Katherine - posted on 01/23/2011 ( 92 moms have responded )
None of our kids is perfect and no matter how much we lie, judge, pretend otherwise or push, we will not make it so. There, I said it. That fact, of course, will not stop most moms from trying like hell to be so, sometimes at the expense of their sanity and happiness.
According to a Netmums survey of about 5,000 moms, many parents are less than truthful when it comes to chatting with other moms. Here are some of their lies:
* They say they are coping well, but 69 percent were less than truthful.
* They say they are coping financially, but 46 percent were less than truthful.
* They claim to spend more time with their kids than they do (20.6 percent).
* They say their kids watch less TV than they do (23 percent).
* They lie about their child's great appetite (17 percent)
* And finally, 13 percent say they are having more sex than they are.
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. We all know that mom whose entire identity rests in her child who loves to drop little lies about how perfect her kid is compared to yours. And of course, you always knew she was a liar, liar pants on fire, right?
Why would moms do this? The reasons should be obvious. First of all, it is terrifying to admit that parenting is hard. Even on Cafemom, if you admit that your days are less than idyllic or that sometimes you really struggle, you get called a bad mom or worse. Now, obviously, people that would attack you that way are clearly miserable in their own lives, but for most moms, there is enormous fear that admitting our kids eat bad foods or act up or watch TV is somehow admitting defeat.
On that note, I will cop to some of the parenting lies I have recently told. Beware, they could get ugly. Here are some of my biggest parenting whoppers:
* I claimed braiding my daughter's hair was a "cinch" when actually I wrapped my leg around her so she would sit still, cried, screamed and begged her to behave. I also bribed her with candy.
* I bribe my children into good behavior on a fairly regular basis and say I don't.
* I forget diapers and claim I "just" used the last one when it was actually like two weeks before and I never replaced it (oops!)
* I yell a lot more than I admit .
* I "officially" let my kids watch less than six hours of TV a week, but probably let it creep a bit higher some weeks.
* I say my husband and I fight less than we do.
* I have said my daughter dressed herself when actually her father dressed her, but the outfit was so horrible, I preferred to blame a 4-year-old. I then called it "creative."
* I say, "my daughter never acts like this," and blame exhaustion even when... She definitely does.
OK, so these are not so bad. But they could get worse as my kids age, who knows. The fact is, when we lie, we do everyone a great disservice. It is not human to be perfect and yes, children will act up sometimes and yes, they will sometimes be difficult, but I will swear this on my life:
I would rather have a "spirited" child with lots of energy who questions authority and acts independently.
It is harder in the short run, but in the long run, it is so, so much better. My daughter is off the wall and spirited and intelligent and hard to control. I would not have it any other way. And that's no lie.
What do you lie about?