The Lazy Parenting Trick We Can't Wait to Try

As a working mom, my ears always perk up at the sound of any parenting trick that promises to save time, effort or sanity. So as I was paging through my new favorite cookbook, Jenny Rosenstrach's Dinner: A Love Story, I stopped when I found this: "Lazy Parent's Dark Secret: The Ritual."

The parenting shortcut which Rosenstrach says is her "all-time favorite example of laziness, which also happens to qualify as good parenting" -- is the Ritual. She goes on to list a variety of routines that she repeats each year for birthday parties, anniversaries and even regular family time so she doesn't need to reinvent the wheel for every celebration when she already has a million things on her To Do list. "In other words, when there are so many little things to think about," she writes, "it's comforting to know that I have a few of the big things running on autopilot."

It's kind of brilliant. Some of her routines and rituals include:

1. A family walk after dinner on warm summer nights

2. The farmer's market every Saturday morning

3. Celebrating the kids' birthday by geography (See candy "sushi" above.)

4. Family dancing after dinner

5. Bath-book-bedtime

6. Pancakes or bagels in front of Saturday morning cartoons

7. Giving her husband a good bottle of bourbon for their anniversary

We're already on board with rituals 5 and 6 at our house, but this list has inspired me to think of others to add into the mix. What are yours?

WATCH: How to Make Candy Sushi and Other Easy-to-Make Gifts

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