I’m not a lazy mom, but you might think I am.
Our culture seems to praise anxiety and perfectionism-induced performance, and that’s no different when it comes to motherhood.
I’ve been through some trauma. I’ve experienced years of anxiety and depression, and I homeschool six kids.
We are slow movers. Each kid is allowed to pick one extra-curricular activity (two for my middle schoolers) for the entire calendar year. We do church, homeschool co-op, and that’s about it.
Free play is encouraged. Screens are limited but generously allowed after school and chores (as well as at least an hour outside if the weather is nice) are completed.
We sit around a dinner table most nights, and we don’t rush.
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My house is not immaculate. I don’t spend a lot of time making things look nice. I don’t spend hours a day prepping for a gourmet dinner.
I rest. A lot.
Whether it’s reading a book, watching a crime documentary, or sorting clothes to my favorite podcast—resting is an essential in my life.
My extroverted, energetic, mentally healthy husband with a semi-flexible schedule runs appointments so he can spend one-on-one time with the kids (and so I don’t have to load up a van with a gaggle of children mid-school day). He enjoys cooking and shares this responsibility with me because he says it’s productive and he doesn’t get to see much finished or completed in his job on a day-to-day basis.
We lighten each other’s load frequently.
Sadly, extended family and friends have questioned or made comments about how we roll.
And, honestly, it really affects me.
First, it angers me. When people visit, especially people connected more so to him, his pastor-heart desires to serve them. He plans the meals and/or activities, sometimes before I can take a breath, because he wants to. It fuels and energizes him. But there are those who refuse to see that and put what I’m not doing on an imaginary checklist.
They don’t see the regular days of our lives. They don’t see the effort I put into helping my kids connect emotionally or process their feelings or learn to read or grasp a new math concept. They don’t see me as a short-order lunch cook or working on my writing career or putting Band-Aids on boo-boos, or holding a hurt child while trying to teach homonyms.
Yes, I rest. Yes, I retreat.
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The beautiful part about how I’ve chosen to tackle motherhood, though, is that I also heal. I see the little microscopic joys that others miss.
My lack of perfection pursuit teaches my kids that marriage is a partnership and that love, safety, dishes, and laundry are the only real necessities when tragedy or stress comes knocking on our door.
While this might be shocking to some, I’d rather spend the evening playing silly video games with my kids while sharing playful punches and laughs than driving and rushing and hurrying everyone all the time.
I am not lazy, but friend, you may think I am.
Nonetheless, our lives will keep moving slowly . . . and I think we’ll be just fine—even better than that.