There is a litany of things that you keep to yourself about parenting. You don’t read about it in parenting books and you definitely don’t share it with your friends who don’t have children.
But other parents? Oh, they totally know.
They know about your not-so-secret secret. You might not talk about it with them but they know, all the same. In fact, they probably have different versions of the same shameful secret.
The secret world of lies.
Who knew parenting leads to an underground world of lies, lies, and more lies. I sure didn’t and I’m willing to wager that you didn’t either.
But it exists and it’s flourishing. As your children get older, your lies will get faster and bolder.
“Mommy, can you turn on the cartoons?” Um, no, God no. “The cartoons are sleeping because it’s their nap time. Sorry.”
“What time is it, mommy?” “Bedtime.” Sure, it looks a little too sunny to be eight o’clock but luckily, telling time isn’t a skill my child has mastered yet. I’m hoping they skip that part until about grade six.
“Mommy, make sure you don’t put any mushrooms in my pasta.” Yeah, okay, kid. “Sure, honey,” as you puree the last of the mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots into the tomato sauce.
“Can we please go to the water park today?” But then who will wash all these towels and bathing suits from our last visit to the park?! “Sorry but it’s closed today. And tomorrow.”
“Can my friend come over for a play date today?” In this natural disaster we call home?! “I was actually planning just that but her mom called me to say they won’t be home all day.”
These are all occurrences that have taken place within the last month in my household. No, I’m not the Grinch who stole Christmas but every so often, I need a break. Trust me, my kids aren’t deprived of any fun. At least not regularly.
But there’s only so much Dora I can handle in my life. And at the tail end of a long day, I sometimes just need some adult time. And yes, I pick and choose which battles I want to fight – mushrooms aren’t always one of them. And water park hell can always wait another day. And playdates? Don’t get me started on playdates. Yes, I want my children to have friends but no, I don’t necessarily want to host them everyday.
That’s the dirty part of parenting, folks. You can admit to it because I just did. It's a no-judgement zone here in mommy and daddy land.
We all lie to our kids and it’s okay, it really is. I mean, you think they don’t lie to us about washing their hands and not hitting their siblings? Yeah, right. But I'll go along with it if it means some respite from Calliou for a little bit.