I am lazy. Like, Capital L Capital A Capital Z Capital Y Lazy. All my hobbies involve sitting. I read. I knit. Here I am writing while sitting.
The last time I did something physical? I took my kid’s pink daisy Razor scooter down the ramp at the skate park and broke my leg THROUGH my leg. Let me tell you, three months of recovery on the couch reaffirmed my Philosophy of Lazy Parenting.
The Lazy Parenting Method (patent pending) is a method in which you do very little work for your child while they do a lot of work for themselves. See all those moms out there lugging their children’s things? Ohhhh no. That is Too Much Work for Me. The Lazy Parenting Method requires that you look at all the things you do and triage which ones don’t really need to be done by you. This way you save energy because that little succubus that you birthed is just waiting to steal all of it.
Why do I think that the Lazy Parenting Method will make my kid a better person some day? Because I like to see the glass as half full. Otherwise, he’ll just spend a lot more money on therapy than college. 50-50 odds.
Here are Five Things I Know The Lazy Parenting Method Taught My Kid:
5) At 6, he already knows how to cook. Well, by cooking I mean making a bowl of cereal, microwaving frozen taquitos/chicken nuggets (which he got out of the freezer himself), making microwave nachos, and making a peanut butter sandwich. It’s probably more cooking than some of the first year college students I teach know how to do, so I’m calling it cooking. He doesn’t like the dinner I make? No way am I making something special for his precious self. He can make his own dinner. In fact, the time he told me, “Mama, your food makes my taste buds feel bad,” was probably the last time I actually asked him what he thought about my food. When he wants, he can fix his own food.
4) He has to overcome his own laziness. Look, we live in New England. Our winters are cold. Normally. Maybe not so much this winter so far, but cold enough that my lazy self is not walking him to the bus stop. At six, I bundle him up, shove him out the door, and wave while he runs the two blocks (one around the corner) to the bus stop. In fact, I openly admit that as I watch the puffs of breath as he runs, I gently smile and clasp my warm mug of coffee tighter knowing that it’s not me out there.
3) He learns to be responsible. Let’s face it, lazy me is also a bit discombobulated. We’re lucky that I can remember what I had for breakfast most mornings (and it’s really usually just a cup of coffee). I can barely be responsible for my own things, like the iPhone I keep losing in my house. All those toys and minifigures and TeenyMates (oh GOD THE TEENY MATES) that he has to bring everywhere? Nope. Nopity, nope, nope, nope. That is not my responsibility. I am too lazy for that. If he loses something? He’ll learn the value of the toy. Or that he didn’t really need it anyway.
2) He gets to learn early on that life isn’t fair. See how his mommy is too lazy to carry his backpack when he gets out of school like the overachieving moms? Yup. Life’s not fair. See how I’m not going to pick up his toys for him all the time? Yup. Life’s not fair. See how there is no way that I’m going to do your school project for you because I did that exact same one 31 years ago and hated it then because it was boring? Yup. Life’s not fair. Upside is? By the time he’s twenty-one, hopefully, he’ll be willing to take whatever miserable job will pay for his beer tab. Basically, because my laziness has already taught him that life’s not fair.
1) He learns to be confident and be independent. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a heartless parent. Mostly. I love my kid and am always there to rah-rah cheer him on. However, the biggest lesson that he gets to learn from my being lazy is that he knows he can trust himself to do things. He knows that he can choose to remember things or he can lose them. He knows that he can cross a side street on his own without being watched. He knows that when something is difficult, I will help him figure out the answer. However, he knows that he will ultimately be responsible for that answer. I’m not giving it to him. That’s too much effort for me. He can be confident in his abilities. He can be independent and do things on his own.
The thing is, I could stop being lazy. I guess. I could do things for him. I could enable him to whine to get his way. I could put a ton of effort into things that would do nothing but make him lazy.
So, instead of doing all that extra work? I’m going to go sit on my couch, pull up a blanket, and cuddle my nice warm mug of hot coffee while I watch my little Christmas Story Ralphie meander out into the subfreezing temperature to go catch his bus.