I am never in the running for Mother of the Year, but I try to make sure my kids know they are loved even if I am simultaneously prepping their delicate minds for years of therapy as adults. For instance, I give my kids the choice between carrying a bag lunch or buying. Surprisingly, one of my three kids wants me to make lunch every day and another prefers it on occasion. I try to drop a lunch note in when I think about it as well.
My lunch notes are boring because I am too groggy in the morning to do better than "I love you!" or "Have a great day!" on a torn off corner of notebook paper. There are a ton of printables online that do the work for me, but I found them a little bit too cheesy and disingenuous. I decided to write my own sincere notes (that I promise I will not actually put in my kids' lunches). My husband will totally get his note, though. I'm no saint.
I love my little pumpkins, but I swear I am exhausted all the time. I just am not the mom to go the extra mile making beautiful lunches and preprinting professionally designed cards that my kiddos may or may not care about — unless I am motivated. Motivation turned out to be what I needed. The moment I thought about sending my deepest thoughts to my husband and kids in their lunches, I had a blast and giggled through the whole process. Observe:
"I'll be taking money from your piggy bank today so I can go to Starbucks. Great job saving!" It's important to give kids affirmation about their hard work.
"You're halfway through your day! Just a few more hours until you're home to take the garbage out and do homework. YAY!" I think it's important to help children find the fun in a schedule and chores.
"When you're feeling down, just remember how I feel when cleaning up cat puke. Have a great day!" Perspective should be taught and reinforced at a young age with a cheerful message. Balloons are always cheerful.
"Hope your day is better than mine :( " Guilt, being used since the dawn of time by parents everywhere. I'm so happy it's my turn.
"While you're at school today, I'll be going through your toys to make a donation." Decluttering a room under the ruse of philanthropy for the win!
"How about tomorrow you buy lunch?" Seriously, kid. Those sweet lunch ladies make a lot of food every day and they get paid to give it to you. Take their food. Let me have a day off.
I wanted my husband to feel special too. "You are the man of my dreams. I'll be thinking about you while you're at work and I'm home napping." Nothing says "I love you" like a nap in someone's honor.
If you're interested in some actual printables, please take a look at this post by Mama Hetler by clicking on this link.