You’re not a lazy mom because you’re too tired to do laundry today.
You’re not lazy mom because you got take-out last night.
You’re not a lazy mom because you don’t do ALL the activities.
So you were too tired to face the piles of laundry today? Being a good mom is about way more than just having clean clothes for your kids. Yes, it’s nice to have but not all of them need to be clean right now at this moment — or folded — or even put away. It can wait — or maybe someone else in the house can help you do it. Rest for a minute.
So you didn’t feel like making dinner last night? You got pizza? Chinese? You actually really hate cooking? Planning dinner every night stress you out? OK. Your family will survive without a home-cooked meal that you slaved over and there will be less dishes. RELAX. No one is judging you but yourself.
So you didn’t sign your child up for any sports or activities this year? There wasn’t anything they were interested in? You didn’t feel like forcing them to do an activity just for the sake of doing one? No worries. That’s up to you and — quite frankly — you’re probably relieved because you don’t have to pay the extra money or be the taxi for that. Maybe next year. Maybe not. Either way if your child is happy with their choice, who cares? Give yourself and your child a break.
You’re not a lazy mom because you’re the one who stays at home.
You’re not a lazy mom because someone else watches your kids while you work outside the home.
You’re not a lazy mom because you stay at home AND work with your attention constantly distracted away from your kids.
So you’re a stay-at-home mom who spends most of her time taking care of the house, shuttling kids around managing schedules, and rarely having adult conversations? That’s a grueling role. A lot of people would go crazy in your position. It’s not easy and you don’t need to feel shame because you don’t work outside of the home right now or your partner works instead of you. Stop it. You do enough.
So you’re a mom who works outside of the home either because you need to or you love to? That's admirable. You’re either taking care of business fantastically or you’re following a passion. If you go out to work because you have to, you’re teaching your children about responsibility. If you go out to work because you want to, you’re showing them how to chase their dreams.
So you’re a stay-at-home mom who works from home? Wow. That’s a tough one. A lot of the time you’ll get no credit from people who don’t understand what you do. They think you sit at the computer in your pajamas all day. And maybe you do because you can. You know what you do. You know how hard it is to balance a household as well as your attention to your work. It can be chaotic and you rock. Give yourself credit.
You’re not a lazy mom because you didn’t plan a big birthday party this year.
You’re not a lazy mom because you don’t volunteer at your kid’s school.
You’re not a lazy mom because you just want time to yourself.
So you didn’t organize a huge birthday bash for your child this year? No massive guest list, fancy invitations, bouncer, or birthday entertainment? Not a problem. It’s not always necessary to go all out like that. Sometimes it’s better to just have a small gathering of close friends and family or even just a few friends over with cake. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child with all your heart if you don’t go bananas over planning a party.
So you never or rarely volunteer at your kids school? Do you cringe when you see the volunteer sign-up sheet? Do you feel bad because technically you have the time to volunteer but you never do? I get it. There might be other things you want to do with your time instead. You probably spend a lot of time with your child outside of school anyways. Don’t feel guilty. If other parents enjoy doing it, that’s awesome. It doesn’t have to be your thing.
So you want time to yourself? Time to have a focused thought, drink your hot coffee in peace, exercise, or even just scroll mindlessly through your phone? YES. Those moments you crave are not because you’re slacking as a mother, or neglecting your “duties.” Those moments are vital to your sanity. We ALL need downtime to do recharge, regroup, and reboot. It’s not lazy. It’s what you need.
You’re not a lazy mom.
Don’t ever think that about yourself. You’re engaged in the MOST demanding job there is.
You’re simply a beautiful human who is doing her best.
More from Michelle: I Know Why You Are Exhausted
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.