Brooke Hampton calls herself a “lazy mom,” and it may actually be a good thing.
In a now viral post on the Holy Flow Parenting Facebook page, which Brooke manages along with her Barefoot Five blog, she shares how she was called a “lazy parent” by other moms and dads after posting a photo of her 13-year-old daughter surrounded by receipts on the floor and with a notebook and pen in hand.
“She handles our household grocery budget each month. I was shocked at how many messages I got telling me she was too young to have so much responsibility,” wrote the mom of three.
Brooke, however, takes their “lazy mom” jabs as a compliment. “Well, they can judge me all they want, but I’m preparing my kids not to need me. And I personally believe that’s the greatest gift I can give them.”
She adds that she’s “purposefully lazy” and that her whole family is better off for it. “I have more energy than most, I could easily handle everything for them, but I don’t because I want them to learn to do it for themselves.”
In fact, being a “lazy parent” isn’t as easy as it seems, Brooke explains. It will probably only take you a few minutes to wipe down the dinner table after a meal. However, teaching and guiding your preschooler how to do the same task will take considerably longer.
You’ll also have to watch them struggle at the task and keep yourself from getting frustrated or micromanaging their every move. Moreover, you’ll probably have to do the job again to make sure the table really does get cleaned.
“It takes patience and determination to be a lazy parent. Because the way they do it won’t be perfect (at first), they’ll make ungodly messes, it will be crooked and mismatched, things will break, and it will likely take four times longer than if you just did it yourself,” says Hampton.
Any mom who has let her toddler “help” sweep the floor, wash the dishes, do the laundry, or make dinner, knows this to be true. Brooke adds, “We are doing them a great disservice when we don’t let them struggle and prove to themselves that they are little badasses.”
At toddler-age, Pinay mom Mars Medina already lets her daughter do a lot of things for herself. She has set up her home in such a way that it gives her tot access to as many things as possible including mini-sized household tools so she can help mom with the chores.
“If she wants a snack, she can get from a low kitchen drawer. If she wants water, she can pour into a glass moving a low table. If she needs to clean up a spill, she can get a mop or a rag that is hung low. If she needs to wear her shoes, they're in a basket beside a low stool she can sit on as she wears her shoes,” Medina shares with SmartParenting.com.ph.
“When she sees me mop, you can bet that she will get her small mop as well. When we're outside tending to the garden, she'll also water the plants — filling up a small watering can with water she gets, with a small beaker, from a pail. She's always where the action is, so to speak; where the work is, that’s where we are.”
Ready to start? Find a list of age-appropriate chores for kids 2 to 7 years old here.