Mommy Guilt: Lying About Your Kid’s Birthday To Their Face

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A mother who I know recently confessed something to me that she is fearful of other mothers learning. When her youngest child was turning five years old, she lied to her about the date of her birthday. Her reasoning was that the child wanted a party on the day of her birthday which directly conflicted with a personal trip that the mother had planned.

She told me that at the moment of being confronted with her daughter’s pleas, she felt her options surface in two very distinct paths: she could deny her daughter her fifth birthday party on the day that she was born because Mommy had a trip, or she could lie about the dates and her daughter probably wouldn’t remember.

In a moment of weakness and self-interest, she says, she chose the latter. The trip had been an opportunity that had surfaced because of her husband’s job and she quickly signed herself on before reflecting on the dates. She’s a full-time working mother to three children, so I can understand her temporary memory lapse.

To ensure that all of this would go over as simply as possible, she pulled the nanny aside and told her the deal. The woman who my friend describes as “the most honest woman in the world” was horrified that she would do such a thing and the two have endured a frosty relationship ever since.

My friend and I live in small parenting community in Brooklyn. A lot of the mothers swap everything from nannies to part-time babysitters to outgrown cloth diapers. So although this mother finds herself routinely on the receiving end of judgmental stares from her nanny, severely compromising their communication in the home, she is afraid to fire her for fear that she will share this secret with the other mothers.

To make matters even worse, she says that she would have never lied to her first or second child about something like this making her question how relaxed she is being with her third.

From what she describes, she now lives in state of constant guilt and  judgement — and in her own home no less.