I don’t pause and consider whether or not I should tell the truth, because I’ve been down that road before. It’s a dead end. I lie freely and deliberately, getting us in and out of the doctor’s office before any of my three children lick one of the communal toys riddled with unknown diseases.
I lie about my kids’ eating habits. I lie about their sleep schedules. I lie about dosing them with those stupid vitamin D drops they were all supposed to take as newborns. I lie about how much TV they watch every day.
I know what their pediatrician wants to hear, so I give him the straight-A answers he’s looking for. I go down the list looking like a goddamn supermum.
I wanted so badly for him to be normal by these arbitrary standards that I bent over backwards to make him fit the definition of what a child his age “should” be.
Trust me, after three kids, I know the script by heart.
I don’t lie to look like a rockstar mum. I couldn't care less about what my kids’ pediatrician thinks of me personally. The truth is, I don't have time for a lecture from my pediatrician about how I shouldn't be co-sleeping or how my kids need to eat more balanced meals. After three kids, I feel informed and confident in the decisions I make as a mother, and going by-the-book isn't something I'm going to fret over at this stage in my life.
When my first child was born, I was constantly looking to his pediatrician for validation that I was doing everything right. I wanted him to hit all his marks perfectly and wanted my mothering record to be spotless. I worried if he made the slightest shift outside the guidelines set forth by his pediatrician. I wanted so badly for him to be normal by these arbitrary standards that I bent over backwards to make him fit the definition of what a child his age “should” be.
I threw out the Baby Einstein DVDs my mother secured for me at a garage sale and only bought developmentally appropriate toys. I talked and sang to him until I felt like a crazy person. I dutifully put him back in his blanket-less crib after each late night feeding — only to wake him and deal with hours of subsequent wailing. I forced rice cereal and homemade baby food on him until I was in tears over how little he ate as he remained in the tenth percentile.
I spent the better part of two years a frazzled mess over things that ultimately didn’t matter.
Watch the Mamamia team confess what they do when the kids go to bed. Post continues after video.