Parenting Skill #392: Half-Assing It

Thoughts On Half-Assed Parenting and Why I Think It's Sometimes OK | Lauren Hartmann at
Photo by {Margaret Jacobsen Photography}

On any given day as a parent it is quite likely that you will be bogged down with a to-do list that is 10 miles long. There are diapers to change, meals to make, dishes to do, bedtime routines and let’s not even get started on all the non-baby-related activities that still fill your schedule (i.e. work, marriage, friends…). Some days it’s incredibly daunting and I go through the entire day feeling like a frazzled wreck and like I never really accomplished anything or if I did, I feel like I didn’t do it to the best of my ability. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing all these hats (parent, wife, blogger, stylist, daughter, friend, etc., etc., etc…) and doing all these things, but I’m doing a pretty half-ass job of it and it can be really discouraging.

Before I was a parent, I worked a full-time 10 hour a day job, and balanced freelance gigs along with an ever full social life. I remember thinking I was so busy all the time and thinking about how much free time I was going to have once my baby arrived, because I’d be staying home (working from home, but still…) with my baby and I’d have 10 extra hours in my day to get things done. I envisioned looking more put together (since I’d actually have time to properly do my hair and makeup each day), making gourmet dinners, and finally (FINALLY!) having time to squeeze in more working out. I knew a baby would take a lot of time, but I would totally be able to get things done while taking care of her! …Right?


Obviously I had no idea how drastically my life was going to change, despite all the reading I did and “how prepared” I thought I was. I can sometimes laugh about my naivety now, but it’s also been a really challenging season of life for me because of it.

There were so many things I wanted to do that have fallen by the wayside – cloth diapering, making my own baby food, mommy/baby yoga, constructive play time at a set time each day… But, I’ve realized that sometimes you just have to let things go. Sure, I could cloth diaper, but how much time would it take away from my evenings with my husband each week? Yes, I could make all my own baby food, but if I make half and buy half I can still save some money and spend a lot less time stressing over foods I’ve slaved over that my baby won’t eat. I could go to yoga with Fern and set aside specific times for learning activities every day, but instead I go to the gym by myself in the evenings for alone time and we have play dates with friends so she can play with other babies and I can have adult conversation.

I’ve realized that I just need to let go of all the superfluous things that don’t matter, so that I can be the best parent I can be – all around, which means taking care of myself as well as my baby. Sometimes I’m going to take on a freelance job that keeps me away from her for a long day. She’ll survive and spend time with her Grandma while I get fulfilled creatively. Sometimes I’ll write a less-detailed (read: less time consuming) blog post so that I can skip out early and we can play at the park. Sometimes dinner will be takeout and sometimes showers skill be skipped in lieu of a top knot bun. It’s ok.

Cloth diapers and fancy baby food and perfect lives do not a good parent make. Sometimes you’ve gotta half-ass it to get the most out of life and figuring this out has made my life as a parent at least 10,000,000 times better.

Photo by {Margaret Jacobsen Photography}

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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