My Back to School Parenting Fail

This is a sponsored post created in partnership with Stonyfield, PackIt, and Justin’s as a member of the Stonyfield YoGetters blogger program. As always, all opinions are my own.

My kids have been back to school for two weeks now, and we are all (very) slowly getting back into the swing of all that goes along with the school year. My son and daughter are remembering what it’s like to go to bed on time after a summer of late nights playing with neighborhood kids, to do homework, to see friends they missed during the summer, to play on team sports like soccer, to practice for music lessons (my son is trying the guitar this year!), and to attend scouting events.

The family Google calendar is color coordinated to keep us on track (lavender for my daughter, blue for my son, red for my husband, turquoise for me, and pink for everyone), and already it’s very, very full. With everything coming at us, I wonder if I am dropping the ball somewhere. Am I forgetting something important? Did I miss some piece of school paperwork, or the sign-up deadline for something we must do? I think every parent must have that feeling when school starts back up again. Our hope is that the missteps—or parenting fails, if you will—aren’t too serious.

parenting fail

Some of our go-to school lunch items!

My first back to school parenting fail was the first full day of school (day one was a half day) when I awoke at 4 AM, sitting straight up in bed, gasping and exclaiming, “I forgot to pack the lunches!”

I’m surprised my husband slept through my early morning realization, but that’s the thing with having kids; you grab sleep whenever you can—lunches be dammed.

I woke up a few hours later (How I fell back to sleep I have no idea!) to rush into the kitchen and throw together lunch for my kids. I know, I know they should be doing it themselves—they are 7 and almost 9 after all—and they will help, if asked, but we’ve yet to make the transition from “Mom packs lunches” to “kids pack lunches.” (I’m not entirely confident they’d pack anything other than dry cereal and lollipops.) Having them take over lunch making—while I supervise— is one of my goals for this year. Since the second day of school was not the time to make new habits, I grabbed lunch boxes from the cabinet, and got to work.

Lunch making in our house is super easy—if I remember. I follow this menu:

  • Drink: either a water bottle or milk in a recyclable carton
  • Fruit: apple, banana, orange, berries
  • Sandwich: rice cakes with peanut butter, organic bread with cheese or preservative-free salami, tuna fish on whole wheat bread
  • Yogurt: Stonyfield organic YoKids Squeezers yogurt tube (this goes in everyday; it’s a must pack item)
  • Surprise: pretzels, another fruit, carrots, celery, something I’ve made at home (this week it was banana bread), leftovers
back to school lunch box

My daughter loves the PackIt lunch box!

On the morning of the aforementioned parenting fail, I used Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter to layer on salt-free, organic rice cakes. I also included a Justin’s snack pack—the delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Butter + Pretzels—with fruit, milk, and the YoKids Squeezers (my kids cannot get enough of those Squeezers; we keep them in the freezers for quick go to food throughout the day). I zipped up the lunch boxes, including a new one sent to me by PackIt (The entire pack freezes so everything stays cool–genius! You can find it here.), as the kids stumbled into the kitchen, still clad in their pajamas and rubbing sleep out of their I-can’t-believe-I-am-back-at-school eyes.

I sipped my tea and said, “Good morning, loves!” They groaned, and I thought maybe parenting fails at the beginning of the school year mean good things are coming. Just in case I don’t repeat this one, though, I added a “pack lunches” reminder on that Google calendar.

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