Lies My Parents Told Me

I shall preface this by saying that today I am a bit random and full of sarcasm.

I love my parents dearly. All three of them in their own way.

  • My Mom. My mom was amazing. She died unexpectedly in a car accident when I was 14 (the same car accident that also killed my sister). I am beyond thankful that I have vivid memories of my life with her, and I am thankful to be able to carry her memory with me in my heart and soul.
  • My Dad. I was a daddy’s little girl growing up, and we have a long and at times dramatic history with my teenage years being particularly rough for me as I felt mostly abandoned by him as he moved on with my now step-family. We don’t always see eye to eye, and I don’t always appreciate his indifference towards Mr. MPB and I, but regardless of everything, he’s my Dad and I love him dearly.
  • My Step-Mom. We weren’t very close for the few years we lived together and I’m not sure you’d use the word close to characterize us today. But I am thankful my Dad found someone as wonderful as her to share his life with.

Anyways, I think today is a good day to share the list of the lies my parents told me while I was growing up:

  • The very first and most obvious one is all about sexual education. All I ever heard about as girl, starting in Grade 5 when everyone in my province learns about human sexuality, is that its super easy to get pregnant and the worst thing that could ever happen is having a kid while still being a kid. Seriously, procreating is not that easy for everyone! I understand why society, including my parents, tell kids this lie. But this lie makes the hurt of finding out the truth of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss that much harder.
  • With hard work and perseverance I can be and do anything I want to be. I have two examples of how, no matter how hard I tried, this just isn’t true:
    • I am not 5’9”. All I ever wanted to be was 5’9”, just like my older sister. I could wear high heels all the time, but I don’t think I could wear heals high enough of the time to make me reach my goal. And I tend to think that 4 inch stiletto heals look stupid on almost everyone. I have read that there is surgery where they can break your legs repeatedly and slowly stretch them, but this just doesn’t seem like a good idea in reality. And truth be told, at 5’5 ½” I’m not terribly short. But, the point is that I could not reach my goal no matter how hard I tried.
    • I did not retire by 30. I decided sometime around 21 that I wanted to retire, with a decent lifestyle by 30. (For me, decent lifestyle means not living out of box under a bridge somewhere while searching for food in garbage cans). Anyways, as it turns out, I did not marry rich, and I did not enter a profession that would make me enough money that fast. So, no retirement by 30 for me – that ship has long since sailed.
  • My mom promised me she’d always be there for me. Oddly enough, a few months before she died I remember a conversation with her about the death of a couple in our community which resulted in their children being orphaned. I clearly remember the conversation, like it was yesterday in fact. During the conversation she promised she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Clearly we didn’t have a crystal ball that could predict her death, and obviously if she had a choice she’d still be here. I understand the reason for lie, but the fact is, death can and will separate people even if they have no intention of leaving.
  • Oh, and I wanted to be an amazing cook – I want my meals to actually be yummy, and not potentially full of E.coli or salmonella. I can assure you, this doesn’t always happen. I don’t love cooking, but I think I would like it a lot more if I were good at it. I practice. I practice a lot – like almost once a day, sometimes more. But, alas, no matter how hard I have tried, I cannot overcome my lack of skill with any sort of regularity. In fact, I have been fired from making espresso for my husband – he says, that the coffee beans went bad, but when I offered to buy him new beans, he said they taste fine when he makes his coffee (I think he was just trying to nicely fire me).

So there you have it. My parents lied to me. And I think most parents have told their children similar lies.

Oh, what I would give to be innocent and naïve to the hardships of life. To once again believe that life is simple and hard work will result in all my dreams coming true.

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35 Comments on “Lies My Parents Told Me

  1. I’m 5’5 1/2″ too!!! And darn it that 1/2″ matters!! I’d love to be taller…but my sister is 5′ 3/4″, so I’ll take what I was given I guess!!!
    I think most parents tell their children these same (or similar) things. I wish I could cook better, too. The hand full of meals I DO know how to make, 99% of the time are delicious…but I just don’t know how to make a lot of things. B is definitely more inventive and imaginative in the kitchen, so I usually make him cook. He often thinks it’s because I’m being lazy and just don’t feel like it…but he doesn’t believe me when I tell him that it’s actually because I like his cooking better!! You’d think he would take the compliment at face value lol!!!

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    • Ha! I love that you understand how important that 1/2″ is!! And just like B, Mr. MPB is the better cook in our house. I try, some times it works but definitely not all the time!
      And yes, I think most parents tell all these “lies” innocently and for very good reason, and I’m sure I will tell a few of these to our children as well. 🙂

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      • Oh me too! Sometimes they’re necessary. And sometimes they aren’t meant as lies at all, but we can’t predict the future either (like your mother’s conversation with you) and we can’t help breaking promises sometimes. Such is life. 🙂

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  2. I don’t think your parents could have known how reality might unfold for you or them so I wouldn’t call the ones about your mom not orphaning you or your parents’ version of sex Ed not including RPL or IF “lies”. I bet they didn’t know anything about RPL and IF themselves and at the time they talked about it nobody was openly discussing RPL and IF. I often hope my children will be more open minded and compassionate because they will learn from us about the agony that is IF and RPL. My son’s “normal” for pregnancy involves a mom getting weekly IV, having a completely bruised tummy and injecting herself with many drugs for 4 months and one drug every day of the pregnancy. I expect he will one day talk about that with other kids whose moms are pregnant. My son and hopefully this baby will learn about donor eggs and that there are many ways to grow a family including adoption of infants, older children, embryos as well as surrogacy. My mom lost her first child when he was 8, her second at birth. I grew up in the shadow of her loss and sorrow. She didn’t tell me the whole truth about those experiences until I interviewed her for a psychology class when I was 20. I don’t think of her having lied to me; I think she tried to shield me from the grief that never left her. When I learned more I wished she had told me sooner. But now I get why she did what she did.

    I know you were being sarcastic but I sense a sour grapes or remorse here that unsettled me. As parents it is very hard to know how best to raise our kids. We do our best. We fuck up. Often. I hope you will come to a new perspective and compassion for yourself and other parents – your own included – when you and Mr. MPB raise a child or children of your own. It is easy to judge. It is not easy to parent. It is the hardest job I’ve ever had. And by far the most fulfilling and intrinsically, deeply rewarding. And I’ve told a few lies of my own, truth be told. Forgive me but let’s face it… I’m human. 😉

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    • Have I ever mentioned before just how much I love you? 🙂
      I love that you take the time to share and understand. I love that you take the time to think things through. I love that you care.
      I laughed when you sensed sour grapes or remorse. I will admit there was a time, when i was 14 that I was mad at my mom for having told me she wasn’t going anywhere, only to die a few weeks later. But I am happy to report that I have matured and very much grown out of that thinking. Now I understand that she said exactly what was appropriate in the conversation. And, the RPL/IF stuff, again, another “lie” that just makes sense – no-one, myself included, is going to tell a teenager that babies are not always a result of sex. These lies come from a place of caring and love, and for the most part, they just make sense. And I have no doubt I will be guilty of my own set of parent lies.
      And you are are so right that “it is easy to judge.” The second we start talking parenting, everyone has an opinion. We are already getting comments, and we aren’t even parents to any living children yet. Heck, I’m waiting for the first comment I receive from a stranger about our choice to bottle feed rather then breastfeed (not that we have a choice, but they wont know that).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I so want to tell Lettie that I will always be there for her because, like you said, if there was any way for me to never leave her I would. But I don’t say it because it does feel like a lie. Instead I say “I will always love you. There’s nowhere you can go where my love won’t reach you.” I believe that to be true, even after death.

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    • I think the way that you are saying this to Lettie is perfect!
      And honestly, as an adult I get what my mom was saying to me when she said she wasn’t going anywhere – yes, she died and is clearly no-longer physically here, but she is still in my heart and memories. Which in so many ways means she is still here with me, just in a very different way. Clearly, my 14 year old mind didn’t understand that, but I do today.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds to me like you miss your parents, especially your mom (and sister) so much, and wish that they were here to be a part of your journey to motherhood. I am so envious of people with active and loving relationships with their parents, since I have been disowned by my dad and have an absentee mom. For me, them “being there” and “loving me unconditionally” has been the biggest lie. Luckily, I have my in laws, who are pretty awesome. You will build your family from raw materials that you will source out yourself- and it will be so wonderful.

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    • You are right, I do miss them fiercely.

      I too am so envious of people with loving and active relationships with their parents. In many ways I am thankful I knew what loving parents were, and in other ways I hate that I know first hand how good it can be and and what I no longer have.
      I’m sorry you know this pain so well. But I am glad that your inlaws are pretty awesome. And I also love your perspective that you can build your chosen family. This is the perspective that Mr. MPB and I are taking. It’s such a healthy way to focus our energy into the relationships that matter.
      Love to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank god your parents lied to you… how awul for the full realities of how hard and painful life can be, to have been put on your shoulders so young. As for the cooking, 2 rules…. taste test all the way along and season properly.

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    • You are so right – thankfully they did lie to me! I couldn’t imagine being told at 4, 9 or 12 years old that my mom and sister would die and I’d lose 5 babies. Yup, so glad no-one ever told me about the hard realities of life! 🙂

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  6. My father’s guiding principle is, “If you don’t know the answer, make something up.” You can just IMAGINE how many times in my life he’s lied to me.

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    • Mr. MPB’s parents did that to him too (things like Lions Park got its name because the lions escaped from the zoo). And he has some rather funny stories of the times he believed them as a kid. We totally plan to do that to our kids too! hahaha!!

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  7. I’m 5’2″, and always wanted to be at least 5’5″. That way I won’t have to hem my pants, or buy capris to wear as pants. I also wanted to retire by 30, I have not retired yet, and I’m 32. Also dropped the ball on marrying rich!

    My parents didn’t tell me these lies though. Chinese families are up-front with reality. You want to be a basketball player? Nope, won’t happen!! Maybe Chinese parents like to crush your dreams early on, so you’ll work harder to prove them wrong. haha

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    • Oh, it sounds like we both dropped the ball on a few of our wants in life – marrying rich and retiring young sure would have been nice! 🙂
      It is interesting to hear about how different cultures handle teaching their kids about the world’s “truths.” Maybe there is some sort of balance out there that would harmonize these extremes? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oddly enough, I almost never think about parenting anymore. The best I can figure is that years of loss has pushed the idea of actually parenting so far out of my mind, that now I just think about one day maybe having a child. I even joked with our adoption social worker that when we actually get a baby I’m going to have no idea what to do! 🙂
        Somehow I think I will be part tiger mom. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s funny….5’what? I’m 5′ even and wasn’t even that tall when I graduated high school. Hehe. This post makes me think about my own parents and the lies I grew up with. Very thought provoking!

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  9. “To once again believe that hard work will make all my dreams come true”. I can so relate to this. In my life, I am fortunate in that things that I have worked very hard for I have achieved. I wanted to go to college, so I worked my ass off and saved and saved and was able to put myself through (albeit with multiple loans:) ). I wanted to become a teacher and after a lot of hard work throughout school…that, too, is now a reality. What is so difficult about IF and RPL is that no matter how hard we work, try, pray, hope, research, learn, and do…it doesn’t always pay off. And that is a hard pill to swallow.

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    • It sounds like we are both so similar – until RPL I had always been able to overcome any challenge, no matter how big or small. It’s been a very hard lesson to learn that hard work will not always fix things, in fact I’d say it’s probably the hardest lesson I’ve ever learned.

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  10. So true! Hard work doesn’t always pay off! Imagine that! But, trying our best to be a good person – whatever that means – will help us live with ourselves better. Great post. I am so sorry about the irony of your conversation with your mother. I will be thinking about that for quite some time. Life can be so unfair. Hugs to you!

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  11. Beautiful and insightful post… I think parents want to protect their children and let them know that anything is possible, even when they know the harshness of reality is coming for their little ones, sooner than later. The sex ed thing gets me, though. When I thought I would have genetic children, that could also inherit my body’s spectacular ways of preventing pregnancy, I thought about telling them that Health class isn’t wholly accurate. And then I thought about how it could backfire, and that it’s kind of like saying that all alcohol is bad in high school, when (especially now that I’m a teacher), you know darn well that the adults are having their weekend cocktails or weekday glass(es) of wine. I don’t know what the right way is to go, but I guess we’ll find out when we become parents ourselves, and have to decide how to walk that fine line between harsh reality and fairy-tale, spun-sugar innocence. Hard to say. I’m sorry for your losses, both your mom and your sister and what you thought your family was going to look like. I think all these things combine to make you so reflective, and wise, and will make you an excellent parent yourself when all comes together in the end. (And, oddly, I wanted to be 5’8″ but am only 5’5 3/4″…) Beautiful post.

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    • I think you are so right, we have no idea what the right way to deal with these situations is, but one day we will have to face the realities of smart sexual education and teenage drinking. I think it’s a lot more complicated then just telling the truth, and i honestly have no idea how we will deal with that. I suspect we will end up telling very similar lies to our children too. But, I guess only time will tell and I have no doubt we will both do our very best when our times come.
      P.S. I love that you count the 3/4! I never forget to mention my 1/2. 🙂

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  12. Hahaha… I love this. And it’s so true!! If I think about it for only a minute or two, I can already think of SO many lies. Goodness. It’s really rather funny to think about. It gets less funny when I think they STILL believe some of the lies themselves.

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  13. Pingback: Just Another Crazy Wife | My Perfect Breakdown

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