Do you ever lie to make yourself seem like a better parent? If so, you're hardly alone, because according to a recent UK survey, over half of all moms do it. Out of 1,000 moms who confessed the shameful truth to parenting website BabyCentre, 53 percent said that they resort to lies instead of admitting to fellow moms that they don't always do what is considered to be the right thing.
Personally, I think that's pretty ridiculous. I never whitewash my parenting pratfalls to other mothers, because what on earth is the point? If someone's going to judge me for sometimes allowing my kids to eat processed foods (and by "sometimes" I mean "on days of the week that end in Y"), I probably don't want much to do with them anyway.
That said, the fact that one in three moms supposedly fibs to their kids' health provider? Um, yeah. Been there.
Apparently the biggest whopper on the Mom Lie List is television, and whether or not they let their kids rot in front of it in order to get some peace and quiet. Nine out of ten moms downplays the amount of television their kids watch, and while I have no problem telling YOU that the only way I'm able to get my work done is a nontrivial daily amount of Curious George that cheerily blares from our TV ... I'll be honest, I'd probably gloss over that little factoid if my kids' pediatrician grilled me on it. (Unless, of course, there was a specific health or behavioral reason they were asking.)
Another common lie, at least according to this particular survey, has to do with whether or not moms occasionally let their kids eat junk instead of a healthy dinner. Out of 1,000 moms, a fifth allows this to happen, but doesn't like to admit it.
I totally understand not wanting to talk about this stuff, because man, do people ever get FIRED UP about parenting choices. I still remember The Stir post in which I confessed to giving my kids toasted waffles in the afternoon, and the outraged comments that followed. My favorite: "WAFFLES ARE NOT A SNACK!" Au contraire, Pierre:
(So TOTALLY a snack.) (A TV-watching snack, even.)
Still, it's too bad that so many of us feel compelled to cover up the truth. Maybe if we were all completely honest about how hard parenting is, and how we have to pick and choose our battles in order to make it through the days with sanity intact, we wouldn't feel so much pressure to present a different version of our lives -- one where the television is never on, the snacks are always organic, dinner is always a healthy gourmet feast, and the carpet never looks like an episode of Hoarders.
Have you ever embellished the truth about your parenting?
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