I will never win Mother of the Year.
hand up in the “Stop! in the Name of Love” position
Please…please, stop protesting. Hear me out.
I am well aware of my limitations as a mother. That is probably a good thing, since that way I can try to get better at this whole parenting gig. I know that letting them play video games for 4 hours straight is probably pushing the bounds of proper. I realize that telling my sons to “grow a pair” isn’t necessarily a good thing. But isn’t the first step to solving a problem admitting you have one?
All of this brutal honesty has been brought about by a three martini play date. There were some moms I knew there, but had never really talked to before. I admitted to said moms that when the boys begin to make me insane, I will often indulge in a babysitter day.
This is not when you actually call a babysitter. Hiring someone to watch your children while you putter around your house is expensive and, frankly, a little embarrassing (unless you have multiples or 7 kids or something).
I may have talked about this before, but a babysitter day is when you let yourself off the parenting hook and just be with your kids for a day. You might think that you do that a lot, but you don’t.
For me it involves relaxing the rules and pretending that long term goals are for overachievers. It means letting them eat sugary snacks without worrying about whether or not I am ruining them nutritionally for life. I don’t monitor their Wii time. I don’t care that they are outside in their boxer briefs and peeing in the backyard. Basically, I ignore them unless a trip to the ER seems imminent. I putz around on the computer, I dilly dally, I might even take a very short nap (with all the doors locked and strong assurances that no one will leave the house or try to use the stove).
It can be wonderfully recharging. Sometimes I am my best mother self when I am actually letting myself be the babysitter. Babysitters don’t have to pay bills, drop off dry cleaning, organize the photos, fold laundry or tidy up, do they? See where I’m going with this?
So make it a plan. One day this summer break, just let yourself be the babysitter and see what happens.
Disclaimer: I am not saying that I think babysitters are slackers. I have Kathrine the Wonder Sitter, and I am sure she does more with my kids in four hours than I do in a week.