Like most women who decide to become mothers, I fully intended to be a parental overachiever. I wanted to teach my kids how to be the best at everything they did; How to speak different languages; How to use their manners; How to love asparagus more than frozen foods. However, like most of those women, I realized being a "perfect" parent was a laughable concept, at best. I have come to accept my role as a "lazy" mom and, let me tell you, it's been such a relief. There are things lazy moms just don't worry about and I think I can speak for every mom when I say that we could all stand to worry a little less.
Trying to be what society has arbitrarily decided is the "perfect parent" just isn't worth the time or the stress or the energy you'll inevitably spend. When I finally threw in the towel (the towel being all the f*cks I stopped giving) and learned to accept that I no longer had any interest in being "perfect," I realized that being a lazy mom isn't a bad thing. Sure, there are things about motherhood that I definitely don't mess around with (i.e. education and nutrition and vaccinations), but when it comes to messes and schedules and screen time, I've learned to loosen my grip a little and enjoy the moments when my kids are happy and I am able to sit on the couch and rest. Trust me, that latter part doesn't happen often enough.
What I wish someone had told me about becoming a mom is that there are a million different ways to be a "good" mom, and that those ways are different for each and every one of us. For me, I just needed to chill out a little, stop being so up tight, and learn to enjoy my babies while they're still babies. So, if you're as sleep deprived as I am, consider joining me on my leisurely quest as a self-described "lazy mom," and consider the 11 things that you could eliminate from your already full plate.
A Beauty Routine
Maybe it's just me, but if I've got an extra ten minutes in my day, I'm not going to spend it contouring my face. I'm going to spend it sitting in silence and pretending like I don't have two humans that depend on me every hour of every day. When I do decide to spruce myself up a bit, I can't tell you that I give it my best effort. I fix either my hair, or my makeup, but hardly ever both. Hair and makeup are both fun, and I'm not immune to the self confidence boost I feel when I've done both, but I'm just really not all that worried about covering the bags under my eyes to trick people into thinking that I'm not exhausted. I am that exhausted.
Putting Clothes On Our Kids When We're Staying At Home
If I'm at home with my boys, I don't worry too much about keeping them fully clothed. If we're not leaving the house, there's a good chance they're staying in their pajamas, and me in my yoga pants. In fact, they might not have on anything except for their diaper or underwear for the majority of the day, especially in the summer time. What's the point? Getting them dressed even when we aren't leaving the house just makes the piles of tiny laundry even higher.
Coordinating Our Kids' Outfits When We Leave The House
Some of my friends' kids have the best style. They're coordinated from head-to-toe, and they look like little mini-models. That's great and adorable and all, but I just don't see the point in dressing my kids like little magazine ads when they're going to end up covered in finger paint or grape juice or dirt. If they're fully clothed, I'm content.
Having A Strict Schedule
I agree that kids needs routines, and I do my best to give mine one that they can rely on, but I don't have the time, nor interest, in being a drill sergeant when it comes to their daily schedules. I'm just not interested in, nor am I patient enough, to monitor every single hour of their day and keep them regimented. They wake up at the same time every day (except when I sleep in, because hey, I'm human), eat three meals a day, and go to bed at (basically) the same time every night. That's good enough for me.
Folding Their Kids' Laundry
I tried to fold all my kids' laundry for a while, but I just don't see a point anymore. We keep most of their clothes in little storage cubes that are stored on various shelves. When I go to find them something to wear, I just dig through the clothes and mess them up anyway, so why would I even attempt folding them? Folding tons of tiny clothes, only to have them all wind up in a wad eventually, will literally drive a person to drinking. Trust me, I know
Cleaning Up After Their Kids During The Day
I love a clean house that smells like bleach and lemons and my most recent candle purchase, but I'm not interested in fighting the losing battle that is trying to keep the house orderly while my kids are awake. There's just no point. In the time it takes me to clean up one corner of the house, they've wrecked several others. My house doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders, but it's also not in a condition I would want my mother-in-law to witness. When my kids go to bed, I clear the clutter and enjoy what little time of peace and quiet and clutter-free contentment that I have.
Giving Our Kids A Bath Every Single Night
I live in the south, where it sometimes feels like being outside is the equivalent of being in the seventh circle of hell. I've also got two boys who love to run around and get sweaty and dirty. All of these factors result in some pretty smelly children, from time-to-time, but I still don't give them a bath every single night. Sometimes I'll just turn them loose in the yard and let them run through the sprinkler as a substitute. Don't get me wrong, I love it when they emerge from their baths so fresh and so clean clean, and I certainly don't let them get to the point of becoming "the smelly kids," but between working full-time, being a mom full-time, and a wife full-time, I run a little short on the time (and sanity) it takes to scrub my kids down every evening.
I don't want my kids to become too "brainwashed" because they watched "too much television," but sometimes I don't really have many other options than letting the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse babysit my kids while I finish my work. I do strive for a healthy balance, but I'm not losing any sleep over the television being on in the background all day while my kids play and I work. Also, my kid's vocabulary has seen a major improvement since watching some of his favorite shows, as has his imagination. It's not like he's watching actions movies where men are blowing things up while they save women in bikinis. No, they're watching children's television shows that are happy and informative and educational, and I just don't see any harm in that.
Yes, leggings are pants, okay?
Getting Our "Body Back"
I'm fairly certain that I left the hospital after having my sons with the same body I had when I entered it. I never lost my body, so why do people suggest that I need to somehow get it back? I'm all for living a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn't mean that I should emerge just weeks after giving birth with cut abs and a tight ass. Nope, sorry.
Adhering To The Unrealistic Expectations That Society Places On Mothers
By far the best part about accepting my role as a "lazy mom," is the part where I decided to give our society's ridiculous expectations of mothers two very enthusiastic middle fingers. No one is perfect at this game called parenting, so our society needs to stop telling women that they are somehow a sub par parent if they don't teach their children seven languages or take them to museums every day or feed their child a GMO free, gluten free, organic, vegan lunch every single day. We need to stop telling moms to look a certain way and to act a certain way, and just allow them to figure out how to navigate their journey as a parent, however they see fit and in whatever way works best for them.
I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm nowhere near it. But you know what? I don't care whether or not our society likes the way I parent, because I'm a damn good mother and, well, I like the way I parent just fine.