How do you survive a playdate with a sanctimommy? It’s easy. You just have to be a big fat liar. It’s kind of like hanging out with your mother-in-law; being constantly judged and getting a bunch of advice you didn’t ask for.
I know we’re all adults and should be able to decide who we do and don’t want to spend our time with. But sometimes we have to make some sacrifices for the kids. There were certain mothers in my child’s playgroup that drove me crazy. But if it meant my child got to hang out with a friend that he liked, I sucked it up. You can too. Here are a few little white lies that will help get you through.
1. “No! I would never feed my child a hot dog either.”
Hot dogs. Did you know they’re “poison?” A mother seriously said that to me when I ran into her on the sidewalk one day. She caught me allowing my child the rare treat of a New York City hot dog. Never admit you feed your child hot dogs.
2. “TV? My child doesn’t watch TV!”
I ran into a friend and her child on the street one day. Her child was wearing an Elmo hat. My son pointed to it and said, “Elmo!” She said, “Your child knows who Elmo is? Did you know watching too much TV causes autism?” Not kidding.
Never tell a sanctimommy you let your kid watch TV.
3. “My child has a very strict bedtime!”
When I tell some mothers that my child’s bedtime fluctuates nightly, their heads explode. Children need structure! Children need 15 hours of sleep a day! Yeah, whatever. You come try to put my kid to bed at seven p.m. and see how much luck you have.
Never, ever admit your toddler doesn’t have a strict bedtime.
4. “Don’t worry! All the fruit I brought for playgroup is organic!”
Yes, I would love to buy organic food all the time. It is so freaking expensive that I simply cannot afford to. I used to be a waitress and I once heard a woman tell her friend that “maybe she should stop spending her money going out” and buy all organic instead. Huh? Can you imagine someone saying that to you while you were out with them?
Never admit the fruit isn’t organic.
5. “I never yell at my children!”
Don’t raise your voice at playgroup. Seriously. You have to say things like, “Mommy doesn’t like it when you hit her. It hurts her feelings.” Not , “we’re leaving NOW!” Newsflash – everyone raises their voice to their children once in a while. Just don’t do it around a sanctimommy.
6. “My child doesn’t play with my phone! Phones aren’t toys!”
My phone is totally a toy – a toy that keeps my child silent when we go to places like restaurants.
My friend was at a restaurant once and was allowing her child to play with her iPhone. The waitress said, “Remember when we used to talk to our children?” My friend awesomely responded, “Feel free to sit down and talk to my child if you want.”
Never let a sanctimommy see you give your phone to your child.
7. “You don’t vaccinate? I’m sure you have great reasons for that.”
Never get into a vaccination argument with a parent who doesn’t believe in them. It’s a waste of time. Just nod your head and make a mental note to never bring your infant around this person again.
8. “I would never say anything bad about my child! She’s the light of my life!”
There was a particularly exhausted-looking mother at my old playgroup in Brooklyn. She mentioned that the older her child got, the less he listened to her. I said, “I know. They become the biggest assholes around this age.” Her face dropped.
Never call your child an asshole around a sanctimommy.
9.” I love everything about parenting!”
Motherhood is a parade of banality. That’s a perfect example of something you should never say around a sanctimommy.
Most of us will comfortably acknowledge that parenting sucks sometimes. Just always make sure you don’t admit this in the wrong company.
10. “A pacifier? My toddler? Never!”
Did you know that by age (make up statistic here) kids should really be able to soothe themselves?
Ugh, shut up. Why do you care what my toddler son likes? Are you going to be paying for his braces? My toddler still takes a pacifier at night and one of my acquaintances basically lost her freaking mind when I told her. Never admit your child may be lagging behind what a sanctimommy thinks is a behavioral milestone.