I read Tobin’s spectacular article, My Son Is a Gifted Program Reject, and I’m OK With That on Scary Mommy and loved it. I found more of Tobin’s work on his blog and soon discovered he’s not only wicked funny, I also found his perspective on parenting to be refreshing and insightful. From tackling difficult topics to the logistics of adoption to toddlers dropping f bombs, Tobin shares it all with good humor and kindness.
I’m thrilled to share this collaborative post Tobin and I created together. Do yourself a favor and follow Tobin and his beautiful family via the links at the bottom of this post!
There are no supermoms. Do-it-all dads don’t exist, either. Sure, we smile at the pick-up line – hiding the tired bags under our eyes and fighting the urge to uncork the Pinot at an earlier-than-socially-acceptable hour. The truth is that parents are fantastic liars. We have Ph.D.’s in painting lipstick on the pig of struggle.
Tobin Walsh of The Good-Bad Dad and I can prove it.
Your mom’s a liar.
I understand how you might think moms are flawless super humans. But, alas, we are not without fault. Frankly, starting a sentence with “I don’t know” should have been a dead giveaway as we obviously know everything. Fellow moms, forgive me, as I reveal five half-truths, omissions and flat-out lies that have escaped my lips.
Your dad is full of it.
The deception doesn’t stop with moms. I’m guilty and so are my fellow dads. From the outside looking in, dads are the perfect combination of macho and sensitive, attentive and firm, and masters of the art of work-life balance.
We’ll try hard at misdirection. Outwardly, we love to be spending Saturday doing nothing more than hanging out with the family. Inwardly, we regret that “sleeping in” now refers to snoozing until 8 a.m. None of us miss our golf clubs or a chance to watch a football game without interruption, in its entirety.
But, let me tell you – we’re lying.
Dads lie to feel better, to hide insecurity and keep up with the other fake, do-it-all dads that waive at us joyfully at soccer practice.
If you’ve heard a dad say the five lies below, please don’t judge – the deception provides us a frat-boy bond our middle-aged selves miss.
“I don’t know how we go through so many fruit snacks.”
It’s me. My four-year-old’s worst nightmare is a reality—while he’s napping soundly in his bed, I’m noshing on his fruit snacks and desperately hiding the wrappers that reveal my guilt. Those little sugary nuggets have no nutritional value and are absolutely delicious.
“I cannot wait to have another baby!”
To a dad, the word “baby” initially has no human ties – it’s an adjective, describing work that no father would otherwise sign up for.
Moms think of baby-cuddles. Dads see sleepless nights, cutting teeth, midnight feedings and another hefty daycare bill.
“Sometimes the baby just takes so long nursing.”
True, sometimes nursing sessions are especially long. But more often than not, the baby stopped nursing at least 20 minutes ago and I’m just enjoying the quiet escape, cuddling a knocked out baby. I might be browsing Facebook. I might be just using the baby to escape your uncle’s political tirades during a family dinner.
“Traveling on business is such a drag.”
Having to travel for work is the “get out of jail free” card for dads.
A few days of restful sleep, unbridled gym time, and prepared dinners on the company’s dime is not exactly roughing it.
“I don’t know why I’m so tired.”
Yeah, I do. It’s a lack of sleep and the utter exhaustion that comes with raising small children with boundless energy. But if I’m being honest, the lack of sleep is typically not due to the kids getting up in the middle of the night. It’s usually due to the lure of the midnight hour. After the kids go to bed, there’s calmness unlike any other time of day. There’s Netflix and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s calling my name! How can I just turn down Joanna Gaines and a pint of Half Baked in a peacefully quiet house?
“The cost does not matter as long as it makes them happy.”
The dollars matter. Always.
Dads beam with pride as our kids hoist a championship trophy while complaining about the check written a month ago for league fees.
A steep price tag might not prevent us from signing our daughters up for the dance academy but, it might, have us trying to hide our joy when they lose interest for “Jazz-Hip Hop Fusion” after a few weeks.
“I don’t really go to Target that much.”
OK, yes, I am familiar with most of the cashiers and have my favorites. Yes, I do know what seasonal items are featured in the dollar section right now. And OK, yes, I am monitoring the price of a few clearance items right now. Sure, I am able to help a customer find items if an employee isn’t readily available.
Actually, speaking of Target, I think we’re a little low on a few things. I’ll run out super quick. I’m sure I won’t be gone more than a half hour.
“I know that he/she won’t be doing this professionally.”
Dads are keenly aware of the “one-in-a-million” statistics for being professional athletes or entertainers. No matter the odds, we all have that hope.
When dads watch sports, we cannot squash the fleeting thoughts of our children showing flashes of LeBron’s greatness, Tom Brady’s charm or Usher’s silky-smooth dance moves.
“I’m running to Target, be back in a half hour.”
“My wife really doesn’t go to Target much.”
Parents don’t lie to hurt, we lie to salvage – a smile, a sense of calm, and to garner courage to win tomorrow.
And, sometimes, whether you’re a Mom or a Dad, we lie because Target just put up the Easter candy display and that sounds better than changing another diaper.
About Tobin Walsh:
Tobin Walsh is a husband and father of 5. Tobin’s rambunctious family life provides ample opportunities for thoughtful pieces about fatherhood. Check out his writing at goodbaddad.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.