Passive Parenting — Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It

Sheryl Sandberg tells us to LEAN IN. Parenting experts want us to be HANDS ON. I’m here to tell you, letting yourself lean back and be hands off every once in a while is like a wine sundae smothered in awesome sauce. Can I get an internet high-five for passive parenting?

The last couple of weeks have been so shitty for me. I have some sort of respiratory virus that is holding my body for ransom, and no matter how much I try to fuel it with Vitamin C, Mucinex, and the like, it refuses to budge. I haven’t been paid in months by my freelance job. And, yesterday, I majorly blew a phone interview, so I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. To boot, the boys had caught a raging case of asshol-itis, and refused to do anything I suggested after school. I wanted to take them to a music class, but they wanted to go to the park.

If you read my previous post, I hate the fucking park. I know, I know, it’s like against the laws of parenting to say that out loud, but I do. I suppose if your kids are totally normal, it might be fun, but mine sprint towards opposite ends of it at warp speed every time we go. Someone always gets hurt. And everyone who passes by sets off my pedophile radar. I paste a smile on my face and try to mimic the behavior of the other, happier moms but my insides are screaming, “Fuck fresh air! Get me a hot dog!” I know, it’s weird what my innards have to say, but I digress…

I told them we’d go to the park but, after I got home and wrapped up some of my articles, I was not up for it. AT ALL. I needed to go somewhere where I could just sit, breathe, cough (into my arm … jeesh, I’m not a sadist), be still, and zone out while my kids ran with abandon. So I took them to Playwerx. It’s one of those places with a giant play structure, endless slides, and a ball pit that surely has 17 strains of salmonella in it. I threw caution to the wind and said, “LET’S GO!”

The kids were thrilled, of course, and the park was a distant nightmare memory. I was giddy with the thought of how passive I could be. “I’m going to get an iced coffee!” I thought, and write a bunch of to-do lists. To-do lists are my absolutely favorite thing, people. I will ogle my phone and try to perfect sleeping with my eyes open. I had it all planned out.

Here’s the hilarious thing — one of my friends had the exact same idea. As soon as we walked in, I saw her sitting on the side, watching her two boys. I was confused, as she works full time but, as it turns out, she was under the weather and stayed home from work. Great and warped-from-sickness minds think alike! We sipped our coffee, chatted up a storm, occasionally put an eye on our sons, and laughed endlessly at the chumps who felt the need to actually get in there and play with their kids. What do you want, a freaking medal? Not us, oh no! It was a day of passive parenting, and I enjoyed the bajeezuz out of it. The next time you’re fried beyond repair, I suggest you try it. And, just remember, guilt is for suckers. Lean back, folks. It’s the new thing.

gif_cool mom amy poehler

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