8 Ways Being A Lazy Mom Prepares You For Those Dreaded Teenage Years
I wish the word "lazy" didn't have such a negative connotation because, as a parent, I have learned that being a "lazy mom" is arguably the best, smartest way to mom. It's all about being as efficient and affective as possible so that I can maximize the amount of down time I have and can enjoy (which, you know, is minimal at best). I've also realized that being a lazy mom prepares you for the teenage years which, if the first two years of my son's life are any indication, will probably be here in about a week or so. Time flies and my son is growing up so quickly and, well, before I know it he is going to be driving and going on dates and applying for college. Whoa.
Thankfully, I will be prepared because if being a "lazy mom" has taught me anything, it's how to handle situations I can't control. The older my son becomes, the more situations I can't command and, as a result, I'd rather sit back and relax instead of stress and waste precious energy. When my son is throwing a temper tantrum, I will passively look on from the comfort of my couch. When my son is making a mess but he's content, I will continue to do my work and not stress about the inevitable clean up. When my son is hellbent on doing something (and I know he won't hurt himself or others in the process) I'll back off and watch him do his thing because it's easier than fighting him or arguing with him. See? Laziness is not only saving my sanity now, it's protecting my future sanity, too.
Of course, just like pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding and every other part of motherhood, I'll never be completely prepared for my son to be a teenager and do those dreaded teenager things I just know he'll do. I can try my best, though, and I have no doubt that being a lazy mom is helping me already and in the following ways:
You Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
As a proud, self-identified "lazy mom," I don't worry about the stuff I don't have control over, the stuff that's probably going to happen anyway and the stuff that's already happened, that I can't change. It's kind of nice, you guys.
So, this easy-going approach to parenthood (especially now that my son is a two-year-old toddler) is only going to aid me during those high school years, where I have less and less control over my son or the situations he ends up experiencing. He's probably going to get his heart broken; he's probably going to go to dances and on dates and to late-night parties; he's probably going to learn to drive (and then actually drive); he's probably going to fail and make mistakes and mess up in spectacular ways, just like I did when I was a teenager.
You're All About Giving Your Kid More Freedom (When It's Safe)
I know there are many parents out there that lament every birthday their kid has, because their kid is essentially one step closer to leaving the nest. Yeah, I'm not one of those parents. I'm all about my kid growing up and learning more independence, if only because that means I have to do less and less for them. After all, isn't the goal to raise productive, healthy, kind and capable adults? I want to reach that goal, thank you very much.
So, I won't be bummed when my kid no longer needs me to drive him places, and no longer wants me to drop him off at school or go into the store with him or whatever else he will decide he can do on his own. I'll be happy, because my kid's freedom is directly related to my freedom, and I know I'll be ready to travel the world once my kid goes off to college (a girl can dream, OK?)
Your Kid Is Used To Doing Chores (And Probably Has BeenSince Toddlerhood)
One of the best parts, so far, about having a toddler is my son's affinity for "helping." Sure, sometimes him "helping," is nothing more than him making a mess that I have to go clean up, but he likes doing chores because it makes him feel like he's part of the group and a "big kid" and that he has more independence. So, yeah, my kid helps empty the dishwasher and he helps put groceries in the fridge and he helps make the bed. When it doesn't end in disaster, it's adorable and it's the best (and I have to do less stuff, which is the ultimate goal).
So, my teenager will have no problem doing chores because, well, he will have been doing them for years and years. I will get to relax and enjoy some well-deserved rest on the couch, while my teenager does the dishes after dinner (or even makes dinner himself). That's the dream, my friends. That's the dream.
You Know What's Worth Your Energy...
Now that I have a toddler who throws tantrums on a pretty regular basis, I know what is worth my time and energy and what isn't. I know that when he is throwing a tantrum because I gave him a blue cup instead of a red cup, it's best for me to just ignore him and go about my business because there's nothing I can really do. I know that when he is crying because he's scared, there are things I can do to help him and, in that situation, my son needs and deserves my time and energy.
This is definitely going to come in handy when he's a teenager and I will have to pick and choose my battles wisely. I will know (after years of experience) what is worth my time and energy, and what isn't. It's going to be the best, when it isn't the absolute worst.
...And What Isn't
When I realize a certain situation isn't worth my time, I'll simply sit back and relax and wait for the storm to pass. I do it now, when my kid is throwing a fit, and I'll do it when my son is a teenager, arguing with me about going to see friends or staying out past curfew.
You're Not Going To Waste Energy Worrying
Thanks to postpartum anxiety, I know what it's like to worry yourself into an exhausted mess of a human being. Yeah, I won't be doing that anymore (if I can help it because, you know, it's not like I chose to suffer from postpartum anxiety).
So, when my kid takes the car for a spin, I'm not going to worry (that much). When my kid goes out on his first date (with a man or a woman), I won't worry (that much). Yes, a part of me will always think about worst case scenarios because, well, I'm a mom. However, I know that so much of life, and my son's life, is out of my control. In the end, I just have to let go and focus on the things that are really worth my time and energy and worry. As he grows older, that list will (hopefully) get shorter and shorter.
You Trust Your Kid, Because It's Just Easier
Even though my son is a toddler, I have realized that when I worry, he starts to doubt himself and his own capabilities. He can feel my anxiety and, in turn, he starts second guessing himself. Yeah, I don't want that. Ever. So, I have learned to trust my son because it's not only easier for me, it's easier for him, too.
When my son starts learning how to drive, I'll trust him. When my son goes out with a romantic partner or with his friends, I'll trust him. Until he gives me a reason not to, my son will have my trust and, in turn, I won't have to worry as much. I'll get to relax, knowing that I raised my son to be responsible, kind, and safe.
You Won't Allow Yourself To Be The Only Person Responsible For Your Kid
Because I'm a lazy mom, I don't make every parenting responsibility my responsibility. Nope. Not my job. I rely on my partner (who equally shares the numerous responsibilities and obligations that come along with parenthood) and I rely on friends and coworkers and family members and, in time, I will rely on teachers and coaches. Society tends to say "it takes a village," while simultaneously placing all the heavy paren-lifting on mothers. Yeah, I'm not about it. Instead, I'm about sharing that heavy load with those who care and love and are invested in my child as much or almost as much as I am.
So, when my son is a teenager, I am going to rely on my partner, my friends, my family members, my coworkers, his teachers, his coaches and my community. It won't just be my responsibility to make sure he graduates high school safely and in one piece and with a bright future ahead of him. When you're a "lazy" mom, you're all about getting the help and support you need and deserve and, in the end, that only benefits your kid, too.