These days there are a boatload of “classifications” and labels for parents and their parenting style. Helicopter parents. Free-range parents. Lighthouse parents. Attachment parents. Authoritative parents. Then, of course, there’s parents that are just plain lazy. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with being a little lazy (or being perceived as such) when you're working as hard as a mom. In fact, I have more than a few real reasons I'm a "lazy mom," and I honestly think you should try being a lazy mom, too
Prior to becoming a mother, I always envisioned myself being more of a free-range parent. You know, the type of mom that's more laid back and allows her child to get into things, even if they might get a little hurt in the process. Then I lost my first child. I also realized I was raised by authoritarian parents, so my anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) mixed with my past in a way that made free-range parenting nothing short of impossible.
When my son was born I was overly cautious about things, to be sure, but as my child has grown into a toddler I have grown busier, more exhausted, and well, lazy. While I know I technically shouldn't have to explain "why" to anyone, maybe it’ll help some of you who feel the need to critique other lazy parents, understand some of the reasons why we might be the way we are.
Because I Work Odd Hours
As a freelance writer I don’t really have any set hours. I have some clients I do steady work for, and then others that I work for whenever I have a free moment. That said, I don’t always have time to dedicate to creating an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower with my son, or helping him make a papier-mâché volcano.
Because I've Spent A Lot Of Time Away From My Partner
My partner and I have been through a lot in the past few years. One of those things was spending roughly a year where I’d barely see him because he worked a job that was hours away from home. As a result, I now appreciate the time we spend together may more, which yes, sometimes means letting our kid watch his tablet a little longer so we can have grown-up conversations.
Because I Have Anxiety Issues
Some days are better than others, but anxiety can leave me feeling completely and totally exhausted. It also sometimes means I don’t want to interact with the rest of the world, so we don’t always get to the park or other fun kid-friendly spaces as often as my son would like. There are those who would call me lazy for it, but I know there’s a good reason for it.
Because I Have PTSD
When you have PTSD some days are better than others. My son has come to understand that mom can be good on some days, but on others she needs a bit more time to get things done. Sometimes that just means he’s got to play with his toy cars alone for a while longer while I try and clean the house that got messy after having a couple of back-to-back bad days.
Because I Have Chronic Back Pain
I have sacroiliitis, which is basically an inflammation of the joints where my spine and pelvis meet. If I sleep the “wrong” way. or don’t get enough stretching and exercise in a day (which is often), I have horrible back pain resembling sciatica. It makes it much more difficult to chase my toddler around the house for a “car race,” or to wrestle with him or carry him anywhere. I truly wish this wasn't the case, but it is.
Because I Don't Have A Nanny
While my son does go to preschool, we don’t have a sitter or nanny to spend time with him when he’s not in class. And since we moved to a city where we don’t really know anyone, it’s up to my partner and I to be with our son the rest of the time. On weekends we are sometimes damn tired and we don’t always get to do as many fun activities with our kid as we would like. Sorry not sorry, but parents need to rest, too.
Because I Want My Son To Be Independent
One of the upsides to being a “lazy” parents is choosing not to control everything my son does. I give my kid way more freedom and more relaxed supervision than I was ever given (while still making sure he's safe, of course). I don’t want him to grow to feel codependent on me the way that I was on my family for so long.
Because It Helps My Son's Problem-Solving Skills
There was a time when I would do everything for my son, and I mean everything. These days, I try a more laid-back (read: lazy) approach. The minute I know he’s got a skill down (or almost down), I do my best to let him figure things out on his own.
Because My Son Does Lots Of Fun, Creative Work At Preschool
Sometimes I wish I could be a Pinterest perfect mom and bake organic, gluten-free, vegan cookies with my kid, or plant an organic herb garden with him, or conduct cool science experiments with stuff in my kitchen so he can learn cause-and-effect. But due to many of the aforementioned reasons, I either can’t, don’t, or won’t. That said, he does all kinds of fun and creative things at his preschool, so it’s honestly not that bad.