How many mamas out there wish they could be lounging back on their super-plush sofa while they eat chocolate-covered marshmallows and a mountain of ice cream as their S.O. simultaneously paints their toe nails and massages their feet. Probably all of us. Ah, if this were only true. How we’d love, love, love to be a lazy parent.
Between diaper duty, calming a tantrum-prone toddler, washing the finger paint off of the dining room walls, cooking 12 different dishes for each meal and scrubbing the spit-up stains, mamas are spent.
Hey, there's no such thing as a lazy parent. But, they’re out there. The mommies and daddies of the world who are taking a load off and cutting corners in ways that are borderline genius. Um, no one is saying that slacking is the way to go. Even those seemingly lazy parents aren’t slouches. They’re just tired. And, we totally get that. After all, what parent isn’t?
From day one mom and dad are running at a 24-7 pace. Okay, so maybe they started somewhere in the nine months before that. And, as their child grows, they get more and more exhausted. So, they come up with little ways to make their job (as the parent) easier. A lot of us don’t cut corners as parents because we're afraid to. But, after checking out these habits you may think, “Hmm. Maybe?”
Heck, no one is saying that parents need to forget they’re a parent, curl up and nap all day. That would be kind of amazing – even though it’s never going to happen. For right now, hop on into fantasy land get a quick laugh along with these lazy AF parents!
15 Little Lies
Lies are wrong. They’re bad. And, they’re something that we never, ever, ever tell. Right? Hey, that’s what we tell our kids. You ask your 4-year-old why the couch is covered in finger paint, and she answers, “A squirrel snuck in and did it.” Um, not so much. You know she’s lying (and you’re totally trying not to laugh), so you let her know that fibbing isn’t fab.
But, then you do it. Not in a major way. Instead, in a little, itty, bitty way. These little lies may make you feel kind of lazy. They let you get around some major parenting obstacles, without having to stress out.
What are some of these “little lies”? It depends on the parent and the situation at hand. Let’s say your toddler is on her fifth hour of playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” on her light-up sing-song electronic toy. You can’t take it anymore. She drops the toy for a mere moment. That’s when you jump in and surgically remove the batteries.
Oops! They toy doesn’t work. Now that’s a shame. And, it’s even more of a shame that the store ran out of batteries. Maybe they’ll have some tomorrow.
14 Bottle Proppers
You’ve seen them – they’re the bottle proppers. Those parents who just can’t be bothered to tire their dainty little hands by wrapping their precious fingers around a bottle and feeding their child. Okay, okay, so that’s a bit (um, more than a bit) of an exaggeration.
Sure, some bottle proppers are lazy. Some are lazy AF. And some, just need some help. After all, you only have two hands. Using one to peel a banana for your preschooler and the other to wipe some sort of booger-crusted goo off of your toddlers face leaves you with exactly no hands to give your baby a bottle. Yeah, you could tell the other kids to wait. But, the tantrum that ensues would be so monumental that you just can’t do it.
When it comes to the reality of bottle propping, the docs discourage it. Aside from missing out on a bonding opp, propping baby’s bottle to feed her increases the risk of choking and infection. So, if you’re thinking about propping that bottle for your baby, think again. And, if your 2-year-old freaks out because you’re holding the baby’s bottle instead of giving her 150% of your attention, tell her to chill.
13 String Swing
When mom or dad’s feet don’t work for the task at hand, a string just might. When one (kind of genius) dad posted a picture of his string swing invention he got plenty of flack on social media. Instead of standing behind his kiddo to push the backyard swing, he kicked his feet up, had a beer and tied a rope to the wing. He swayed the rope, pushing and pulling the swing from a distance. Hey, dad needs a break too. Right?
While plenty of other parents are lazy-shaming the dad for doing too little for his child, others are seeing the total brilliance in it. Come on, how many times have you pushed your child on the swing? Kids can swing endlessly. Or, at least until they’re ready to vomit all over you. If you had a dollar for each time your tot squealed, “Swing me!” you could probably retire before your little one gets to preschool. So, taking the ‘lazy’ approach isn’t really 100% bad.
Hey, this isn’t exactly the first parent to try a ‘string’ approach. One dad attached a fishing line to a baseball. This let him relax in a chair as his little slugger hit the ball – without having to run out to return it.
12 The Kid Leash
Going out in public with a young child can quickly go from a day of fun to getting caught in a gorilla enclosure at the zoo. Oh, and how quick others are to judge us as parents. Hey, that includes both non parents and parents alike. Your tot breaks free from your Hulk-like grip, pulls some ninja-esque escape moves and poof – she’s off and running through the mall with a bra (that she just unknowingly stole) on her head.
And, here’s where the kid leash comes in. It’s the lazy parents BFF. Right? It keeps the kiddo in line and makes sure that mom and dad don’t every have to watch her. They can text, talk and do whatever, as their tiny tot stays nearby. Well, this isn’t entirely true. The kids leash isn’t always a lazy parent’s dream.
Parents rarely use it just so they can shirk their responsibilities. In most cases the child in question is a runner, and this is a last resort.
11 Elf On The Shelf, And Other Helpful Watchers
No one needs to watch the kiddos in the weeks working up to Christmas. After all, that’s the Elf on the Shelf’s job. That little creepy guy is Santa’s helper and he’s hanging around your house to make sure that the kids behave, behave and behave some more.
That awesome elf is keeping everyone in line, and you don’t have to do a thing. There’s no negotiating, no bribery, no redirection, no discipline strategies needed. With one look from that ever-present elf, your child stops whatever she’s doing and snaps back into listening mode.
So you say, “It’s not Christmas. What other little helpful watchers can make parenting easier?” There’s the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and every other magical creature that will only visit your child if she’s well-behaved. These fab friends gift your child with toys, candy treats and even cash money. But, if they catch your child engaging in anything big and bad, forget about it.
Ah, the magic of the helper who takes the parenting pressure off of you and puts it on a pretend creature. Now you never, ever have to be the bad guy.
10 Bathtub Baby Meals
If you’re just going to wash baby off anyway, why not start out in the tub? Some people call feeding baby in the bathtub lazy parenting. And, others call it completely brilliant.
You know the drill. You meticulously prep baby’s meal. Hey, there’s care and consideration here. There are all-organic ingredients that you hand mash until they’re the consistency of something you once found in baby’s diaper. Then you bib your little one up, buckle her into her chair and the feeding process commences. The spoon magically transforms into an airplane, train or some other type of transportation and your baby gladly gulps down every last drop of your preciously handmade food. Or not.
More likely, baby spits said food back in your face, dribbles it all over her arms and smashes it on top of her head. That’s about the time you quickly whisk the little feeder away and hose her down in the tub. So, it’s not exactly crazy to think that feeding baby in the tub is a good (make that amazing) idea.
9 Hack Habits
Hacks are kind of THE thing when it comes to modern parenting. Where else would we all be if some blogger wasn’t giving us 40 ways to use cardboard paper towel rolls to our advantage or 12 different ways to use Legos in practical ways?
Having a hack habit isn’t exactly far from the norm. Plenty of parents rely on these little shortcuts. And, many of them are completely mind-blowingly genius. When you read about a really rad hack that voice inside of your head goes something like, “Whoa! That can save me so much time/so much effort/so much money. I have to try it.”
That’s not laziness. Um, wait. Maybe it is. Maybe we’re all the lazy AF parent, with our smarty-pants hacks that shave off time and effort from just about everything we do. Then again, what parent doesn’t need to save some time? Hmm. Maybe those of us who have three or four nannies on staff?
8 Sibling Power
You had more than one kid for a reason. Um, maybe that was because you wanted to expand your family and spread the love. But, now that you have two, three or more kiddos around, you can slack off. Okay, not completely. But, the ‘lazy’ parent lets the sibs shoulder some of the burden with the younger ones.
This isn’t exactly a new habit. Parents have been doing this for – well, probably since the beginning of human times. Big bro or sis watches the little one. Instead of pulling the wagon yourself, tossing a ball in the backyard or playing tag with your child, the sibling steps in.
Yeah, maybe this gives you the chance to catch 10 minutes of a TV show that doesn’t involve a guy in a dinosaur suit or maybe it provides you with the chance to get in a 5-minute power nap. Whatever you’re doing, you don’t see it as lazy. You see it as kind of essential. Hey, parents need to take care of themselves.
And, unless the sibling is still a tot themselves, having an older child play with the younger one just plain makes your life easier. After all, you pushed all of those kids out of your hoo-ha. You deserve at least one moment of relaxation every now and then.
7 Doggy Daycare Giver
No, this does not mean that you leave for the day and Fido takes over. Your playful pup isn’t the babysitter and he doesn’t count as “adult supervision” – even if he is 56 in dog years. But, that doesn’t mean the lazy parent won’t use the dog in lieu of a sibling playmate.
You consider yourself a pet parent. So, isn’t Fluffy really your kids’ sib? At least, kind of? Okay, so the answer is really no. That doesn’t mean some parents see it that way. Who’s pulling that tiny tot-sized wagon? The dog. Who’s running after the ball when it bounces all of the way to the other side of the yard (what parent really wants to walk 50 feet anyway)? The dog.
Why bother to do anything when you have your fur baby to help out? Put that pet in charge of playtime, naptime and bath time. Just joking. Well, maybe not about playtime. Chances are that your kiddo thinks the dog is way much more fun that you are.
6 Family Eats Food That Came From Boxes
Do your kids think that “homemade meals” come from boxes? Whether you pull them out of the freezer or pull up and get them handed to you at the fast food drive-thru, relying these ready-made meals are trademark habits of the lazy parent. Oh wait, maybe they’re not really “lazy” meals.
Okay, so some parents (the judgy kind) are all about finger pointing and letting the meal from a box moms and dads know that they’re not exactly up to snuff.
So, does that mean if you aren’t rolling out your own noodles made from 100% organic, gluten-free flour substitute and harvesting your garden-grown tomatoes to mash into a sauce that you season with the basil you’ve been growing in your window box that you suck? Nope. Not at all. Even the least lazy parents have their non-Top Chef days.
There’s a reason that some foods come ready-made – it’s convenient. Yeah, you might feel lazy. But, you’re probably just over-worked, over-tired and over making meals three times a day, seven days a week. That’s 21 hand-crafted meals. Wow!
5 TV Babysitter
We’ve all seen the lazy parent stereotype. She’s on the couch drinking some sort of fruity adult beverage (complete with one of those little umbrellas), reading about what Kim and the rest of the Kardashians are up to, as her tots sit glued to the TV. Yep, using the TV as the babysitter is one of the hallmarks of lazy parenting.
Your glassy-eyed little terrors are suddenly transfixed by the flickering image of the screen as they chill out and go from tantrum mode to zombified. Yes, that’s the TV effect. It takes those would-be creative, imaginative, amazing kiddos and turns them into mindless shells that were once human. And, don’t forget, it gives them all kinds of behavior problems. So, if your child was okay before she started hanging with her fav sitter (a.k.a., the TV), she’s surely ruined by now.
If you were feeling a heavy dose of sarcasm there, you aren’t wrong. We’re not saying that plopping your preschooler down in front of the screen while you spend the day shopping online and tweeting about the latest celeb gossip is alright. But, we’re also not saying that you do that. Are there parents who could care less whether their kids watch more TV than not? Sure. Are they you? Probably not.
Keep in mind, some screen time is okay (and completely expected). Just keep down to two or less hours a day – for preschoolers and up. And, always monitor what you’re child’s watching. Nicole’s past as a teenage porn star resurfacing on Days of Our Lives may grab your attention, but you don’t need to explain this adults-only scenario to your 3-year-old.
4 Mom And Dad’s Feet Are Used For Everything
Out for a Sunday stroll? Sure. Why not? But, that’s a lot of work for a lazy mama (or daddy). Instead of pushing that jog stroller up and down the hills, or at least around the block, the lazy parent use their feet.
Huh? How can someone use their feet to push a stroller? Easy. That is, easy if you’re not really going anywhere. Baby fell asleep in the stroller and now mom or dad is hanging in the living room, watching TV and pushing the stroller (with the sleeping baby strapped inside) with their foot. The foot push approach makes it easy to lounge and still keep that lullaby-like rocking motion up.
Mom or dad can keep on using their feet to reset the swaying swing (without ever having to stand up), rock baby in the bassinet or do anything else that lets them stay seated.
3 Send In The Nanny
You’re at preschool pick-up, with all the other mommies and daddies. It’s been a torturously long day. Between your baby’s constant crying and your toddler’s tantrum over the cookie you refused to give her, you’d rather not have to get yourself dressed, bundle up the kids and trudge off to pick-up. But, you do it.
So, you’re standing there waiting for your child to collect her finger paintings, gather her naptime supplies and walk through the door. As you look around at the other overly tired mamas, you spy her – the nanny. Maybe there are a few of them. Not only are they on pick-up duty, they also handle playground time, school parties and everything else mom and dad can’t do.
Okay, okay. We know, needing a nanny doesn’t mean that a parent is lazy. Actually, it might mean the opposite – that both mom and dad are so hard at work (working for their family’s well-being) that they can’t be there all of the time. And, they’re not happy about it.
When does having a nanny equal laziness? Um, choose your favorite reality show that features rich parents and take your pick. Oh, we’re just joking. We know those moms work too!
2 Candy Bribery
A few chocolate squares, a handful of gummy worms or anything that has marshmallow in its center. Yum! These are all gold to your child. Most likely, she doesn’t get them every day. That means when she gets her hands on candy, she’s happy as can be.
Some parents give treats as – well, treats. And others give them as candy-covered bribes. Your toddler won’t stop the all-out tantrum throw down? Show her the chocolate prize that she can get for chilling out. What happens when your preschooler refuses to pick up her toys? Dangle a rainbow-hued gummy worm in front of her face?
Oh, you’ll see what the lazy ones have discovered. In seconds your completely crazy kid has gone from out of control to quiet and calm. Ah, the magic of candy. Now if only the same bribery tick worked on your boss, S.O. or MIL!
1 Ultra-Early Bedtime
It’s winter. And that means it gets dark early. Really, really early. Your tot doesn’t know how to tell time yet, and she probably won’t notice the difference between it being dark at 9 p.m. and dark at 6:00.
Maybe it’s laziness or maybe it’s just a case of the extreme tireds. Whatever the reason is, bumping up bedtime makes everyone’s life easier. The kids actually get a decent amount of rest, and you get to watch the Real Housewives before drifting off to sleep. And maybe, if you’re really lucky, you’ll have time for a glass of pinot and an actually adult conversation with your S.O.
Bouncing bedtime up an hour means less work for you, and possibly more relaxation time. Is it entirely lazy? Well, not really, Chances are you haven’t been sitting around watching soaps and eating rocky road by the carton-full all day long. You’ve been a busy mama, and could use the extra few minutes of, “My kid’s in bed. Now what?” time!
Sources: HealthyChildren.org, DailyMail.co.uk, AAP.org