With Parenting comes the good, the bad, and the little secrets we don't tell everyone. These are my dirty little secrets as a mom (mostly related to food), and some truths. Comment below to share your own, then share with a friend who you think could use a few hints (do they do a lot of number 1?).
1. I'm Not Really Giving Her That Chocolate Later
It's never OK for a random person to hand a child candy, or offer cookies. Especially if you're offering it to them as bribe or to cheer them up. You need to ask the parent and give it to them so they can choose when or if they give it to the child. That kid may have allergies! When my daughter was just over the age of 1, some guy sitting in a study room at the library reached out to my daughter and offered her a hard candy as we walked by. Really?! I'm glad she blew him off because he was a stranger, but he shouldn't offer choking hazards to kids he doesn't know. Even if I know you and you give me something to give my daughter later, chances are I either eat it myself to "save her from it," or I throw it out. She does sometimes get the treat later, like if I promised it to her. But when a girl at the sandwich shop threw in a free fudge brownie for my daughter because she "is such a cutie," I put the brownie in our bag "for later" . . . and enjoyed that delicious brownie when she was sleeping. (To be fair, she did have a Krispy Kreme Doughnut that day, and brownies don't stay fresh forever.)
2. She Watches TV
Gasp! Yes, I do put the TV on for my 3-year-old, it's true! I'm aware of radiation and over-stimulation, and all as well. When my daughter was a baby I swore I would keep her from TV as long as possible since the first years are very important to development. At 1.5 years old I started to have Baby Einstein on in the background, and we learned about sounds, shapes, and animals. By about age 2, my daughter was in a day care where the TV was on, and I was OK with a decent amount of educational TV. She's 3 now, and though I prefer educational programming (and avoid commercials since we don't have TV service) I like sharing some of my childhood pastime shows with her too. Care Bears and Rainbow Bright are great for teaching morals, which makes them appropriate for elementary school age, I think, but I still like sharing them with my preschooler. There, it's out there. I turn on the TV, and sometimes this means I get to take a shower longer than 3 minutes (TV is in master bedroom, not my idea), or get work done on the computer! (But, I don't think you should show PG-13 movies to a 6-year-old. Ratings seem different from when we were kids, so a movie rated G now is what used to be PG.)
3. I've Lost Some Judgmental Friends
It's inevitable that you'll lose friends as you become a parent. You suddenly don't have time to call or text, or . . . anything. People who you used to call all the time are suddenly just gone because you aren't there to maintain the friendship. Others (whether moms or not) make judgements on what they think is going on in your life and on your parenting style, then decide you're too different. There are also friends who you try to share new parenting info with (because that's what you do in online mommy groups, and they're new parents) and one day they stop talking to you because it turns out they thought they were competing with you for best parent. A lot of crazy things happen when you become a mom, and losing friendships is not one you expect, but it can be the reality. These people clearly weren't good friends, but it can still be hurtful. I really dislike when people make assumptions about others and then go to extremes based on that instead of just talking with someone. The good news? I have mommy friends now who communicate clearly and are truly great friends.
4. I Don't Cook Every Day
I'm more of a baker. I really like to bake things. I've never made a crock pot meal, no matter how easy, and if making a sandwich or heating up an Evol meal isn't cooking then it's kinda rare I do it. I do try to offer my daughter healthy foods, I just don't want to cook a huge meal since it's only me and her most of the time (so it's basically a meal for one). When I am up for cooking, I realize I need to go grocery shopping, or that the food I bought at the store is already going bad because we don't eat through it fast enough. This doesn't mean we eat fast food. I don't give my daughter McDonald's or any of that stuff, but I really need to find a mommy group where we rotate cooking meals for the week so that I don't need to cook every day, and when I do I can cook enough for a lot of people.
5. I Buy the Kids Meal For Myself
Before having a child I'd often look at the kids meal longingly and know I couldn't order it. Now that I can show proof of a child, I can order the kids meal "for her" whenever I want at really nice eateries where I may not be able to eat a whole sandwich or burrito and simply share the kids meal with my daughter. Because so many places are ridiculous and offer soda with a kids meal (and I have yet to kick that habit), I get her a water and drink the soda. I love paying $5 for a meal instead of $12. There are exceptions, of course. I still buy an adult meal and then share that with her instead, like when we go to Panera Bread (she eats the entire bowl of soup all by herself).
6. About 99.8 Percent of My Life is Not Like Pinterest
It's either I'm spending the day super involved in outdoor fun and creative projects, or I'm trying to balance park play with pinning items, posting to Facebook, and managing to find a minute to write a post like this. Like a lot of mommy writers and bloggers, I burn the midnight oil for the most part, but I still don't see how they have time to post all these activities and Pinterest-worthy crafts every single day while living life. I'm going to try to add more of this to my life, but so far, I'm a Pinterest Fail.
If chasing the mess of toys my daughter has thrown all over the house is exercise I'm on it. Otherwise, it's been at least a few months since I did one 30-minute workout. This is exactly why I'm doing the Savvy Summer posts this Summer. I have my daughter all the time and live an hour away from family, who are already over-worked as my only form of "babysitter" since I don't have the emotional energy to hunt for people I actually trust to be alone with my child. When I try to workout at home, something else comes up, or my daughter manages to make it super difficult.
8. I Sneak Treats
Once the little one is asleep (or not looking) I get out my container of mint ice cream. Yum.
What are your secret mommy truths? Please share them in the comments!