I’m going to tell you a little secret that parents have. It’s a harsh truth and I don’t want to hear any negative comments about it. But sometimes there are days when we just cannot parent! Some days you just need to break out the “lazy” parenting hacks.
Look, I love my kids more than anything. 90% of my day revolves around them. If you know me, you know I’m a very active parent. I’m always doing something with my kids, and I try to take them somewhere everyday, whether it be to the park, library, etc. My boys are so full of energy. And every once in a while, my body just can’t take it. Some days, I’m not able to break out my supermom cape and rule the world for them.
(This is me helping my then 3 yo play soccer, while nursing my then 5 mo strapped to me in the carrier. Talk about multitasking!)
Parent’s don’t necessarily get sick days. This is especially true for me. My husband travels often for work, so I cannot rely on him to take over for me while I rest.
If you’ve ever had a health problem, the stomach bug, or even just a day when you have absolutely no energy and can barely function, keep reading. I’m going to tell you how I get through the day when I feel like I won’t make it through the day.
* Disclaimer: These tips are not for everyday use. If possible, ask a relative or babysitter for help, so you can get some proper rest. Also, it’s important to always ensure the safety and supervision of children. Maintain a safe environment by baby proofing, covering outlets, and anchoring furniture to the wall, etc. Put up a pack’n’play to place young children in while you run to the bathroom when you have those horrible symptoms of the stomach bug (if you know what I mean 😉 ) *
Here we go…
1. Sleep in as long as you can
On a typical day, I like to get up at least an hour before the kids. This enables me to get a few things done, fit in a workout, and have a hot breakfast before the chaos of the day sets in. But, if I am sick, or just having one of those no energy days, I will just sleep in until one of the kids wakes me. Even then, sometimes they will just play in their rooms for at least an extra 30 minutes so I can rest.
2. Make the kids an easy breakfast
I usually try to mix it up for meals, but on “lazy” parenting day, we stick to waffles with pb and banana. I have these whole wheat waffles I just pop in the toaster, and breakfast is served in less than 3 minutes!
3. Put PBS kids on while you rest on the couch
We love PBS kids, and we watch Curious George every morning. On days when I can’t parent, I’ll just put PBS kids on for most of the morning while I rest on the couch. The shows on PBS kids are educational and age appropriate. There are no commercials that try to sell products to your kids. A bonus on the channel – they always have a short get active commercial break where they tell the kids to get up and stretch or hop around. My kids love that and always follow the activity. PBS kids will occupy my boys for at least a few hours.
4. Have a “special” box filled with toys that you only pull out when you need rest. The toys in the box will be special to the kids, because it’s not one of their everyday toys.
I have small totes, or special boxes as we like to call them, hidden away in a closet. When I’m having one of these difficult days, I will pull out a box or two for them to play with. Each box is filled with toys and books that have a theme (ex: the construction truck box, the train box). This will absorb them for at least an hour.
5. Put the kids down for nap and then you nap at the same time.
My 1 yo will nap for 1-2 hours. Recently my 4 yo has stopped taking naps. So, on my lazy mommy days, I’ll lay the 1 yo down for a nap, then tell my 4 yo to have quiet playtime in his room. This ensures me at least another hour of rest.
6. “Lazy” Lunch time tip
If you know you are feeling unwell the day before, have your spouse prepare lunch for the kids the day before or morning of. If not, prepare something easy such as a peanut butter or cheese sandwich with applesauce or yogurt on the side.
7. Pull out coloring books and crayons
After lunch, I will pull out coloring books and crayons for my 4 yo. He really enjoys coloring and being creative. My 1 yo will usually roam around the living room and play with some of his toys.
8. Lay out some picture books and tell the kids to make up a story.
My boys don’t know how to read yet, but they love books. If I’m still not feeling up to the whole mom thing, I will pull out some books and tell my 4 yo to make up a story for the 1 yo. It’s a great way for him to use his imagination. Some books (such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Goodnight Moon) my 4 yo has memorized, so he will “read” those to his brother, instead of make up a story.
9. Put on a movie for the kids
If the day is dragging on and I need one more thing to occupy their time, I will just put on a movie. Or, if a movie is too long, I’ll put on a show from Netflix. My kids really like Octonauts. My 4 yo loves to tell me things he’s learned from the show. It is very educational!
10. “Lazy” Dinner time tip
Prepare something simple and quick. If you can, have your spouse put together a Crock-pot meal in the morning, then all you have to do is dish it up!
Try this Crock-pot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.
11. Sneaky bed time routine tips
Have kids race to put pj’s on, brush teeth, etc. My kids will do anything if I tell them it’s a race.
For stories – If kids are young enough, just read the first sentence on each page of the book to get through the story faster, or just read every other page. If kids are older, have them practice reading themselves (or, just explain you are sick and unable to read).
Finally, tuck the kids in and tell them you are closed for the night!
12. Get your butt to bed and pray for a full nights sleep!
Hopefully this is self explanatory. And if you are lucky enough, maybe your spouse will take care of any wakeful children.
Parenting is difficult and demanding on an everyday basis. Throw in the chaos and stress of everyday life with a sprinkle of germs, and your body/mind is bound to give out eventually. It’s important to rest when that exhaustion and sickness hits. I hope these tips help you to survive these “lazy” days and get that much needed rest, so you can get back to being the awesome parents you truly are!
Don’t forget to leave a comment below letting me know if you found these tips helpful. And also remember to subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post!