Happy Is the Lazy Parent
By Pam Moore
While the world is determined to make us believe summer is fun and relaxing, we parents know better. The days are long, which means our kids are up way too late. No school means scheduling camps, playdates, sitters, etc. Then there’s all that sun, which means coercing our kids into putting sunblock on. Yes, summer is hard, but you can make it easier by embracing some hot trends. Maybe you stopped caring about trends when you gave in and bought a minivan. Maybe it happened as soon as you peed on the stick. But trust me, there’s a reason these parenting hacks are hot right now. They save so much work.
1. Babywearing The baby snuggles while you keep both hands free. Babywearing means not having to strategize your approach at every doorway or MacGyvering through stairwells with 40 pounds of stroller, baby, and diaper bag slung across your body. Babywearing eliminates those face-prickling, nervous-sweat moments when you’re futzing to unlatch your stroller as your baby wails and the one thing just won’t attach to the other thing and all eyes are on you in an otherwise quiet, public place. If I regret anything in my life, it’s that I didn’t wear my kids more when they were babies. (Exception: the Moby wrap. Wrestling 25 yards worth of cotton with a crying baby on your hip can make anyone weep, particularly a postpartum woman).
2. Baby-led weaning Baby-led weaning is a fancy way of saying you feed your babies regular food. Instead of spoon-feeding your babies purees that you have to make or buy, you give them soft foods they can eat with their hands. Why did I spend so much time pureeing various combinations of fruits and vegetables, and then struggle to simultaneously feed myself, read the paper, and spoon-feed my kids for hundreds, maybe thousands of meals? I wish I’d considered how much easier (read: lazier) it would have been to set a few mashed pieces of my chicken and sweet potatoes on my babies’ high chair trays and let them have at it.
3. Waldorf principles Waldorf schools are notorious for banning screens. While letting the TV babysit your kids is the epitome of lazy parenting, there is, in fact, a place for the Waldorf philosophy in the lazy parent’s home. Waldorf emphasizes connecting with nature and creative play. Sending your kids to the backyard and shutting the door behind them is a great way for them to discover the natural world. Meanwhile, the glut of plastic toys hampers kids’ imaginations. Letting kiddos create a rich imaginary world means fewer toys to trip on and less time spent inventing ways to make clean-up fun.
4. Minimalism Less is truly more. Fewer toys means less time spent sorting and tidying. A smaller wardrobe means less laundry. A smaller house means less cleaning. Principles of minimalism apply not just to your material things, but to the obligations that clutter up your emotional and spiritual life as well. Don’t feel like meeting up for a drink with that preschool mom you’d never be friends with if you didn’t have kids the same age? Don’t. You’re not a terrible human. You’re just a minimalist, protecting your greatest asset—your time.
5. Rompers The romper should be the staple of every lazy mom’s summer wardrobe. Yoga pants may be comfy and match everything, but they’re not a great summer piece (unless you’re attempting a budget version of one of those perspire-excessively-in-a-compression-garment weight-loss strategies). Send your yoga pants to Goodwill along with the teeny-tiny Legos and find yourself a romper. The romper is superior to yoga pants in every way. It doesn’t just match everything—it is everything. Once it’s on, all you need are shoes and you’re dressed. Romp-and-go style is yours with zero fuss (until you have to use the restroom).
This article was originally published on Motherly.
Pam Moore is an author, body-positive health coach, occupational therapist, and certified personal trainer who helps women push through fear to become their best selves. To get her free guide to crushing Impostor Syndrome, visit pam-moore.com.