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Delia Lloyd

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5 Things I'd Love To Outsource As A Parent

Posted: 02/17/10 10:41 AM ET

This week's post is inspired by a recent post I did on five reasons we all need a wife.

As with the division of labor within marriage, I'm a big believer that it's best to be honest as a parent about which tasks you like and which tasks you find onerous.

I'm not in a position to hire a nanny right now - (and we all know how hard that can be) - but if I had an imaginary care-taker for my children, here are five jobs I'd readily delegate:

1. Swim Lessons. Much like riding a bike (see below), learning to swim is one of those formative childhood experiences that's meant to stay with you your entire life. I was at a dinner party last night and everyone at the table very clearly remembered their first swim lesson (often with a grimace.) I don't mind going to watch my kids swim (as I currently do every Sunday morning.) But those early lessons where you also have to don a bathing suit and jump in and "acclimate them to the water" while singing Motorboat, Motorboat over and over? No thanks.

2. Riding a Bike. You know how they have that expression "It's like riding a bike!"? I think there should be a sister expression: "It's like learning to ride a bike" which captures the tedium, frustration, and near-death experiences that characterize the bike-learning process. Yeah, I know. This is parent blasphemy. What can I say? I told you I valued honesty.

3. Art Projects. I'm cool with some paper and crayons, even a scissor or two. But once glue, paint and - God Forbid - anything with a needle and thread get involved, I'm totally ready to hand off to someone else. I don't, mind you. But I'd like to. Which is why I'm *so* jazzed that my daughter is at a camp this week where she's learning to make her own clothes. Today she came home in a tiger-fur waist coat (vest, for you Americans.) She was so proud of herself. And so was I. And relieved.

4. Science Experiments. Ditto. Mind you, I love the *idea* of a test tube. But once you actually start mixing things in those beakers and waiting for them to react...uh-uh. (And by the way, why do all the experiments require iron filings? I mean, really. Who has those just lying around the house? Sure. Right here with my copy of the Constitution...)

5. Spectator Sports. I enjoy watching my kids compete in sporting events. It's when they ask me to take them to watch a sporting event that I wince inwardly. This might be because - as someone whose own sporting prowess doesn't extend much beyond pool and bowling - I just don't find sports that interesting (Musical Theatre, in contrast? Now you're talking...). So attending, say, a professional soccer game? Not my cuppa...

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of parenting duties I do enjoy: reading, writing, singing, acting, playing board games, doing homework, baking cookies, ice skating. And more.

But I'll happily pass on those listed above.

What's on your list?

 

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