I am a lazy mom. Sorry, but I'm definitely not sorry. I wasn't always lazy, to be sure, and I used to be a helicopter parent; constantly buzzing around my kids on high alert, rarely getting any time to myself. But Now? Well, now I'm tired. I'm tired and I'm busy and I have a million things to worry about, so there are more than a few reasons why I won't apologize for being a lazy mom.
So, how did a control freak helicopter mom become carefree, relaxed, and, dare I say it, lazy? It wasn't easy. I went through many stages of motherhood. When my daughter was small I wanted to be a free-range mom, but found myself herding or penning my curious toddler, never wanting her to climb to the top of the monkey bars and forever worrying she would fall. What I realized was that by always being there to catch her, I had given her a false sense of security. She would jump off the edge, always thinking that I would be there to keep her from experiencing any pain. When my second child was born, I was able to — or probably more accurately, forced to — relax a little. I couldn't be in two places at once. I didn't have four arms and eyes on the back of my head. I also struggled, trying to make sure that I did everything "perfectly," while existing in a less-than-perfect relationship and trying to move up the career ladder at work.
Since becoming a single mom, and then remarrying a man with children of his own, I have learned to relax and set more realistic standards for myself and for my kids. Which, surprisingly, has made me a happier, healthier person and a way better mom. So, with that in mind, here are some of the reasons that I will never apologize for being a lazy mom:
My Kids Are Happy
No one likes to be micromanaged, and kids are no different. I don't tell my kids what to do or how to play, even if they are frustratingly coloring outside of the lines or making fake poop (oh yeah, that's a thing) for their stuffed animals. As long as they clean up their messes, I don't expect my kids to like the same things as me or instruct them on every single step in a project. I wasn't always this relaxed, but trust me, lazy moms have happier kids.
Lazy moms are happier moms. Trust me. I don't have to stress about what they are doing at all times, and I can actually poop alone (at least most days). I have learned to let them be and, in the process, have not just become myself again, but a better, more badass version of myself.
Not only is that comforting in a world where moms often lose their identities as individuals, but I actually like myself more than I did before I became a mom. Who knew the key to happiness was to be lazy?
I Get Sh*t Done
Because I don't worry about what my kids are doing at all times, I can get a lot more accomplished in a shorter time period. I find time to clean my house, write, choreograph yoga classes, lobby members of Congress, and even get a workout in every day.
Now, I am not saying that my kids don't initiate contact. My 4-year-old son sometimes won't stop touching me or wants me to build Lego crocodiles with him all day, but most days I feel like an awesome mom, housekeeper, writer, and woman who can almost literally do it all. Which is, when you think about it, not lazy at all.
I Like My Kids
Not only do I find my kids less annoying, I think I love them more when I don't feel like I have to monitor or dictate their every move. It's way less stressful and takes way less creativity and energy on my part. Of course, as an added bonus, they are actually becoming way more independent and creative.
My Kids Entertain Themselves
What's the point in having more than one kid, if they don't entertain each other? Kidding.Well, kind of, anyway.
I actually think my days are easier when all four kids are at home, then when I am home alone with my 4-year-old son. Sure, there are more conflicts to mediate and sometimes it's unbearably loud, but for the most part I can tell the kids to go play and they actually go somewhere else and play. I want my children to be independent, creative thinkers who are leaders and not just rule followers. By being lazy, I totally foster those skills in my kids.
I Have A Life
When I was a helicopter mom, I was always focused on the kids. Making elaborate organic meals (that they wouldn't touch), planning frequent playdates and perfect Pinterest projects, and documenting it all on social media took up a good portion of my time.
As a lazy mom, I have way more time to learn who I am and who I want to be. Which means I can be more involved with politics, create art that doesn't involve finger paint or pipe cleaners, and even just hang out on Facebook in groups that aren't related to parenting. I don't feel guilty at all. In fact, I may even run for office.
I Have A Great Relationship With My Partner
The length of a Daniel Tiger episode can be the perfect amount of time to get some. Seriously.
When your kids learn to entertain themselves and to not need your attention every minute of every day, you can have more sex and even just time to spend with your partner not talking about homework or wiping runny noses. As a lazy mom, I also find myself stepping aside and letting my husband parent way more often than I did when I was a control freak. He's an awesome dad, and I let him shine. As a result, our relationship is stronger. Although, we have learned to turn the TV down a bit, because, while hilarious, there's nothing sexy about getting it on with Daniel Tiger theme music playing in the background.
I Have Friends
Not only do I have more friends, but I have friends who aren't even parents. Because my life doesn't completely revolve around playdates and parent-teacher association meetings, and I have had time to develop my own interests, I have way more friends than I did when I was a human helicopter.
I Have An Amazing Career
I have also been able to build a successful career. This feels good, makes me happy, and is a great thing to model for my children. Balancing a career with having a family isn't always easy, but for this lazy mom it's certainly easier than when I was stressed out all of the time about whether or not my children were enrolled in enough activities or making bento box lunches every night.
I Get More Sleep
Not enough, mind you. I mean, I can never get enough sleep. However, my kids regularly let us sleep in now, nap on a Saturday afternoon and/or fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Sleep is important and with a new baby coming, I am trying to get as much as I can and while I still have the chance.
I Am A Better Mom
If you don't attach your own oxygen mask first, you can't help others with theirs. If you don't practice good self care, you aren't going to be as successful at caring for your children and doing all of the other things that busy moms need to do to get through the day.
Since I became a lazy mom — a mom who plays on her phone at the park, lets her kids watch TV while she gets shit done, and understands that there's still a woman inside her yoga pants with needs, wants, and interests of her own — I am a better, less stressed-out, happier mom. I've realized that lazy moms are not lazy at all. They are just smarter, and that's something for which I refuse to apologize.