Confession: at least two days a week I turn into Lazy Mum. And you know what? Those are often two of my favourite days of the week.
On Lazy Mum days we eat a trash tea, the kids have unlimited screen time and there is – gasp – not one single organised activity. Basically, on these days I’m about as far from Pinterest Perfect Mum as you can get.
I like to think of Lazy Mum days as the “self care” essential for a stressed out mum. We’re all told about the benefits of giving ourselves a break, being “kind” to ourselves, living in the moment etc. But when you’re living life at 100 miles an hour, trying to speed clean your kitchen while whipping up a batch of freshly baked muffins, organising an educational craft activity and replying to that important work email, self care goes out the window.
Which is why, for me, the Lazy Mum hacks listed below are an important part of my parenting self care repertoire. Actively lowering my standards on these days is liberating, and I don’t even feel guilty. And you know what the side effect of that is? Happier kids.
So, without one ounce of guilt, I present to you some of my favourite lazy mum hacks…
1. Unlimited screen time
After school on a Friday the girls love to come home and just slob out. It’s the one day of the week when Freya doesn’t have any after school clubs and we don’t have to rush out of the door to be anywhere. When we get home the kids go on the iPad / tablet / sit in front of the TV and barely speak to each other (or me). There’s no limit on it and they have their tea in front of it too, glued to whatever’s on the screen. This doesn’t happen every day so it’s a treat – for them and for me (because it’s the one time I don’t have to nag them or face a tantrum).
2. Fancy dress as outfit of the day
Gone are the days when I could choose pretty co-ordinating outfits for my daughters. Effie now has clear ideas over what she wants to wear and – apart from the time it was snowing outside and she wanted to wear nothing but a swimming cozzie – I’m happy to go with it. Most days her outfit choice is a hugely random co-ordination, often involving a tutu or a Christmas jumper. I can’t be bothered with the tantrums of trying to coax her into a bright Boden outfit or an Instagrammable Next ensemble so I choose the Lazy Mum approach and let her dress herself, regardless of the fact her outfit might provoke some raised eyebrows when we’re out in public. She’s happy, I’m happy, we’re all happy.
3. Trash tea
Lazy Mum days are “trash tea” days. I rarely cook an elaborate meal on a Friday. The girls will often have pizza or fish-fingers and, because we don’t eat like this every day I feel not an ounce of guilt. They love it and often tell me Friday night tea is their favourite – especially as they get to eat it while watching the iPad or TV. Everything in moderation and all that.
4. Bath bombs / Gelli Baff
Bath time on a Friday is always fun, mainly because I can’t be bothered to negotiate a tantrum, so I let the kids do what they like. Often this will involve that awful stuff that turns bath water into jelly. Sometimes it might be a bath bomb they can drop into the bath. It will always take longer than usual because I’m not in a rush and – shock horror – often I’ll just leave them to it while I read a book or mindlessly scroll through Twitter on my phone.
5. Disaster naps
One of my favourite lazy mum hacks is to let my three year old nap on me. This achieves the double whammy of an enforced sit down for an hour or so, peace while she sleeps and avoidance of any play-doh related activities. Some people might gasp at the brazen lack of routine here, tutting at a nap in the afternoon that might ruin bedtime. Usually I’ll actively avoid the disaster nap situation due to fear of a late bedtime or simply because I’ve got too much to do to have time to sit underneath a sleeping three year old. But on Lazy Mum Days I welcome the nap with open arms, sod the consequences.
See some of these hacks in action in my latest vlog – this one’s a raw Day In The Life video…