Being A Scary Mommy

241 Comments

So, I write this weekly column for Cafe Mom’s The Stir. It’s an awesome gig; every week I submit some sort of fun countdown and in return, they pay me. I know, right? It’s the very best kind of work.

The posts over there are the same tone as here– highly sarcastic and meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Most weeks, the comments I receive are broken into two camps: Wonderfully supportive and fucking asshole; there is really no middle ground. This week’s topic was Lies Mothers Tell and the response was no different. Some moms piped in with lies they spewed to their offspring: The ice cream truck plays music when it’s all out of ice cream, (genius!) that mother’s have eyes in the backs of our heads (my children totally believe this ever since they tested me as I was sitting at my reflective computer screen– score!) and that Chuck E. Cheese doesn’t allow mothers in the door. (Mark my words: I will never step foot in that hell-hole.)

And then there are the other mothers. The ones who always leave comments like this:

“I don’t tell any of these to my kids, and I don’t see how lying to your children is something to brag about.”

“I’m so glad I don’t treat my son like he’s stupid. And I’m so glad I actually parent instead of lying to him because telling the truth is just ‘so hard’ and ‘inconvenient’. Whatever. Be a happy member of the Lying Mothers Club. I’ll stick with honesty.”

Wow. Lying to your kids is something you proudly post about? I think you really might be the bottom of the barrel type of parent. This isn’t funny, isn’t admirable and I truly hope my children never cross paths with yours.”

“I realize this is a bit tongue in check but the thought that it’s quite alright to lie to children and encouraged in some instances is disgusting.  I am aware EVERY TIME I lie to my child… I just don’t think lying should be part of “good parenting.”

“Lying to your kid is horrible parenting. If you have to lie, then you’re doing it wrong.”

Every week as I scroll through comments like these, I am struck by a few things: 1. People need to lighten the hell up. 2. Who are these women who take things so seriously that they leave comments like this on a humor column? and 3. How can I assure that I never, ever run into them in real life?

But, even more so: Why does tearing other mothers down seem to make some people feel better about their own parenting? Are they so insecure that they need to bash other people in order to feel OK about themselves? Do they just have no sense of humor? Or, do they just not like mine?  Yes, I sometimes lie to my children. I sometimes ignore them. I have let them eat off of the floor if it gets them to digest their veggies. I do a million things that other mothers judge me for. But, I would rather find the humor in my lack of “perfect parenting” than pick apart other people. And it allows me time to actually enjoy my kids instead of trolling the internet to judge other moms. Which seems like a far better use of time. If you ask me.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Cathryn says

    Mummy bashing is sad. Surely knowing how hard a job it is, we would do all we can to encourage each other rather than judge and demean.

    p.s my son loves to eat his scraps off the floor, more so than off the plate. I’m sure he purposely throws the best bits on the ground for later.

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  2. 7

    MamaBennie says

    I read it, and personally, I think people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. It was for humor first of all, and for them to criticize others, they had better bet the best fucking parents on the planet. I am sure they fuck things up all the time and just don’t like to admit it. People with that kind of holier than thou personality, will raise stuck up children that will treat people the same way they do. I’m totally not down with that. You have to be goofy and make mistakes in life every now and then, otherwise you aren’t really living.

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    • 8

      Corinna says

      I totally agree. Unless you are the most perfect person in the world, do not criticize others! It will come back and bite you! I made a comment to a friend a few weeks ago about how I make sure my boys are in bed by 9 on school nights, no matter what. Then last night, my 6 year old and I were making JibJab movies, and the next thing I knew, I looked at the time and it was 11! He has school in the morning and we were goofing off on the computer til 11! So much for my 9:00 rule. LOL

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  3. 9

    Jen says

    So they know how to reason with toddlers? I’d like to know their secret.
    I’m not a mom, but have been a preschool teacher and a nanny. You can’t possibly tell them the whole truth all of the time and expect them to understand.. If someone knows how, I’d like to know!

    Well said, btw :) I don’t like people that tear each other down like that either.

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  4. 10

    Erin says

    Oh, gosh. If anyone says that they DON’T lie to their kids, they are lying. You have no idea how many times per day I lie to my daughter. Plus, in addition to lying, I desperately shield her from the truth about the scariness of the world, which is kinda lying too. To those self-righteous moms, I call foul. Really? No Santa? No Easter Bunny? No “McDonald’s playground has been closed down forever”? I hope my blissful daughter never runs into the children of those smug, sanctimonious mothers who clearly don’t want their children to be children.

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  5. 13

    chrissymacceo says

    You must have some thick skin. Those comments r not only stupid but i agree, why do thesevmoms think its okay to even comment? If they thinkbthey r so great then why brother cmmenting?

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  6. 14

    Christina says

    Wow, really? Those people are pretending to be Holier than Thou. They must be perfect. They must have children who obey, and are emotionless. Lying has gotten every single parent out of a tantrum situation and I say more power to the lie if it gets me out of the toy department or buying that umpteenth stuffed animal. Humor is the heart of a family and the odd white lie won’t kill them, you just laugh about it later when your kids starting doing the same thing one day.

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  7. 15

    Jenifer says

    So these few Mothers who would never & don’t ever lie to their children have sat their children down and told them there’s No Santa, No Tooth Fairy, No Easter Bunny, No Flying Reindeer … I could on & on!
    Parents who claim to never yell, lie, cuss, & get annoyed with their kids are THE BIGGEST LIARS IN THEE WHOLE WORLD (Nacho Libre voice) LOL!

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    • 16

      Corinna says

      When my hubby and I say bad words, our boys call us out on it.
      Our excuse or LIE? “Once you hit 30 you are allowed to say any word you want”.

      I feel sad for kids whose parents say they don’t want to lie to them about Santa, Easter Bunny etc. I never felt scarred when I found out the truth. In fact I thought it was fun to know a secret that my little brothers didn’t know about.

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  8. 17

    Julie Creighton says

    You said it! I truly believe we would have fewer moms out there who are stressed out, and on some form of mood stabilizer because they feel like a failure if they are not perfect. The ‘unperfect’ parent is the new, balanced, “perfect” parent. I feel that I have been there-done that (and have the t-shirt too). I have a 16, 13 and 1 year old. My first two? hmmmm, turned out not too bad, definately not perfect. How can they?… when… by the time they go to school, the influence of teachers and peers they have make up most of the hours they are awake on any given day, so my previous self acknowledged perfection as a young mom (ripe old age of 21) really didn’t matter…I am turning 40 at the end of the month and with my little guy, well, it’s really weird. The more mistakes I make with him, the better my day turns out. I have fewer sick days, way less tantrums, he sleeps the night, and is just enjoyable. You might say its ME….YES, it is….I am NOW…and proud of it, way less perfect and I am way less stressed. If other parents I knew when I was younger stopped trying to compete with “who beat who to the potty, speaking etc..and just focused at the humour that really goes on behind closed doors, there would be a lot more happiness out there. Scareymommy, I see you as a really happy woman with a happy family. Sure not everyday is a picknick, but honey you are REAL. I don’t know about you, but MY mom, taught me to either ‘agree to disagree’ or just appeciate another person’s point of view without passing judgement.

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  9. 19

    Shondira says

    Amen. People need to get a sense of humor. My kids are old enough now though that they can sense my sarcasm and retort with their own. Lying doesn’t work as well anymore :(

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  10. 20

    Erin says

    I was so enraged by all the do-gooder commentors on that entry you did, I honestly did not know how to properly voice it other than to say:

    Who the F are you people and please stay the F away from me.

    I didn’t comment at all but reading those left after my visit only enrage me more. I agree with you completely on THIS thread. Lighten the hell up and man, I feel for their kids and significant other.

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  11. 22

    Wendi says

    Just imagine how hard it must be to grow up with a mother who doesn’t have a sense of humor.

    And Chuck E Cheese doesn’t let mothers in? I wish I’d known that whopper before the “fecal matter in the ball pit” incident of 2006.

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    • 23

      Scary Mommy says

      I was traumatized by “the great bloody nose incident of 1981″ at Chuck E. Cheese. Some poor kid was punched in the nose on a slide and the blood dripped slowly down the whole thing, twisting and turning, before he appeared covered in it. I haven’t been back since. And I won’t be. Ever.

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      • 26

        Heather A. says

        During my son’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese we were lucky enough to experience a new feature in the climbing tunnels; “Mommy, mommy, there’s a puddle we get to climb over in the tunnels. It’s like an obstacle course!”. The puddle, we discovered, was a puddle of pee. Lovely.

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      • 28

        Coconuts says

        What you ladies lack is tactical planning. My 4 year old was invited to a party at the aforementioned Hell Hole of germs so I ambushed my husband into taking her. I made sure I had a conversation with my 8 year old about how happy it made me that Daddy had been spending so much time with her at the softball field but I sure would like some Mommy time with her and suggested a mani/pedi. When it came down to divide and conquer for that day, he had lost the battle before it started.

        P.S. the Mommy’s are not allowed in Chuck E Cheese is pure genius!

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  12. 31

    Lin says

    I’d love for these moms who get all uppity about “lying” to their children then explain why they keep up with Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Seriously? A rabbit? That lays eggs and/or gives them away? Come on. I’d rather my kids believing that one about the ice cream truck!

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    • 32

      BillyT says

      Excellent point! Although I just can’t imagine that dreary lot of sheilas with starch in their knickers letting Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy in their homes.

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  13. 33

    Bella says

    If it makes you feel any better, my son recently ate marshmallows off Walmarts floor. It was stop him or get the last bottle of Pine-sol before some old creep scooped it up. I went with Pine-sol because, well at least my own floor should be clean so he can eat off it. LOL.

    I used to hang out a lot at cafe mom but the place was too dramatic. I like my blog. If someone doesn’t like something they can not red it. And if I don’t like them, I can delete them :0)

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        • 36

          Jen says

          LOL!! It’s so true. My kids have eaten off the floor occasionally as well… And yes, at my house it has taught them to look at what they are eating before they eat it… We have 2 dogs, and since there is carpet under our dining table, the floor attracts the dog hair. (No, I’m not the mom who vacuums everyday.) One bite of food with doghair is enough for them to check whatever before they eat it.

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      • 38

        Lady Estrogen says

        They are constantly dropping and then picking up and eating things off the floors; it’s almost impossible to keep on top of that shit 24/7! …and you know who cleans MY floors? The dogs.
        I agree – it must build their immune system – I sure f’in hope so.

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        • 40

          Corinna says

          Sooo true! I swear my kids drop half of their food on the floor, then pick it up and eat it. When my oldest (18) was little I’d freak out. But nothing ever happened, and now with my boys, if I didn’t let them eat what they dropped, they’d probably starve!

          As for lying to my kids, I have. Like saying, “see that sign over there, it says “If children do not behave they have to leave” when it really says, ‘apples on sale’. Or if they want to go some place (Chuck E. Cheese) I will ‘call’ them and ask if they are open. No? Oh well, next time.
          People really should lighten up.

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