7 lazy mom steps to being a happier parent

Today is National Lazy Mom’s Day. I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder than I have since becoming a mom, and that goes for most other moms I know too. In fact, if you give us a free moment to relax without kids, chances are our minds will immediately turn to those unwashed dishes in the sink (or strewn around the house), that basket of laundry, or that looming deadline at work. We could all use a few tips on how to be lazy. So from one mom who can’t relax to another, here are a few tips on being lazy (without setting the kids up with a bag of candy and stack of movies).

1. Moms with new babies, relax. If you’re a first time mom with a new baby, and you’re lucky enough not to have to rush back to work, take a day, no, take a few months to stay in bed, nurse your baby and watch Netflix. You may feel incredibly lazy, but in reality few people can match your productivity. You just grew a human from scratch. You need time to recover, bond, and get used to your new role. There will be plenty of time to cook, exercise, and clean up the house later.

2. Give your kids a big smile and some eye contact. It’s an easy way to build a connection and positive feelings that doesn’t require much effort.

3. Say yes to stuff that doesn’t matter anyway. Your 4 year old wants to wear pajamas to the grocery store? Go for it.

4. Say no to things that make your eyes glaze over and roll out out your head from boredom. For me, that’s pretend play. It’s ok to say that you don’t want to play. Find another way to connect instead.

5. Take a break with your phone. Take your kids to the park and while they are climbing and running and swinging, get on Facebook or another distraction of your choice and take a break. Then, and this is the key, don’t feel guilty about it.

6. Stop cajoling your kids to eat. Put a variety of healthy foods in front of them regularly. Then let them eat or not. Chances are, your pestering isn’t doing much to improve their eating anyway. Make mealtimes relaxing for everyone instead.

7. Be real with your fellow parents. I have yet to hear anyone remark how easy this parenting thing is. We are all struggling in some way, large or small. It’s ok to admit that your kid watched 6 hours of TV yesterday or you’re struggling with yelling. Putting up a facade is work we do because we are afraid of judgment and not fitting in.

Conserve your energy for what really matters. There is nothing more relaxing than being yourself.

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