Lazy Mother’s Guide to Saving the Planet

            Yesterday, I linked y’all to a lovely young lady who has pledged to make a difference every day for all of Advent.  She is blogging about it, and she has gotten some excellent support, including people willing to make matching donations.  She has also challenged us to play along.

            Now, I think I love Laura for her determination to improve the world, her ability to believe she can do it, and her humility in wanting the rest of us to share the credit.  So, you may wonder why I am not taking her up on her challenge (other than the fact that it is only today that I actually figured out what Advent is).  I am not joining her challenge because it is a challenge I make to myself every day.

            Before you get all mushy and impressed, let me clarify.  I need to challenge myself to make a difference every day because if I didn’t, I would be perfectly content to sit with a jar of peanut butter, a spoon, and the remote control for hours while replaying Grey’s Anatomy reruns.

            For lack of a better word, I am selfish.  Really, I am (and don’t go arguing with me – I am not being self-deprecating and am not looking for reassurance).  One of the biggest ways I am selfish is that I want the very best for my kids because they are mine, dammit, and I love them.  That means I want them to be better people than I am, inherit a cleaner planet than I inherited, and have happier childhoods than I had.

            Frankly, I think I’m setting the bar pretty low on all three of those.

            The last one requires almost no effort, because even if I did do the peanut butter and remote control thing, they would still have a more pleasant childhood than I did.  The other two, however, do require some work on my part.  A cleaner planet and caring, responsible children are unlikely to happen on their own.  Sh-t.  Just when I was getting cozy.  So, I wake up every day determined to make a difference if only to fool my kids into seeing me as a good role model.

            In the spirit of Laura’s challenge, I will take some time this month to mention a few of the things I have found effective, particularly on the whole cleaner-planet front.  Because, you know, if a pre-teen can’t be your inspiration for better behavior, who can be?

            Fortunately, many of the things I do to improve the world and hoodwink my children actually simplify my life and appeal to my inner sense of selfishness.  Like holiday gifts.  While everyone around me is in a flurry of anxiety about shopping for family and friends, I am contentedly taking long naps and reading trashy novels.  (OK, I don’t read trashy novels, but I do like long naps.)  Why am I so relaxed?  Because most of my holiday shopping is done.  I still need some gift cards for the teachers and a tip for the rubbish collectors, but otherwise, we are all set around here.  That’s ‘cuz we do not buy gifts for adults.  We give to charity, instead.  And we ask them to do the same for us.  In 45 minutes last night, I made charitable donations in quite a few names, thereby polishing off at least half of any holiday shopping.

            Hanukkah, as you know, is eight nights long, and buying that many gifts for our kids could get pretty time-consuming, not to mention spoiling them off their a-ses.  We decided to shave a day off.  Ask Zachary what we are doing for the first night, and he will tell you there will be no gifts because we are giving the money to children who do not have enought food.  In one fell-swoop, we helped someone else, set an example for our kids, and saved us some holiday shopping.  That’s what I call a win-win-win situation.

            Tune in later for more of the Lazy Mother’s Guide to Saving the Planet.  Or just go read Laura’s blog, because her mother has obviously figured out how to set a good example.

19 responses to “Lazy Mother’s Guide to Saving the Planet

  1. the Lazy Mother’s Guide to Saving the Planet

    ooh. i am all over it!

  2. Thank you! I too am a selfish and truly lazy person who does The Right Thing or tries to. Of course I assume you’re MUCH nicer and are contributing far more because, hey I might be selfish and lazy but I want to be the MOST selfish and lazy thank you so very much.

  3. Win win win indeed. Good job.

  4. Oh, I’ll tune into that, with my cold jar of hot fudge sauce.

  5. i like to do just about anything if it involves peanutbutter and a spoon, so if I can do my holiday shopping/giving on line with spoon in hand, that really IS atip I can use!

  6. Love what your doing. It’s the small things that make a HUGE difference. I am VERY impressed! 🙂


  7. Babe. I so tried that one year with Heifer. Two words: Lead zeppelin.

    I’m afraid I can’t go into further detail online. Suffice it to say my holiday shopping is largely complete because now everyone gets books. And they can’t complain they didn’t have a “gift” or “anything to open.”

    I have deleted Christmas gifts lists received from grown-ups without even reading them.

    As I already bloggily confessed today, I am judgmental and heartless.

    If I were another person entirely, I’d so be on this gig with you.

    As it is, I try to make up for it in other ways.

    Using My Words

  8. Twenty Five Days

    Thank you Emily!!!! This is great!!!
    Love, Laura

  9. What a great idea!!!

  10. I love your ideas. I am also lazy. I will eagerly await the next installment.

  11. You need to write that book next. I’ll buy it. And then regift it.

  12. “So, I wake up every day determined to make a difference if only to fool my kids into seeing me as a good role model.”

    This made me laugh. Boy, do I relate!

    Good work here, by the way. I love what Laura is doing (just found out today), and what she’s inspiring others to do!

  13. Thanks for this reminder. I always think I want to do this (especially for in-laws whom I never know what to get anyway), but I’m worried about how it will be received. This year I will try and see what happens. (How do people react to your charitable gifts?)

  14. I love the idea of giving to charitable organizations instead of finding gifts for the adults. My husband wanted to do this last year and hoped that we could get all of the other adults to do it as well. Alas, too many were kids at heart and did not wish to play along. I will bring it up again this year!

  15. Pingback: The Lazy Mother and Holiday Cards « Wheels on the bus

  16. I have taken Laura up on her challenge..but am only counting the ‘extra’ things i do on top of whatever i already do. we can always do more.

  17. Pingback: The Lazy Mother’s Guide to Giftwrap « Wheels on the bus

  18. Pingback: Energy crisis (part two) « Wheels on the bus