Liar, Liar, Mommy Pants on Fire
What is the difference between men and women? There is certainly more differences between us than just what lies between our legs.
I’m not convinced we are from different planets but we definitely have different viewpoints of the world. We even vary in the way we lie.
I pride myself on being a bad liar. In fact, I am a horrible liar but when I lie, it has more to do with sparing feelings or trying to convince my kids to do something that is good for them, rather than trying to make myself look better.
I tend to let it all hang out when I am referring to myself. It’s something I actually really like about myself.Sure, sometimes I tell my kids fibs because it’s convenient but mostly it’s to spare someone’s feelings, keep the magic alive for our children or protect someone from the cruelty that is the truth (even though sometimes that someone is our self).
I think that is why most women soften the truth from time to time, except for that stint in our 20’s when everyone was lying to make themselves sound more interesting.
As we grow older, I’ve noticed sometime after we’ve had children, the blurring of the truth is a defense mechanism to protect ourselves from the scrutiny of others. They are not lies to hurt anyone, but for some women, I feel like they are lies of survival.
No one wants to feel like a failure at parenthood or being a wife. We’ve had it drilled into our brains for so long that we are supposed to be genetically predisposed, that somehow it’s encoded in our DNA to be good at cleaning houses, cooking, raising children and pleasing men, that when it doesn’t come so naturally, we try to find excuses.
We try to hide the truth. We begin to give the lie power over us. I call it the Bree Van De Kamp lie. Boy, do I hate that bitch. It’s a myth, like birth being beautiful. It’s all bullshit and we all buy into it.
I don’t think badly of a mother who embellishes the truth about her parenting skills, cooking skills or how happy and healthy her life is.
I also don’t feel comfortable talking to her about my shortcomings, and I think the real truth is this little white lie we tell each other that everything is fine, it isolates us in motherhood.
Instead of being transparent about our shortcomings and stresses, and surrounding ourselves with a village of women who could not only help us navigate motherhood and survive it, but could actually help us do better at it and feel better at the job we are doing.
We build up a wall of lies to protect ourselves from judgment, when all that really does is leave us alone and drowning in motherhood.
The lie that everything is fine and that our husbands are great all the time and our children are near perfect might sound good on paper, but really it only secludes you from the very women who are experiencing the exact same overwhelming feeling of motherhood, the women who can throw you a life preserver.
So next time you are talking to another mother, consider telling her the whole truth when she asks if your child is sleeping in her own bed all night long.
You may feel that she will judge you when you admit that she is still sleeping in your bed at 5 years old but then again, that may be the mom that had the exact same issue and now has the answer or at least a suggestion and at the very least, the understanding and compassion of someone who has been through it and sometimes that’s enough.
Do you embellish the truth when asked how parenting is going? How much you love it? How wonderful and perfect your children are?
Or do you let it all hang out and just let everyone know your dirty little secret (the one we all share) that you are not perfect but you love your kids and are doing the best you can because in the end, isn’t that about as close to perfect as you can get when loving kids?
Photo Source: Katie Tegtmeyer