Going Back to Work

My sister, who has worked at home for the past year, has put aside her velour jogging suit to don business attire once again. I am so proud of her for finally making the switch from the entertainment industry to the public school system, a dream she has always had. Congrats, Sis! In honor of her transition back into the professional world, I’m posting an article that she did for a column we used to write called “View From the Drive Thru” over at momsatwork.org, a wonderful site that is no longer updated, but does have some great tips for working moms. Congrats, Sis:

Fast Food Mommy

              by Cheri Kaufman

I confess. I’m a Fast Food Mommy. I’m not proud of it, but oh the joy of a Happy Meal! It is a modern-day miracle for moms, complete with nutrition (even if it’s debatable) and entertainment wrapped up in a nice throw-away container.

Seriously, as Moms it’s not hard to justify offering an occasional cheeseburger to our kids when we actually have healthy options. We can choose apples instead of fries and juice in place of a soda.

One day, on the phone to my sister, I was bemoaning the fact I’d offered my daughter fast food at least twice in one week. I was sure I’d caused her irreparable harm. Tina’s response was, “So what? Just make her get the apples.”

She had a point. If I give my daughter the option, she’ll choose fries and soda, so I have learned to just order for her. She seems fine with the apples and milk and at lease I’ve just made a healthy choice for her.

Would I prefer my choice be a hot meal at home every night? Of course! But with my busy job as an Artist Manager, it’s just not going to happen. Even though I try to set a limit for fast food, I always have the occasional week where we just have it too much. For instance, lately when I found myself in a hurry, I drove through McDonald’s and we had breakfast on the way to school.

Later that day, I found myself driving through after work because we had to make a trip to the airport to pick up Grandma. It’s true I should have packed us each a PBJ, but that morning I had been too busy getting one daughter dressed and making sure I had enough bottles of breast milk for my baby’s daycare providers. Packing a sandwich was the furthest thing from my mind.

My daughter, of course, had no complaints about another trip to the golden arches. Especially since the current prize was a “My Little Pony” figure and at the rate we were going she would easily collect all of them in just a few days. I drove out of the drive through feeling immensely popular with my daughter, but guilty for filling her up with another quick, meal on-the-go.

A few days later I took my children to the pediatrician for their routine checkups. As my oldest daughter was enjoying the playground, she found a lost plastic pony toy. I felt a momentary kinship with the anonymous mother who also pollutes her child’s body with fast food, but then hurried my daughter back into the waiting area.

We were called into the pediatrician’s office and by the time I realized my daughter was holding her pony right in plain sight, it was too late. The toy was a dead giveaway to the doctor that I fed my daughter fast food.

I felt my cheeks flood when our pediatrician said,” Did you go to McDonald’s and get that pony?” I quickly interrupted. “No, she actually found it in the lobby.”

Then feeling like I did the time my sister and I lied to our mom about eating the last of the chocolate chip cookies, I confessed. “Trust me; she has plenty of those at home.”

Our pediatrician then said, “My daughter has three of those, obviously I have been at McDonald’s too much lately.”

I looked at her and laughed. It felt so good that I was not alone! We all have Fast Food Mommy moments.

What is it the commercial says? “Have it your way”? If it makes your child smile and keeps a little sanity in your life during a hectic time, what does it hurt to give them a little fast food once in a while?

-Cheri

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