Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oh, Parents, how you irk me.

Got my latest edition of Parents Magazine in the mail today.

It's funny - I haven't paid for a renewal for something like two years, but I keep getting the mag with a renewal envelope every month.

Unlike Lucky, a magazine I hate that comes in the mail (a replacement subscription when a mag I actually liked went out of print), which I always toss immediately and with relish into the recycling bin, I actually peruse Parents, because sometimes there are neat ideas or thoughtful articles.  Sometimes.

This month, I've only just made it to page 22 (Back to School goody bag)

In spite of my unschooly-ness, I really do love school supplies - I WAS a teacher for six years and really enjoyed school as a kid - so I was sort of stoked to see the page.

Unfortunately, as with so many things in Parents, there was one think on the page that threw me.

Amongst the "Lunchtime Boredom Busters" products, was "Lunch-box Love", a product that includes several messages to insert into your child's lunchbox.  Like notes from Mom, only pre-made.  No thought necessary, just grab one and throw it in.

This makes me angry on a bunch of levels, but first and foremost - what the heck?  Whatever happened to writing personal messages for your kid that actually mean something to her?  Is it really that hard?  Do we REALLY need someone else to do that for us?  Do we really need to pay someone else to write love notes to our kids? 

I just don't get it.  Honestly.

I have been an ultra busy mom.  I have worked fifteen hour days and dropped my kid at daycare - but never would I EVER put a pre-made love-note in his lunchbox.  I can only imagine being a kid opening a box and seeing that pre-made card.  Heaven forbid you should repeat them!  It only takes thirty seconds to write a love-note on your kids napkin.  If you're really short on time, just draw a heart - but please don't do this pre-made junk.  It doesn't say "I love you", it says, "I want to be a good mom, but I don't want to take the time out of my important schedule to think of you."


Michael said...

I find it especially ironic that the note in the picture speaks to loving to spend time with your kid, when the student is at school and obviously NOT spending time with the parent.

Deborah said...

I have to disagree on this one having used the premade little notes many years ago when C was in school. In my mind it is no different than giving someone a store bought card which often expresses sentiments in words that not all of us can come up with on our own. I spent a lot of time thumbing through my two pre-made note packs to pick the right one for what was going on at that point in our lives. And, quite frankly, I'm not sure I would have thought to write a note on a napkin (which we didn't usually have around the house anyway) as it is not something I grew up with.
Often, i would add something to the back of the pre-made card.

As far as expressing the sentiment - I love spending time with you - to your child when you send him off to school...not everyone is even capable of homeschooling or unschooling and thus spending all day every day with their children. Why not reminding them while they are away that you love spending time with them. You do the same with your spouse, at tiems, right - when they are away on business or at work.

Just my take on it.

Missy said...

Deborah - thanks so much for your opinion on this. Makes sense about the pre-made card. My parents didn't put notes in my lunch either - ever. I did try with Jonah and it was something that meant a lot to him. I am sure that C loved your notes :) Thanks again for your comment!

Missy said...

PS - I think the thing that upset me most was that it (in my opinion), was presented as a time saving option rather than something you should put thought into. I think if it had said something about different notes for different occasions and encouraged people to think through which they chose, it would have effected me differently. I really appreciate the opposing view here :)

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