Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Countdown to Mother's Day with Slacker Moms

Recently, I took my kids out for burgers, fries, and conversation. I had some things I wanted to talk about. Sometimes, family night is great for this. Sometimes, having a formal meeting at home is perfect... and sometimes, well, you just need a change of scenery. Plus, there might be less chance for bickering with their mouths full and in a public setting. It had been a long week of finals, and I needed all the "back-up" I could get at that point. Anyway... here is the gist of what I told them.

I am a Slacker Mom. I admit it. I am not Perfectly-Perfect like some of those other moms. I am sure that there are many perfectly-perfect moms that get up like an hour before her children to cook them a hot breakfast AND shower AND throw a load in the wash AND pack them each a healthy and nutritious lunch all before sending her children off to school. Not me. Why? Because I am a slacker mom. I am sure there are some perfectly-perfect moms that clean up their kids' rooms for them while they are at school, AND wash all of their kids' clothes, not to mention iron them and put them away neatly. Not me. Why? I am a slacker mom, that's why. I'm sure there are perfectly-perfect moms that cook a full-course-from-scratch dinner every night, making sure to hit all the 4 food groups. Not me... cuz I'm a slacker mom. And I am sure there are perfectly-perfect moms that give their kids allowance *if* they do pitch in and help. Not me. Cuz, once again, I am a slacker mom.

Then I said to them, "Why am I a slacker mom?"...[dramatic pause, while they looked a wee bit frightened of my just-gone-off-the-deep-end antics]... "Because I LOVE YOU!" I proclaimed. "I want you to grow up learning how to be responsible for your own belongings, how to at least prepare basic foods, like grilled cheese, toast, eggs, etc. I want you to appreciate earning your own money, and learning to earn your own privileges. I am a Slacker Mom for YOU!"

I couldn't tell if they were impressed or concerned or uninterested. I then went on with some key points of some talks I had heard recently, and explained to them what my expectations of them were. And then the onion rings came.

This whole being a "Slacker Mom" has sort of been a refreshing thing for me lately. With school, work, raising 3 kids, household duties and making a half-attempt at a social life, I can sometimes get discouraged about all the things I am NOT, and about all of the things I do NOT do and do NOT have. Then, I came across this book in the library:

Okay - Can I just say that I HIGHLY recommend this book? The Author, Muffy Mead-Ferro has taken on the world of perfectly-perfect moms and poked holes in many of their practices and theories, plus she's way cool. The book took me just under 2 hours to read, cuz it's only like 137 pages, cuz she's like too much of a slacker to write anything bigger! hahaha!

I loved the book so much, and wanted to share just a few tidbits with you today, if you'll indulge me for a few minutes more... Who knows? You just may find out that YOU'RE a Slacker Mom Too!

First of all Muffy states that she knows not all of us moms out here will agree with her parenting theologies or ideals. And to that she says, "GOOD!" She doesn't want people to follow her parenting style to a tee. That would go against everything she stands for. It is her hope that parents, moms especially will stop following the "herd" when it comes to all of the "perfect parenting" techniques out there and get back to what feels "right", your Mother's intuition, and back to simplicity. This is what I love about her.

On germs:

"We are designed not only to be exposed to germs, but to actually contract illnesses from them. It's one of the most important ways we manufacture antibodies so we can fight off more serious diseases later on. I'm not trying to sound like an authority myself, I'm actually quoting our pediatrician. That's one reason I've never gone overboard in keeping our house free of dirt. Not lazy, then. Just trying to follow our pediatrician's advice and expose Belle and Joe to their allotment of germs." (54-55)

On indulging your kids with "everything":

"If you do have the money, it's tempting to want to provide your kids with lots of their own space and lots of their own stuff...A place where they each have their own room, of course. They each have their own bathroom. They'll each need their own TV in their own room, too, so they don't have to watch anybody else's show. Keep up, now. They must have their own computer. Otherwise they can't do their homework because sharing makes it horribly inconvenient. And, if they're going to have any kind of social life, they've each got to have their own car, so they can come and go without the bother of coordinating schedules with anyone else. They can't talk to their friends, not really, if they don't each have their own phone and their own number to go along with it. And speaking of privacy, they'll each need their own credit card so they don't have to ask me to buy something for them and then have me wreck their plans by saying. 'No.'" (90-91)

On Meal Time:

"Have you ever found yourself making one thing for the adults for dinner, one thing for one kid, and another thing for another kid? Did that make you feel like you were the bestest mom in the world, or like me, did you stop and wonder if you accidentally handed out menus at the beginning of the meal?... That's not the outlook I want my kids to have, where everything is customized for them and things have to be done their way...I've finally ridded my cupboards of all those one-person items, and we've managed to create a more communal, family-oriented existence. One where my kids eat what's prepared for the family, or don't eat." (92)

Personal Note: I actually used to do this. The spouse had to have a certain staple at every meal, which I was not a fan of, and my oldest son was "picky". So, I made a meal for spouse, one for son, and then one for me. Finally, I realized that *I* was the one enabling the picky eater. So, I stopped. From then on, it was one meal. And soon, my oldest learned to eat other things, and he didn't go hungry (at least not too much - hehe) and he didn't starve and he wasn't malnourished and he lived.

So that was a little glimpse of THE Slacker Mom! Whaddya think? Are you a slacker mom too?

Stay tuned -- tomorrow we'll be discussing how to Discipline like a Slacker Mom. Totally cool!

Works Cited:

Mead-Ferro, Muffy. Confessions of a Slacker Mom. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2004. Print.


Susie said...

I think I have perfect mom sydrome:-( Is there a 12-step program for that? Hee, hee, hee.

Ruthykins said...

i was seriously talking about this sort of thing with my mother in law yesterday. we were at her house and she told my kids that they could get cups of water. i asked her if she was okay with them being on her counter and she said it was fine. that is the only way for them to get into the cupboard. at home i let them stand on the counter, too. they can pick the cup they want and fill it with water, then drink at the table. they know how because i let them, plus i don't have to get up every five seconds. derek was surprised the other day that emmy knows how to change movies in the dvd player. she knows how to open it, return the movie to its case, and open and load a new movie. and when and how to push play. she and andrew know how, because i let them know how. there are other things, too, but i think this comment is long enough. basically, i'm a slacker so they can do things and aren't helpless.

Puphigirl said...

I'm a slacker mom too. Zach knew how to make his own bowl of cereal for breakfast at age 5. Now I have Chloe who obviously hasn't gotten the message that I'm a slacker mom because she is 6 and still can't or won't do it on her own. She blames the milk jug for being too heavy.

Tulsi said...

I'm kind of the slacker/perfect mom it looks like. I do the laundry and fold it. I used to iron everything until a few months ago. After doing it for 2 other children until they left home. I figure Mikele throws everything on the floor, she could iron herself. I don't put cloths away. Even for Steve, except hung cloths. If Mik wants anything before I wash them (about once a week) she has to do it. With an only child now, it's easier because there are no fighting, no competing for computer time, tv time, etc. I've never been one to get up early for breakfast, even before I couldn't, because they all just wanted cereal anyway. So I just don't get up. Mik has had to make sure she was up and ready on time by her self for many years. Mostly by necessity for a few years. She did have some help with that when we all lived at home. Now she drives herself and has to make sure she is not late. I do a lot of things for them, and a lot of things don't get done unless they do them. So they have many things but do many things. And I don't feel bad that they have had phones for years and have to get themselves ready for school.

dorneys said...

I love being a slacker mom :) I remember those days of you making different meals for everyone under your roof, and I thought you were crazy. Glad you caught onto that:) Aside from the ironing Iam the perfect mom with laundry. Because it has to be just right ~ my own fault. Gotta go find this book, it sounds fabulous :) Happy Mothers Day to you!!

RhondaLue said...

Sounds like a book I would LOVE to read!! Thanks for the recommendation!

I *am* a slacker, and I like it. Most of the time, anwyay!