There are confessions and then there are CONFESSIONS. You won't believe some of the stuff that the members of CafeMom are willing to spill publicly (as long as they don't have to use their real names). Mostly because they know other moms have either done some of them or at least contemplated doing them very seriously. Hey, we are only human!
We're not sure what's more unbelievable -- the confessions themselves or the way some readers reacted to them.
Here are 25 pretty shocking parenting choices moms confessed to making, and some reader reactions. Some you can imagine ... but some may surprise you ...
I leave my 5-month-old twins alone in the house while I drive my friend home. I'm only gone for five minutes and I know nothing will happen to them because they're sound asleep, and we live in a safe neighborhood.
"Do you REALIZE what could happen in just 5 minutes?"
"I don't care if this is considered 'judgemental' but this is absolutely insane!"
"I admit I have thought about it more than once. It seems so unnecessary to wake them when you're only gone for a few minutes."
I don't change my baby's diaper during the night -- I'm too tired. In the morning it's always filled with pee or poop, or both. He's getting an awful diaper rash, but I lied to the pediatrician saying I didn't know why his bum was all red.
"Here's my idea, Mommy. Take a laxative and wear a Depends for 24 hours w/o changing yourself and see if you still think it's OK to do this to your child!"
"Dirty diapers don't last forever and neither do the sleepless nights (not until the teenage years!). SO get up, go do it, and be a wonderful, loving and tired mom -- it goes by so fast!"
My son is just about to turn 2 and he has been playing in the bath by himself for about a month now. He likes to take long baths, and it got to the point where I had stuff to do and I got tired of fighting to get him out. So now he takes a bath in the master bathroom while I'm close by in the bedroom folding clothes and picking up his toys. I don't go far, but I don't hover over him, either.
"My almost 3 year old daughter can swim ... so all I have to worry about is her emptying all my shampoo into the tub with her."
"I really think it all depends on the maturity level of the child. Some toddlers can understand and communicate very well, others still seem like little babies. You just have to know your child."
"My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and I wont leave the bathroom for a second when she's in the tub, even if the water is draining out."
My husband and I have a few days off from work, but we still plan on taking our daughter to day care for one of the days. We are paying for it and we never get a break. Sometimes it's nice to have a day to yourself. She will play and paint and do crafts, and have a good time, so I figure no harm done.
"You need a break, you'll be happier and even more excited to see them afterwards :)"
"Why even have kids? If you want someone else to raise them for you...."
"There is no me day when you decide to become a mother."
I've been engaged for 3 years, and my SO recently announced to our children that he's taking me to the Bahamas to get married and that it's going to be just the two of us. The kids (we have three each: 22, 17, 14, 13, 12, and 11) all looked kind of hurt that they weren't going to be included. We talked about it and he made a good point about how everything we do turns into 'all about the kids.'
"A wedding is supposed to be a public confession of love and commitment. It is about the joining of two people, the formation of a family. To exclude the children is the opposite of what it's supposed to be about."
"Sometimes for your marriage/relationship to work you have to be selfish with it."
I gave my daughter up for adoption, but I have tons of pictures of her on my CafeMom profile page. In fact my entire profile is about her, and her picture is my avatar. She is my precious firstborn and always will be. Her adoptive mother doesn't know, and if and when she does find out, I will not take them down. She and her husband are already closing the adoption in three years -- what more do I have to lose? She is my child and my pride and joy, and one day she will know that.
"I cannot imagine going through this, but I cannot imagine that it is healthy to hold on like this."
"If you didn't ask the child's mother now, then don't do it. She should have the say in this one. You gave her up, now move on or ask permission."
If a child comes in my house and starts breaking the rules, I'll scold them if their parents refuse to. My sister-in-law's daughter started swinging these heavy glass objects. Her great grandmother and great aunt told her to stop, but she kept doing it, and her mother was in another part of the house. So I sternly told her to put them down and said if you can't listen, you need to stop playing with them. The girl threw them, screaming, and ran to her mom. Her mom told her, it's okay, you can play with them, and got mad that I scolded her child.
"The only other people allowed to discipline my child is my mother and my grandmother. No one else is allowed to tell her what to do or anything."
"Absolutely! I have no problem with someone telling my kids something if I am not there."
I let my son eat or drink food from the grocery store before actually buying it. I see nothing wrong with it. It keeps him content and I plan to pay for it, so what's the big deal?
"I even do it for ME sometimes. If I go to the grocery store and I'm starving, the first stop I make is for small milk or soda in the refrigerated sections."
"That annoys me to death! I worked at a grocery store and people would do this all the time. Several times, people have come up to pay for it and didn't have any money. It is a problem!"
I live in a quiet neighborhood with mostly elderly neighbors and our yard is fenced in, so I let my 3 1/2-year-old play outside with our two dogs who bark at everybody that comes near our house.
"I would never do this. There are way too many crazy people in this world -- child molesters, kidnappers, murderers -- and they could take your child in a second."
"If I had a fenced in yard, you can be sure I would let me 3 year old play out there by herself."
I have three kids under 3, and we all go to bed after midnight and wake up at 11 a.m. the next day.
"If you're a SAHM and they have no daycare or anything, who the hell cares?"
"I just can't imagine being happy doing that. By the time 8 PM rolls around I NEED my kids to go to bed. I've been home with them all day. I'm exhausted. I need some quiet. I need some time alone with my husband. I would be miserable if I didn't have SOME time during the day that I was kid free!!!!!"
My daughter has a t-shirt that says 'Daddy's Little Squirts.' I love it, I think it's funny. But the other day at the mall, another mom pulled me aside and told me how offensive it was and that I'm defiling my child, especially since she doesn't even know what it means.
"I think it's hilarious. Why not? My daughter has one that says 'daddy's little tax deduction' and another that says 'proof that daddy sucks at pulling out.'"
"Any sexual reference on a child's t-shirt is a low class move by the parents."
I let my toddlers run around the house, the front porch, and the yard without clothes on. So cute, so innocent and free!
"My 4 year old son loves to be naked. He sleeps naked. He hardly ever wants to put on clothes. He has wanted to go outside in the nude before, but I didn't let him."
"HELL NO! You never know what kinds of perverts are out there these days. Plus, what does that teach your child? So, I guess for the people who do this, don't get mad if your kid grows up to be a stripper or posing for a dirty magazine."
I wish I had my tubes tied and never had a baby. I don't like having to devote every day to doing things I have no desire to do. I love my baby as much as the next mom and I'd do anything for him. I just don't like being a mom."
"There are days where I'm just freakin' tired ... but I'm glad I have both my kids and I don't really understand how she doesn't like being a mom. I LOVE being a mom."
"I feel that way occasionally. We all get overwhelmed at times."
When my daughter was 10 months old, my husband drove our car while I sat in the back holding her, and seatbelted in, because we didn't have a car seat -- my mother had borrowed it without letting us know. We drove for about 10 miles. Terrible I know!"
"If it's a life threatening emergency then I can see doing it, otherwise NO excuse. I have seen too many accidents with adults not wearing seat belts or children not in proper seats."
"You know what?? Stuff happens. What do you think parents did before carseats?? Yes it is safest to have the baby in a carseat, but I know that I have definitely been in the back seat holding my baby without a carseat."
"Good lord, where was so important to go that you couldn't wait????"
When we go to the park or playground, I don't hover over my toddlers. I sit on the bench and watch. If they want to climb up the slide, I let them. This is how children learn -- by making mistakes.
"I don't stand over my almost three year old. As long as I can see her and she's not in danger she's fine."
"I actually HATE seeing parents sitting on benches allowing their 2-3 year olds run off and do whatever they want. You can still allow a child to explore, test their boundaries, while being close enough to be there if they do get seriously hurt."
I've given my kid Benadryl to ensure an early bedtime because I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed sleep but I've only done it once or twice and only a small amount.
"We joke about it when the kids are getting rowdy and it's getting to be bedtime, but I would never actually DO it!"
"Never done it and never would. However if this mom did it once in her life, I don't think it's the WORST thing in the world you could do as a parent."
In comfortable weather, during the day, I let my kids nap in the car in the driveway if they fall asleep on the way home from somewhere. We live in a two-stoplight town with very low crime rates. I go out every five minutes or so to peek in at them and check the temperature inside the van to make sure it's not too warm or too cool for them.
"There are nut jobs all over the world. In every small town, in every big city. If you want to take the risk with your own child, so be it. I personally would never do."
"I think that if you feel like your child is safe, it's fine. I wish I could do that. How many times has my child fallen asleep and I have wished that I could roll the windows down and let her sleep while I get work done."
Before I got pregnant my husband and I used to hang out at our local bar all the time. When our son was born everyone there wanted to meet him so we brought him to the bar with us when he was just a month old.
"Now that smoking is outlawed in bars in my state, I have no issue taking a baby into one."
"It's not something I would do personally, but I understand the need to show off the baby. If neither parent is drinking I'd feel better about it. But I guess to each his own."
I have a 6-month-old and I want another baby, but my husband doesn't. He changes the subject every time I bring it up. He doesn't know it, but I've stopped using birth control and I am seducing him on my most fertile days.
"Wow, that's called entrapment. No I am sorry I would never do that. If I have another child, it would be because BOTH of us want one."
"That's selfish, messed up and completely disrespectful to a relationship."
I just had my third baby, and my third boy. He's healthy so I know I should be excited, but I really wanted a girl. I'm sure that feeling will go away soon, but right now I'm kind of disappointed. Especially when I'm surrounded by friends and family who have baby girls. Why them and not me?
"It is totally normal to have gender disappointment. Sometimes (especially if it is your last child) it isn't that you are disappointed in THIS particular child -- but its like you are mourning the loss of something that you will never have."
"Please don't take this as criticism, but from my point of view (someone who struggled with infertility since getting married 14 years ago), that's hard to hear. Praise the Lord! You have been blessed with three healthy babies!"
I have postpartum depression and my husband and mom suspect it. I refuse to go to the doctor for it because I'm afraid they'll take my baby away from me. I know I need the help, but there's no way I'll tell anyone what goes through my head.
"Depression of any kind is a horrible thing to have to go through by yourself. Tell someone and get some help so that it doesn't get worse."
"I had it with my first but kept my mouth shut. My mom is a manic depressive and I knew they wouldn't take my kid but I didn't want to go into the hospital like my mom did when I was a kid."
When my baby was first born, I thought she was ugly, but she's so beautiful to me now.
"There's no shame in this. I know some people say, 'There's no such thing as an ugly baby!' but those people live in a magical world. Let's face it -- there are UGLY babies out there."
"I think a lot of first time moms expect to see one of those grinning chubby little 'newborns' (usually like 2 month olds) from the diaper commercials and instead see a wailing funny looking little raisin, hehe."
I have a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old. We bought a family package and were going to take both of them, but now my parents are offering to babysit so we can really enjoy ourselves. At first I didn't even consider it, but we've never been on a vacation by ourselves. I will feel kinda guilty going without my 2-year-old, but it will be so nice for the both of us to hang out like we've never done before."
"I don't get it. I'm ALL for mom and dad time, but seriously going to Disney without them?"
"They seem young for Disney anyways ... so yeah I'd go & have fun. I'd take the kids again when they were a bit older & could enjoy it more :)"
I only change my 2-year-old son out of his pajamas when I feel like it. Sometimes he stays in his night clothes for the entire day, even if we go to the store or a doctor's appointment, and into the next night. He's comfortable, and I don't care, so what's the big deal?
"NEVER!! only when I take her to the ER at night! And thats it! I do not want to go out in public with my Pj's i don't want my kids to either ... I care how I look and I care how my children look."
"I am lucky if my son stays dressed so I am happy with whatever it is as long as it is clean."
I sleep naked, especially when it's hot outside, and sometimes my toddlers come into my room and crawl under the covers with me. Often we'll all fall back asleep together. I don't mind -- at this age, they are still innocent and don't make anything of it.
"Every family is different with what level of nudity they deem acceptable."
"NOOOO! I know it gets hot. But I would never sleep naked with a kid in the bed period. Kids belong in their own beds anyway."
"It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep naked with my child. At least put on a bra and some panites."