At the beginning of my instant mother journey, I felt a little bit lost.
Not blindfold over my eyes, wandering through a rocky terrain which is mostly due to my husband. He’s an amazing father and I looked to him for what to do in situations where I wasn’t familiar.
I’ve been around children my entire life. I cared for two infant twin boys when I was in high school and frequently babysat to make some extra cash. So I should have been prepared for instant motherhood, right?
So I knew I needed some help. And where better to look than the internet? I am not too proud to admit that I Googled things like:
Best parenting styles
How to be a good parent
Because it’s hard to know how to discipline. Should you never say anything negative but just reinforce with love and positivity? Or do you have strict rules with clear consequences? I was raised with more of a structured rule and there were always consequences for bad actions.
But here’s where I was getting lost. I was getting so frustrated if the kids didn’t do everything I said. I would get so frustrated with myself if I reacted in a not-so-great way to them misbehaving. I was getting so wound up, so tense about every little thing. Fighting over why my daughter needs to wear her jacket outside because it’s cold and even though she’s hot now, she’ll be cold once we walk out the door. Fighting with my son over why he needs to eat his entire lunch and just take one more bite.
It was exhausting.
So I thought of something that I came across in my Google search - lazy parenting. Lazy parenting is where you give your kids the ability to choose in those situations instead of fighting them until you pull your hair out.
You pull the lazy card.
“You don’t want to wear your jacket? Okay, don’t wear it.”
And if your kid is cold later on because of that choice, it’s on them. It sounds harsh, even as I write it. But consequences exist for each choice we make and kids can start to learn that at a young age.
“You don’t want to eat? Okay but if you’re hungry later, there won’t be any snacks.”
This has helped me to relax a little bit. The kids will be okay if they go outside without a jacket or if they don’t eat all of their lunch. They will survive with wearing summer pajamas to bed in the dead of winter.
It’s worked for me. I’m not a 100% lazy parent - I’ll admit that but it’s made the days easier when the kids feel like fighting every little thing. I’m not sweating the small stuff anymore and it’s made me a happier bonus mom and more fun for my husband to be around!