“Having It Good”

I heard this statement recently. In the context of a woman, mother, wife packing her family’s lunches/meals every day for her kids and husband. An adult male made the statement that his mother, and his father’s wife, packed his lunches as a kid every day and still packs his fathers lunches for him every day. And to put it simply, in the words of Amy Poehler, one of my favorite quotes ever, GOOD FOR HER, NOT FOR ME.

I know someone who gets up every morning at 4-5A to make her kid’s lunches every day for school. At first, it sounded a bit strange, but her kids have very specific dietary needs so any other option of food for her kids is out of the question. When it was suggested that she maybe make the lunch the evening before to avoid having to do it so early a face was made saying she would not make her kids eat food that was made the night before. 

I’m confused – is that not what refrigerators are for. To keep food fresh. I do not think anyone implied making the food the night before and leaving it out. I could be wrong, but I do not think that is the case. 

Where I am going with this is that the adult said he realized “how good it had it” by his mother packing everyone’s lunches after he was told by my husband that his wife (me) does not pack his lunch and has the kids buy their lunches. 

What I assume was left out of the conversation was how I spent YEARS making the kids their lunches. And there was even a time I made my husband salads every night for his meal the next day. What also what wasn’t mentioned was I almost never got a thank you for extra time spent in the kitchen and in the grocery store ensuring everyone had something they enjoyed to eat. The kids would complain about what they had for lunch or just would never eat it and then there would be several days in a row where my husband would be bringing the salad I spent a good time preparing back and forth to work because he opted for other dinner options. 

The easiest fix for everyone is – figure it out on your own then. I put money every month on the kid’s lunch accounts and they are responsible for figuring out what they want to eat that day and if it is not to buy, they have to make their own lunch and pack their own snacks. And they are responsible for making sure they let me know what they want that week when I go to the grocery store. 

I guess it sounds like I am putting too much on my kids. I think I am letting them figure it out if they’re going to complain. You have someone here who is doing a lot of the work for you and you cannot appreciate it – here you go; I think it is really just life lessons. I think I am teaching them how to figure it out for themselves. As for my husband, he’s an adult. He can pack his food if that’s what he wants to do. He can buy food if he wants. My suggestions tend to fall on deaf ears. I work too, and there is no one making my lunch for me.

So I ask, what does this saying of someone “having it good” even mean. I think it is situational. The dictionary defines the term for someone to be in a favorable position or situation.  I don’t think someone doing everything for you puts you in a “favorable position or situation”. How will you ever learn how to figure something out on your own if someone is always doing it for you. How will you appreciate someone for what they do if they are always doing something for you? If something happens all the time, or on a regular basis, it becomes expected behavior. This is why kids go off to college not knowing how to do laundry.

At the time of this writing, my kids are 13 and 11 and do their own laundry and will bring it back upstairs to their room. (I still have to be after them to fold and put it away) I don’t do my husband’s laundry either after he complained about how I folded his socks many, many years ago instead of just a thank you. 

If you are the woman, mother, parent who does all these things with a smile on your face and you believe this is what is best for your family. GOOD FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME.

Personally, I think my kids “have it good” because they are learning to be independent. They are learning to do things on their own. I am pretty confident that they will know how to figure life out and manage. 

My family is taken care of. They have what they need and then some. Everyone is warm and dry at night. There is food in their bellies as well as in the cabinets. But some of that food will require a few extra steps to prepare on their end and they are learning they are quite capable to do it themselves even though it may just easier and more convenient for mom to do it. 

JS.

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