During a game of house last week, my 2-year-old was acting as the dad and my 5-year-old was the mom. The youngest set out to “chop some firewood” because that is apparently what dads do these days, and her big sister put the babies to bed.
As I walked by, my oldest daughter said, “Look, Mom. I’m the mom but I’m not just staying in bed all day like you do.”
I’m sorry, what? I fought the urge to get in a serious debate about this assertion by bringing up the sleepless nights during teething, tantrums and her terrible twos. The fact is I do sleep in on weekends—and my daughter never fails to point it out.
For two days of the week I’m not up early to pack lunches, stuff backpacks and braid hair. For those two glorious days, I sleep in. My wonderful husband even shuts the bedroom door behind him so I can actually sleep.
Now it’s not like I sleep all day. I’m usually up by 9 a.m., but those two extra hours of sleep are incredible. I honestly look forward to it all week.
I used to feel bad about this weekend indulgence, but I’ve given up the guilt. I work hard at being a mom and freelancer all week. Do I wish I had more stamina to keep rolling right on through to Sunday? Of course. But I don’t – and that’s OK.
I liked the perspective in an article this week in The Atlantic by Noah Berlatsky, a self-proclaimed “lazy” parent who decided his kids will turn out OK and will love him even if they have fast-food dinners every night.
“My son is a little annoyed that his parents are lazy, but he also thinks it’s funny. He’s got a sense of humor, and he’s also pretty forgiving and kind,” he writes. He’s this lovely little human being, and it’s at least as much despite me as because of me — which is why children are a gift not just to the deserving, but to the bumbling and lazy as well.”
No parent is perfect, and it is usually the ones that profess to be that have the deepest, most tragic flaws. But most parents are just like me — doing the best we can while constantly vowing to do better. And if sleeping in on the weekend is my biggest parenting regret, I think I’m doing pretty well.
So, instead of explaining to my daughter that by Saturday morning I am exhausted and feel like one more game of house might just kill me, I just smiled and said, “Yep, I sure love weekend naps!” And then I chose to focus on the fact that when she put those babies to bed, she kissed each one, sang a lullaby and said, “I love you.”
I must be doing something right.
Do you have any parenting flaws that you have come to accept in yourself?