Moms get candid about what they’re really like as parents, what they secretly think about other moms, what they miss most about life before kids and more.
What’s your dirty little mom secret? We partnered with TODAY Moms on Today.com on an exclusive survey of more than 25,000 women to find out how moms really live their lives, and how they feel about their kids, partners and other moms. Read on to hear the juiciest secrets they revealed.
Confession #1: Mom Wants to be Left Alone
Me time, when you can do whatever you darn well please, becomes practically non-existent once you’re a parent, and our survey found it’s the pre-baby luxury that moms miss most. Out of everything they miss from before kids—a better body, more disposable income, time with friends—23% of moms most crave alone time. “I can’t wait to get away from my kids sometimes. I need alone time (even away from my husband),” wrote one mom. Fourteen percent most pine for their pre-baby body and an equal number put sleep as #1 on their wish list.
Confession #2: She’s Weird About Breastfeeding
Society sends a lot of mixed messages about nursing, and it turns out moms have internalized the debate. While 18% of moms say they judge others for choosing not to breastfeed, even more—42%—confess they get sketched out over extended breastfeeding. “I breastfed my daughter until after she was 2, but my mom and husband are the only ones that know that,” one respondent wrote.
Confession #3: She Sends Her Kid to School Sick
Junior’s complaining of a stomachache, but he hasn’t thrown up, and you’ve got a big day at work. Send him to school or keep him home? If you’re like 49% of our working mom respondents, you let him go to school or daycare and hope for the best. “I gave my child Advil and sent him to day care with a fever,” shared one mom. “I figured he had gotten it from the other kids in the class, and I had already missed 15 days of work with him being sick.”
Confession #4: She Wants a Do-Over
Ask any mom if she’s happy with how things turned out, and she’ll probably say yes to your face. But anonymously, 71% of moms told us if they could do it all over again, they’d do it a little differently. Almost 23% would choose another spouse, 21% wished they had more kids and 19% would pick a more flexible career path. A slim 4% ‘fessed up to questioning the decision to have children altogether. “Although I love my children and wouldn’t trade them for the world, there are times when I wish I could have a ‘do-over’ and maybe start having them later in life,” said one mom. “I do miss being able to do things spontaneously and only having to worry about myself.”
Confession #5: She’ll Take Sleep Over Sex
Nap or nookie? Once the kids are asleep, almost 53% of moms would take a good night of sleep over mind-blowing sex any day. Being tired is an almost universal complaint among the moms we surveyed. As one mom put it: “Everyone tells you to enjoy the time you have with your kids while they are young, but sometimes I am just so tired and worn out, enjoying them just feels like more work!”
Confession #6: She’s Distracted by Technology
Here’s the good news: only 5% of moms owned up to their child getting hurt because they were busy texting or surfing the web. The bad news: 18% have had close calls, which means that nearly a quarter of the moms surveyed are a little too attached to their tech devices. Back away from the iPhone, Mom!
Confession #7: She Medicates…Her Kids
You’ve seen her—the mom trying to reason with the shrieking kid at 30,000 feet. Or maybe you’ve been her. Either way, desperate times call for desperate measures, and fear of having an unruly child motivates almost 18% of moms surveyed to medicate their child before a long car trip or a flight. Almost 8% of moms even said they sometimes do it on a regular night at home, just to get some peace and quiet!
Confession #8: She Judges Other Moms
Ever felt judged by another mom? Well, you weren’t just imagining it. A scant 12% of moms claimed to not give a hoot what other moms do, but the other 88% admitted they let the judgments fly. Top among the behaviors most likely to garner dirty looks? Sixty-six percent of moms said a bratty kid. Weight and eating issues also hit a nerve for many moms. Almost 37% judge a mom with an overweight child, and 34% look down on kids eating junk food.
Confession #9: Mom Has a Favorite Child
You swear up and down to your kids that you love them equally, but for almost 14% of moms surveyed, that’s not true; in their heart of hearts, they have a fave. As one mom said: “I love all my kids equally, but I *enjoy* one of them more. I try to not let it show in my behavior with all my kids, but I fear it may seep out.”
Confession #10: She Uses Her Kids to Get Out of Things
Invited out by someone you think is boring? Kids provide a convenient excuse to bow out things, according to almost 84% of moms surveyed. In fact, 45% reported using their kids to get out of social obligations around once a month. One mom even confessed to using them as a trump card with her husband: “I have used obligations for the kids—homework, projects, laundry—to get out of sex.”