Being A Scary Mommy


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.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 21

    Maniacal Mommy says

    That’s the hard part about putting yourself out there. For every commiserating and sane Mommy, you’ve got the ones who drank the Kool Aid and think if they are perfect, their kids will be too.

    And I am totally for letting kids eat off the floor. It means less I have to clean.

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  2. 22

    Jenn @ South of Sheridan says

    I wonder how these mothers are doing at being “the most amazing parents ever” with their heads shoved so far up their own asses? It’s gotta make the job tougher . . .

    Some people are just unreal.

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  3. 24

    Kris says

    Obviously they are just trying to cover up their own insecurity. Hell, if I gave my child a psychological complex because I told her the truth about where babies come from and how Santa doesn’t exist I would probably need to make myself feel better somehow too. I personally love your brand of sarcastic humor.

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    • 25

      Kris says

      By the way, I read the majority of the comments over there. All of those saying that they were scarred for life because their parents lied to them have even bigger problems. Like the fact that they didn’t manage to learn the truth until they had kids themselves. Seems to me that they need to be reading something other than blogs on the internet.

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  4. 26

    Jenn says

    I think these are the same mums who competed in the “childlympics” as I like to call them. “oh well your child just learned the alphabet at 24 months? oh well mine knew it at 14 months…” Those kind of comments usually end up in the go screw yourself category in my book.

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  5. 27

    Life with Kaishon says

    Oh my word. They sound like they have REAL issues. I totally and completely wish I would have thought of that Chuck E. Cheese lie : ) Laughing my head off. BRILLIANT!

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  6. 28

    Melissa says

    I was just having this conversation with a friend of mine. So many parents waste time judging other parents choices. It’s not your kid… so it’s not your choice. This mothering gig is hard enough as it is… we’re all flying by the seat of our pants here. Wouldn’t it all be a lot easier if we just gave each other some freaking support? Besides… who really cares what OTHER people are doing with their kids? Do they really have time to worry about it? I know I don’t. Good for you for throwing it out there.

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  7. 31

    Krystal Grant says

    Bravo. Maybe you should try to meet those mothers who leave ridiculous in real life. That’ll give you a chance to punch them in the mouths. Well, it might get you fired from your job, and send you to jail. But at least you’ll get 3 square meals and uninterrupted sleep. You can lie to your kids and tell them you’re on an extended vacation.

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      • 33

        Sarah says

        I love you both! I wish I knew you personally. I keep posting links to your entries on my FB account and this one is up there too. I just lughed in one loud outburst over the genious ice cream truck solution.
        Brilliant. And I love your ability to deflect these crazy commenters. Way to be.


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  8. 34

    Lana | RaisedbyPoker says

    I am of the first group. I wrote my own post about lying like mad to my children (one of them still thinks he had emergency, life-saving, belly button reattachment surgery). However, I come from people who make comments like those in the second group. They are deeply not funny. Buzzkill does not come close to their effect on life. My life is insane, if I didn’t laugh about it, there would be a post-it note where I used to be.

    Whatever gets you through the night :-)

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  9. 35

    Kalee says

    I clicked the link this morning and read it plus the comments that were up at the time to my husband. His reaction was people need to freaking lighten up and stop being sanctimommies. I agree. And then I thought, doesn’t this lady live near me? I definitely want to know people like you when we eventually have kids. Lies are sometimes necessary for sanity, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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  10. 36

    Lisa in Florida says

    “Are they so insecure that they need to bash other people in order to feel OK about themselves? ”


    And frankly, any mother who says she has never lied to her kids is, well, lying.

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  11. 37

    Donda says

    I would wonder if Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy don’t come to these houses. Does an eight year old really need to know the details of “Mommy and Daddy were just wrestling”? Honest Mom, when you encounter a homeless man asking for a some change do you go into grave detail about how homeless man became homeless man and that the five dollar bill you just gave him (you good Samaritan, you) is going to be spent on a bottle of Boone’s Farm and not a #5 combo meal at the McDonald’s he is standing in front of? Are all of these things not facts that will be learned with time at an age when innocence is supposed to be lost? Hold please, I have to look at the guide on the TV and tell the kids that ICarly is on but is only playing in their room so I don’t have to be subjected to it. Lying is necessary.

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  12. 39

    Yuliya says

    Just where would we be as a society without lies? Advertising executives, sales people, politicians ALL OUT OF WORK. Is that what these women want? Is it?
    Storing away the ice cream truck one for later, absolutely genius.

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  13. 40

    Suebob says

    I don’t have kids, but it seems to me that parenthood is one of those experiences that demands a certain amount of “trench humor” – you’re in there with poop and sleep deprivation and stomach bugs and juice spilled on the new couch and you have to laugh to keep from crying. I’m so glad I had parents who had great senses of humor (and who also lied to us BTW – my mom told me, when we hit a lot of green lights in a row, that my dad had called ahead to arrange it – a fact that I knew had to be true because my dad was THAT COOL). I can’t imagine growing up with some humorless uptight jerks who thought their way was the only way.

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  14. 41

    Felicia says

    This is one of the reasons I left Cafemom. I just couldn’t take the holier than though mothers any more who try to bash their way of parenting as THE ONE AND ONLY way. It’s nothing but one big bitching drama fest.

    With that said I think its perfectly okay to lie to your kids in a reasonable way. Like Walmart is all out of chocolate milk, that toy stores can’t sell toys during certain hours (this one also evolves to any store we are in …and I would use it as a cashier to tell kids who were throwing a fit…and hey it wasn’t a lie then b/c I couldn’t sell it to them the parents didn’t want me to so HA!).

    As far as to why these troll’s are so bad…other than not taking their daily dose of happy pills and doing the wild monkey dance in bed more often I am not sure what has crawled up their arse.

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  15. 43

    vanillasugar says

    you should read some of the nasty emails i get. fuck em. girl you rock, you speak the truth and you are an EXCELLENT mother, hot wife, and I’m sure an even better friend who will tell you sound sage advice to a friend in need while kicking them in the ass and hugging them like they need. keep on keeping on being you, ’cause if you change I will kick your ass

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  16. 44

    Lisa says

    When it’s important, we always told the truth…like when our son was diagnosed with cancer at age 8 and he asked if he was going to die. We told the truth “we hope not” but didn’t lie. BUT when I took my 4 year old to the American girl place I had no problem telling her it was a museum! She eventually figured it out and at age 16 loves to tell that story and laugh at how smart her mom was!

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  17. 46

    Lorraine Devon Wilke says

    I discovered the Very Serious Mommies of which you speak when my son started kindergarten. I was cornered at the door on the very first day by a wild-eyed group clearly agitated by the very average-ness of the beige room, and asked piercingly, “Is your son gifted?” Less interested in my son’s IQ than in clearly trying to rabble rouse me into joining them and their “very gifted” (as they put it) children in demanding a better corner of the school campus, I looked them over, felt the heat of their Intensity and said, “No. He’s really just profoundly average.” You could hear a pin drop. They looked me over as if I’d blurted profanities, huffed in clear rejection and pounded away. When I ventured into the first PTA meeting, guess who was running the show? Oh yeah. The Very Serious Mommies. They’d be leaving hate mail at your blog too. I never flinched but they are a tough pack to avoid out there in the real world of Hyper Serious Parenting Leading to Helicopter Parenting and Later to Empty Nest Psychosis Monsters who send Children Fleeing As Far and Quickly As Possible. Ef ‘em. Keep makin’ the rest of us laugh!

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  18. 47

    Robin says

    I have a feeling that many of these moms do not realize yours is a humor blog. A couple of glances at the site, and the way it’s set up, reveals that there’s no indication that your blog isn’t about straight parenting issues. My guess is those critical posters are expecting regular parenting advice and when they get your snarky take instead, well, they’re taking it quite seriously and they’re getting pissed. As you’re seeing. Now I am not saying they’re right about that, it’s just an possible explanation.

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