I have several parenting sites on my social media newsfeed. It’s amazing how many people who will pull the “lazy parent” card in the comments. Just this morning, I was reading a post about “cutting corners” to make life as a parent easier. One of the suggestions was to let your preschooler wear their next day clothing to bed so that you didn’t have to get them dressed in the morning. While this isn’t something I would do every day, I definitely wouldn’t call a parent lazy for occasionally letting a child sleep in their daytime clothes. Personally, I think calling someone a lazy parent is the ultimate insult.
What is Lazy?
By definition, according to merriam-webster.com , lazy means “disinclined to activity or exertion” or “slow-moving and sluggish.” I don’t know about you. However, since I have had children I think it’s impossible to be “slow-moving.” Furthermore, no matter what my kids are wearing, there is always plenty of activity going on. I think parents have started throwing the “L” word around when they don’t agree with someone’s parenting choices. Oh you don’t make all your baby food from scratch. Lazy. Your child isn’t wearing socks (in 75 degree weather). Lazy. You only breastfed for six months. Lazy. In essence, it’s an easy way to one-up another parent.
I think all parents have their own ways of cutting corners. I personally let my toddler eat applesauce and fruit blends from those convenient squeezable pouches. I have heard this behavior called “lazy.” After all, how will my child learn to eat with a spoon? Perhaps someone that didn’t know me might assume I only feed my children out of pouches. Perhaps they didn’t know that I cooked homemade meals every night from fresh, organic ingredients and baked from scratch. The pouches are for on-the-go meals at the park, to hide my son’s medicine or to give to him in the middle of the night when I can barely see straight.
To Each Their Own
Personally, unless my kids are really sick, we get dressed in new clothes every morning. However, if I were traveling early in the morning, I might consider putting my kids in their clothing the night before. And, if I see a friend with their little ones still in their pajamas at noon, I never think that person is lazy. After all, I don’t know what that parent’s day has been like. And, do I really know what it’s like to get three kids dressed in the morning? No, because I only have two children.
Being “Lazy” Isn’t Always Bad
I have trouble sitting still. I am always cooking, cleaning, writing or working. However, this sort of constant running around isn’t good all of the time. In fact, I think a little laziness benefits the whole family. For instance, having a lazy Saturday morning where you eat pancakes, color with your kids and sit in your pajamas until noon, might not be a bad idea. Carol Ummel Lindquist, Ph.D says her “mother always said that the best parents are lazy parents.” What she meant was that “lazy parents don’t jump up every time their kids need something.” As a result, these children learn to “entertain themselves, enjoy themselves, and become more independent.” And, mom and dad have a little more time for each other. This can, in turn, benefit their marriage.
I’m not saying we should all sit in our pajamas all day. I’m just reminding parents, including myself, not to be so quick to judge.
More from Melissa:
How to Recover from a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Parenting Day
Mommy Daymares: Have You Had One?
How to Be a Less-Stressed Parent