Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I still make my teenagers' lunches

Every day I make 7 sandwiches. 2 for Charlie because he has swim practice after school.

I set the sandwiches out and then the kids can grab the side choices that they want. We put it in the lunch boxes or brown paper sacks and off they go to school.

I don't really love it. But I no longer hate it.

I use to dread waking up in the morning and having to make lunches for school. In fact it use to make me feel very grumpy.

As long as they are in elementary school I have made their lunch. As they got older, I began to find reasons why I didn't have to help them as much.

And then this year my attitude has changed.

I imagine there are a lot of parents who feel that it is important for kids to make their own lunches/breakfasts. Maybe to teach them independence, or that other people aren't there to serve them, or whatever reasons they may have. And a lot of kids have to because their parents have to leave for work.

But this is not about other people's children. This is not a judgement about what other families do. This is about my family.

And I make their lunches.

My kids are all good students. Kate and Julia have straight A's. They go to early morning seminary. They are both in AP classes.  Kate has a job, is Key Club treasurer, Laurel Class President and takes piano lessons. Julia is in FBLA, the school play, takes voice lessons, is Assistant Chamber Choir Treasurer. The list goes on and on.

Charlie is on swim team and is working toward his Eagle scout award. Anne Marie takes piano lessons and plays on the soccer team. They both get good grades.

The point is, they know how to manage their lives and they are capable enough to make their own lunches.

But do you realize how busy the above items makes them? Kate was up til 2:30 doing homework for one of her 4 AP classes and she works after school today. Anne Marie has soccer til 7 on Mondays and Wednesdays and games on Saturdays. Charlie swims every day after school and has scouts on Wednesday nights. Julia has play practice every week.

So if I, as their mother, who does not have to work, can ease their burden in any way, then I can get my hiney out of bed early enough to make them breakfast and get their lunches ready. I am not coddling them, or enabling them for future slackery. I am serving them and helping them because I love them.

They will grow up and go to college and get married and I seriously doubt they will be too paralyzed to go to work or finish their homework simply because I made their lunches.

I have taught them to do their laundry, clean bathrooms, help out. But yes, I do their laundry for them til they are 12 and even after that when they need the help.

I have taught my kids some of the basics of cooking but I still make dinner most of the time.

They are only in our homes for a short time. We need to teach them the basics of taking care of themselves and managing their lives. But isn't it also important to teach them that we can be selfless and serve others without any thought of being given something in return?

So that is why I make their lunches. I can't do their homework for them, or deal with kids at school for them, or accomplish things on their behalf. But I can serve them. And hopefully they will learn as much, or hopefully more,from that as they will from being taught household chores.


  1. I love everything about this post. You are an AMAZING Mom!

  2. I love you blogs. I love your ideas and perspectives. I use many of your approaches in my home, I miss you friend! Lots of love!! Jodi

  3. I love this post so much!! All of your posts, really...


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