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