My house is a mess. I just wiped up some crumbs from breakfast but ignored the sprawled-out scrap paper and crayons left on the table. It got me thinking. Am I a lazy mom? Should I have left the scrap paper and crayons there? It certainly increases the chances of my toddler coloring on the wall exponentially.
But perhaps it also serves as a much-needed lesson in life.
You see, like many parents, I work full time and need to prioritize my time wisely. I wiped the crumbs and scraped the plates with leftover bananas to avoid bugs and dogs from eating the scraps. But I left the paper and crayons knowing they would probably just get taken out later anyway.
I felt like that was a wise investment of my time and I went back to my office to dutifully work on some content.
But the nagging voice inside my head telling me to take the extra 30 seconds to clean up the table got the best of me and of course rather than clean up the mess I came here to write a blog post about being a lazy mom. Much more productive right?
But seriously, the kids are just going to come home and take out the crayons and paper anyway. And what lesson would I be teaching them if I didn’t ask them to clean it up instead of cleaning it up for them?
And my house is also their house. I want them to know that they should feel welcome to color when they get home from school. I would much rather them see the crayons and use their imagination to draw up wonderful new lands and characters than beg me for TV and tablet time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt like a lazy mom.
No, no, far from it. In fact, just this weekend I left groceries on the kitchen floor for my son to put away and continued to walk right past them, not allowing him to go outside to play with his friends until each and every item purchased at the store was placed in the cabinet. Of course he whined and begged for some snacks in those bags but I didn’t let up. I watched as he pulled out every item and put it away before he could have his beloved fruit snack.
I also make him carry and take care of his own sports equipment. We have a saying in our house – I am your mother, not your equipment manager. I want it to become second nature that if today we have baseball practice after school, it’s his responsibility to make sure he has everything he needs to be successful. Of course this comes with supervision and guidance, but I’m hoping this lesson will serve him well when he’s in the workforce and helps him avoid a dreaded write-up for forgetting his name tag, a lesson I admittedly did not learn until my first serving job in college.
I’m pretty stubborn in my ways with my 2-year-old as well. My toddler loves it when mommy and daddy feed her like a baby. She’s more than capable of feeding herself but it’s a game she likes to play instead of getting ready for school. While my husband gives into my toddler’s wishes from time to time, I stopped a long time ago.
I felt empowered by baby-led weaning and thought this was absolutely the right thing for our family.
Of course, sometimes our dogs get more of her food than she does. But I use that time to eat a warm meal myself. And I’m so thankful for it. I deserve to have a warm meal as does the rest of my family and she is well beyond the age of being able to feed herself.
What all this lazy mom stuff taught me is that I am doing just fine and my kids are doing just fine too.
I look around my messy house and I know with confidence that my kids are fed, safe, and cared for. And hopefully, when they have kids of their own, they know it’s ok to be a lazy parent sometimes and to let your kids gain that same confidence.
So what do you think? Is being a “lazy mom” in this way is a positive parenting tool? Have you realized that you do some things like this to encourage self sufficiency in your kids as well? Please let us know in the comments!