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Pulled from the Truth Box – PARENTING SECRETS EDITION

Truth Box

“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.

Pulled from the Truth Box: Week 20
PARENTING EDITION

1
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
My kids were watching TV in my room. I went to the kitchen to prep dinner. I came back to my room they were massaging themselves with my, um…err..massagers.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I did not feel the need for EVERYONE to know that my kids stumbled upon my “toy box” & then proceeded to massage each other’s backs.
2
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
My son and I both pretend that he doesn’t know I smoke.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I teach him every day that lying and sneaking are HORRIBLE, but every night I do the opposite.
3
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I numb my brain with alcohol every night after my son goes to bed.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
Pure terror that my ex will take my heart (son) away from me. I am a good mom. I just drown my hard life with alcohol. Never in front of him. I live with the guit every day.
4
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I left my 3 month old and 2 year old kids past pickup time with the home daycare woman because I had too many drinks at dinner and lost track of time.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I did tell my husband. But I never want my kids to know i did that (they’re now 18 & 20).
5
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I say the F-word a lot around my kids. I hate myself for it.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
‘Cause I don’t want them to think I am a fucking horrible parent.
6
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
When my fifth child was born, I was leaving the hospital and had strapped him into his car seat. I went to grab a bag and his seat flipped off the bed.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I had 5 kids!!! By then I should have known not to put a baby in his car seat on the bed.
7
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I gave up on my oldest son (after years of trying to get help) who was abusive like his father and self medicated with all kinds of drugs and got arrested.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I felt like I was being lazy or incompetent. It also turns out I don’t love him the way a mother is supposed to.
8
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I boiled water one morning to make oatmeal for breakfast. Found a boiled spider in it but scooped the spider out and used the water anyway.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
Good mothers don’t use boiled spider water to make food for their children.
9
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
My daughter was not yet walking and I had her in one of those old fashioned walkers on wheels. The baby gate was not up at the top of the stairs. She went all the way down.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
They told me, they warned me, how could I ever admit I was that careless. She was absolutely fine thank God in Heaven!
10
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I’ve lost control of my temper and hurt my son more than once, even when he was a baby.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
I’m afraid he would get taken away. And I really love him, even though he does everything possible to push my buttons all the time.
11
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I encouraged my son when he was being bullied to just “knock that kid on his @ss!” if he touches you.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
Because I encouraged my son to hit another child. I feel justified in that the other kid started it, but still…
12
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I’ve left my baby in the car when I went inside the gas station. It was at the butt crack of dawn and she was fast asleep so no way did I want to wake her up to carry her inside.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
Everyone would look down on me for leaving my kid in the car.
13
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I put my daughter in a metal garbage can and sat on the lid for 5 minutes.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
She dropped kittens from the 2nd floor window to see if they landed on their feet. I asked her if she wanted me to drop HER from the window. I couldn’t make her stop.
14
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I lashed out at my 4 year old. I screamed, I name called an I slammed his door. I made him cry and he was down right scared of me.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
He doesn’t deserve a mother like that. That woman was my mother in true form, minus the physical. I resent her for her temper an abuse. I’m ashamed for how I reacted.
15
The embarrassing thing I did as a parent:
I’d set up pyramids of glasses at the foot of each entrance to the house, and sleep on my children’s bedroom floor with my body blocking their door, and all phones within reach.
Why I’ve never told anyone:
As a single mom, you always say “I can do this alone, no sweat”. Hard to admit that being the sole protector of my little children is something I’m not always confident about.
485 comments
Crystal Rivers
Crystal Rivers

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.

Emberlee
Emberlee

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.

chasinamie
chasinamie

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...

Nikki13690
Nikki13690

#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!

Mermaid85
Mermaid85

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.

cheryl1956
cheryl1956

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.

JCShannon
JCShannon

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! 

Kate11
Kate11

#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.

BetsieEikenberry
BetsieEikenberry

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.

CarrieAnneGrover
CarrieAnneGrover

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.

Mary Schneider
Mary Schneider

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.

Mary Schneider
Mary Schneider

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.

Mary Schneider
Mary Schneider

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.

Janine Emke
Janine Emke

You are incredibly brave for being so open without the benefit of being anonymous.

Mandy Tarver Horner
Mandy Tarver Horner

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.

Mandy Tarver Horner
Mandy Tarver Horner

Just curious as to why ill treatment of a tiny human is justifiable ever? They are also human, after all.

Erin Appel
Erin Appel

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.

Erin Appel
Erin Appel

#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.

Shaena Michelle Karm
Shaena Michelle Karm

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!

Starla Keller McGaha
Starla Keller McGaha

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...

Rebekah Freday
Rebekah Freday

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 :)

Ashley Renz
Ashley Renz

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.

Erin Appel
Erin Appel

#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.

Starla Keller McGaha
Starla Keller McGaha

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.

Jill Snyder Zelizer
Jill Snyder Zelizer

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!

Jill Snyder Zelizer
Jill Snyder Zelizer

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.

Rachel Boe
Rachel Boe

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.

Jessica Savoie
Jessica Savoie

Mary Schneider said it just right. I concure !! Thanks Dan.

Tiffany E. Altman
Tiffany E. Altman

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

Mary Schneider
Mary Schneider

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.

Christy Hicks
Christy Hicks

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.

Ashley-Michelle Carrowan
Ashley-Michelle Carrowan

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.

Misty Turner
Misty Turner

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.

Christy Hicks
Christy Hicks

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.

Ashley-Michelle Carrowan
Ashley-Michelle Carrowan

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.

Mary Schneider
Mary Schneider

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.

Chris Brightmoon
Chris Brightmoon

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'.

Russell Hires
Russell Hires

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.

Shannon Panyko
Shannon Panyko

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

Bianca Morales Horton
Bianca Morales Horton

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.

Sarah Doppelmayr
Sarah Doppelmayr

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.

Claire Adams
Claire Adams

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...

Miranda Ribbing Lundy
Miranda Ribbing Lundy

@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.

Ashley Renz
Ashley Renz

And if anyone thinks I'm a bad parent for that then screw y'all. :)

Ashley Renz
Ashley Renz

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.