PARENTS

Shock, Horror! Mums Lie About What Good Parents They Are And Routinely Cut Corners

02/11/2012 13:29 | Updated 22 May 2015
Shock, horror! Mums lie about how good they are at parentingRex

The next time another mum tells you what a brilliant job they're doing, look them squarely in the eye and say: "You're a big, fat fibber!" (Though perhaps without the 'big' and 'fat' bit).

For a new survey reveals what we all know and rarely share: that mothers routinely lie to make the world think they have the parenting skills of Super Nanny.

Parenting website Babycentre spoke to 1,000 mums for its Secret Life of Mum survey and found that 53 per cent of women feel so much pressure to be perfect that they resort to porkies.

Thankfully, the survey didn't talk to housedads or I could have told them that this morning alone I've taught my three perfect children to play the violin while they helped me clean the house and unload the dishwasher and washing machine, all in perfectly polite silence. Then they gave me a massage with a nice cup of tea.

I definitely DIDN'T stick my half-term horrors in front of the telly and/or computer and scream at them from the top of the stairs to 'STOP WRECKING THE LIVING ROOM, YOU LITTLE MONSTERS' because we don't do TV or shouting in our family. Ahem, but I digress.

The new research showed that it's not just with other parents that mums feel the need to put a positive spin on things.

One in three mums (32 per cent) confessed to not being truthful when talking to their midwife or health visitor, and nearly three quarters of mums (71 per cent) admitted to lying to their child to make their day easier.

Sasha Miller, International Managing Editor for BabyCentre, said: "The Secret Life of Mum survey holds a mirror up to hectic family life and reflects the shortcuts most parents take, but few want to talk about.

"Using the TV to keep kids quiet? Nine out of 10 mums do this. Replacing the bedtime story with a TV show? One third of mums say they've done this. Chocolate and sweets for their dinner? This happens in a fifth of families every once in a while.

"Parenting is a tough job. We all struggle from time to time. I don't think mums should ever feel bad about admitting to cutting corners.

"What I find really interesting is how mums tell us that they try to keep up appearances with parents they meet in the real world but online there is nothing they won't share.

"In our community mums are always confessing to less-than-perfect mummy moments. And they find that when they do, they get a chorus of other mums saying: 'Oh yes, I've done that too!'

"You can be anonymous in the online world so it's easier to be honest and it makes you feel so much better to find out that you're not alone."

The survey also found that two fifths of mums have felt dislike for their child. The same number of respondents said that they have compared one child unfavourably to another, and amongst working mums, three quarters admitted to feeling relieved to go back to work on a Monday morning.

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