I opened my email the other morning and saw the annual welcome letter from the elementary school principal. It included all the traditional notes about being excited to start the new school year, be sure to check bus routes, remember to be kind to others, etc. However, it also included information about new policies/procedures for the 2018/2019 school year.
One of the policies involved food. There would be no more food at classroom holiday parties and parents would no longer be allowed to come to school and have lunch with their children in the cafeteria, even on special occasions like their birthday. No biggies. I closed the email and went on with my day.
Later that afternoon, I logged onto Facebook and was blown away by a thread in the school district’s page for parents. Holy crap – complete uproar about the no having lunch in the cafeteria with your child rule. I’m serious. People ranting about how traumatized their child will be that they won’t be able to eat lunch with them, especially on their birthday, and how the school is robbing everyone of this special memory.
As a parent who works full-time about a half hour away from home and has a child with a summer birthday, I rolled my eyes. I rolled them so hard I thought one might fall out of my head.
Whenever a policy is invoked, it’s for a reason. Maybe too many parents showed up at school on a regular basis, crowded the lunchroom and got in the way. Maybe it made some kids feel upset or left out if their parents worked full-time and couldn’t just show up for lunch. Who knows, but I do agree a reason from the school might have helped squash the Witch Hunt. Since no reason was given, one parent even encouraged everyone to email the principal and superintendent. Good lord – is this what people do who have way too much time on their hands?
I will help save everyone some time by offering a few helpful tips on how to survive the great lunch saga of the 2018/2019 school year.
Tips for surviving the no lunch at school with your kid policy
1. Turn down the dial on the helicopter blades. If you are that devastated about not being able to eat lunch in the cafeteria with your child there may be a bigger problem. My guess is you are also the first parent in the pick-up line and are the one jumping down the teachers’ throat if he/she doesn’t give your child an A+. Sometimes Xanax can help with this.
2. Last time I checked, birthdays were an entire 24 hours and most people I know even celebrate them over a number of days. Make a special breakfast, pack a special lunch with a note, have a special dinner, pick them up and take them out to lunch. The ideas are endless. Trust me, your child won’t have a mental breakdown because you are not there sitting at the cafeteria table with his friends.
3. If you can’t possibly stand the thought of being separated from your child for an entire school day, volunteer at the school in the lunchroom. No doubt all schools could use extra help during the lunch periods.
4. Get – A – Life! I know it’s tough, but do something that doesn’t focus on your kid. Get a hobby, go to the gym, volunteer somewhere or get a part-time job. Honestly, just do anything.
Now, let’s all take a deep breath and get back to more important issues, like the annoying things people do in the drop-off and pick-up lines at school!
This author has chosen to publish her piece anonymously.