Are you a slacker mom? Here’s why your kids will thank you.
What is a Slacker Mom?
Slacker Moms are mothers who would like their kids to have delicious home-cooked organic dinners every night, but would also like not to spend an hour standing at the stove with kids pulling at their pants only to gag on the meal and end up eating toast.
Slacker Moms don’t care to get competitive with other parents about things that really don’t matter. We opt out of the Mommy rat race, choosing not to stay up until 3am on February 13 assembling adorable and witty Pinterest-inspired homemade Valentine’s treats for all of our children’s classmates.
Slacker Moms are able to prioritize what’s really important and what to let go of (free of guilt!). Reading books with your kids? Important. Remembering to sign that annoying reading log every night? Meh.
Slacker Moms are blessed with confidence. We don’t obsess over what other Moms think of us because we know we are taking care of the important stuff and that’s all that really matters. We are not plagued with worry that we are failing as parents because our kids have tasted a McDonalds french fry.
In a world full of soccer moms, tiger moms, and helicopter moms, let’s make it OK to be a Slacker Mom.
5 Signs you might be a Slacker Mom
1. You don’t so much “cook dinner” as do you “prepare food”.
Baking chicken nuggets and microwaving some steamfresh corn doesn’t really qualify as cooking so let’s just call a spade a spade.
2. Nightly baths? Let’s try weekly baths.
They don’t get THAT dirty during school, right? And in the summer, swimming in the pool totally counts as bathing.
3. You offer your kids candy bribes for cooperation.
Who really cares about intrinsic motivation when 2 M&Ms cuts 45 minutes off your morning routine?
4. When the teacher sends an email asking parents to bring in food for the class party, you are first one to sign up to bring napkins.
You want me to bake? When it’s not even my kid’s birthday?
5. It has to be a special occasion for you to dress your baby in actual clothes.
Footie pajamas absolutely pass as clothes for the first year. I’m pretty sure the first time my youngest child ever wore pants was Christmas. He was born in May.
OK, so I might be a Slacker Mom. Are my children doomed?
Not only are the children of Slacker Moms not doomed, I would actually say they reap benefits from this style of parenting.
Slacker Moms are not Neglectful Moms. We just know the difference between a want and a need. We are able to meet our kids’ needs without putting our own needs last.
The kids see that Mommy is a person too, with her own goals, hobbies, desires, and obligations that do not involve them. It is OK, and healthy, for children to see that their mother is a whole, complex person and not a being who exists to serve them.
Children of Slacker Moms have opportunities to learn responsibility. A good rule of thumb (and one of the pillars of my parenting style) is “don’t do anything for your child that he can do himself“.
We don’t feel the need to micromanage our children by doing things like packing their backpacks for them each night and remembering to include their library book on the correct day. This means little Johnny knows if he wants to pick a new book on library day, he has to remember his book on the right day. After a couple times of forgetting, Johnny will remember to put it in his backpack on Wednesday. Johnny just took responsibility.
The children of Slacker Moms get to enjoy a certain amount of freedom. Maybe not “free range Mom” freedom, but certainly a huge step up from “helicopter Mom” freedom.
They can climb trees, because Slacker Moms are fans old school, normal childhood activities and aren’t paranoid about the possibility of injury. Our children can play in the woods without Mom being there to watch their every move. They can pick up a stick. They can enjoy the feeling of being barefoot in the grass on a warm summer day.
Take a deep breath, Slacker Mom.
The next time your kid goes to a 5th birthday party decorated with centerpieces more extravagant than the ones you had at your wedding, remember this. That over-achieving Mom probably worked herself into a frenzy doing party prep that none of the kids noticed or cared about. You probably played checkers with your kid that day. He’ll remember the checkers.