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Lies I Told Myself (New Mothers Take Notice)

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As a blogger for this site, I try to provide the perspective of a mother with older kids (the perspective of a smart-ass sometimes just slips out).

mom yelling at teen

Beth Falkenstein: It is from that vantage point of experience that I thought I would address any interested new mothers out there -- and share some lies I told myself when I first became a mother 14 years ago.

1) I told myself I will never yell.

Big lie. Around age 10, their hearing starts to go bad and they can't hear sounds spoken in a normal tone of voice. I'm told full auditory function is restored when they leave for college and have to call you for more money.

2) I told myself that if I ever criticize, it will be constructive.

When your child walks into the kitchen in the morning dressed for school wearing high tops, soccer socks, capri pants, and the T-shirt from her summer camp (the one with all the Sharpie autographs on it) and asks how she looks, there is no way to be constructive.

3) I told myself I will not compare my child to other children.

This one is almost impossible. The catch is not doing it out loud.

4) I told myself I will always make time for my child.

Aside from the times when I make them lunch, drive them to school, pick them up from school, drive them to dance classes, pick them up from dance classes, help them with homework, make them dinner, watch "Glee" with them, I confess that I am not very good in the quality time department. I blame this on the fact that my mother did not make playtime for me either, so I don't have an example to follow. Fortunately, their father is very childish and makes up for my shortcomings in that department.

5) I told myself I won't make the same mistakes my mother made.

See number 4, above.

6) I told myself I will only feed my children healthy food.

Actually, this wasn't a lie. I really did only feed them healthy food for a long time. Unfortunately, my children eventually figured out the "feed themselves" loophole, and the whole plan was shot to hell.

7) I told myself I will respect my children's decisions and opinions.

In my defense, this is the generation that made Britney Spears a star. Not every decision deserves respect. I can say this with impunity because I used to listen to disco.

8) I told myself I will keep a detailed journal of my children's early development.

I get half credit for this one. I kept a touching, detailed journal for my first child. I'm going to give a copy of it to my second child and tell her to just add three years.

9) I told myself I will respect my children's privacy and will never snoop.

Sorry to say, my curiosity has gotten the better of me at times. But I paid the price. Here is an exact transcript of one of my daughter's more revealing text threads: "Ssup?" "Bored" "Me 2" "Uggghhh!" "GTG" "IM l8tr?" "Mkay." It was painful to realize that I was paying an extra $5 per month to T-Mobile for that!

And finally:

10) I told myself I will be a perfect mother and my children will never have any reason to complain about me to their friends.

Sadly, this also turned out not to be true. But it's okay. My kids know I'm a nosy, critical yeller who loves them very much. And I'm sure they'll appreciate me for that some day.

At least that's what I tell myself.

next: Patrick Swayze's Widow to Break Her Silence
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Allison October 23, 2009, 11:30 AM

I’ve told myself self most, if not all, of these things too. And in the 19 months that I’ve been a mom, I’ve broken just about everyone.

ame i. October 23, 2009, 12:09 PM

I will admit to still listening to disco and playing it when my kids are in the car. The laughs I got while listening to Funky Town with them the first time. My 9 year old thought the lyric was “got a coupon”, my 11 yeear old still swears the singer said “talk about Cool Whip”. My daughters are funny!

ashley October 24, 2009, 7:11 AM

I swore that I would never buy my son a game system. Now he has a PS2, a Wii, and an original Nintendo (actually, that one is for me!) Terrible!!

Janet  October 24, 2009, 7:48 AM

I especially relate to #8 and have guilt about it. My first daughter got a detailed scrapbook. My second has a lovely velvet book of stashed photos. My son has a box of fading polaroids.

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