Monday, January 30, 2012

Liars Across the pond...

This pic has nothing to do with post, I just like it!
When someone asks me how the kids are, I always tell the truth. I always say, well my son never sleeps or my daughter lies in the floor screaming every time I ask her to put on her hat. I tell those who ask all about my sleepless nights, endless worries and how I am dangling sleep-deprived from the end of my rope.

And if this person is a parent, most of the time I get "Oh poor you, my son always sleeps," or my daughter "eats everything" and then the look of judgement...The look those Holy-than-thou parents give with a verbal pat on the head - it will be Ok, hang in there.

And then I walk away, head down feeling like the most screwed up parent in the world, who must be doing everything wrong since so-and-so sleeps 14 hours a night and eats a pound of spinach a day.

But last Friday, I was set free! I learned a little secret that has literally changed my life over the weekend: Parents over here often LIE! They don't always tell the truth, or maybe not the entire truth. I had no idea! I thought all parents liked to commiserate with another. I thought we were a club! Well, thanks to the daycare teachers, I know better now: the club is a LIE.

I guess I was looking a bit shabbier than usual when I picked my daughter up on Friday because the teacher asked if I was OK. No I said, I am not OK. My son has serious sleeping problems, blah, blah and I have done everything, even went to the psychologist blah, blah, nothing works. I am dangling.

She put her hand on my arm and asked, what bothers you the most about your son wanting to sleep with you? Is it because of what other people say? Oh my God, I was shocked. What a question! But it didn't take more than a few seconds before I got diarrhea of the mouth and spewed how all other kids are perfectly fine to sleep alone, its just my son, blah, blah and according to so-an-so he should be doing this and according to so-and-so he should be doing that. Yes, I listened to what other parents said, I believed them.

She looked me straight in the eye and said, They are all lying. All kids have problems and over here most parents just lie about them. What liberation! Then she went on to give me examples and how she did her master thesis on children and sleeping and how even her psychologist friends let their kids climb in bed with them, ect.

It took a few seconds for me to choke back the tears of joy. I was not a failure. My kids have problems but so did everyone. I would never compare my kids to anyone else's kids, but I didn't stop to think I shouldn't compare myself, my methods, or techniques to other parents. The daycare angel went on to say how well adjusted my son was and it was normal to have these feelings and I should just give him what he needs. And if this means snuggling with him in bed every night, screw the critics!

I am sure parents in America lie too, but I know the culture and I don't think I would be so naive if I were at home. So the next time, a fellow parent asks me how my kids are doing, I will say to them "Probably the same as your kids...full of problems!"  HAAAA

6 comments:

  1. Hi there...this post cracked me up! My friend and I were just talking about how mothers never tell the truth! Anyway, I'm a friend of Allison Jesseph's from Asheville, but also live in Nederland w/my Dutch husband. She gave me your blog adress a while back and I've just rediscovered it:). You're pretty funny!

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    1. Thanks so much for checking it out! Finding the humor in the crazy things that happen while living here keeps me from being so homesick missing my family and friends, especially Allison : )

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  2. I was so relieved to read this! I get so many looks when I am out with my (very dramatic and prone to melt-downs) daughter that I've wondered if I was doing everything wrong and all of these people had quiet and constantly well-behaved children. I never get an empathetic - "Oh yes, 3 year olds!" I always get these looks as though people think I must be beating my child at home. Maybe the looks aren't as full of judgement as I have been perceiving them...

    Thank you for your writing! I love your blog!

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    1. Hey Amy! My world has changed since I had this realization. When my kids have melt downs now, I no longer worry about those starring other mommies, I just stare right back! Thanks for checking out my blog : )

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  3. Ohhh I enjoyed reading your blog! I can really empathize with you. We had family and well meaning friends of my husband commenting on our co-sleeping habits. We just kept to our firm beliefs on what we wanted for our kids.I also despise the glaring eyes we get when they see us out with the children way past 8pm! it's just crazy how they think that being quiet and calm means they have the perfect kids. Same goes for their thinking about education, the average the better!

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    1. Thanks Lana! You cant imagine how many times ive had to bite my tongue.

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