liar liar

Parenting brings out the best and the worst in us. It either reinforces things that you always knew about yourself, or brings to surface that that you wished would stay well hidden.

In my case, being a mother has turned me in to a big, fat liar.

More and more I find myself lying to avoid looks of censure, pity and shock.

Exhibit A

Last month, a friend and I took a much needed break from our spouses and children and spent the weekend with another friend in a delightful town up North. It was wonderful. To wake up, not because there was a toddler poking me in the eye and simultaneously using my head as a trampoline, but because I wanted to. To drink hot coffee in peace without having to sing ‘The wheels on the bus’ on infinite loop. To not be a mother for forty eight hours. In short it was bliss. On returning home, I was asked by one and all if I had missed my son when I was away from him. I had to lie. And say yes. (So mom, husband, sister, friends if you’re reading this I didn’t miss him. Not one bit.) But when faced with the question I felt I couldn’t admit to the truth. It made me seem like a terrible mother. An uncaring woman who had upped and left her son, and then not regretted it one bit. It was the truth, but I didn’t want anyone else knowing that.

Fast forward to last week, when I spied an acquaintance of mine outside a local day care centre, tears in her eyes. Worried, I stopped and asked her if everything was alright. She sobbed that she had left her son for his first day care session and that she felt awful, guilty and terrible. She then trained her panda eyes on me and asked if I had felt this way when I left my son on his first day of nursery too. Without giving it a second thought, I nodded vigourously and said yes, my heart had broken in to a thousand pieces. When the truth was, I deposited him in the arms of his key worker and hot footed it out of there, desperate for my first few hours of peace and quiet in months. Veracity be damned.

I find that lying has become easier with time. Second nature almost. I can sympathise, cluck and coo with the best of them. I can wax lyrical about the joys of the toddler years, potty training and Baby Einstein. I can sigh good naturedly at my sons antics when in fact I would like to do nothing more than hit the pause button and render him still for a few minutes.

I wonder why I do this . I suppose it’s because if I tell the truth, I will feel the need to prefix my admissions with “I love my son but…” And I do not want to do that. Somehow it is easier to lie than to tell the truth and feel the need to justify myself.

But every now and then I wonder what would happen if I admitted to the fact that I despise toddler groups and Gymboree. That I can’t wait for my son to start full time school. And that no, I don’t feel sorry for him when he wakes up crying in the night, I feel sorry for myself thank you very much. I suppose I just have. May the repercussions begin.

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12 thoughts on “liar liar

  1. Delurking…have been reading your blog for a long time now.
    Thank you, for a long time I felt I don’t have any motherly feelings (jadam) because I very happily dropped my son at school on the first day, I don’t have the “aaw” feelings generally moms have, I am currently waiting for my second kid to turn 2 1/2 so that I can send him to pre-school.
    Its nice to know there someone out there like me.

  2. “Somehow it is easier to lie than to tell the truth and feel the need to justify myself.”

    Sadly, that applies to more than just parenting. Lie, wear a mask, fake a smile, pretend to march to the same beat as the others, do just about anything, but don’t tell the truth… because the world is full of judgmental morons.

    Sigh.

  3. When we left our little fellow with his grandparents and headed off for a weekend away, it was with a tra-la on our lips. He didn’t miss us while we were away, and promptly fell ill when we got back. Revenge is a dish best served cold is a lesson he’s learnt well…

    Parenthood for me is about missing the kid when he’s not around and constantly yelling when he is. Heh.

  4. I am a new mom and i couldnt agree with you more!! i look forward to my time away from my son, doesnt mean i dont love him , just that i too need a break in life!!

  5. I HAVE to comment on this!!! My fav topic. Atleast you learnt to lie and realized that it is the easy way out.

    I did the unthinkable several moons ago when my son was 18 months and I packed him off with my mum for a few months(!!!) because I was juggling both a demanding job and a graduate program. All I got from peer parents is censure, sympathy and pitying looks. I found myself saying that while I looked fwd to him gurgling on the phone I didn’t miss him one bit. I had no time to…. so delighted was I to be able to attend class without falling asleep as soon as I sat down and work when I needed to without waking up to soothe him or rock him!!! whew! big mistake. I had to retreat hastily from the social scene(the little we had) because the glares became blinding thereon…

    Sorry! long comment but I had to…

  6. One of the biggest advantages of the blogworld: the discovery that you are not alone!
    As a much older mom, let me tell you that I’m very happy to not have any of my kids permanently residing at home now. The youngest comes home most weekends, which is great, but more than that might be rough on all concerned!

  7. First time here.

    I just HAVE to comment on it. I used to think that Im not a GOOD MOMMY for actually getting relieved at leaving the son to MIL to go work full time but i can see im not alone. 🙂

  8. Hi Menaka
    Delurking for the first time in this space but I have been reading your blog for a while now. Your words made me feel so much better that there is someone else like me out there. I am a mom to 7 month old twins and I also work part time. I relish the time away from them and truth be told, I dont miss them at all when I’m away. When I was pregnant, everybody said that I would ‘love them at first sight’ and all that bull but what I have realised is that loving these two people who turned my whole world upside down in a span of 9 months is going to be a long process. I am, if anything, only just learning to love.
    Thanks for sharing and providing such a refreshingly honest view on a hot potato issue like this one.

  9. You stole my words. I am glad I am not alone!

    I mean, I felt a litte bad for my baby when I left her at daycare but I was also like…ADULT TIME!!!!! Me and my spouse also went for our first movie in 18 months after depositing the fruits of my labor at daycare. No guilt.

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