I recently watched Bad Moms and there is a scene where one of the characters tells the others that she fantasises about having to go to hospital for a week – because someone cooks, someone cleans, and all she’d have to do is lay there. I have to admit, I’ve had the same fantasy in the past! Just some me time, PLEASE!
Well I’m here to tell you I no longer dream about hospital stays or needing time out. Don’t get me wrong I still need mummy nights out it’s just now they are so I can socialise, not escape ‘parenting’.
HOW did I do it?
Just as in the movie Bad Moms, I handed over responsibility to my kids!! I encouraged and forced them to be independent and, here’s the secret…. TAUGHT THEM DO THINGS FOR THEMSELVES!
Which meant I had to STOP DOING THINGS FOR THEM!
At age 8 kids are capable of being taught to cook. Lots of mentoring and hours goes into teaching them kitchen safety and how to cook a few dishes but after a few months all they’ll really need you for is the shopping, and putting things into and out of the oven or stove top help. They do can do the dishes, while you might have to do the dirtier or heavier pots and pans, least the most part gets done. And the looks on their faces, the pride at their achievement and their contribution. It’s a huge milestone for them and they relish it.
Then as they head to the preteen years the 11-12 age group, they can begin doing their own washing too. This one event has saved me so much expended energy because now it is their responsibility to make sure their dirty clothes make the dirty washing basket pile and then their responsibility to get them washed, dried and brought in and put away. Not only does it take the stress off you, it’s training them for real life and teaching them independence and responsibility – and aren’t they two pretty high up there goals of a parent.
My teens are about to learn how to do the family budget, meal plan for the week for three meals a day and snacks, and then do the shopping – learning about value rather than cost (They already know this but I”m about to send them out to do it on their own). I will still do it most of the time but I think I’ll make it a once a month event where they do it. I have two teens so maybe together to start with then once a month they can take turns doing it.
Younger kids can alleviate your stress and fatigue by being responsible for their own play areas, making their own sandwiches and lunches. Obviously under 6’s need a lot more supervision and mentoring but they are very capable of contributing to the household such as: putting their own toys away, keeping certain areas clean, setting the table and clearing it, feeding pets, helping unpack groceries, making their beds….. I’m sure you can think of a few things too.
Mum (or Dad) is not synonymous with slave or maid. It means mentor, love, nurture, guide, protect and provide. Sure there are things our kids can’t do until certain ages and that’s our job to do those, but there comes a time when us doing certain things for our kids is more about us needing to be needed.
Lazy (loving and purposeful) parenting creates respectful, grateful, responsible and independent kids and teens. #parentgoal
Give your kids the best in life while simultaneously easing the pressure on yourself. Share with us your tips to ease the fatigue, exhaustion and pressure of parenting.