Breaking Up with a Lunchbox


Recently, one of my friends sent me a link to the cutest Luchbox Truths Cards by Tiny Theologians to put in my boys’ lunchboxes this year. The cards feature super cute designs and inspirational scriptures to brighten their days.

There’s only one problem: I’m boycotting packing lunches this year.

So, while I think the cards are a wonderful idea, I just can’t. Both boys will be attending a local elementary school where they can eat a tasty and healthy lunch in the cafeteria each and every day, so that’s what they’re doing. I have struggled with some guilt over this. I mean, what kind of mom doesn’t want to make her kids a healthy lunch? Am I being completely selfish?

After a great deal of thought, though, I’ve come to the conclusion this is one area where I have to show myself some grace and realize that a mom can’t be all things to all people, so lunch lady is one hat I’m going to have to hang up. The problem now is, how do I break it to the boys’ lunchboxes?

Breaking Up with a Lunchbox | Columbia SC Moms BlogDear Lunchbox,

We need to talk.

I’ve watched you all summer, just sitting there on the counter, longing for me to whisk you away on a lunchtime adventure. I know I’ve neglected you. And now that we only have a few weeks left before school starts back, I see how you’re starting to get excited, dreaming of those group dates with all your other lunchbox friends in the cafeteria. But here’s the thing, after all we’ve been through— the leaky mandarin oranges, the moldy cheese, the smushed raisins –I think I owe it to you, to be honest . . .

We’re over.

Believe me when I say, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m a slacker, and it’s not fair for you to be in a relationship with someone like me. You deserve more. You deserve someone who will spoil you with a coordinating bento box and thermos. Someone who will fill said bento box with whole-grain sandwiches cut into dinosaur shapes and organic fruit artfully arranged on kebabs. Someone who won’t just shove a Lunchable in you at the last minute and call it a day. Someone who won’t leave you in the blazing hot car all weekend long and then blame you for that horrendous smell.

I know what you’re thinking: How did we get here? And I’ll admit, we started off so strong, dreaming of all the ways we could show the boys how much we loved them. But the truth is, over the years, we’ve grown apart. No one is to blame; these things just happen. We seem to want different things now. You want to give my boys a nutritious, well-balanced lunch. I just want to get out the door on time without having to think about who wants crust and who doesn’t.

I can’t lead you on anymore, knowing that deep down, my heart belongs to the lunch ladies who make sloppy joes and serve cinnamon rolls with the spaghetti. They deserve a chance too.

We’ve had a good run. You’re young. If we part ways now, you’ll still have time to find your soul mate, a mom who will love you unconditionally and help you reach your true potential. I can honestly say you made me want to be a better person, a better mom. And for that, I’ll always be grateful.


Is there a parenting task you need to break up with? Give yourself the grace to let it go.


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