October is Attachment Parenting month, and I’ve had the pleasure of reading a bunch of great blogs that have written about this parenting practice.
I had plans of my own to sit down and write a post on AP. I really did. Then real life got in the way. We went on vacation. I got sick. The kiddo got sick. It’s been an ugly couple of weeks over here. But in that time, I had some opportunity to reflect on my parenting methods.
I definitely feel that I’ve ascribed to the practices of Attachment Parenting in the past almost-five years. However, for some reason, when I find myself explaining my parenting practices to folks (which, for a variety of reasons, I’ve found myself doing over the last couple of weeks), I end up describing something that I like to call...Lazy Parenting™.
In fact, I’ve even joked numerous times that one day I’ll write a book called Lazy Parenting™ (2nd only to my debut book, Happy Women Who Know What They Want But Are Too Exhausted To Get It). Then I think about how my target audience (future lazy parents) would probably be too lazy to purchase/read my book. I decided this blog post will have to do.
(and here is the part where I admit that perhaps I was actually too lazy to write a blog on Attachment Parenting)
The whole lazy parenting thing started right from the birth. I really, really, (really) wanted a home birth. In the end, due to a variety of reasons (but mostly b/c we moved out-of-state when I was mid-pregnancy and into a rental in a town where we didn’t know many folks) we ended up using a midwife at a hospital. However, in my mind: home birth? Lazy Parenting! I didn’t have to go anywhere! I could stay home! No bothering with getting dressed or getting into a car mid contraction. None of that.
However, it was not meant to be. We were a bit more active that day. (That’s not to say we didn’t leave the hospital only hours after EZ’s birth. I guess that wasn’t lazy of us either. I just don’t dig hospitals).
However, our first few parenting choices in the early days? Lazy.
We breastfed. Or, rather…I breastfed. Certainly, there was a learning curve with nursing that is different from bottle feeding, but in our case, the learning curve was worth the overall laziness I got to experience via breastfeeding.
If we wanted to go out and about, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not we had bottles or formula or clean water. I just looked down, made sure the girls were still attached and we were good to go. If EZ was getting fussy or cranky, I didn’t have to even bother getting up and making a bottle. Latch on, and done.
We co-slept. This is a cornerstone of lazy parenting. At the end of the night, I just brought baby EZ into bed with us. Done and Done. Combine nursing and co-sleeping? The ultimate in lazy parenting! He’d wake up, I’d roll over, he’d nurse, and both of us would fall asleep (occasionally I’d be aware enough to straighten my shirt back up). I was already dealing with a newborn baby’s (lack of) sleep schedule. I couldn’t imagine getting up, finding my glasses so I didn’t kill myself, going downstairs, making a bottle, going back up the stairs, then feeding him. I feel tired just typing it all.
We did baby wearing.
Do you know how many fancy gizmos and gadgets there are for babies? The lazy parent just needs a couple yards of cloth, and wham, bam, you’re out the door. By not pushing a stroller you can hold on to some bags, fist bump a fellow parent in greeting, or wave to the friendly neighborhood mailman as you go out on your stroll. Also, no lugging a great big stroller anywhere. While there are some awesome ones out there, they can be a pain in the neck (and this is not speaking from experience when it took me over 20 minutes to figure out how to fold mine down. Nope. Not at all).
We did baby-led weaning. I know many people get so excited about purchasing fruits & veggies, pureeing it down and making their own baby food. For me, that just seemed like a ton of work, so we went with baby-led weaning. Offering chunks of whatever we were eating to EZ instead of buying special baby food or making some ourselves? Genius. And perfectly lazy. I could cut bites of my sweet potato or avocado up and pass them his way. If I was eating a banana or apple, I would happily share. This also made going out to eat much easier as well.
EZ showered/bathed with us. At the beginning, we did have a super cute special ducky bathtub for EZ. And he might have even had a sink bath or two. But once he learned to sit up on his own, it was into the big person shower with the rest of us. Whenever I wanted a shower, I’d just plop him on one side with a few bath toys and do my business. Sometimes I’d soap him up, other times I wouldn’t. But killing two dirty birds with one clean stone was definitely the lazy parents way to go.
Over the years, lazy parenting has woven its way through our lives. I tend to be less of a “helicopter-parent” on the playground or at playgroup, and at home as well. EZ has turned into a pretty independent kid (whether that’s due to him being an only child or the product of lazy parents is certainly up for debate). Of course, as much as I’d prefer, not all of our parenting decisions were able to fall under the lazy category. Cloth diapering, while worth it to us, certainly required a bit more work than disposables. (but! they were certainly much cuter, so…)
Warning: Lazy parenting also can result in painted toe nails, butterfly wings, and princess play (ok sure, these are ideological choices as well, but it’s also much lazier to not fight the kid on those decisions).