"I feel like, since I became a parent, my flaws, shortcomings and weaknesses are laid out in front of me pretty much every day." - work / life / balance
"There's an old wives tale that the first born always look like their dad to stop the father from fleeing from the house in horror shortly after the babies arrive." - Parent Opinion Piece 2
"There's one way to get kids to eat stuff that's good for them: make it resemble a burger and fry it." - Tips on snack tricks
"Minimalism isn't about getting rid of all your stuff and living with barely anything... minimalism is really a conversation about what's important." - Conversation about minimalism with father of six Leo Babauta
"Seeing your children grow up is the best part. I've always thought from the start that good parenting involves a huge amount of letting go." - work / life / balance
The above blurbs I randomly pulled from the first Volume of Hello Lunch Lady Magazine the new labor of love from the creators of Frankie Magazine, which I was kindly sent a couple months back then mindlessly stuffed inside of a rarely used leather tote hanging in my closet hoping to read on a car trip we never ended up taking. But then stumbled across it yesterday while searching for another lost token (seemingly a daily routine for me these days) and was instantly enchanted again by it's bold, artful appearance.
So I spent much of this bright Sunday morning today in bed soaking up a quiet house and reading through it thoroughly, front to back, and can honestly say it reads like a singing gem. Aesthetically speaking the kind of zine I live for. Chalk full of grainy home-based family photos, scattered with quirky curated art shots, food pics, kid drawings, picnic stuff! convos on parenting struggles, ect. Cute, unique, humble, and real. Lunch Lady is the kind of space that feels really good to fall into. Crammed with articles that revolve mainly around exciting recipes and cool tips to help incorporate healthful eating habits in the home and in school lunches - which is where the basis of this mag was born when the creator saw her 9 year old daughter being bullied for having off kilter lunch box creations she was preparing for her. But also touches on the aspects of motherhood I always find most appealing when reading up on the matter in general: maintaining creativity in light of having kids. Everyday stories from everyday folks, honest admissions. In other words: real life talk about how damn hard it is at times to keep everything together and feel good about the things we're creating and the children that we're raising.
For instance one essay opens up the topic of having four kids with the question of "Why the hell would anyone want four kids?" Which gave me a good laugh. And another father writes about his issue with embracing a kid that didn't resemble him AT ALL and the reality of feeling such discord as a result of something so superficial. Which I really loved. And then there's an interview with Erika Olsen Gross, founder of Mini Pomme where the topic of creativity being comprised as mother trying to remain "fully present with your children when you are feeling creative" is raised, which she explains: "I struggled with this much more when I was painting. I didn't mind the pressure of trying to make my best work under the galleries or museum before I had kids; in actuality I thrived on that stress. But once I had kids it just wasn't sustainable for me. Also, my studio was in my house, and it was always a challenge to keep little fingers off my crisp white paper. Now I have a little studio attached to my garage. My kids visit me and even work with me sometimes, but they know it's ultimately my space. I have also come to realize that my kids don't need my constant attention. Also, I'm not a very happy person when I don't have time to be creative, so for every one's sake its good for me to take time to do my work."
I could go on, detailing every nook and cranny I fell in love with reading through it - and man would I love to if I had the time. But fact is my sunny morning bed lounging widow-frame is steadily shrinking by the minute. On top of a mess of laundry I've still got to sort through, and walls to repaint, I just caught news of a spontaneous Super Bowl party I hope to make it to in time to enjoy the only two things I really care about on such an occasion: hot wings and Beyonce at half time.
So please, take my word and buy the magazine. Page for page I'm almost positive you'll only grow happier and happier that you did.