There are days when I am not a good mom. Of course we all have days like that, but I'm talking about days when I set aside all the things that a mom ought to do and just let the day slide. You see, usually, I make a serious effort to get the housework done, make sure the boys eat good food, stay right on top of discipline, and encourage the boys in productive pursuits. All that stuff that the niggling voice in my head says that moms are supposed to do.
And it's worth it. It takes energy and work and stress, but the fruits are sweet.
Then there are days when the sweetness of the fruit just isn't worth it.
On those days, I'm an awesome babysitter.
It doesn't happen often--perhaps quarterly. I limit these days to times when there's illness in the house or when DH is going to be out for extra long hours (especially of it's on the weekend). On these days I might feed the boys apples and dry cereal for lunch and order in a pizza for dinner. If they want to play outside, great! If not, I let them stay in their pajamas and watch way to many movies. When the dry cereal from lunch winds up on the floor, I'm in no hurry to clean it up. The vacuum cleaner will still be there when the boys are done shoveling cereal with their toy tractors.
We cuddle on the couch. We read aloud. We talk about the movies we watch. I let the housework slide. We stay up late, and we go to bed slumber party-style in the master bedroom.
The boys have a good time.
I enjoy it too.
While they're watching a movie, I might take a nap or do some reading that doesn't involve picture books. I do more sitting than is good for me and initiate lots of tickle fights. If I get fidgety, I may choose to sweep the floor or do dishes, but I don't feel the usual rush or pressure about it.
This is a day when I press the pause button. The household takes a collective deep breath and recharges for the months ahead.
Today was one of those days, and we'll probably have a couple more once the baby arrives later this month. Sometimes it's really good to step to of our family roles just a little and enjoy existing.
When we need that--when I need that--I'm not a very good mom. But I am a pretty fun babysitter.