Once upon a time, motherhood called upon an image of June Cleaver wearing an apron and humming as she threw together dinner and asked after the kids and their homework. Fast forward 60 years on the nose and we have the likes of Mila Kunis and her pals tearing up the silver screen with the raunchy comedy Bad Moms. It seems like motherhood went from one extreme to the other.
Those of us in the trenches of motherhood know that on rare occasions we will have those idyllic June Cleaver days and then just as easily have a Mila Kunis moment to follow. Needless to say - there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of the motherhood veneer - and much of it is kept on the down low. That is - until now.
These real-life moms have stepped up and are allowing readers a glimpse into their deepest, darkest secrets. Okay - some aren’t that deep or dark - but we promise this - a few of them truly are. It goes to show that even though motherhood may have its humdrum and routine moments, moms are anything but.
What lies beneath the surface of the frazzled or the put-together mom, the stay-at-home or the off-to-work mom, the calm or the stressed mom are a mixed-bag, and tangled web of secrets. Sure to provide a chuckle and maybe even a gasp or two, enjoy reading 15 dirty little mom secrets revealed.
There are lies parents tell their children in order to provide them with a bit of magic and make-believe - and then there are the lies that just make a parent’s life that much easier. Jana B. knows this first-hand - when her twins were younger, she and her partner would regularly take the easy way out.
“We’d be driving in the car with the kids and they’d ask to go to McDonald’s. Rather than get into an argument, we’d simply tell them it was closed . . . and they’d believe us. Once we were driving past a Chuck E. Cheese’s and of course they wanted to stop in. When I told them it was closed, they became suspicious and asked why there were so many cars in the parking lot. I told them they were the cars of the workers who were fixing all the machines and cleaning inside.
“One time at the grocery store, the kids wanted us to buy them treats and we told them they were both allergic to candy. It may not be the perfect solution, but when you’re in a rush, it’s a quick way to avoid any tantrums.”
For self-described homebody as well as mother of two, Mathilda* found her kids were the perfect cover for her secret way of life.
“I have a secret get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to blowing off boring functions or stuffy get-togethers. Actually, I have two of them. Whenever I get invited somewhere and I really don’t want to attend, I use the excuse that my kids are sick, or that they have extracurriculars or a school thing I have to take them to.
“I found it was easier to manage when they were babies but now that they are 11 and six, I’ve become way more selective in the social events I avoid. It drives my husband crazy because he’s actually a social butterfly. But even so - he’s kept my secret. That’s why I love him. It’s true what they say - opposites really do attract! LOL!”
Sometimes moms figure it’s just easier to have a secret as opposed to face judgment and criticism from others. This is the case for mother of one daughter, Marla*.
“This is so terrible to admit but I actually lied to both my mother and sister about breastfeeding my daughter. My daughter is now eight, and they both think I breastfed her exclusively until she turned one. In reality, I never breastfed at all - it was formula from the get-go.
“But my mother’s a RN as well as lactation consultant and my sister is a midwife. So they are both hard-core pro-breastfeeding. And I just didn’t have the stomach to listen to their admonitions which is why I lied to them.
“Luckily, they both live on the other side of the world. Neither of them actually even met my daughter until she was 18 months old - and by that time, my pseudo-breastfeeding had been over and done with for six months!”
Most parents take pains to instil the “sharing is caring” mentality into their kids. But sometimes, a mom needs something all to herself - like a spa day, a cat nap or as Dani F. prefers, some sweet and salty treats.
“I have my own secret spot where I hide my Special K Vanilla Almond cereal, chocolate bars, potato chips and my absolute favorite - dark chocolate Cadbury digestives. Yes - I’m that petty - I refuse to share these with my kids or hubby.
“They’re all stashed in a rarely used cupboard in my house and this has been going on for years so I’m past worrying that I’ll be found out. I will admit that once in a rare while I feel a twinge of guilt . . . but not really!”
Misty R.’s dirty little secret goes beyond keeping a stash of goodies all to herself.
“My kids end up with so much junk from various loot bags, parties and holidays that they can’t even keep track. We just toss it all into a cupboard and dip into it whenever treats are required. Sometimes after they go to bed, I’ll sneak a chocolate bar or some Smarties. Usually they don’t notice. And when they do - I blame my husband!”
Sometimes the biggest secret a mom has is that everyone is on to her and her wily ways and she’s the only one who doesn’t know it! This is mother of two, Maggie L.’s secret dish revealed.
“In my early 20s, I was a live-in nanny for this insane woman and her two kids. This lady was obsessed by weight gain - she kept a scale hidden in her kitchen cupboard and would routinely weigh herself before and after ingesting any food or drinks. She totally thought no one knew about it - but we all did - we just didn’t say anything!
“Also - she had a standing weekly shopping date with two of her friends. The day after, she would exchange all of the clothes she bought for two sizes up. She didn’t want her friends to know she was actually a size 12 - not an eight. As if they couldn’t tell!”
Often mothers have guilt over taking time out for some me-time. Rachel C. enjoyed pre-natal yoga classes when pregnant with the first of her three sons - but things changed during her second and third pregnancies.
“When I was pregnant with my second, we had moved so I was going to a different class and I just didn’t like it as much as the previous one I had done before. But I felt like if I came clean to my husband, he’d be disappointed because he seemed to honestly like the fact that I was taking time out to do something for myself.
“Anyway, I pretty much stopped going. But I didn’t let on because it still meant time to myself - to do errands or just head to a local coffee shop and relax. I’d miss out on the whole bedtime routine which was heavenly! It seems so funny now thinking about it - I’d put on my yoga outfit, take my mat and head out the door . . . it was great “me” time!”
Sticking with the whole theme of pulling an exercise-based switcheroo, Alice S. has a similar secret to share.
“My husband and I each pick one evening per week to go to the gym. Whoever goes to the gym, the other one stays with the kids. Typically, he plays squash and I head to a yoga class - in theory, it’s the perfect plan. But when my kids were much younger, sometimes I would just drive to the gym and sit in the parking lot with a Starbucks coffee and a book. I mean - who has energy for the gym!? Honestly, all I really wanted was an hour to myself.
“I’m not sure why the fact that I skipped a yoga class now and again had to remain a secret - I guess I had some guilt over just wanting a bit of quality alone time. And I’ll admit - I was worried that if my husband knew the truth, maybe I’d feel too guilty to head out at all!”
For Chlorinda*, mother of a son and daughter, her particular secret is only kept from a few select individuals. The rest of her friends and family are in on her charade.
“This is my situation. My daughter is nine and I hate her best friend. Not only do I find my skin crawling when I’m around this little girl - but I absolutely loathe her mother as well. Luckily, I don’t have to be around them all that often - but when I am, I usually end up drinking a bottle of wine just to get through the evening!
“This woman is the type who wears a string of pearls and a perky flowered headband - no matter her outfit. I am NOT joking. And she’s quick to offer her advice because she knows everything and has no problem correcting others who are in the wrong. Whenever she’s about to disagree with me or about to offer me some unwanted tidbit of her wisdom, she clears her throat in this annoying way. When we’re together, I’m surprised she doesn’t hack up a lung!
“And her daughter is her mini-me. I’m just biding my time till my daughter gets sick of her and snags a new BFF.”
While still on the topic of selective secrecy, Betty* and her husband have a huge secret that most everyone in their lives is in on. That is, everyone save for three specific people.
“We have a one and only son and our secret is that he was conceived with anonymous donor sperm. It was my husband’s choice due to a family genetic issue on his side. It was also my husband’s firm choice not to let his parents or brother in on the secret - although practically everyone else knows. Even our son who is now 15 knows the truth - and has known for a long time.
“We selected a donor who has similar coloring to my husband so that it wouldn’t be obvious. I feel this is my husband’s secret and since he decided not to share the truth with his family, I back him up on this. He’s always been worried that his family would be offended by our choice. And also - his parents have pretty old-fashioned world views and he was concerned that using a donor would have brought about a lot of negativity. Everyone is happy - so that’s all that really matters.”
There’s something about a mother-in-law that just brings dirty little mom secrets out in full force. Hannah* has experience in this department.
“I’m not a nutrition Nazi by any means, but when my son was small and my mother-in-law would watch him, all she would feed him were Nutella sandwiches. She claimed that was the only thing he’d eat. My son wasn’t all that great an eater as a toddler - but I guarantee he ate more than just that one thing.
“I tried reasoning with her and I would make sure there was plenty in the fridge that he’d be good to eat - but it didn’t seem to matter. I’d come home and she’d go into this whole song and dance about how Nutella was the only thing he’d eat. It got to the point that whenever my MIL would babysit for me, I’d end up peeling my son off the ceiling afterward.
“So I had to take matters into my own hands and hide the Nutella before her visits. Now, if she comes over to care for my son she usually brings along her own food to eat. I guess we know who really had the Nutella craving!”
Mother of three, Sally* was shocked to discover that her mother had kept a deep dark secret for most of her and her sister’s lives. It wasn’t until both sisters were in their thirties that the truth came to light.
“My mom had invited both my sister and I over to her house for dinner. This wasn’t unusual as we get together with her regularly - but it was disturbing because our spouses and kids weren’t included. Right away, I thought the worst. Our father had died about five years prior and I thought for sure that my mom was going to tell us she was sick. But that wasn’t it.
“She told us that she and our father had a baby. A boy that they had given up for adoption eight years before I was born. It had been forced upon them by their own parents - and they had always had huge regret about the decision which is why I guess they bottled it up. This son had found my mother and wanted to meet her . . . and us.
“On the one hand, I was just so relieved our mother was okay. On the other, I was devastated that she had lived with this secret for so long.”
A fun and entertaining secret past time for some moms is to rat out their BFFs who have embarrassing secrets of their own. Carla* dishes on one of her good friends who found herself in a leaky jam.
“This happened to a friend of mine - I swear! My friend had an appointment 30 minutes from home. She dropped her toddler at a family member’s house on the way, went to her appointment and even though she kind of had to pee, left anyway. She picked the baby up and figured she’d get home and go to the bathroom there. This proved to be a massive regret in hindsight.
“There happened to be an accident on the highway and traffic was at a complete stand still. It was one of those situations where people were getting out of their cars and talking to one another. Ninety minutes go by and she hasn’t moved an inch and her bladder is about to explode.
“She ends up grabbing a diaper from her bag and peeing into it. She’s still mortified by this - but I say ‘Good for her and her excellent problem solving!’ Also - it just goes to show how super absorbent those suckers are!”
Mother of three, Gordana N. has a secret she’s itching to get off her chest.
“When it comes to my kids, I’m pretty strict about healthy eating. We only eat out once in a while and rarely is it fast food. In fact, my kids have never eaten at McDonald’s before - although I don’t judge anyone else. I mean, how can I?! LOL.
“So at least once every couple of months, when my two older kids are in school and my toddler is at his pre-school, I hit the KFC drive through and order myself an extra crispy Big Crunch chicken sandwich which I scarf down in the car before anyone will discover my lurid secret. I’ve always loved KFC - ever since I was a little girl and my parents would bring home a big greasy bucket of the stuff on Fridays.
“I vowed never to give my kids that garbage - and I’ve kept true to my word. But as for me? I just can’t help myself!”
Most moms have secrets - but not all of them have secret boyfriends. Valerie* met a few moms in her neighborhood and was surprised to learn that two of them had secret men on the side.
“One of my friends was invited out with a couple of neighborhood moms. The plan was to enjoy a few drinks and basically unwind. My friend was pretty surprised when her two companions whipped out their cell phones and invited a couple of dates to join them.
“It turns out that both moms had just gone back to work after having kids - and were both experiencing some minor marital turmoil. One night when they had been out together, they ended up meeting a couple of single men and exchanging numbers. From that point on, they would go out for drinks every so often and then the secret dates would meet up with them.
“I have no idea if it ever went beyond drinks and flirtation - I just know my one friend was shocked the one and only time she joined them. I will conclude on this - both women seemed much happier with life and thought that all women should make a point of having a secret boyfriend on the side!”
Things take a darker turn in this next submission. It just goes to show you that sometimes moms need to take extreme measures in order to survive.
“My sister had just given birth to her first baby. She was having a really tough time of things - the pregnancy was rough and the baby was colicky. To make matters worse, she started to realize that her marriage was in trouble. As everyone knows - there’s nothing positive about adding a baby to an already shaky marriage!
“The baby was about four months old when my sister told me she was leaving her husband. She hadn’t broken the news to him yet as they were in the midst of going to see a counsellor and he was optimistic that things could be fixed. Then she found out she was pregnant.
“She was absolutely devastated. It got to the point that I was really worried about her. But then she made the heart-breaking decision to terminate the pregnancy. I accompanied her to the appointment. Three months later, she left her husband. As far as I know, he never found out about the second pregnancy.”