Can the level of a mother’s love & parenting ability be measured in the quality of the lunchbox she provides?
I hope not. Because what I’ve discovered about myself is I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person. In every aspect of my life, but particularly in the lunchbox arena.
I’ve done the figures, since my kids went to kindy when they were two-and-a-half I’ve created 3,864 lunchboxes (ok there may have been a few days when I resorted to the good old tuckshop but not that often).
In the early days I was keen. I even brought recipe books on healthy lunchbox ideas – and I MADE some of those recipes! I stood in the supermarket and read the sugar/sodium content of the museli bars and assorted snacks. Because I was a MOTHER and MOTHERS MADE HEALTHY LUNCHBOXES. I read those magazine stories that appeared at the start of the school year comparing the bad with the good – and was fairly sure I fell into good more than bad.
But the years went on, I lost some of my creative spark, and most of my energy. I let the wholemeal bread thing slip away. I lost my consistency.
Yesterday, the girls got a super-duper lunchbox – left over Salmon Teriyaki (from my Gwyneth cookbook) made into a salad with fresh lettuce from the vegie patch Mr Shambles put in a couple of weeks ago, tomatoes, cucumber … then some strawberries to follow. There were little ice-packs and frozen poppers to keep it cool. I ROCKED.
Today, not so much, haven’t got to the supermarket, it’s Friday, we’re out of snacks. Looks like it’s vegemite sandwiches on a day (or two) old bread and a banana that may be slightly brown.
It’s the long term commitment I struggle with – I can do awesome for a while, even a year or two – but after about 2,500 lunches I just started to lose interest.
Meanwhile the children get the lunchbox lottery – some days it’s Salmon some days it’s Vegemite – you just can’t pick it.