Dirty little parenting secrets. We all have them. Most of the time we keep them quiet, trying to convince the other moms (and maybe ourselves) that we have this thing under control. We run a tight ship. I’m going to confess some of mine and admit that I do not always have this parenting gig in hand. I give you permission to be human, too.
- I throw out all the school papers. I know other parents that keep everything. But y’all, my kids are bringing home stacks of worksheets. Daily. I’m enough of a clutter-bug without trying to come up with a filing system for all these papers. My filing cabinet? The recycling bin. Sometimes, I don’t even check their grades first.
- I do a happy dance whenever my kids want to buy school lunch. I know it sounds silly, but having the 10 minutes I would normally spend packing lunches in the morning free to do something else? It feels magical.
- My son owns four pairs of jeans. Almost every Friday during the winter, I have to send him back upstairs to choose the least dirty pair from the hamper to wear again.
- I hate shoe shopping for my kids. Why? For starters, they always have an imaginary pair in their head that doesn’t exist. Or they want the shoes with wheels, lights, etc. But the worst part is, every time we buy new shoes, I realize they’ve been wearing a pair that are at least two sizes too small for months. The guilt is awful!
- I use my kids like little servants. “Will you bring me my cell phone from the kitchen?” “While you’re over there, can you grab Mommy’s laptop?” “Whose turn is it to go check the mailbox?” I mean, it’s not that bad, is it? I wash all their clothes, cook their meals, drive them to activities, help with homework…being Mommy’s helper now and then is the least they can do.
- Soccer practice = nap time. Don’t tell my husband, but this is the only reason I volunteer to take them. OK, not the only reason. Sometimes, I read magazines that I can’t seem to find time for otherwise.
- When my husband travels for work, I drop almost all pretense of preparing healthy meals for my family. In survival mode, my go-to dinners are tacos, spaghetti, hot dogs, popcorn shrimp, breakfast burritos, and pizza. Lots of pizza.
- I was relieved — like really, really relieved — when my daughter figured that I have a side gig as the Tooth Fairy. I was tired of making up excuses for why that good-for-nothing fairy never remembered to pick up the teeth!
- Aside from the aforementioned lunch packing on school days, I don’t make lunch. It’s survival of the fittest around here. If you want to eat, you’d better figure out how to feed yourselves. (My kids are 9 and 12, lest anyone think I’m starving children who are too young to fend for themselves.)
- I just realized two days ago that my Group Me profile pic, the one all the other soccer parents see, is not exactly….appropriate. It’s not scandalous — but definitely not a “good first impression” pic. I’m sure I uploaded it as a joke, and promptly forgot. Whoops!
The truth is, our kids love us more because we are human. These dirty little secrets make life more interesting.