“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ~Philo of Alexandria
The Truth Box is back, but this week it’s all about parenting, and we had two new questions in place of the usual ones.
In a brand new questionnaire, I asked you all to anonymously share a difficult parenting secret that you’ve never told anyone. There were only two sections to fill out on the form. “The embarrassing thing I did as a parent,” and “why I’ve never told anyone.” Lots of parenting secrets were shared. I will begin swapping out some of the usual Truth Box Thursday posts with these ones. Here they are… Completely random and exactly as they came in.
As a side note, these truths aren’t really meant to entertain. They aren’t meant to bring us down, either. They’re just an incredible and poignant (though sometimes heavy) reminder that we all are fighting our own great battles. Including, and sometimes especially, as parents.
Oh #28... don't be soo hard on yourself. That is hilarious! I have road rage too, thankfully my kids don't really pay attention but if I don't stop my 3 year old will probably be saying "stupid uckin astard" in no time. He already says "damn it" when he drops something or if he falls and gets hurt. I know it's bad but if that's the worst thing he ever does I know i'm doing alright.
Some of these made me LOL. I have been a single mom since I was 15. Thankfully today I have two happy, healthy, intelligent, well-adjusted children. However, there were times...
Most parents have done some variation of most of these, especially single parents or if you're spouse is deployed or away for work a lot. It's normal, it's natural, it's funny when they're older. However, I will say to the few who were physical with their kids (and I don't mean spanking), talk to someone. There are people out there who will help you learn to deal better with parenting issues. Violence against children is not ok.
These posts make me wonder if I just don't have the good sense to be ashamed, but really? Your lingering shame is because you went pee while you were breastfeeding? Done it - sometimes 2 things have to happen at the same time, and you are pretty much required to take care of both. I don't think it is child abuse or neglect to leave your child, sleeping or in a safe place, for 5 minutes while you to run to the bus stop. Done it, and I don't even feel ashamed. I leave my kids in the car while I pay for gas, if I can see them. Sometimes they are wide awake. I just tell them, "I'm going to be right there, through that door. Watch me and I'll wave to you". This is neglect? Maybe I'm so incompetent that I don't even have the skills to recognize my inferiority, and if so, ignorance is bliss, right? I'd say if these things are the secrets you keep, you are probably doing all right...
#36....I have done that numerous times. Stop beating yourself up! You are feeding your child. You go girl!
#38....YAY!! You helped a hungry baby! & you did it in one of the best ways possible.
Be proud ladies!
How on earth can a parent NOT STOP THEIR CHILD FROM THROWING KITTENS OUT OF A SECOND STORY WINDOW???? How?? Is the child little Hercules or something?? Are you not stronger than the child? I'm horrified. And the answer is NO, the cats didn't land on their feet-THEY BROKE THEIR FRIGGING LEGS. Have your child evaluated, because tormenting animals is the first step before they move on to humans.
Please have your child thoroughly check out by a doctor. My brother wet the bed. My mother and aunt decided he was just lazy, and devised all types of punishments for him. My Brother woke up screaming one night. He was so desperate to not be punished for wetting the bed (he was 8 at the time) that he put a rubber band around his penis. It was horrible. Finally when he was 11, my mother took him to a urologist. They found out my brother was born with only one kidney. When it would empty into his bladder at night, it would be such a large volume that he couldn't hold it. A simple surgery to tighten the muscle in the bladder was all it took...I still feel incredibly sad when I think about what he went through.
Have any of you seen the confessions on http://www.scarymommy.com/
I think what makes me the saddest about all of this is how much pressure we put on ourselves and each other to be THE #1 best parent ever from the moment our child is conceived. And that's impossible. I only have 1 child (a teenager no less) and all I do is hope to not repeat my same mistakes with her over and over. If I can say that I am a better parent today, even by a minuscule amount, than I was on this date last year, then I am a good parent.
Hang in there!
#27, Im in a similar situation, & I feel EXACTLY like you do! My daughter is now 20mo, she goes to bed when she feels like it, we have tried everything but still cant get her down before 2am! some nights shes up till 5 am. its killing us. I am so sick of hearing everyone give us "advice" & trying to "help" us, we've tried everything we've bought the books & tried the routines. she is so stubborn & fights everything so I have given up. my husband & I take turns staying up with her. Its easier to lie about it than to have to hear everyones opinions on the subject..
After I read the one about having a favorite child I was like "I KNEW IT!!!!" some moms DO have favorites! my mom has always favored her middle child, my sister. I always knew it & felt resentment about it. growing up she got away with everything & the rules were always different for her, she never got punished either & my mom always took her out to lunch like almost daily. I still have feelings of resentment and hatred about it. I hope to god you can cover it up bc its really sad. a mother should love all of her kids equally but i know for a fact your not the only one who has a favorite.
I feel really, really sad for these parents. I have parented many times out of frustration, and while it is not the ideal way to parent, it's also not abnormal or uncommon. Not that that makes it okay, but if we could all just be honest and stop being so judgey, maybe so many of us would not be parenting out of frustration. If we were actually honest with other people about who our kids really are and stop all the competitive parenting, we could all relax and parent out of love and not out of fear that our kids aren't as good as other kids, or that no other kids pee on the floor or have tantrums or whatever else si going on. This illusion that all the other kids are perfect is just damaging all around. So, good on those parents who came clean here and may all the rest of us be supportive and loving as fellow parents and stop acting like we never do anything wrong.
I have no problems with people providing breastmilk for other peoples infants, kudos to you. I agree that breastmilk is best. I have a problem with the insensitive put down of women who have tried and have been unsuccessful in their attempts to breastfeed. NOT HELPFUL! Most feel enough guilt without others heaping it upon them.
Yes, I'll be sure to look up some quack's theory about how I screwed up my child for life. Thanks for that. Of course, none of the parenting decisions I've made since then will have any real lasting effect. Because children are computers who can be fed a program, and once that's set, nothing ever changes.
Recognizing abuse and coming up with an appropriate response to it are two very different things. Not calling these people names and suggesting their kids be snatched away (seriously, do you know ANYTHING about state care?) doesn't mean that we don't think it's abusive behavior. It means we think they need help, and know they're a lot more likely to get it if they know they're not the only ones who've ever made mistakes.
Not brave... Just gotten past caring what judgmental people think of me because I have the benefit of supportive, caring people in my life now who encourage me. And, I should also mention, who are not afraid to call me out on it when I do make mistakes. They've earned that right by sticking by my side through the hard times. If more of us had those kinds of connections, there would be fewer stories like these.
I say this with much experience and an open mind... If you are in danger of "getting caught", perhaps you need to be caught... for the child's sake.
Just curious as to why ill treatment of a tiny human is justifiable ever? They are also human, after all.
A lot of these confessions ARE scary. But they're all taking a step toward personally admitting their behaviors and, furthermore, giving thought beyond that. This could be a very promising, therapeutic step for some of these parents. There's a decent chance that they will improve their decisions and/or get help to. We are our own worst judge.
#36...peeing while breast feeding. There is no shame in this, IMO. I've done it countless times and I'm a germ freak. Since having kids I can do tons of things w one hand tied behind my back! :) #37...when my daughter asks for more sweets I ask her if she wants to turn into a sweet. She says, "Noooo!! Cuz then someone will eat me!" So, I tell her it's not a good idea or she'll turn into one. Works every time. -Though I'm not sure I'd go as far as this parent and use scary stories to get them to cooperate. That can have pretty bad long term effects.
Yes, if a child came to my house because "mommy" left them alone to party. Yes, I'd call CPS. And that's NOT being thrown around lightly!
I agree. CPS is NOT the helpful agency it's put out to be! Getting them involved in extreme abuse cases is a given but throwing it around in conversation or threatening someone you don't even know is very arrogant. God forbid YOU are ever on the receiving end of that agency...
Good for you Mary! I had a parenting mentor when I first found out I was pregnant. My parents didn't really teach me how to parent so I found someone who would when I discovered I was about to be a mom :)
Thank you Starla. Keep in mind though - we don't know if these parents did or not. Maybe the only person they've ever told is their therapist. I got help but I still feel guilty and it's still hard to admit it.
#15 breaks my heart. I can identify with that mama. I still sleep w 2 of my kids and any of them when they're sick just so I know I'm as close as possible to protect them.
This was the only one that really challenged my open-minded, non-judgmental attitude. I won't call that abuse unless it happens on a regular basis but it's definitely a serious lack in judgment. And I hope this parent wakes up to her alcohol dependence, gets to AA, or a substance abuse counselor before she gets caught and loses her kid.
And of course I feel bad about my own fails as well, who doesn't? This doesn't have to be a feel good thing, a learning thing, YES!
I don't see how expressing concern about some of these situations is attacking anyone. Even the parents who wrote the confession feel sick about them, which is why they've kept it secret. I'm not going to feel like a bad person for being just as disturbed by what happened as the parent who confessed.
2 weeks without a bath?! Leaving your kid home alone after he/she is in bed to go to the bar?! Put your child's hand in his own urine and place it in his face because he has bad aim in the bathroom?! What boy/man doesn't?! I could go on and on. We all get frustrated, make bad decisions even, but seriously?! I can't imagine the guilt some of you have to live with. Am I perfect? NO. Do I always have my children's best interest in mind, even when I am angry? YES.
Good Lord. This is exactly why people who need help don't seek it. Get a grip. I am not condoning abuse or neglect, but I'm also not going to attack people for being honest about their behavior
http://www.youtube.com/user/rascalflattsofficial Just gonna leave this here. Dan, thanks for being a voice that brings this stuff out into the light, because shame and guilt and more hiding just isn't going to fix a damn thing. No matter what hateful, judgmental people say, you're doing a good thing by opening up this kind of discussion. We don't have to like or condone the Truths for them to be truth. We don't have to accept them or think it's ok that they happened. But a response like yours- that we make mistakes and that we can learn and move forward, is going to have a heck of a lot more powerful impact than stones thrown in self-righteous anger. We didn't all come out of perfect homes. Some of us learned dysfunctional behaviors, or didn't learn how to raise kids AT ALL. Kids don't come with a manual. Hell, with 1 in 3 girls sexually abused before they're 18, and 1 in 4 boys, it's a wonder ANY of us are semi-normal, let alone able to take on responsibility for a helpless, demanding little life. Guys like you, who aren't afraid to face the ugly side of parenting, along with the funny and goofy sides, help those of us who have struggled along our journey to get up and keep going, and to learn to do things better. Kudos, and thank you, on behalf of us broken parents, who are trying to raise kids who can change the patterns.
THANK YOU!! My goodness, why don't people get this? Disapproving and labeling someone an abuser is doing nothing to change any of these situations. I was an abuser. I learned how not to abuse. but it certainly wasn't by being berated, belittled, scolded, scorned, and disapproved of by others that got me there.
If NOT putting my kid in the garbage can/slapping my child/abandoning my child to go get drunk makes me a perfect parent then I suppose I am. Of course we all make mistakes, but GOOD parents don't commit crimes against their kids. More rationalizing of child abuse, I see? Disgusting.
Okay seriously, all but one or two of these is pretty light weight. I dont know any parent who has not made mistakes or lost their temper or done something that others might look down on. really people need to get off their high horse.
congratulations! you are the 1st perfect parent and person I have ever met. Prior to giving you your award, however, I must talk privately with your children to find out just how perfect you really were. And while we're at it, I'll be accepting bets that you weren't. That's a mighty high horse you're riding around on.
Tiffany , it is exactly THAT sort of ignorant rationality that gets children killed. Is it ok for me to kick my child in the stomach if its only the one time and she reeeeeeally had it coming? Shame.
That's exactly the point of what Dan is saying- if these people have some support and encouragement- NOT condoning the behavior they're obviously ashamed of, but encouragement to get the help and support they need, things WILL be better for the kids. I know I'm a better parent because of the classes and counseling I had when my daughter was a toddler.
A social worker friend of mine once told me the parents in the court ordered classes who were approached with compassion, tolerance, and empathy were the ones who would open up, and throw themselves into learning how to be a good parent. The ones with a judgmental, holier than thou instructor shaming them were the ones who didn't come back- until the next incident. Just sayin'.
Another posting fail. Some of these things aren't "embarrassing" - they're down right dangerous and disturbing. The parents are obviously feeling very guilty. These are terrible secrets about terrible things - far beyond embarrassment. Sheesh.
While I see what your saying, those that posted their truths have a voice. Who is the voice for the children in the situation? I don't want to put anyone down for what they have done, and I wouldn't. But at the same time aren't we supposed to all be advocates for those without a voice? I think that may be why so many are finding it hard to hold their tongues. IDK
Wow some of these made my heart hurt. Not just for those poor babies but for the parents as well. Some of these people may have some underlying issues we may never know and grateful of not knowing. What happened in some pasts that made them think some of these behaviors are ok....I will say the guilt displayed shows remorse and knowing of wrongdoings, it still makes my heart hurt though, no judgement just reading the facts provided by these parents.
I find it unfortunate and a little disappointing that so many of your readers have been so judgmental. As parents, they should understand that parenting has its ups and downs and some are better than others at it. And even more so, they should understand that at the worst of times, bad decisions can be made, and rather than judging those who make them for those decisions, they should be offering ways of helping those parents. When someone posts something like some of the posts in this blog today, it is a cry for help. It isn't an invitation for people to belittle them, threaten to call the authorities, or other various threats. It is someone... who knows they need help, reaching out for that help. And I am rather disappointed that so many of your readers would be so judgmental and self righteous as many of those have come across today. If that wasn't their intentions, then I apologize, but if it was, then I can honestly say, as a reader for a long time now, I am disappointed in many of my fellow readers.
Wow, a few of those are really child endangerment. I hope they learned a lesson, but a few didn't seem they did. Sad for the kids...
@sharon hammill, exactly, we deal with things in the best way possible. I have done similar, but i had a bigger house. @those that are perfect enough to condemn, None of us is perfect, but frankly, scaring these people that are searching for help for something they consider awful, is NOT going to help them, only force them into hiding and possibly leave their children open to emotional trauma even further. THAT is abusive too.
I'll be honest, I was that mom who freaked out on her colicky baby and took a long walk...in the rain...at midnight...in my pajamas...and then called my doctor the next day and got some help.