It is time you knew the truth. Every mommy out there has secrets – secrets that they don’t want anyone to know because they are scared of being judged. There is so much judgement on moms these days – if you don’t breastfeed, eat organic, get your kids vaccinated, introduce foods at the ‘right’ times, or banish all soothers from your house by the time your kid turns one, everyone from the clerk at the grocery store to the grumpy guy at the doctor’s office will judge you for it. Yet no mom is perfect, and no two moms are alike. Each mom has to find their own way to navigate through the reams of advice, rules, schedules, and research that gets thrown in their face every day.
Being the Type A personality that I am, when I got pregnant with my first child I vowed to do everything perfectly. I bought all the books (and actually read them – what I wouldn’t give for that kind of time now!), visited every website, watched every T.V. show and basically bugged the crap out of everyone I knew with my baby-know-it-all obsession. I knew that breast was best and considered it a crime that my mother had bottle fed me. I knew not to let the baby sleep in our bed, I knew to make sure the baby learned to fall asleep on his own, and that, when the time came, I should make all my own baby food.
My perfect mommy performance lasted all of two weeks. In that time I learned that although ‘they’ say I should do things a certain way, circumstances change and one person’s way of doing things cannot and does not work for everyone. And remember all that crap I listed above that I had learned in my quest to be a perfect mommy? I broke every one of those damn rules. Nobody died. I wasn’t arrested. The earth didn’t open up and swallow me whole. I did get a few zits from stress, but they cleared up eventually.
That being said, I think it is time for us moms to stand up, band together and let each other, and everyone else, know that no mom is truly perfect. We each try our best, and that is all that should be expected. When it comes to raising our kids, we’ve all done things that we know we shouldn’t have. As long as you are not abusing your child or ignoring their needs in any way, you have a right to raise your child how you see fit. It shouldn’t send us running for the Clearasil every time we dare to disagree with Supernanny.
If we all admitted that we are not perfect, but are instead ‘real-life’ moms, I know I for one would save a lot of money on wine. So to get us started, here are my confessions – the things I do that I know I shouldn’t, but am damn well going to do anyway.
1. When it is nice out I make Simba eat on the deck. Don’t give me that look - our kitchen table is right next to our patio doors so he is only two feet from where the rest of us are eating and the door stays open the whole time. And I have a very good reason for doing this; if you remember the food fight scene in Hook you will know what a room looks like after Simba is done eating in it. So to save me from scrubbing the floors, and the walls, and the ceiling – you get the picture – after every meal, we let him eat on the deck. We get to eat in peace without screaming at Simba for making a mess, he gets to express himself artistically with his food, and the birds get fed. Everybody wins.
2. I use my kids to do things I wouldn’t be able to as an adult. For example, play in the water at the splash pad. If I didn’t have kids people would think I was crazy for playing at the splash pad. But if I drag my kids along and make it look like they were the ones who wanted to go, it is totally kosher for me to play in it. So if you see someone at the water park playing gleefully in the water with a screaming child who obviously does not want to be there, it might be me.
3. Finally, I admit to the evil of all mommy-evils – plunking my kid in front of the television so I can get a 30 minute break. Yes, sometimes I spend this time making dinner or doing something else productive, but often I just curl up with him on the couch and take a nap. But this is really Princes’ fault – he purposely stopped napping so that I would be forced to placate him with his favourite show just so I can regain enough sanity to get through the rest of the day without unconsciously humming ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ in a very creepy sort of way.
While there are many more things I do ‘wrong,’ it is getting late, I am already embarrassed enough for one post, and if I wrote out all my confessions we could be here a while. I hope this post made you all feel a bit better about the crap you pull with your kids, because right now I just feel stupid for airing my dirty laundry on the internet. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, eh?