I read a great bit of trivia in a food magazine the other day. According to a recent survey, 2/3 of mothers admitted to hiding a secret stash of goodies like candy, chips or cookies from the rest of the family.

I totally get it! There are few things more frustrating at the end of a busy, draining day than discovering that the "comfort" treat you've been dreaming of has disappeared. I actually don't hide anything (everyone knows where the stash in my bedroom is!) but I certainly recognize the temptation.

So what's a worn-out, frazzled, goody-craving mom to do when she discovers that her (not so) secret cache has been raided?

Tears are the first option, but I'm looking for a more mature response here. And I actually acknowledge that, trivial though it may seem, it's not an insignificant challenge.

I still recall a situation that occurred when my oldest daughter was 6 weeks old. She's 34 now so that tells you something! We had an event at our home, an outdoor picnic-style entertainment, and, during the meal I went inside to feed her. When I returned there were no chicken breasts left for me and I had a complete melt-down. Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, there were hormones. And missing ice cream (my favorite comfort food) wasn’t even involved. But still...

So how do I react when I discover that my husband has eaten the last piece of chocolate out of my drawer? I hope with more maturity than the past. Although I have made it obvious that I enjoy these treats (we didn't even talk about potato chips yet!) I am not living for them! Even at the end of a long day.

I can have something else. I can even eat something healthy instead (Okay maybe that's taking it too far!). But the real growth lies in the fact that not only do I not resent my family members for having eaten my goodies, but it actually gives me pleasure. I am glad that I had purchased something they enjoy. I am glad that when they had a craving, I could satisfy it. I am glad I could give to them. (And I'm glad they gained the calories, not me.)

When we're tired, hungry, worn-out, we frequently revert to our base selves. That person is often a self-centered, selfish being. So I take it as a mark of growth that in this area, however insignificant it may objectively be, I am only too glad to share (even if once in a while I need to take a deep breath first).

It's sort of funny that so many moms have a secret stash. And it's sort of sad. Because, just as we have learned to share, we certainly hope we've taught our family members the same quality. And that even if they raid the candy cupboard, they won't eat it all! They'll leave some for us. They'll be as considerate of us as we are of them.

As in everything, we need to be role models and examples. I think I'm almost there,

Just please don't finish all the pralines and cream ice cream (or pick out all the pecans!).