Lazy parenting is a lot about acceptance, and joy.
First off, bad news: lazy parenting is not the same as being too lazy to parent. It’s active, positive, gentle parenting, but without making life difficult for yourself.
Being a parent is fudging* hard work. It’s like riding a unicycle over a tightrope. But I see too many parents trying to perform this trick blindfolded, whilst juggling knives, and still feeling like a failure.
It’s my own philosophy, based on what I’ve read and my own experiences. It’s not a judgement of other people’s philosophies, parenting aims or styles. It’s just me recording what works for me, and hoping it might help someone else.
Ironically, some of the philosophy is ‘stop reading books and blogs and trust yourself’. If this site inspires you to stop reading this site and go for a nap, then it’s done its job.
It’s about creating a positive feedback loop. Children – especially babies – react to your stress by worrying, and becoming harder to parent. The lazier you are, the happier you’ll all be. Sometimes it’s about saving money – and never about spending money on an ‘easier’ option, only to lie awake worrying about your finances. That’s counter-productive.
What’s the point of parenting?
My philosophy has an end goal that not everyone will entirely agree with: to simply create happy families – happy, well adjusted children, and family structures (of all kinds) who experience joy on a regular basis. It’s not about getting kids to Achieve Things bigger, better, faster, stronger – it’s about letting human beings, large and small, learn how to get the most out of life. This means being environmentally and ethically responsible, too.
It could also be called acceptance parenting, or Zen parenting, and I very much think of it as child-led parenting, but I like the word lazy. It carries a sort of delicious naughtiness.
The rules of laziness
Here are the central tenets upon which I base my philosophy:
It is not parenting (so much) that is hard work; it’s doing anything else as well.
No, I mean anything. Eating. Sleeping. Brushing your hair. Having a nice quiet poo. Parenting another child. Work out which other things are important to you, work out how you can do them, or get them done, and cut the rest loose. In the early days, this is going to mean you do little else but hold your baby. Accept that, and enjoy it.
There are blueberries in your eyebrows. At least it’s not blood.
Stuff will be messy. You’ll have banana in your ears and an inexplicably wet tea cosy. You could spend your life cleaning and tidying your house, but at some point in your parenting journey you’ll likely look at your bedsheets and wonder if there’s little enough wee on them to not bother washing them until tomorrow (when they will only acquire more). Accept that, and enjoy your kids.
Children are tiny humans.
They are not dogs; they are not cyborgs; they are not a model of car; they are not you when you were little. Their needs, habits,likes and dislikes are as varied, and as universal, as adults’. If I’m not sure how to respond to something my daughter’s doing, I think about what she’s going through and wonder how I would react to an adult going through that. It works both ways too, and helps me be kinder to grownups.
You will be judged.
Everyone has an opinion on parenting. The ones who will offer you these opinions unsolicited will in many cases not have children of their own. (Parents have a better understanding of how annoying it is.) Whatever parenting choices you make, people will judge you.
This is incredibly liberating. Nothing you do will be right for everyone. If there is no Right Way, there can be no Wrong Way. Therefore everything you do is right.
(Disclaimer: There is of course a right/wrong way for a very few things – like strapping your kid into a car seat, and stopping them falling off cliffs – mostly safety stuff.)
Be lazy, be happy xxxx
PS: if this site gets popular I might have to stop updating it, otherwise I will not be practising Positive Laziness.
*for one thing, you’re not allowed to say f***. You have to call things a blubbering shivery crunchy dachshund of a yoghurt pot. But to be fair, that’s pretty fun, and allows you to exercise creativity. It’s a good illustration of the philosophy.