So, as I'm sure most moms do, I have a short list of things that I know I'm lazy about, a few areas in my mommy repertoire that could use some work, but that I can never quite find the time/energy/motivation to change. But in the past week or so, I've read several articles and news pieces that actually make me feel better about it all! Turns out, those little lazy habits of mine aren't so bad. Some of them are even beneficial.
For example, I'm notoriously lazy about bathing Aiden. Aiden HATES to have his hair washed; he manages to soak me, Brad, the entire bathroom, and the dog every time he gets a bath; and our evenings always seem to get away from us, so I constantly find us rushing him through a bath at 8:30, dashing to get him in bed by 9:00. Lately, in order to just avoid the entire fiasco, I've resorted to bathing him only twice a week, unless he's been out in the mud or had a roll in the sandbox. I constantly beat myself up about this--the kid hasn't had a bath in 3 days and its 10 'til 9, so it'll have to wait ANOTHER day (sigh). I'm paranoid that the teachers at his preschool are going to notice and brand him the dirty kid. Well, turns out, pediatricians believe that American parents, as a whole, over-bathe their kids. Bathing too frequently dries out their skin and hair and even aggravates eczema. I read that doctors recommend that, unless there are special circumstances, preschoolers only need 1-2 baths a week. Woo-hoo! Now, I can say that I deliberately bathe Aiden only twice a week in order to keep his eczema in check! As long as he doesn't stink or leave a cloud of dirt behind like Pigpen, I'm in the clear!
Also, did you know that vacuuming too frequently is actually worse for allergies than letting a little dust accumulate?? Vacuuming kicks up allergens, like dust mites and pollen, into the air. So if you vacuum daily, you're just throwing allergens in the air daily and making it more likely your child will have an allergic reaction. Experts say it's better to just vacuum once a week. Now I've got a reason for when the floor hasn't been vacuumed in days!
I also can stop feeling guilty that my son always has a crusty sleeve to his shirt. Aiden has allergies like no other: to foods, to pollens, to smoke, and he ALWAYS has a runny nose! I detested "the snotty kid" in my class when I was going to school--you all know who I mean. Every kid had one in his class--it's that kid who had green boogers hanging from his nose all the time. I am horrified of the thought of my son being dubbed "The Snotty Kid," so I've tried teaching him to wipe his nose and I keep tissues all around the house. But, when in public and there isn't a handy box of Kleenex around, I'll admit, Brad and I have been known to use Aiden's sleeve or the inside of the hem of his shirt to wipe his nose. Unfortunately, Aiden has caught on to our use of his sleeve and now frequently uses it to wipe the snot away. I always felt guilty, like his sleeve was some sort of walking biohazard and that my son was going to be the Ebola monkey that went around spreading snot-borne illness to the world. Apparently, I have nothing to worry about, though. I read in a parenting magazine that the secretions, once dry, are no longer hazardous and are unable to transmit disease. Whew, makes me feel better--it may look kind of gross sometimes, but at least he isn't spreading germs around town!
So, guess the moral of all this is that I should stop being so hard on myself. It's not like I'm raising the kid in a crack house or letting him play in the street. I love him, I try my best, so an occasional bout of "imperfect parenting" isn't going to kill the kid. In fact, you never know--it may just actually do him some good!