Parenthood – there’s a label for that

Posted on March 13, 2012

Six months ago, I wrote a post about the indelible marks of motherhood. The things that make you realise you’re a parent. Not always what you’d expect.

Today, as I chopped fruit and dispensed Vegemite to make two school lunches, I came across another one. One of those little things that you realise mark you out forever – and to everyone else – as a parent.

Every single item of plastic ware – Tupper or otherwise – in my cupboard has a name on it. Sometimes it’s a fancy label with one or other of the boys’ names. Other times it’s a hurried scrawl, where I’ve written the family name in (hopefully) permanent texta. The Builder takes his lunch to work in carefully labelled containers. In case he forgets which ones are his, I guess…

Parents carry containers with labels. It’s an indisputable fact. We might as well wear them on our foreheads.

Is everything in your cupboard labelled? Do you still lose container lids like I do? 

[image: I also realised that I do not put love notes in the family lunchboxes. Clearly I am remiss. Perhaps I need some like these from kikicomin/etsy]


  1. Rhonda

    I have a ton of labeled things. I’m often seen carrying a thermos of coffee or a reusable water bottle with my son’s or husband’s name on it.

  2. Photographer Mum

    I seem to have an abundance of lids and not bottoms to attach them to. Maybe we should swap a few…

  3. Beck

    I had to go and look at my cupboard after reading your post.
    Everything is labeled! I never realise.

  4. River

    I used to label the kids lunchboxes and drink bottles, now the only things labelled are the pantry containers, SR Flour, Plain Flour, Cornflour etc. Icing sugar is labelled because it looks just like cornflour, you get the idea.
    I’ve never lost a lid, but a few have split at the corners from constant use, if I toss them out, the container goes too.

  5. Nat - Muddy Farmwife

    Probably 50% of things in my cupboard are labelled, but I still manage to lose things! And they never end up with matching lids, just the ones I can find at the time.
    I also got a message sent home from school that the name wasn’t written big enough on the lunchbox for the teacher to read, and I had to write it on wit a big black marker!! School is a whole different ball game to preschool!

  6. Veggie Mama

    My stuff is all expensive, brought home from Japan. One day I’m going to have to stop sending it to day care and let it sit in the cupboard to avoid losing it. When will I learn?

  7. therhythmmethod

    Mr Karen has a label on his that belongs to his 5 year old son. He doesn’t seem to notice or be bothered, even though his office is full of blokey builders.
    And the label maker lives next to the bread bin in our house. ’nuff said.

  8. Susanne

    if you byt plastic containers all with the same footprint, but with a different height – the lids will all be the same, too! No more lost tops or bottoms. It seems to level out in my cupboard!

  9. Emily

    My girl isn’t at school yet, but I’ve labelled all the books. I’m very protective of the books!

  10. kirri @ Happy Mums At Home

    Yes!! And if there is one thing I have learnt to expect, it’s that one of my daughters will go through at least 4 lunch-boxes or containers a year, but she will only ever lose the lid, not the whole thing.

    • Susanne

      Woolies and K Mart have boxes with hinged lids (so does Tupperware, but more expensive and sometimes too hard to open for little fingers.) They come in all colours and sizes, round and rectangular. Cheap, too


    I have only ever labelled actual lunchboxes. Nothing else.
    I am, clearly, a terrible mother.

  12. BOB & MABEL

    When my eldest first started Kinder I had the lovely professional labels. Now the youngest is at kinder and its permanent marker all the way. I’ve lost the will to give a shit about how it looks. Pretty much the same for the kids clothes, the little guy went out in public with me yesterday with 2 completely different shoes on ( one thong and one runner).

  13. At Number 32

    Oh you speak truth my friend!! Too funny

  14. Madmother

    It’s funny, when I read your title I instantly assumed it was about labelling kids.

    As the mother of a special child it tends to come with the territory.

    You are right, we do label everything. Even the kids (and not just the ones with a diagnosis).

    Made me smile when I read what it actually was referring to.

  15. Mama of 2 boys

    Oh yes! I was actually just thinking the other day that if I added up all the minutes I spend looking for lids in a day… I’d be surely wasting at least an hour! It is SO frustrating, they slide down behind other bits of plastic and seem to end up in places I didn’t put them.
    I have also just started on the labelling things, since Mr4 started preschool… and I’ve learnt I need to label EVERY piece of the container too, because of course once it comes apart, there are more bits to be lost! xo

  16. Amanda

    I was recently contemplating one of those label maker thingos. I guess that means I am officially a parent. I have a lot of problem with container lids, too. Aggh.

  17. Diminishing Lucy

    I am a whore for Tupperware and dinky labels. I am colour coordinated too. We are mid renovation og our hall,, where the plastic pot cupboard normally is. I am quite tetchy without my plastic pots at hand. And I fine the kids if any gets lost. In think I need therapy over my plastic pot obsession!

  18. Mum on the Run

    One of my ‘ku-ching’ parenting moments was ordering those labels with Magoo’s name on them.
    I felt fully inducted then!
    🙂 x

  19. Hoot

    That and drink bottles. I swear those things breed in the back of the cupboard.

  20. Maxabella

    I’d say 50/50. I’m not quite sure which half we lose the most… x

  21. Cath

    Alas, the Sharpie is not dishwasher proof. My Tupperware cupboard is full of half-labelled, rubbed off, blurry-named plastic items – all bound for the lost and found basket!

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