With My Huge Blended Family, I’ve Resorted To Labeling My Food

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I woke up in a completely bitchy mood, as I seem to do at least once a week nowadays. This has nothing to do with lack of sleep, but more of the fact that THERE WASN’T ANY FUCKING ORANGE JUICE LEFT. Yes, I need a glass of orange juice every morning to start my day. And when I don’t get my orange juice I get like this.

The problem is I have a blended family. I went from having just my daughter, to having three pre-teen girls, a fiancé, and a live-in nanny. This means the grocery-shopping cart is now seven times as full as it once was and also the bill is a lot larger. When my fiancé and I discussed the merging of our families as well as the merging of chores, so they are EQUAL (but not really. I still do more. Ha!), we decided that his ONE chore would be to do the grocery shopping. This is because his children eat way differently (and more, because they are older and growing and there are two of them!) than my daughter who pretty much eats pasta, rice and vegetables and that’s it. She’s easy to shop for. My fiancé’s girls eat so much more, including junk food, which I’m NOT a fan of for children. But they’re his kids, so whatever.

The problem with a big family is that often I’m finding that when I open the fridge there is nothing in there for ME, especially on our days with his children. I require only six things in the house at all times – Diet Coke, M&M peanuts, yogurt, orange juice, milk and eggs. But when I wake up these days, after my fiancé’s children wake up (they have to get up super early for school) I come down and, WHOA!, there is an ounce of orange juice left, no fucking eggs (they like eggs too) no milk (they like making chocolate milk) and then I’m like, “BUT WHERE IS MY FOOD!”

My fiancé says he shops for me, but really, I think he’s more shopping for his kids, since I don’t remember the last time I ate a fruit roll up or slices of ham. This is why the POST IT NOTES have come out. I tried hiding the food or drinks that I need on hand, but even though I put my Diet Coke at the VERY back of the fridge, his kids find it and then I come home and all I’m thinking is I can’t WAIT to have a Diet Coke (I have only one a day.) And then there isn’t one. And that puts me in a mood. The same thing happened with my M&M’s. It turns out, even though my fiancé says he bought them SPECIFICALLY for me, his kids ate them all.

So, the most recent time he came home with a bag, I wrote a Post-It note on it that said, “REBECCA’S.”

I recently read a Facebook post of a friend of mine who has six children. All one of her kids wanted for his birthday was an entire carton of chocolate milk for himself. (How easy and cheap a gift is that?) But, alas, the kid didn’t get his wish because he has siblings who obviously didn’t listen to the mother’s rule that the carton was specifically for the birthday boy, who cried, of course, when he realized he didn’t get the one wish he wanted for his birthday. I feel for this kid, because even though it’s not my birthday, all I want is the food I WANT.

I know this sounds crazy, but my fiancé and I actually kind of got into a grocery shop fight, where I said, “I’m just going to do my own shopping from now on. AND I’M GOING TO PUT NOTES ON MY THINGS.”

I’m sure all families (those with kids) have the issue of opening their fridge and seeing there is an ounce of orange juice or milk left. What is it with children who put that back in the fridge like that? HELLO!!!! There’s nothing in there! It’s like a bad joke. You see the carton but there’s nothing in it.

So, tell me big families, how do you shop? How do you PROTECT the few items that you NEED to have from the other humans in your house? Are Post-It notes really the answer? (Between you and me, I have a case of Diet Coke hidden with my shoes in my closet in my bedroom. Yes, that’s what my household has come to! So, please, help me.)

(photo: Ed Phillips / Shutterstock)