What’s Good About Being a Couch Potato?
It can drive you nuts. There she is lying on the sofa being a couch potato while you are running around trying to get your work done. Summer, for lots of moms is more work when the kids are at home.
We don’t want our kids being a couch potato every day, so we have a tendency to schedule them to the hilt. And if they are not busy all the time, it’s easy for moms to get resentful.
To get past your resentment, you need to remember what you loved about the summer when you were a teenager.
My daughter is 17… What I remember about being 17 is that I loved to sleep in and not have to deal with school. I loved chilling out and hanging with my friends. I lived at the pool and loved going to the beach.
How about you? Travel back in time to when you were your daughter’s age.
What did you like to do? Can you recall any summer romances? What were your best times?
A few decades later, it’s completely different. You have different expectations.
You look forward to the summer for different reasons. You may sleep in a little, but you can’t stop your ‘home’ work or other work. You don’t have the luxury to chill and hang at the pool with your friends.
Still the summer give us a break. There is less pressure around time and schedules. You don’t have to herd your daughter all over town. Because there is less stress the drama meter goes down.
Make This Summer Count
Summer offers us a slower pace. Amazing things can happen when life slows down.
You’re right, you don’t want your daughter being a 100% couch potato. If she gets too bored she will create her own excitement. You do want to find a balance of downtime and structured activities.
Take Advantage of Downtime
Believe it or not your daughter doesn’t want to be on the sofa 24/7. She is there because she is completely bored.
Use this downtime as an opportunity to hang out with your daughter and get her off the couch.
How does your daughter define downtime?
Downtime is hanging out with nothing planned. It’s being spontaneous. You don’t have to do anything unless you want to. Though not much is going on it’s entertaining and fun. It’s all about being present, which makes it a great time to enjoy relationships.
There is much value in downtime.
You are creating an environment that brings out both you and your daughter’s best and relaxed self. Downtime cultivates playfulness and laughter. Because of this you are building a positive experience with your daughter.
However moms miss this opportunity. Frequently we feel ‘hanging out’ is a waste of time.
But downtime is good for you too. When you are busy, downtime seems like a luxury you can’t afford. If you’re honest you are a little resentful of those who have time to just ‘hang out.’
Downtime is not a luxury. It is essential to your body, soul, mind, and spirit. It does miracles for your relationships.
Because of this I believe it is the best investment of your time, and it costs a lot less than an expensive vacation.
This is your challenge. Your daughter will approach you at an inconvenient time and you can see it as an opportunity or a nuisance.
Here is what it looks like in my life. It is almost 10 pm and I am sitting in a chair and I’m getting some work done on the computer. My daughter who was busy 30 minutes before plops on my bed and starts talking nonstop.
I have a choice. I can see this as an opportunity to invest time that counts or blow her off.
Here is what’s hard. In that moment my automatic ‘get it done’ self wants to finish the email and tell her to go clean her room and do the dishes.
But my deeper self sees the opportunity.
This is the moment to connect with her.
Before I know it she will go to college.
When I let myself relax and let go of my ‘urgent’ work, I start to see what is truly important. I see the gift of my daughter, when I am not preoccupied.
I see her reaching out to me in her language. It’s all about relationship and my work can wait.
When I choose to close the computer something shifts inside of me. I really enjoy her. She is hilarious. Even though I have to pass through several decades, I still can find my inner playful 17 year old. This doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my mother job, but ‘hanging out’ is the foundation for connection. These silly, relaxed moments help build a secure attachment with my daughter.
You need downtime with your daughter. The stress will come and so will the conflict. But summer offers a respite from the stressful school year.
Make your summer count. Maybe you could spend some time being a couch potato with your daughter. Look for the daily opportunities this summer to hang out with your daughter even if it’s just 20 minutes.