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What Will You Do On Lazy Mom's Day?

What Will You Do On Lazy Mom's Day?

National Lazy Mom's Day occurs annually on the first Friday in September. Moms around the country are encouraged to view this day as a holiday from the drudgery of cooking, laundry, dishes, car pools and bathroom cleaning.

No one knows where it originated or who had the brilliant idea to make this a “day” but I applaud the sentiment. The reality is that many of us have daily responsibilities, other than parenting, that require our continuous attention... we might have aging parents who need our care, animals that can’t abide “lazy” or we might work on Fridays. While there are no breaks from responsibilities such as these... the folks over at thelazygeniuscollective.com advise, “Take a break from things that aren't essential and see what happens.”

Here are some ideas for a perfect Lazy Mom’s Day:

Binge Watch TV – The Great British Baking Show all day?

Take a Nap – Go ahead and treat yourself to a mid-day snooze.

Read a book – The ones you’ve been meaning to get to – today is the day!

Take a nice long soak in a hot bath. Dig out those buried bath scents you got as a baby shower present.

Put on some music, act like a kid; do what you enjoyed doing as a teenager.

Close your bedroom door, dance with abandon and sing into your hairbrush.

Be introspective, write in your journal.

Take a walk by yourself to think and breathe deeply.

Watch a brilliant movie. http://www.bbc.co.uk/culture/story/20160819-the-21st-centurys-100-greatest-films

Call a friend who makes you laugh and arrange a lunch or dinner date.

Go to the gym and never leave the locker room. Shower, steam, shower, sauna… repeat.

Reserve a room at a local hotel/motel with a pool. Take a few other deserving mothers along and have a pool party without the kids.

Sushi anyone?

There are 2 billion mothers in the world (85.4 million in the U.S.) Mothers across the world cook, clean, and generally work hard every day to keep their households functioning. On National Lazy Mom’s Day, moms here in the United States are encouraged to relax, allow others to do their work, and simply be lazy. It is an exercise in guiltless surrender... allowing others to do your chores.  An exercise in relaxation and working toward accepting that there are many ways to do the same thing. It might not be your way, but if it works, go with it.

There are certain universals when it comes to raising kids: A child needs enough sleep, food, and nurturing to thrive. We as parents, no matter where we live, strive to meet the needs of our children. Let us consider some other mothering styles from around the world that “work.”

Parents in countries from Greece to Spain to India to Italy, believe that children are best off when others help raise them... the extended family, friends or community. In Brazil, for example, it is not uncommon for several generations of a family... parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins to live together in separate but adjoining homes or on different floors of the same apartment building. Mothering/Parenting is shared... differing styles come together to create a balanced family support system of communal responsibility.

In many countries of the world, the fear of spoiling children, often found in the Western world, doesn’t exist. In Asia, co-sleeping with babies and children is common. Many parents worldwide have trouble understanding the choice of routinely putting newborns to sleep in a separate room. The fact is, East or West, when parents respond to their babies’ cries immediately and hold them frequently... babies who get their needs met and who are loved unconditionally as infants... become more independent and confidant children.

In America, as our kids become adolescents, we often don’t want to burden them with family responsibilities. In China, parents do the opposite. The older the Chinese children get, the more their parents remind them of obligations to their family. Multiple studies have shown that in China, the cultural ideal of not letting adolescents have too many freedoms helps their motivation and their achievement. By reminding them of their responsibility to the family and the expectation that their hard work in school is one way to pay back a little for all they have received, adolescents do better in school.

 

In Germany, working women go on maternity leave six weeks before they’re due to give birth and are allowed up to eight weeks after their delivery at 100% pay. They can also take up to 12 months off at 65% of their pay. Self-employed women receive paid leave and may take up to 12 months off, at approximately 60% of their previous year’s income. In Norway, mothers or fathers get 10 months of maternity leave at 100% pay or 12 months at 80%. Mothers are able to devote uncompromised time to their newborns, as well as their own recuperation. Consider what that would be like for American women... http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/work-family/paid-leave/family-act-fact-sheet.pdf

In Japan, parents allow their children a far greater level of independence than we do in the U.S. It is not uncommon for children as young as 4 to ride the subway by themselves. Children are sent on errands, often taking public transportation and exploring the streets of their towns on their own.  Japan has a culture of expecting this independence in young children and offers of help and guidance are commonplace. A television show called Hajimete no Otskai (My First Errand), which chronicles kids out on their own doing some task for their family, has been on Japanese TV staple for 25 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5k5XTZy0rA

As a New York City parent, I found this fascinating, eye opening, and difficult to watch. U.S. Crime rate? 44th out of 110 countries. Japan? 105thhttps://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp

This year, on National Lazy Mom’s Day, I plan to do fewer chores, strive to be happy and remain mindful of the other moms out there who live in difficult times and have differing ideas from mine. I will respect their practices and be grateful that I am able to “take a day off.”

Paula Zindler RN IBCLC

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