Getting Real with Wanda Morrissey

I recently read an article about Netmums, a UK parenting internet site and how they conducted a survey about the little lies moms tell to each other and why they tell them. Some of the things moms lied about most were yelling at their kids, how well their kids slept, how well their kids ate and about what they ate, the amount of TV they watched and video games played, and personal finances.

The article went on to say that moms tell these lies because they want to look like the perfect parents. This got me thinking. Do I tell little lies about things to make myself appear to be a better parent? The answer was ‘yes, I do’. I’m most guilty about lying about the amount of TV my son watches. To hear me tell the tale, the TV is rarely turned on but that’s not true. It’s on much more often than I like and it’s worse in the winter. Another thing I lie about is the amount of junk food my son eats. He doesn’t get a lot but I tell people he gets a lot less.

So, why the need to appear perfect? According to the article, it’s human nature to want to look like we’ve got it all together, to look like we’re succeeding where others are struggling and to make ourselves feel better. I tend to agree, that’s why I say what I do. I don’t want other moms to know that I used the TV as a babysitter while I try to get caught up on the housework or take some me time. I don’t want other moms to know that my son gets Nutella on his toast every morning for breakfast or that I’ll give him a bowl of chips for snack. I don’t want other moms to know any of those little things I do that may make them think I’m a bad mom. I hate that look I get when I admit that my son is a poor eater. That look that says, ‘you must be doing something terribly wrong.’

After reading this article, I felt sad and relieved. Relieved that I wasn’t the only mom out there that had fudged the truth somewhat and sad that moms felt the need to fudge the truth.  I, for one, am putting a stop to the competitive lies starting right now. Here’s the truth – the TV is on as I type this, my son is on the couch with a less than healthy snack of chocolate pudding, I have yelled at my son and my son actually slept well last night but, lately, he hasn’t been. As for fibbing about finances, well, that will never happen because I don’t talk about them.  Okay, moms, your turn.