Lowering the Bar for Moms Everywhere

Sometimes I think Martha Stewart and her perky little hand-stitched minions are the masterminds behind Pinterest.

Once upon a time, like thirty years ago, it was perfectly sufficient to slap peanut butter and store-bought jelly on a slice of store-bought bread, throw it on a paper plate, pour a glass of milk and call your kid to lunch.  For dessert an unpeeled, uncut apple found its way into little Johnny’s hand.  Kids grew and mother’s did other motherly things free from guilt.

creative kids sandwich

Fast forward to the age of the internet, Martha Stewart Living, and Pinterest.  Now we, the offspring of our mother’s PB&J sandwiches, must bake our own bread, press our own home-grown peanuts, and work these ingredients into an art form comparable to the sixth day of creation.  And, please don’t forget to include avocado!  It may green and gross (no offense to you green and gross lovers), but you will not be one of Mrs. Obama’s friends unless avocado is present, be it sliced, smooshed, or smashed.

All I want is the truth people.

Please.

Do you really cut your kid’s lunch up to look like an Old McDonald’s Farm field trip?

Am I just a total slacker?

I know I sheltered my children from the pricey likes of squeeze yogurt and string cheese, but once in a while I actually splurge for those straws that turn your milk into strawberry, chocolate, or cookies & cream. (Thank you Laura for introducing my children to such culinary delights.)  I just don’t chop down my own tree, make paper in my bathtub, roll straws, let them dry in natural light (with plenty of organic sunscreen), grow my own strawberries, dry them into tiny little bits of flavor and fill the straws.  I just buy them for $1.98 a pack in Walmart.

Is that so bad?

I love that Pinterest wants us to make our Frosty’s and french fries all summer long, but all I really want is to go to Wendy’s sometimes and spend the eight dollars for four Frosty’s.  My kids like them.  I like them.  I don’t have to wash the blender that made them.

For heaven’s sake, let’s lower the bar just a bit before my kids expect their brown bag (kidding, brown bags are wasteful…I meant reusable lunch bags made from old plastic water bottles) lunch to look like their pet Betta fish.

So, really now, do you do it?

Do you cut the sandwich to look like a less violent, more tolerant Bugs Bunny or do you just pin the pictures so everyone will think you do?

You can be honest here.  You’re among lazy, sometimes wasteful, green and gross hating friends.

Please help me manage the expectations of children everywhere!

 

(All photos are linked to Pinterest.  Click and go.)

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21 thoughts on “Lowering the Bar for Moms Everywhere

  1. Pingback: Easy Home-Made Bread, A Recipe | the domestic fringe

  2. jeandayfriday

    My dudes are lucky if I cut the crust off of their sandwiches! I think these special sandwiches are more for the adult ego then for the kids. My boys wouldn’t eat them!

    Reply
  3. Katie B. of HousewifeHowTos.com

    Back in the Dark Ages before Pinterest and before moms were turning to the internet in droves for some social interaction (and bragging), I’d slap PB&Js together — or even *gasp* bologna on bread! — and think nothing of it. Then I started blogging 9+ years ago, and all the sudden there were other mommies who’d write about how they’d raised their own wheat to grind into homemade bread (Freshly baked! That morning! At 5 am when they woke early so they could give themselves a fresh mani/pedi to match their Outfit of the Day!).

    And, yeah, I hopped on the whole ‘let’s cut sandwiches into cute shapes’ thing. It lasted about a week. Then I realized that as soon as my kid sat down to eat the sandwich he’d toss the bread aside, pull out any veggies, wad the bread into balls and shove the filling (without veggies) into his mouth. So. Not. Worth. The. Time.

    The only reason mommies post stuff like that is to make other mommies envious. And I’m too busy living my life to spend the time validating theirs.

    Reply
  4. kerrycooks

    Great post! I think as long as your kids are well-fed with nutritious foods it shouldn’t matter what they look like. I think a smiley ketchup face on a pizza is acceptable though!

    Reply
  5. Piglet in Portugal

    I was a cruel wicked Mother and from the 2nd day my kids started school they learned how to make their own sandwhiches and iron their own shirts. When I got married my hubby’s Mum had spoilt him rotten and waited on him hand and foot so he was worse than useless, No way José were my kids going to end up like that! Life’s tough and the sooner they learn the basics the better 🙂 They managed admirably and I was so proud of them and they were inspired by their independence

    Reply
  6. Missindeedy

    Two words for you: cookie cutters. They are my friends. It’s bad enough that I have to make two separate lunches for two very picky eaters, one with nut allergies. I whip out those cookie cutters on the days where everyone is all crabbyPatty and, voila`! I am suddenly the best mom. Ever. Ha!

    (I use this trick after pancakes have been cooked some mornings and the kids think I’ve hung the moon!)

    Otherwise, no way Jose’. You get what you get and you don’t get upset!

    Reply
  7. thatmidcenturyfella

    Great post. However, when I was a kid I was still conscientious of my food. Seeing someone build a sculpture out of my meal means they played with it for too long. I’ll keep my fingers out of your food if you do the same for mine. Yuck…

    Reply
  8. muddledmom

    Oh, so funny! No, I don’t do it. I don’t even do Pinterest. If I spent a week making that lunch, my kids would say “Ah, cool!”, sit down, take a nibble, make a weird face, and say they don’t like it. That little rocket ship would zoom right into the trash in sheer anger. Moms slap lunches together in 35 seconds for a reason!

    Reply
  9. Jenn

    Hey!!! I used that one brown paper bag for an entire year of school – with all its’ tape and mighty holes with my plain peanut butter sandwiches (that I mostly made myself) and baggy with onion garlic potato chips. Who says brown paper bags are wasteful?! ;0) And they were normal sliced shaped sandwiches. For a party, the specially designed sandwiches would be nice, but otherwise – plain Jane style works for me! ;0) However, that being said, I still love pinning on PInterest!!! Some things I’ll try to make, others are pretty pictures….

    Reply
  10. Deb

    I love your conspiracy theory of Martha and Pinterest. hmmm…… Also, I think you’re my best friend we agree on everything!!!! 🙂 ❤ Now just move up here will ya???

    Reply
  11. Grandma Nancy

    Thanks so much for a good morning chuckle! As a grandmother I believe that my grandchildren much prefer me sitting reading a book with them or playing Wizard 101 (yes I have my own Wizard…Sophia Unicornheart) instead of them playing alone or watching tv alone while I try to figure out how turn a sandwich into their favorite cartoon character. On the flip side of things though, my grandchildren spend a lot of time with me in the kitchen creating wonderful things together that don’t need blue prints or pages of instructions. I believe these are the things they will remember when they become parents, So hang in there, Lather on that store bought PBJ on the store bought bread and slice up an apple or peel an orange, then enjoy some time together talking about their day, playing a board game or taking a walk. Those are the memories they will remember and cherish.

    Reply
  12. debbie york

    Back in the day, the only thing “MS” thing I did to the kids lunch was scribble a note with fabric marker on a scrap of paper with a reminder not to use somebody else’s brush.. Nowadays, I’d be expected to write it in french on hand-embossed, hand-scented (scents that I made from extracting the oil from a coconut), handmade paper in calligraphy no less! How else would my children know how much I really love them? My poor neglected kids…it’s a wonder they don’t need therapy. Set the bar high…I say how low can you go? I myself am the queen of Limbo.
    Deb

    Reply
  13. berryprose

    Oh man…I can get started on this one so I’ll try to behave. No I definitely don’t do that kind of crafty stuff. I do have a cutter to cut crusts off in a heart and dinosaur shape. Yay Walmart. My wierd picky kids have to live with what I give them so cheese sticks and ravioli are regulars in my house, although I sometimes try to liven the lunches up, I repeatedly tell them to be thankful they have a choice of lunch. My kids have grown to expect me to slap bread and a piece of ham (ham and pepperoni are the only lunch meats they eat and are allergic to nuts) together and a glass of milk (or shove some chef boyaredee at them if I am tired). I think its good for them. Hey we all came out OK right? I read an interesting article about how much less independent kids are these days because parents coddle them so much. Maybe part of that is letting them be regular kids without fancy lunches. I definitely agree with you!!!

    Reply
  14. Shannon

    Nope. I don’t do it. My husband, from time to time will get creative by making a log cabin out of strips of waffles for them on a weekend morning or some such thing, but he generally isn’t making the 3 meals a day. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!! I was looking for an excuse to pick up Wendy’s today, lol

    Reply
  15. nuttymominohio

    Sometimes, since my kids at home are 11 and 9, they make their own sandwiches actually. The most creative a sandwich can get in our house is with one of those little cute sandwich cutters from Wal-mart in the shape of a dolphin or dinosaur lol I am all for being green and we have been working on becoming self-sufficient people, but, sometimes I just don’t have the time nor the patience to make the homemade bread or what not. I do not believe that makes me a “bad mom” at all. : )

    Reply

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