What’s A Slacker Mom To Do?

[ 11 ] Comments

by RI Editors

Someone, I won’t name any names, submitted this question which is a good one for the week before Mother’s Day. Are you a “slacker mom” too?

“I’m not a perfect mother. In fact, I joke about being a Slacker Mom who Parents By Benign Neglect (we call it promoting personal providence). How can I react more positively to the sometimes idealistic paeans to Motherhood that show up this time of year, when they typically point out all the temporal things I’m not doing?”


11 Responses to What’s A Slacker Mom To Do?

  1. Ann says:

    I just hated Mother’s Day for the 33 years I was an active kids-in-the-home mom. If someone praised their mom for doing everything for them, clothes always clean, folded, put away, I didn’t do that, or someone praised their mom for doing nothing for them , teaching them self-reliance, I didn’t do that either. I was a loser either way. It is better now that they are grown and on their own. They all seem to be stable, well adjusted types so maybe I didn’t mess up so bad after all. I just enjoy the phone calls on Mother’s Day and quit worrying about it.

  2. Monica Lynn says:

    Laugh! We all work on different things at different times, we all have different strengths and talents, and we all have different ways of learning. There are a lot of quantifiable traits of moms, like being a good cook, reading to kiddos every night, etc. But there are infinitely more wonderful and desirable traits of moms that aren’t so easy to see and don’t sum up nicely for greeting cards or children’s primary songs. So think about the things you do well as a mom. So your dishes are stacked a mile high in the kitchen, maybe you neglect them while you are wrestling your two year old away from the remote and the light sockets. So what if you pass story time on to daddy because you want some me-time, you are building an environment of team parenting with your hubby!

    Everyone needs different things, and sometimes kiddos need slacker moms instead of homemaky-moms, just like some kids need stricter rules and others need looser guidelines.

    So laugh at all the hokey, cheesy, wonderful mother’s day sentiments and know that you love your kiddos which is the only real requirement for being a good mom. (Besides them being fed 😉

  3. readermom says:

    I am a slacker mom as well. Jen on this site can testify, it probably drives her nuts. When I hear all the praises for things that I don’t do and could never bring myself to do I focus on my children. They are beautiful, intelligent, wonderful children. And though they don’t play any sport or have other publicly admired talents, I think they are great. I must not be doing all that bad of a job if my kids are so good. They aren’t perfect, but neither am I, so we are well suited.
    Heavenly Father knows me, and my children. He put us together for a reason.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Years ago during hard, hard times, I had a psychologist friend ask me if there were any place in my religion to allow me the CHOICE of walking away from something (in that case, my marriage.) I told him emphatically, no. Because once upon a time, I didn’t think I had that choice. Of course, I had the choice, but it was so demonized a choice and made me something so evil, that it ceased to really be a choice. He gave the example (and I think I’ve shared it here before) that he gave his personal phone number out to his clients, something none of his colleagues could believe he would do. Their clients would go through superhuman efforts to find their home phone numbers and bother them at all hours. He gave his number to his clients, told them how much he cared about them, and then asked them to please consider when they were going to call him if it could wait until morning – just out of mutual love for him. In over 20 years of practice, he’d never had a client once who called him at his home. What he tried to teach me, and it took a few years for me to believe, was that we rise to the best within ourselves when we do it as a free choice.

    I don’t keep as clean a house as I used to, but when I clean, I feel a great sense of satisfaction, not a “finally” fulfillment of an onerous duty. I don’t cook for my family every night, but when I make a dinner, I do so because I love them, and they love me back for it. I’m not good at a lot of things, and I don’t apologize for them just because someone else is good at them (I just say – hey, good for you!), but when I do something, I chose. I just say now, welcome to my forties. I’m free.

    I’m not thumbing my nose at the world. I’m thumbing my nose at my old expectations.

  5. Liz C says:

    Slacker Moms, Unite! 🙂

    I hear the endless lists of virtues and accomplishments, and think, “Oh my gosh, I’d fall over dead from exhaustion” and “Why would I waste time doing that?” (the particular example that springs to mind was a lovely lady talking about the prayer time she gets in while hand-scrubbing the white athletic socks each week, to make sure they get back to white. I buy 14 pair of new socks once a year, and skip the hand-scrubbing entirely.)

    I do try to focus on the things I’m doing that I feel really matter: my kids have life skills because they get to DO things around our home. They’re not afraid to try new things. They can plan and budget. They know how to pray, and that they can pray. They are growing their own testimony.

    It’s all good. 🙂

  6. templegoer says:

    I tell my benignly neglected kids that they have nothing to measure up to, so it’s all good to me. Let’s hear it for ordinary human beings, the ones who fix up your car and unplug your drains. Every time somebody does some of that stuff for me, I really do thank God for them.

  7. Cowgirl says:

    I make the ward bulletin each week and wound up deciding (there was a train of things that led me to this) to call all the kids 8-18 in the ward to ask them what they liked about their mother and father in their role as parents so I can put it in the bulletins on Mother’s and Father’s Days. For those of you in areas with lots of Mormons, this may seem like a crazy idea, but here this really doesn’t take too long to do. Anyway, one kid said about his mom, “she never doesn’t have dinner prepared on time.” His sister said “She does the laundry.” I waited until I got off the phone to die laughing. My children will never say that about me. But I’m hoping to someday earn a few other favorites:

    “She always knows what she wants and has a plan, provides for the family when dad is deployed.”
    “She’s always taken care of me, I don’t know where I’d without her.” (Boy about his adoptive mother who took him in when he was a 10.)
    “Always there to help me with homework or tough situation.”

    And another I’ll probably never earn but can aspire to:

    “Always nice, doesn’t lose her cool no matter how bad my sisters are.” (obviously from an older brother)

    • Liz C says:

      LOVE LOVE LOVE this post… sent it around when she published it, and it’s still fantastic reading again. Thanks for sharing this!!

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