… to our husbands.
“It was only like 10 bucks. I bought it big so he can wear it for a couple years. It took me 2 hours to clean the snow off my car. I did laundry all day long. She was asking for you today Daddy. Homemade soup honey? Sex? Sure thing, I would love that!”
Whatever the lie, don’t tell me you’re exempt. Maybe I shouldn’t say lie – after all, it’s a strong word with a negative undertone. What if I said that we stretch the truth? We say nothing at all? It’s for their own good! For our own good! Would we cop to it then? It’s not likely and shame on me for letting the cat out. The Mother Truth is that we do it because we think that they won’t otherwise understand…. understand how hard we work, understand how strange it is to be constantly performing but for no promotions… understand how much we need them to recognize our life’s work because this full-time job isn’t rewarded with a check. We bend the truth because the whole truth can sometimes never be adequately explained. At the end of the day, the last thing we want to do is argue. So when we say ‘we’ll tell him later’ that means never and it’s just better that way. Nothing good to say? Say nothing at all. What they don’t know won’t hurt them… a wife and mother had to have coined that one!
… to our kids.
Some of my latest work includes the following:
A stretch – “You have to wash your hair or else the bugs are gonna build a nest and bite your head.” A fib – “The park is closed for a really long time.” A full-on lie – “Barney goes to bed when it gets dark outside, Barney’s sleeping, Barney went to Alaska forever.” There are so many more variations in the vault!!!
We lie to our kids to teach reason for action. “I never tried that at your age or I would be dead.” To prevent bad behavior, we exaggerate consequences by lying of course. There are certain things with which we must give them the opportunity to negotiate but bed and baths are not among them, curfew or night driving, a new coat or that damn PlayStation. To get our children to cooperate, it often takes a good heartfelt lie. As long as the consequence isn’t harsh, there is no harm in a fib full of good intentions.
… so the message?
As long as there isn’t something more going on, like maxed out credit cards or boyfriends on the side, we do it out of pure, selfless, unconditional and squeaky clean love! I would really enjoy meeting that wife and mother who always tells the truth because she is a big-ass liar.