So these days it seems that everything comes with a label, even parenthood. Little did I know before entering into this mummy gig, that there were so many labels from which to choose. You could be a Helicopter Parent, or an Attachment Parent, or you could even be an Asshole Parent! I'm actually about 90% sure my 2 year old thinks I'm an asshole parent most of the time, especially when I won't let her ride on her baby sister's back like she's a pony. There's another term though, that's been popping up quite a lot lately on different pages and sites that I frequent. The term is Lazy Parent. My initial reaction to this was that 'lazy parenting' was basically being neglectful, but it's more about making life a little easier for yourself, or 'breaking the rules'. You know the rules I'm talking about. The ones that are drilled into you the second you become pregnant, such as,
'Don't let the baby sleep in the bed with you, she'll never leave'
'Don't let your kids watch TV'
'Do controlled crying'
'Don't do controlled crying'...
The rules are endless! In any case, the more I read about this lazy parenting style, the more I realised that I in fact already was a lazy parent. Yes, my name is Kirsty and I'm putting my hand up to say I'm a lazy mum, and here's why;
I baby wear as required, because I don't have all day to spend rocking, patting, shhhing, or doing the desperate 'PLEASE GO TO SLEEP' jiggle to settle the baby. I have a 19 month age gap between my children; I simply cannot leave the toddler unattended for too long while I attempt to settle the baby. There have been many helpful suggestions, and I've tried using the TV, a movie, new books/toys to entertain her, but some days no matter what I try, it doesn't work, she's a toddler after all! In my second daughter's newborn phase, baby wearing was my saviour. I don't have three sets of arms; I simply can't cuddle a needy baby and save the Kamikaze toddler from plunging head first off the couch... Even if it was a perfect forward roll. So, I strap or wrap the baby to me, it's a win, win. Not to mention, when you've got a baby boobaholic that constantly wants to feed... ta-da!! You get hands free boobing!
We followed a Baby Led Weaning approach to introducing food. We did this for no other reason than the fact that neither of my kids will eat anything off a spoon. They have both insisted from a very young age, that they will feed themselves. In addition to this, it's an absolute certainty that the more time I spend making special baby/toddler food, the less likely my kids are to actually eat it. They eat what we eat, and now, much to my dog's dismay, there's less food landing on the floor, and less going in the bin. What's more, I've come to terms with the fact that if they're hungry, they'll eat. If they don't eat much at dinner, what am I going to do, force feed them? Not the most appealing way to spend my evening.
We often co-sleep and bed share, not because we are avid attachment parents, but in our particular set of circumstances, it's the calmest and easiest way for everyone in the family to get as much sleep as possible, and I am all about the sleep. We never intended to do it, and we tried for far too long to have everyone sleep in their own beds, but after way too many sleepless nights and 3am arguments, we had to reassess. Our nightly game of musical beds often leads us to having mummy kicked out of the big bed, and trying to curl up in the toddler bed, or daddy sleeping with a toddler's foot in his belly, or palm to his face, but hey, these days sleep is sleep!
Now I'm a 'hate people in my personal bubble' kinda gal, and with all this constant body contact throughout the day and night, I crave 'me' time constantly! Especially now that little Miss '2 going on 12' has given up her day nap. So, if my kids are playing on their own, rolling around in the mud, or redecorating the playroom and they're happy... Then I'm going to leave them to it and find a moment of peace and quiet, and I often utilise everyone's favourite 'Peppa Pig' if I need a few minutes to myself. I'm not going to feel guilty about screen time, because half an hour here or there can help to save my sanity. We've also secured (toddler-proofed if you will) the back yard, and the phrase 'Go and play outside' is a win-win! After all, since all of my showers now come with its very own audience, and I can't remember the last time I went to the toilet on my own, any chance for quiet a minute is golden.
All this leaves me with just the tiniest little bit of extra patience, and I mean tiny, minute, minuscule... (patience not being one of my main virtues you see) I figure, I'm going to need it when the next toddler meltdown occurs, because the banana has been eaten (by her), or when the baby has had yet another face plant because she thinks that 8 months is plenty old enough to attempt to climb onto the couch. I'm going to need that patience to kiss and hug it all better again.
These various practices by definition make me a 'Lazy mum'. They make me lazy because their function in our daily lives, makes life easier, and more manageable. Why suffer through doing things the hard way, or as so many of the parenting gurus would have you believe the 'Correct' way. I'm not saying that this is a perfect formula, it's just what sort of works for us, and yes, I mean sort of. I love that the baby can have a nap on me, while I fold washing, or do dishes, or any number of other things, and I don't have to go through the never ending settling to sleep, especially on the days when we've both had enough. I'm so over worrying about whether I'm creating 'Bad habits' because in my experience (albeit limited) there haven't been any habits that haven't been broken with just a little bit of work... and what Mrs. Kravitz across the street considers a bad habit, I might consider a godsend. All of these things change on a day to day basis, after all kids can change quicker than a Victoria's Secret model changes her undies, and a parenting fail is expected at least once a day. I'm simply all for the choice to parent your kids however the hell you want to. If you grew them, had them yanked from your body (one way or the other), or have haemorrhaging bank accounts because they're expensive little critters, then you do what you choose... And so if making life easier for myself, or choosing which battles are simply not worth the effort is deemed 'Lazy', then I'll happily wear that label.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version