Mom friends are a godsend; a saving grace; a lifeboat when you're drowning in a sea of parenting responsibilities. They listen to you rant, make you feel like you're not alone, and maybe even help you realize that, no, you're not failing at motherhood after all. My mom friends have helped save my sanity on more than one occasion, but there are still things I don't tell my mom friends. Hey, we all have our secrets, right?
Look, I try to be open and honest and as transparent as possible. I truly believe that as women, and mothers in particular, we do a great service to those suffering in silence or feeling like they're failing if we share our stories. The expectations society places on mothers' shoulders are nothing if not cruel, unusual, and unrealistic, so if we can share the real moments of parenthood, we can essentially combat the idea that a mother must be "perfect" in order to succeed at parenting.
But there are some things I really and truly just want to keep to myself. Sometimes I don't want to mention that my kid hasn't had a bath in a while because I'm embarrassed, or because I don't know if my mom friend will relate, or sometimes I absolutely know she won't relate but I don't want to ruin a perfectly good play date by bringing up something we disagree on. I think that's the art to a good mom relationship: knowing when you should share some information and when you should keep your mouth shut. So, yeah, I'm going to continue to keep the following to myself. For now, at least.
That My Kids' Births Were Complicated
I don't always share with mom friends the details of my kids' births or how I became their mother via adoption. Both of my kids had health issues in utero or after birth that would probably change how someone would inevitably view my children. I never want that for them, so while I share some details about their birth moms, I don't share about the particulars of how they arrived in the world. I want my mom friends to view my kids as just regular kids, without any particular handicaps altering their view.
That My Kid Doesn't Take A Bath Every Night
I think baths become more optional the more kids you have and the more seasoned you become as a parent. Baths also become more optional the less American you are, it turns out. All my European friends only bath their kids every few days, and midwives in Ireland even recommend spacing out your children's bath times.
But sometimes I don't want my mom friends to know that my kid might be a little dirty around the edges. Toddlers aren't the cleanest of human beings, but OMG bathing them is no walk in the park. For me, at least, it's not always a battle worth fighting.
That I Have Reservations About Vaccinations
My kids are both fully vaccinated, but I have to consciously remind myself before every shot that science says vaccinations are safe for my kids. Somewhere along the way, all that anti-vaccination pseudo-science got into my head and placed a really annoying seed of doubt about something I know I need to do for my children.
I know that even mentioning vaccinations can open up a can of mommy war warms, so I try to stay away from the topic altogether.
That My Daughter Loves Cold Hot Dogs
It's sort of just crossing the line into really gross territory because, come on, it's a cold hot dog. Plus, I don't need to hear some judgmental comment about process foods which I, of course, swore I wouldn't feed my child. Now I do a happy dance if she managed to eat all the cut up, cold hot dogs I put on her plate.
At least they're turkey hot dogs, right?
That My Kid Sleeps 12 Hours A Night
I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about the fact that their child refuses to sleep. Plus, my daughter might sleep 12 hours at night, but I'm lucky if she manages a 45 minute nap during the day when I need to accomplish things.
Plus, every single one of us moms are tired, regardless of how little or how much our children sleep.
That Sometimes My Kid Drinks Juice
And guys, sometimes I don't even water it down. Yeah, that's just something I'm not comfortable sharing with my mom friends. I know their reaction is probably going to be one of absolute shock and horror and then they'll point to the nutritional information on the back of the box and talk about how much sugar is in one of those things. No thanks.
That My Kid Usually Goes To Bed With A Snack
I already feel guilty sending my daughter to bed sans freshly brushed teeth. So I really don't need someone to weigh in on the fact that, sometimes, getting her into bed needs the distraction only a cup of Cheerios can provide.
That Nearly Everything My Daughter Wears Is Second-Hand
When my mom friends mention new brands or a holiday sale, I sort of just nod and smile. Nearly everything my daughter wears is either a gift from my mom or sister, or second hand. I used to be judgmental about second hand clothes, but when my daughter was very small and my partner and I were very poor, I checked that judgment at the door. I'm just not sure everyone else has quite yet.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.