Atelier Diva: Work, Play, Love
Be a lazy mommy
February 07, 2022 COMMENT comment
Be a lazy mommy
By Arti Jain
You have worn off your toes from being constantly on them. Your brain aches just thinking about things you need to do before lunch. You've been having nightmares about not being able to sleep. The Yummy Mummies of the world mock you with their item-number waists while you cling to your maternity pants even as the baby turns two. You may well ask, "Why me?"
The answer is that you are not alone. The problem with being a mom is that everyone expects the world from you. And because being a mom is an exercise in masochism, modern mothers are expected to expect a world and a half out of themselves. "Mod Moms" do age-old stuff – feed, clean butt, teach manners or two – but they are now also expected to "engage, enrich and energise" the recently wiped butt, intellectually stimulating the penny-sized brain so it will shine right through the skull and the junior will go on to win a Nobel prize... or at least get into IIT.

This, dear friends, is not just a crap load of hard work, it's a load of crap! Here's some advice that you didn't ask for (but it's free and which sane woman says no to "free", right?): Just be lazy!

Once you embrace your inner Lazy Lady, you will see the stress fall off your naked shoulders, just how you imagined a silk scarf would – if you were in that television ad for that body lotion.

What we are talking about (because what's a theory without a high-brow name) is 'Active Disengagement'. The 'Active' part is for the kid and the 'Disengagement' part for you. Let the kid work while you lie on a sofa, prop your legs up on the armrest and read a book, file your nails or anything you fancy. All you need is a little imagination and a thick layer of guiltproof coating.

The best tool is a book. If you work a little at getting them going, you will find that many months, even years, will slip by with their noses buried in books while you toddle around the house, free as a bird. So don't buy that 'to-die for' birthday dress; instead spend wisely on an expensive glossy book with lots of illustrations.

Then, there's boring stuff that can be cleverly disguised as fascinating. All you have to do is open your eyes wide as saucers and yell "Oh yeah!" as you do it. In minutes you will have little eager beaver begging to join in. Toss clothes in the washing machine. Start the wash. Tell your toddler you are playing Spot the Pyjama. He will spend several minutes standing in front of the machine pumping his first in the air yelling, "Oh yeah! My pyjama!' while you read that Diva article.

Never underestimate reverse psychology. When you wake up in the morning, don't jump out of bed. Let the little one wake you up. She will nudge you and try to budge you. Don't move. She will look around her and find something to entertain herself. She may even get off the bed and walk around the house trying to find her shoes. By which time you will be ready to get up anyway. You've just spent 15 extra minutes in bed. Heaven.

The benefits of Active Disengagement are plenty. Not only will a certain lightness take over your life, you will find that the kid learns to compensate for your laziness by being totally involved in what they are doing. When she learns to completely ignore you, you've scored. You may now high five yourself.

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