My parenting style has definitely evolved in the 15 years I’ve been entrenched in motherhood. I can say with certainty that 15 years ago–after what felt like an eternity of back labor with my daughter, and me screaming at my husband to force the doctors to give me a c-section- I was a Type A mom. I sterilized everything my daughter touched. I was so meticulous about wrapping her in this bubble of protection that I realize now in hindsight that I didn’t enjoy mothering her doing those early years. I didn’t take any joy in her sweet firsts, as I was too busy anticipating how I was going to avert the next, imminent danger about to befall her. In fact, if I am to be perfectly honest, I was a mess of a mother. I was too anxious to allow myself to be present in the moment- and gosh do I feel such a sense of regret about this, especially since I know that is time I will never get back. Not that my daughter remembers what kind of mother she had- but these are the kinds of thoughts and regrets that I like to play over and over again in my head when I can’t sleep at 4 a.m.
I do think that the experience informed the way I mothered my second child. I think it made me more cognizant that worrying was not magically controlling the future- rather it was robbing me of the present and the tenderness of my skinny and delicious son. So yes I was COMPLETELY PRESENT when he vomited on a daily basis and am just as present during his current obsession with all things sports ( although I kind of tune out the sports stuff- but of course I make sure to listen just enough so that if he quizzes me I’ll likely get the right answer!)
I also think that my earlier uber parenting style had me feeling like I needed to be much more relaxed as a parent- lest I wanted my kids headed straight to therapy, so I guess I would categorize myself-at this point in my motherhood career as kind of a slacker. So what traits do us slacker moms possess? And how would you know if you too were one of our tribe? Keep reading:
#1 You are not the mom with the water bottle in her purse. I don’t bring a bottle of water with me when I take my son to his basketball practice- rather I point him to the nearest water fountain and tell him to drink up. Oh and if he wants a snack , I probably don’t have any of those either.
#2 You don’t make pancakes for breakfast. That’s right I’m the mom who shows my daughter the milk and cereal bowl and tell her, “breakfast is served.” (Much to my amazement , my 14-year-old is now making pancakes for the family!)
#3 Taking my kids on a cruise means hopping on the Staten Island ferry. Hey in the distance I help them spot lady liberty and I remind them they are on a sea vessel on a body of water – and there is a snack bar that sells peanuts.
#4 During vacations from school, I’m that mom who doesn’t schedule day trips for my kids, I just drop them off at the gym to play basketball. Don’t get me wrong my kids are all lessoned up- but when it comes to weekends and vacations I’m all about just letting plans and life take shape as naturally and as unscheduled as possible.
So- slacker moms- does this resonate? Do you proudly sport your slacker mom status like I do?