Ramble before office hours: familial responsibilities

Good morning from my couch office. ๐Ÿ™‚

My office hours haven’t begun yet but I’m feeling a tad discombobulated about recent events. I thought I’d empty my head into the keyboard before I start my writing projects. Technically I have just under an hour before work starts…and, I have coffee. So sit back, I got some complaining story telling for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I make my kids lunches. Even though they’re almost 12 and 14, I just feel better knowing they will, among whatever potential junk they have access to when they’re away from me, have a nutritious lunch at school.

I don’t really mind making lunches until, say, May (which is the second last month of school) at which point I would probably pay people with pretty much anything you can think of except money to take care of the lunch making for me. ๐Ÿ˜œ

No, forcing making the kids prepare their own lunch is not an option. Just TRUST me on that.

So when I get up in the mornings, I make lunches which often consists of leftovers in thermoses. Right? I pre-warm the thermoses and chop up the food if necessary to heat in the microwave and put together their stuff in the bags and off they go.

Here’s the caveat.

They have to clean out their lunch bags when they get home from school.


Except, it seems to be.


I had this whole thing with the kids this past weekend about them not owning up to the few responsibilities they have in this household.

Bottom line, they accused me of nagging.

I can’t really deny it because I hear myself get to that point more often than I should. But in my defense, this is a small house and during the time I make lunches in the morning or cook dinner at night is not the time I desire to have extra bodies behind and around me puttering around with extra dishes and clutter. Get the lunches done when I’m not in the kitchen.

It’s NOT rocket science.

So when I see their school and lunch bags dumped on the bench instead of in the closet with the hooks, and I remind them to get it done so it’s done, they give me attitude. Every single time.

Finally, after the argumentative weekend, I stopped. I did not say a thing. I did point to get their stuff off the bench, but I didn’t remind them about lunches. They ended up in the closet. Whatever.

Last night I went into my bedroom to change the sheets on the bed, install a new app, and read. I knew then that the lunches hadn’t been cleaned. It took a lot of effort to control my OCD to not go out there yelling reminding them to get their lunches done so I would have an easier time to deal with it the next morning.

Be proud of me. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’m in the bedroom and I can smell microwave popcorn wafting through the house. They’re binge-watching Grand Tour (Slash, from Guns & Roses, was a guest, ha!) and I ignored them.

I focused on installing my app.

It was while I was fooling around with the notification sounds when a new message popped up sounding the new jingle I had just selected that almost made me jump out of my skin. Someone noticed I was on that app now… Lordy. Scared the crap out of me! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

That temporarily distracted me from my lunch-issues, which is a good thing.

Fast forward to next morning. I overslept slightly, got up about an hour later than usual. I looked at the clock and it was 6:45 am. So I raced to the kitchen to get my coffee started which I prefer to have in peace before I start making lunches, when I see my teenager washing his lunch bag. He’s rarely up before 7:10 am…it must have bothered him.


By 20 after 7 am, I call the girl child to get up. I may or may not have made a passive aggressive remark about being unable to preheat her thermos or pack her lunch bag because I couldn’t find it in the drawer.



“I forgot,” she said despite that being impossible because I did point out the bag and lunch on the bench when she got home from school. She knew, she just didn’t feel like doing it then.

Anyway. It is what it is.

Obviously we all have to transition into the whole thing of getting it done prior to breakfast. My job is to stay silent, their job is to DO IT. Or, go pack their own lunch in something else. They can figure it out, they’re old enough.

It’s really not rocket science.


21 thoughts on “Ramble before office hours: familial responsibilities

  1. This boggles my mind since “in my day” we all carried our lunches in paper bags and it was just something boring like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, a pudding cup (the good old days when pudding was in a little can, not plastic) and maybe a piece of fruit or something. There was nothing to bring home for our mothers to wash out, warm up or refill. You ate your lunch (or not) and tossed the paperbag in the trash.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How times have changed… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Peanut butter has been banned for at least 20 years due to rampant allergies, and if you don’t pack a litterless lunch you have to take your trash home with you as all schools have ecological mandates nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I put a reminder in his phone that’s set on daily. Then if he still doesn’t do it , I take tablet time or hobby time away very quietly. No yelling no discussion. Last year I gave him 5 warnings to clean his room. Then I cleaned it and threw some things away or donated. There were tears. He doesn’t let it get very dirty now though and it only takes one request.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is my favorite approach too but so much harder to make happen when the other parent doesn’t support/believe in the method. Argh…

      Thank you though for reinforcing this for me. A few people made similar mentions…


  3. Good for you to make lunches and for sticking to your guns. If I may suggest, make it no tv or games until you give the okay and you check the few things they have to do are done. Bed made, thermos empties and washed – whatever.
    OR just make them sandwiches for lunch. After awhile I bet they will want leftovers again in thermos’ again and want to wash them out so they don’t have to have plain sandwiches.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. For the most part, this was never an issue for my kids. All through grade school and middle school, they mostly ate school lunch (though they LOVED to complain about how awful it was). Doing this at the high school level proved too much dealing with people for them, so they started taking their lunch. Because of their ages, they just automatically did it themselves. I did have to get cranky about containers not getting taken out, cleaned and put in the sink a few times. This was a massive issue with OC and when we went through the bio-hazard that was his room after he left, I found a few that had been there for a while. Guess where those suckers ended up?

    I’ll keep quiet about the laundry thing because I’m afraid I’d get shunned if I said this is another non-issue in my house anymore. O:)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I made lunch for my kids all thru school. By high school, my daughter opted out, but my son (the quieter introvert) loved having me make his lunch. I did this as an Act of Love for him. His lunch always had 2 sandwiches and a variety of munchies with a drink. I checked regularly with him so we could change up things when it got boring. I also discovered he was sharing his robust lunch with others that might have forgotten lunch money. This helped him make friends. He was able to avoid the cafeteria and sit elsewhere in a quieter spot on campus. During his Spring sport, these lunches were essential for boosting his calorie intake (heโ€™s a skinny kid). I would stick notes in occasionally (6 years later he still has some of the notes). Iโ€™m saying all this to perhaps suggest re-framing the whole making lunch thing. We only have a few years of making them and then we are done. Yes, teenagers are the most frustrating creatures at times, but they do fondly remember sometimes the most random thing. Save your battles for laundry. Thatโ€™s a hill to die on! LOL. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that was such a nice thing to read and say. Yes, you’re right, it is an act of love. I can always line up the 17 food items they need on the counter for them to collect and transport in whichever way they like. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an on going battle in our house too. I have requested that lunchboxes be placed on the counter, containers removed, and ice pack put in freezer. if there was a thermos, put it in the sink and fill with water to soak. not difficult, but a battle every day. I threatened to turn off the internet afterschool, and now at least he jumps to so it when I come in the door.

    We have similar Laundry issues. I will leave the clothes in the way they are found (I cannot imagine balled socks actually come clean), but my OCD spouse always gripes about it, but rights all the clothing.

    I think it is just teenagerism.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear God Woman, are you writing this from my house? Are our children related?

    I’m to the point where they can simply starve if they don’t clean out their lunch bags when they get home. That, or enjoy your cheese sandwich because you don’t have any money in your lunch account.

    Same with not putting all the clothes right-side out with laundry. If I’m doing the laundry, how you send it is how you get it. It’s interesting folding jeans with one leg the right way and one leg wrong way. But you can betcher backside that’s how you’re getting it back.

    Liked by 1 person

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