I have come to the realization that I am a Slacker Mom. By today’s standards, I do less for my children than what is considered average or normal, and I am OK with that. In fact, I might be more accurately described as old-fashioned, since my own mother did none of these things, either, and it was all good.
My general motto: Do as little as possible and necessary to get by, and that will be just fine. Good enough is good enough. Perfect ain’t gonna happen. Check back with me in about 30 years, and we’ll see how this worked out. But for now, I’m sticking to it. I don’t have the energy to do anything more.
Slacker Mom Inadequacy #1: I hate playdates. I don’t like to do them in the first place, but if I do, it will consist of your kid getting dropped off over here to play with my kid, whatever game/idea/non-harmful activity they dare to dream up, within reason, of course. Nothing extravagant.
I am constantly dumbfounded by the effort some moms put out for a Tuesday afternoon playdate. My kid has been to highly orchestrated playdates that would rival any privileged kids’ summer camp brochure, complete with various craft & activity stations and buffet tables of heart-shaped sandwiches & fruit. All laid out for the little grabbing hands that want nothing more than store-bought cookies full of trans-fats. Why do we do this? Because they need activities! And snacks, snacks, lots of healthy snacks!
When I was a kid and had a friend over to play, my mom turned us out in the back yard and threw out a couple of Twinkies when we complained of hunger pains. There were no planned activities involving bedazzling t-shirts or creating purses from pink leopard-print duct tape. There were no fruit trays full of pesticide-free produce and bags of gluten-free organic rice puffs.
In fact, I don’t even remember any of the moms watching us play on the swing set. They didn’t hover over us, anticipating every misstep we might make and catching our fall. Intervening in every little disagreement, ad nauseum. Of course, that’s probably because they kept us in playpens until we were old enough to go to school. This was the 70s, you know. And when I say school, I mean real school, not “school” for 2-yr olds. Heck, they didn’t even have Pre-K back then. We weren’t forced to perform “1-minute math” at age 6, and we all turned out OK, right??
Slacker Mom Inadequacy #2: Birthday parties suck. There, I said it. I feel so much better now. Every year, I start out vowing to scale it back, invite fewer kids, tone it down. And every time, I still end up spending more than I spend on myself in a year, and my kid walks away with an SUV-load of gifts, which to me, is the worst part of it all. What happened to the days of a few friends, homemade cake and “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”? And the sad thing is that most moms I talk to completely agree, yet none of us can seem to stop doing it.
Planning a kid’s birthday party in today’s day and age is practically on par with staging a White House State Dinner. The guest list is culled and mulled over for days and weeks prior to invitations being issued. Should we invite this girl, but not that one? How do we stick to our limited number of invites without offending anyone? Is Muffy’s mom going to give me the cold shoulder if we don’t invite Muffy, even though Muffy & my kid are not really even friends? Pure insanity.
Slacker Mom Inadequacy #3: Not volunteering for school crap. And last, but not least, earning me the Grand Slacker Mom award, the annoying category of over-the-top school helper/volunteer moms, for which I will likely never qualify. You know, the moms who are up there for EVERYTHING and make those of us who only show up for required events look bad. Heck, I pay lots of good money for my kid to go to that school, and I am NOT going to hang around up there begging to chaperone field trips and shelve books in the library. The school day is my only time to NOT hear my kid whining and complaining…why the hell would I subject myself to hearing other people’s kids doing these things??
I could go on and on about all my Slacker Mom qualities, but I think I’ve hit the big ones for you. So, for any other mommy out there who sees herself in these statements, just know you are not alone. Wear the title of Slacker Mom with pride, and wear it well. The more of us who step forward and join forces, the greater chance we have of beating the Bedazzling, Over-Achieving, Annoying Butt-inski Moms back into their California Closets, where they belong.