I am by no means a perfect mother. Far from it actually.
I have my moods, I get tired, I get cranky, I get fed up…
Best of all, I get lazy.
I get too lazy to keep changing diapers so I found a way not to do it. I get too lazy to spoon feed 2 small mouths so I got around it.
And it’s working wonders! A lot of people have been commending me on how my young kids (2 and 4) are acting so independently. “How’d you do it?” They’d always ask.
I couldn’t very well tell them that it’s all because I was too lazy, right?
So, to answer that question, I’ve come up with this Lazy Mom’s Guide to Help Your Kids Become More Independent.
1. Potty Train Early. I hate changing stinky diapers. Who doesn’t, right? And the older they become, the stinkier their poop is. Ewww! The lazy solution? Potty train early! I had DS sitting on the potty chair (an extra seat over our toilet seat) at about the same time he can sit upright. Both of them were out of diapers before they were 2. It takes patience, attentiveness, and alertness on your part but it truly is worth it. No more bottoms smashed with stinky poop to clean. No more expensive diapers to buy. As for them, they feel like big kids with great accomplishments when they move from nappies to briefs.
2. Treat them as Little Big People. That means letting them sit with you on the dining table, eating big people food with you. Confession, this lazy momma only bothered with pureed baby food for a few months. It’s just too much effort, methinks. The moment they were able to eat rice, what the big people ate, they ate too, in bite-size and smaller quantities of course, and with lots of soup at the start. I’ve heard many a story of how families with toddlers had a hard time travelling abroad because their children are only used to eating blended food. Yikes!
3. Expect the Mess. Having someone spoon feed the child dedicatedly is surely much cleaner and less messier than allowing him to do it himself but who has the time for that? Expect the mess beforehand so that you will not get discouraged by it. Prepare those bibs that can catch food debris, stack up on those paper towels. If you get tired of the mess, you can always just teach them to eat properly. 🙂
4. Let them Do it Themselves. Keep in mind that they are little big people. They can do what big people can, just slower, messier, and with a lot of guidance. Let them put that food into their own mouths. Let them put on their own clothes. Teach them to button their own coats and zip up their own jackets. Give them a lot of encouragement. Praise them when they’re able to. It won’t be long before they’re able to take care of themselves.
5. Watch Your Reactions. In our house, the husband and the MIL are the ones who tend to overreact. They shout at the slightest mistake, they frown at the smallest error. If you are to let the kids do it themselves, it’s wise to do it away from them. Getting negative reaction like shouting curbs the kids’ desire to learn and try doing things for themselves for fear of getting reprimanded. I remember having a hard time coaxing DA back into holding his own glass after an unfortunate scare from MIL. Nurture an encouraging atmosphere, not a tense and frightful one.
So, are you ready to be a lazy momma?
Disclaimer: I am not a perfect mom. My kids are not perfect. They have meltdowns and throw tantrums too just like any other kid.