Honesty is very important in our home. We don’t lie to our kids, and we don’t tolerate lying from them either. But that doesn’t mean my kids are entitled to know every single thing I do, even if the things I’m doing affect them in some way. As the mother in this family, I often make decisions behind my kids’ backs that they wouldn’t like. It’s my job to make sure our home runs smoothly, and that means using my position to make executive decisions once in a while.
Here are some of the things I do that my kids would think are horrible:
1. Put Their Artwork in the Recycling Bin
I’ll admit it: Sometimes I feel awful getting rid of the scribbled papers and twisted mounds of pipe cleaners, but seriously, I can’t keep everything. And someday, when they’re grown and they discover the mounds of stuff I did save, I’m pretty sure they won’t think, what happened to all the OTHER stuff I made? I just have to make sure to get rid of stuff when they’re not home and hide it well if I want to avoid hearing “Mommy, why is my picture in the recycling?” There’s never a good answer to that question no matter how reasonable I think I’m being here.
2. Eat Treats After They’re in Bed
We try to eat healthy (even if we don’t always succeed), but sometimes after a long day when the kids are finally in bed, my husband and I break out the ice cream. It’s not that I don’t ever let my kids have treats—they get their fair share. It’s just that I don’t feel the need to share everything I get with them. I also don’t make them eat my chia bread, so really, they’re breaking even here.
3. Say ‘No’ to Things They Get Invited To
Sometimes I receive an invite and know immediately that we can’t go. Or sometimes I just don’t want to go for various reasons (hey, I have other stuff to do, too). So, instead of risking an argument by telling my kids about the thing only to explain to them why it’s not a good idea, I’ll just reply “no” to the invitation without involving my kids at all.
4. Hide Annoying Toys
Nobody warned me that a Furby doesn’t have an off-switch. And I swear there was something wrong with the one we got because it did not stop. So yeah, maybe my kid hasn’t been able to find it in a long time, but I will not sacrifice my sanity for the sake of my kids’ entertainment. One thing you’ve learned if you have small kids is that you never buy them annoying toys. Inevitably, though, your relatives do. It’s my job to ensure our home is a positive environment for my children’s development, and this involves me not losing my mind.
5. Complain About Their Friends
Most of my kids’ friends are great (really great), polite, funny, kind-hearted, sweet kids—except the ones who aren’t. Once, I offered to give a kid a ride, which was gladly accepted, but then the lovely child saw my car and exclaimed, “I’m not getting in that!” Listen, all children are precious in the eyes of the Lord and I did not leave that child by the side of the road. But if I grit my teeth and need to complain a little afterwards, I think that’s OK.
6. Donate Clothes They Love (But I Don’t) to Charity
Kids aren’t very good at realizing something truly does not fit anymore. I can only reason with them for so long before I sneak the beloved items out of their closets when they aren’t around. To be fair, I have a grace period where I keep the item hidden away for a few weeks just in case my kid asks about it. I do this with toys that I think it’s time to get rid of, too. But if the item’s disappearance goes unnoticed, then out it goes.
On the surface I know these things sound mean; I’m sure if my kids knew I did all this stuff they would say so. But as the mother in this house, it’s my job to make decisions I think are best for our family. I don’t always require input from my kids in order to make judgements, and my kids don’t have to like every decision I make. As I’ve discovered, they don’t even have to know about it.