge of packing his lunch along with Math and Seth. Hyrum likes doing it. Josh is okay with it. :)

See the problem...the truth is just fine. In fact, until the moment that woman opened her mouth it had never occurred to me that I would be judged on the making or not making of my kid's lunch. When you read the actual explanation of what the real situation is it is clear that I love my children and that I am not trying to hang them out to dry. And while every person may take a different approach to the making of lunches based on their current life situations and what their children prefer, it had never occurred to me to worry about what other's do also because it is completely and entirely LAME to do so...but then the seeds of doubt set in for a few moments...do other people really love their children more than me? Am I really a slacker? I quickly assured myself that I am not a slacker (at least not a big enough one to be called out on it :) and I love my children plenty. These are easy to answer because I know the truth and I know what I do. But then the next round of doubts which are worse...I know I am not a slacker but do other's think I am because of the things I do?

To "win" this game you have to live life on offense. You have to attack first and claim your territory as the best. You have to be the person who makes the statement like "only mothers who makes lunches love their children" :) You have to be the person that causes everyone else to be on the defense when you are around. You get to be the person that lives their whole life acting like high school...You are the person that everyone "admires" but no one really "likes."

And that dear readers is why you will never "win"...because you are a beautiful person. This battle presents itself everyday in some new idiotic form from the food you eat to your child's haircut. So...

Dear World...you win. You are absolutely right! I am not the best mother. I am a lazy a large portion of the time. I could totally be a better person and on top of that I could probably look a lot better too! I am putting up the white flag. In fact, I'll even let my kids playing video games while I drink Dr. Pepper if it will make you happy...now that you have won just let me be. I am busy being happy and fulfilled and sometimes sad and overwhelmed. I am working on being a better person while failing miserably but I am also working on indulging my 1 year's obsession with waterfalls and big scoops (this is actually a very serious condition that drives us to distraction!) I am busy just trying to get somewhere in life...

PS - Today Math got up and made his eggs for breakfast because he wanted to. I was very proud. It must be because I don't love him enough :)

8 comments:

mkt said...

You are so awesome Melissa! Just think how insecure that mom must be to have to say something like that in the first place... As for me, I'm in your camp - don't do for your kids something they can do for themselves. They'll thank you later :)

Melissa said...

I think they will too :) After that situation happened I remembered this video and then I was able to (almost) laugh about it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbFiB7oiQs4

Jaz said...

Oh my glory. I'm right there with you! I often hear the sad, sad story of how my kids are the only ones in their WHOLE CLASS who have to make their lunches. I tell them it's because I obviously love them more than the other mom's do. ;) Seriously though, wouldn't we all be happier if we stopped basing our self worth on what we think we're doing better than others?

You are awesome! Some day we need to live closer to each other.

katharine said...

When will women stop judging each other! I had the same thing happen recently when discussing that I let my kids walk to and from school ALONE (even in the winter). Apparently 'good' moms drive their kids to and from school or at least walk with them. And my visiting teacher was appalled that I don't sit and do homework with any of my kids. and I have never made a lunch for any of my kids. (come to think of it, my mom never made a lunch for me either.) I get excited when I see my 8 year old wants pancakes for breakfast and makes a batch from scratch. go self-sufficiency!

Krinn said...

I don't make my kids' lunches, either. Mostly because they need to learn to do it themselves but partly because I was sick of them whining that they hated what I had packed. Wait. . . my kids DO NOT whine, EVER. We are the perfect family, bwahahaha. And I would LOVE to not have to sit with my kids during homework--we are still working on that one.

merathon said...

do NOT let the haters get to you! berkeley wanted to start making her lunch since first grade, so i told her that if she wanted to make hers, she might as well make her sisters' too! she has been doing it ever since (and thankfully kendall started helping too). i love self-sufficient children. one morning i woke up at 8:00 and the girls had made me waffles! can't beat it! you are a FAB mother.

btw-- i think we drove past you when we were in provo over the fourth of July!

merathon said...

also, when anyone i know finds out that my girls make their own lunches, they are JEALOUS! they'll say, "i wish my kids would go for that! do you think berkeley would come over and make our lunches too?" :)

that lady you met is an anomaly.

Melissa Z Prince said...

oh my goodness. the world didn't win. you win. you have a dear family and children that are happy and comfortable and loved. i have to tell myself this all the time, but it does not matter one little bit what anyone else thinks about that. you win!