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‘Can we just be normal with those lunchboxes with sweet pepper cupcakes in the shape of a heart?’

My kids get a banana in their lunch box when they go to preschool. Nothing wrong with that. At least that’s what I thought.

Because it turns out: I’m a lazy mother. A scum of society. A little bitch in the schoolyard.

I am creative in my work, not in my motherhood, as I discover after 3.5 years with Bodi and Daaf. They don’t get faces drawn on their bananas or those interesting lunch boxes with six little boxes full of surprises. I just cut grapes into quarters, but that is for safety. So it stays there. Of those mothers who draw eyes on their child’s food? That lunch boxes are filled with cucumber slices cut into stars? Cherry tomatoes as florets? Homemade banana bread with a dinosaur on it? Just do it.

Has a child ever lost out on a simple cheese sandwich? A very boring cup of water without Air Up flavours? I don’t think my boys really care if their bell pepper cupcake is cut into a heart shape or sprinkled with edible gold. By the way, I don’t bake paprika cupcakes either, but okay, theoretically I could order them online. Laziness, or just a working mom these days?

I hope that in schools this is not a mutual struggle between children: ‘Look what my mother taught me!’. I used to get a carton of semi-skimmed milk and a Liga and that was totally fine. Now, because we do it ourselves as mothers, the bar is set very high. Bread bins with six compartments filled with homemade granola and vegan yogurt with dates. A slice of cheese in the shape of a unicorn. Clockwise moon grown avocado strips. Please, do me a favor. If we all act a little normal with those lunch boxes, no child will feel more or less or left out. However?

Let’s not get lost in it all. Long live the bam with cheese. And the banana.

Tessa Heinhuis (32) is mother of Bodi and Daaf and lives in ‘t Gooi. She is editor-in-chief of Mama Magazine.

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