Any parent can tell you that time becomes a precious commodity once children enter the picture. From being late for nearly everything to having to schedule that rare Date Night, parents will do almost anything in order shave some time out of their otherwise demanding schedules. But when does the fine art of finding more time go from clever to ridiculous?
One Aussie mom found out when she shared with the world that she dresses her six kids for the day – the night before. Yes, they sleep in their clothes. Madeleine West, a beloved soap opera star from the Land Down Under, caused quite a controversy this past summer when she gave a list of her time-saving tips to readers of UK Daily Mail. The now notorious interview has popped back up into the attention of the Internet in recent weeks as news of West’s famous TV role on hit Aussie show, Neighbours, is set to be reprised.
It is hard to say what people are freaking out over more, her role reprisal, or her eyebrow-raising parenting advice. In her column on kidspot.com, West defended some of the controversial tips she gave in her interview with the UK Dialy Mail, which included, “Get the dinner ready before they all get up, even if it means getting up at 5 am, pack their lunchboxes the day before, have a separate bookshelf for school library books and make the beds before you leave the house,” West continued with her parenting advice by adding, “That may sound mad, but for me, it’s all about finding that small moment of harmony amidst the chaos. If you return home from the school drop-off and all the beds aren’t made, that will automatically ruin your harmony.”
But it was this last piece of advice that seems to have set the Internet on fire with much judgment, “if you’ve got a particularly early start or busy morning, dress the children in their clothes for the next day the night before. Pajamas are optional for me. I figured if they’re in clean clothes and getting into a clean bed, they’re fine.”
Of course, you can imagine that the Internet had a lot to say about this advice.
One reader from the UK wrote, “Putting your kids to bed in next day clothes and photographing sandwiches is mental illness, not organisation.”
A reader from Australia retorted with, “I put my kids in their next day clothes. I pack their lunches the night before. You can cry foul all you want. But they get to school on time every day. And I get to keep my sanity. Stop judging everyone. Start supporting.”
Hundreds of comments of been published, and have made their way to West’s Instagram account where some took defending her parenting methods. In a note of support, one person wrote, “I read that article and immediately thought of all the self-righteous people out there who would judge you for it. Haters gonna hate! I can’t wait to read your book and get some more great tips!”
Parenting is a tough gig for sure, and so it is not surprising that moms and dads will conjure up clever means for saving time. As long as the kids are healthy, safe, and cared for then who cares if a kid wears the next day’s track suit to bed once in a while, right?
We want to know, what do you think of West’s parenting advice?