Hi, I’m Lauren, and I have a confession . . .
I used to be a Supermom. You know, that mom who would cook seven days a week; clean seven days a week; wash, dry, fold, put up, and iron school clothes for the week; and have fun activities planned on a consistent basis. I was the Pinterest-project-doing, always-busy-entertaining-the-children mom. I felt like my kids needed to be stimulated with fun activities, and abide by strict weekday routines. I made sure Brysen and Karsyn ate fruits and veggies every day and that television and tablets were limited with timers. I ONLY indulged in mommy juice at night when they went to bed and I always made sure that they weren’t overloaded with boring adult things like running errands and sitting down. Yes, I suffered from E.M.S. — EXTRA MOM SYNDROME! (It’s okay, I’ll cover my eyes while you self-reflect and come to the realization that you have the same condition).
What was the cure? So one day, after finally listening to the hubs (shhhhh!), a lightbulb finally clicked, and I realized that I was doing too much. Not only that; I was tired, spending too much money, and neither my family nor I got a break. My husband would always say, “Why don’t you sit down?” or “You create things to do.” I was making mountains out of mole hills. So what did I do? I started effectively parenting. I became lazy, and it was the best decision that I ever made.
I know what you’re thinking: I can’t do that because if I wrap my mind around that insane thought for two minutes, everything will be OUT OF CONTROL! And then I’m going to have to put it all back together. Actually, Supermom, that is not the case at all. I am here to tell you just the opposite. Being lazy will be the best decision you ever made (next to shopping at Target and wearing dry fit everyday).
Now you’re thinking, Mmmm, how can I be lazy and effective? Well, I have some answers for you. I am going to give you my top tips for more relaxation for you, more responsibility for your children, and smoother days for your family.
1. Relax :: You CANNOT do it all!
I know, I know . . . we moms FEEL like we can do it all. We are great multi-taskers and can get lots done in small amounts of time. But how many times have we multi-tasked and some things were done well and others not so much? How many times have we said yes to three different parties in the same day when your kid really only wanted to be at one, and once the party got great, you had to leave? Ladies, we cannot do it all! In order to relax, we have to realize that. Once we realize it, we will be able to let some things go, breathe and DELEGATE! There is so much that we lose in a day trying to do it all, instead of realizing that ALL is not always the way to go. Winnie the Pooh said it best in the preview to the new movie Christopher Robin: “They always say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday.”
2. Delegate :: Responsibility is good
I used to feel bad for Brysen and Karsyn to do chores until one day I realized, they live here too! Why should I be the only one (and the husband) who cleans and cooks and launders? We have a four-person household, and everyone can pitch in! You should not feel guilty for asking your son to sweep or take out the trash. You should not feel badly for asking your daughter to dust or wash dishes. These are things that help them to get from day to day, and they should be taught these skills. I’m not saying to turn your kids into mini-Cinderellas and Cinderfellas, but let them take some household jobs over every once in a while.
Creating a chore schedule or routine, as well as letting them fend for themselves on some meals and snacks, and even picking out their clothes, will not only help you relax but will increase their autonomy and self-confidence! Try it! Pinterest offers great printable chore charts as well as appropriate tasks for each age.
3. Be Selfish :: Self-care is necessary
So, every now and then, Mom, you need self-care — you need to be “selfish”. You need to take long walks down the isles of Target, curl up with a good book, laugh with friends, and drink mimosas at 10:00 a.m.. You need guilt-free fun and relaxation. There is so much to take on, and sometimes we forget to take on ourselves. It is vitally important for you and your family that you take care of yourself. Being a mother is physically and mentally demanding, and because of that, you have to allow an outlet of self-care and self-reflection. With that said, I don’t care if you lock yourself in a closet for 30 minutes and color, sit in your car (groceries in trunk) for 30 minutes and scroll on your phone, or simply tell your children not to call your name for 15 minutes; take some time for self-care.
So, those were three of my most important tips for being a lazy parent. Not bad at all, is it? I want to encourage all moms to at least try these things out. Even if they don’t work, at least you tried. I want you to know that you are not the only lazy parent out there, and that relaxing and having your kids do responsible things does not make you mean; it makes you human, and flawed, and transparent. Honestly, that is perfectly fine!
So relax, delegate, and take care of yourself. Sit back and watch how things change for the better!!