Parents Share A Dark Secret They Are Hiding From Their Children
Every family needs strong communication. It helps us understand what everyone else in the family is feeling. However, some things are meant to be left unsaid. The last thing parents want is for something to turn their family’s world upside down. Hiding secrets can have a harsh impact on a child’s mental state but, in some cases, the truth will get out somehow.
These parents discussed some shocking things they’re hiding from their children. From miscarriages to secret family members, these hidden truths are shocking. As expected, some parents will continue holding onto these facts until the end of time. Others, however, plan on telling their children the truth when the time is right. In the end, there shouldn’t be any secrets at all. If you expect them to be honest to others, you must be honest to them.
#1 If I Could Turn Back Time
I’ve been changing every clock in the house on New Year’s Eve to three hours early. At 9 p.m.v we celebrate the New Year, then hang out for an hour. He thinks he’s breaking every rule and has a great time. Now that he’s turning 11, this will never happen again. It’s hard to fake the time when everyone, even preteens, has cellphones now.
#2 It’s A Me, Mario!
My five-year-old son used to ask me the “Where is daddy” questions. I had left his father when I was pregnant with him, for good reasons, but I didn’t want to tell him that. So my answer was that every Italian man (his dad is Italian) had to complete a 10-year Mario course, where they learn how to save a woman and drive very fast. He believed this and still thinks this is true. Luckily he calls my fiance daddy now.
#3 You Are Not The Father
My stepdaughter has no idea I’m not her dad or that our new baby isn’t her full sister. She remembers a man she used to play with (her dad) but not his name or anything about him. She calls me daddy and thinks I must’ve just worked a lot when she was little and that’s why she doesn’t remember me.
#4 Keeping Someone In The Shadows
They don’t know they have an older half-sibling who was given up for adoption when their father was 20. He is now 23 and has never contacted his father directly, but if he did, I do know my ex-husband would be welcoming of it. He decided long ago that he wouldn’t tell our children (10 and seven) about his first son unless he came in contact again.
#5 Took Their Ball And Went Home
I believe I am legally required to not mention that their mom abandoned us. The younger one might be too young to remember the time before the split. During that time, his mom was just gone without a trace for a while. She’s making an effort, so we have a custody schedule… and a parenting agreement that references not mentioning each other’s faults to the children.
It’s a good thing to aim for as long as it doesn’t land on total ignorance. I admit there have been times where I’ve had to teach a lesson about walking away from responsibilities versus taking pride in your efforts. I’ve alluded to general concepts of being there for your family, but I honestly don’t know if my younger son connects the dots.
#6 Losing A Sibling
My daughter (an only child) was supposed to be an older sister at one point. When my daughter was five, I got my wife pregnant again and we decided to wait until our daughter’s 6th birthday party to make the announcement. We figured it would be a cool surprise for her (and our families) to find out then and didn’t tell anyone about it so everyone would be surprised. Unfortunately, two days before the party when we were going to make the announcement, my wife miscarried.
When we told our families what had happened and why my wife had been taken to the hospital at 4 a.m., there was some anger and hurt feelings. Everybody agreed that my daughter didn’t need to know and, as far as I know, she still doesn’t.
#7 Second Thoughts About Their Child
After separating from my husband when my son was eight-months-old and having basically nowhere to go, many, many times I thought about the possibility of dropping him off at the hospital and skipping town. I never did, though—it was just a dark time of my life that I’m fortunate to have gotten over. He is eight years old now and we are very happy.
#8 So Many Surprises, Kid
Their grandpa’s not their grandpa. I didn’t find out until I was 30 that my dad adopted me. My mom was married to someone else when I was born. My 15-year-old was looking at those DNA kits in the store. “I wonder what surprises it would find!” Oh, more than you think, sweetie. I’ll tell them someday. I’m just not sure when the right time is.
#9 Keeping That Money Out Of Reach
We hit the lottery for $12.5 million and nobody in our family, including our children, has any idea. Besides us and the government, the only other people who know is an attorney we hired to keep our identities private. We have kept our lives pretty normal… We both work so it appears as if there’s an income coming in. We both enjoy what we do and didn’t want to have anything change drastically.
We just didn’t want to ruin our relationships with everyone or spoil our kids. We have it safely invested for their futures, but they’ll get none of it until they establish themselves on their own without any idea that there is a safety net. It’s a blessing to win but an even bigger one not to be destroyed by money.
#10 Keeping It Simple On Easter
Money is tighter than I’d like it to be. My daughter’s Easter gift this year is a brand new expensive hair straightener that somebody else gave me as payback for doing them a favor. My son’s Easter gift this year is a Lego set from my childhood. My mom kept most of our stuff in good shape in original boxes.
#11 Young Grow Old
Our daughters are both from IVF. The “older” daughter was conceived two years after youngest.
#12 Trying To Get By
We are so poor. They’re little so they don’t notice, but we struggle a lot to pay the rent and buy groceries. We had our kids kind of young—we were both in grad school. Now, we’re in a weird spot because we both have fancy-sounding degrees that your average person would assume turned into a well-paying job. I am now a postdoc, and we are notoriously underpaid. Sometimes I think, “Wow, I have a Ph.D., you’d think I’d be smart enough to work out how to get more money…” but I moved the family internationally for this job.
#13 Together But Still Divorced
They don’t know that we’re divorced. Years before they came along, my spouse and I decided it wasn’t working out and we got divorced. Years later, things still weren’t working out fantastically for both of us, but we got back together. We never did get around to getting remarried, though. The kids still think we’re legally married.
#14 Being A Good Man
My eight-year-old daughter is not mine. I met her mother, my wife, when she was three months pregnant. Neither of us knew until about a month or two into dating. When she found out it wasn’t mine, she told me and gave me a free pass to leave. She did not want me sticking around just for the benefits of dating a pregnant chick. I made the choice then to take the leap— it was the best decision I ever made and never looked back. Now we have my daughter and a three-year-old son.
I don’t plan on ever volunteering the information to her but I will tell her if she asks when she is older. The father skipped out and cut off ties when he found out. Fine by me though. As far as everyone knows, I am her father. It’s on the birth certificate and everything. I was also there during the entire pregnancy, the birth, and every day since. I was 22 at the time.
#15 A Life Cut Short
My kids and my wife are blissfully unaware that I had another family before them. My wife knows I had dated other girls before her—a few long-term, plus one who I was engaged to but did not marry. She doesn’t know I made a baby girl with that former fiance though, and I’ll never tell. Just like I’ll never tell anyone that the baby died of a fever after just six weeks of her beautiful life.
This is the part of my story where my wife believes that “it just didn’t work out” and that “she got really crazy.” The truth is, we were both destroyed as people and neither of us could continue our lives together. We quickly grew to resent and hate each other. We lashed out against the world in a horrible fashion. No one from that past still has a connection with me, barring my brother who has faithfully kept my secret for 20 years.
My parents passed on before they really got to know my wife. My friends and the rest of my family from that time have all long since been separated geographically. The former fiance hasn’t spoken to me since and now lives in a different hemisphere. To my knowledge, she has never dated again, but she did finish school and start a career. I hope she is happy. My kids don’t need to know they have a half-sister in a little grave in a town 1.900 km away.
#16 Have No Faith
My daughter doesn’t know I’m an atheist. She goes to a Christian private school. It’s going to be an interesting conversation when she is a little older. She is starting to put it together, though… She just asked me the other day why her mom says a prayer for Jesus before bedtime and I say the Green Lantern oath instead.
#17 Step By Step
My oldest son is actually my step-son. While he knows, his little brother has no idea. We haven’t been able to change his last name, although we never acknowledge his surname on anything other than legal forms. We send him to a private school and they allowed us to use our last name. We’re not sure when to tell him because he might get heartbroken—the two are very close to each other.
#18 You’ve Got A Friend In Me
The reason we got divorced is that he left me for another woman, Amy, his friend’s wife. When my daughter was two years old, we moved back to my mom’s house while my world fell apart, and she innocently said, “Daddy’s on the floor and Amy can’t say no,” which was evidence she witnessed at least some of what was going on while I was out of town. She’s 11 now and has asked me a few times when she was younger.
I always tell her to ask her father because I can’t bring myself to lie and I can’t tell her the truth. She asked me one day if I still loved him. The best I could come up with on the fly was, “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have you, and for that, I am grateful.” I didn’t even want to break her heart by telling her THAT truth. Amy’s ex-husband has since become one of my best friends, who my daughter knows, but she has no idea why he and I are such good friends.
#19 All About That Selfie Life
My youngest daughter isn’t mine. I met her mom one night at a bar and I was too tipsy to hit it off with her, so nothing happened. We were talking for months while both of us were doing our own thing (with other people). Months later, I found out she was pregnant and decided to date her anyway. I also found out the dad was a complete jerk who had no real intent to support her or be her father, he just wanted to take cool selfies for his friends.
We decided to just cut him out before she was six months old and say I was the dad. I signed the birth certificate and everything. I lied to my family, saying I knocked up my now-wife that first time we met at the bar, and we didn’t get back together until I found out she was pregnant. Everything is great now. We have had more kids together (that are actually mine), and everyone who knows the “big secret” just knows a layer to the lie. The only people who really know is my wife and me.
Sometimes I feel bad for what I did. Then I check up on the guy and realize that she’s not missing anything… he’s improved his life a little but he’s essentially still a man-child. I hope that there’s never a reason to tell her, but with the way medical science is, it will probably come up eventually. The real secret is that she’s my favorite kid out of all of them. Even my wife doesn’t know that.
#20 Feeling So Low
I fell into a really deep depression after my son was born and it lasted several weeks or months. I was confused and not sure how to deal with it because all the dads I knew never talked about it. Most of them said things along the lines of, “The day my kid was born was the best day of my life.” It wasn’t until after I started asking other dads about what I went through that many said they struggled too. We all talk about postpartum depression in women, but never in men. I didn’t know it was a thing until much later. So if you are a new dad and feeling in the dumpster, go get help… You aren’t the only one.
#21 At Least She Has A Career In Mind
My daughter was conceived at work, on airport property, in the back of a freaking Ford Focus, while we were waiting for a med flight to land. She knows nothing about this, but she tells me she wants to be a pilot when she grows up.
#22 Closing It Up For Good
My daughter doesn’t know she’s the reason I’ll never have another kid. I love her more than anything in the world, but I just don’t want any more kids. I didn’t want any to start with but she was my surprise baby so I accepted it and fell in love with her. She’s not an easy kid, though—we dealt with her ASD diagnosis, sleep issues, surgeries, and serious severe illnesses during her three short years of life. I’ll never tell her it’s because of her though, its not her fault.
#23 Not The Hamster!
When I moved my kids to a different city, I had to give their hamster away. I told them I taught their hamster how to write and kept “sending” letters with little seeds in them and weirdly written notes. When they finally got old enough, they told me to stop it, but for a long time, I felt guilty because the lady who adopted the hamster said it passed away two days after she got it.
#24 Unloved Outside Of Her Own Parents
We’re sheltering our daughter from the fact that most of our families are indifferent to her. She takes for granted that they love her because they’re nice and loving when we see them. But really, the most they care to see us is a few times per year. She thinks distance is the problem and has no clue that we’ve tried to see them more many times and get turned down. They just don’t care unless it’s a holiday. She’s an only child and really wonderful. We don’t want her to feel unloved because she deserves so much better.
#25 Insane Hospital Bills
How horrific our financial situation was. We’re not rich. We get by with all the necessities and some extras. My younger son is autistic. With that diagnosis came some extra financial stress. It was a little tough but we managed. Then, at the beginning of 2018, he got sick. Real sick. It culminated in a month-long hospital stay, time in the ICU, and hospital bills north of $500,000. His medication alone is about $30,000 per month and he needs to take it for the rest of his life.
Between the medical costs, work my husband missed, and freelance I was unable to do, we fell behind and couldn’t catch up. Friends and family helped but I was constantly trying to juggle buying groceries and keeping the lights on. I couldn’t work because my son needs constant care, multiple doctor visits, and unpredictable hospitalizations. The kids never knew.
It was enough for them to deal with the five-year-old being in and out of the hospital. My husband and I skipped meals. We ate a lot of cheap pasta. I have no idea how we made it. I’ll probably discuss it with them, or at least our older boy, down the line so they have an understanding of different financial situations. But for now they’re only five and seven; they don’t need to worry about that.
#26 Making A Tough Sacrifice
In utero, my son was originally a triplet. At 15 weeks, we lost his brother and sister to save his life. Our hand was forced—Baby B and Baby C had health problems that threatened the pregnancy. Baby C, in particular, was very, very ill. It was a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking thing to have to do, but we had one healthy baby and it was our job to save him. We will tell him when the time is right. We’re guessing sometime in high school. He’s nine now, and he’s just not developmentally ready.
#27 Avoiding The Old Folks At All Cost
My daughter has never met her grandparents, great grandparents, or anyone from my side of the family. My grandfather, father, and uncles are all involved in organized crime. As a child and young adult, I’ve witnessed things that have left me scarred. I could land myself and them in prison for a long time if they came to light. I made a deal when I was 22 with my father that I’d keep my mouth shut and he would leave me be.
I have kept my word and he has done the same. It’s been rough for me to keep everything from her but I explained that my dad and grandpa are abusive people. I know she did some digging about them but was unsuccessful.
#28 Almost Lost Their Son
I nearly drowned my son by accident. I was still new to the parenting gig and he was finally big enough to be in the baby tub. (He was born two months preemie, so he’s always been on the small side.) My fiancé was playing a video game on the PC and I forgot to get a baby towel for my son, who started rolling. As I got a towel, we heard splashing, crying, and screaming. My fiancé went to the bathroom first, his PC being closest to the door, and got him out of the water as I came in with the towel.
He started berating me about how I have to keep my eyes on our son; how I can never leave him unattended. I just cried because to me it was unfair. I asked him three times to get a baby towel for me before I had to get it myself. It didn’t help that I was also suffering from depression and anxiety from us living with his mom.
#29 Eating Their Friends
We raised chickens from eggs and thought that we would be able to keep them because our township was going to pass an ordinance for chickens. Well, it didn’t pass. When the birds got to be almost a year old and one was a rooster and began to start getting vocal, my husband said we had to rehome them.
I had a friend whose father had a farm and I was all set to take them there when he suddenly broke his hip. I had to take them to an Amish farm—I thought I was dropping them off to be with their flock, but when they told me to come back in a half-hour, I realized they were going to be slaughtered. Not only do I have tremendous remorse for bringing my innocent chickens to slaughter, but I had to take them home and put them in the freezer. We ate them. I could never tell the kids.
#30 I’ll Drink To That
My daughter doesn’t know how many times I was absolutely hammered around her before I quit. I cringe to think about it now. I would start as soon as I got home from work and would be hammered before she went to bed. I’d wake up on the floor at 4 a.m. and crawl into bed to catch a couple more hours before getting up to go to work. I’d still be tipsy during breakfast. Ugh. After I quit, I apologized for being so tipsy around her and she said, “Really? I knew you had a few, but I never noticed you were tipsy.” Hoo boy.
#31 A Hard Time With The Youngest One
My youngest was planned, hoped for, and wanted, but now that she is here I find myself occasionally wishing we had never had her. She is so much more challenging than my oldest and it makes me feel like a failure as a parent that I can’t bond with her.
#32 Not Their First Rodeo
I was married before for 10 years, no kids. It’s just never come up in conversation. My oldest is at the age where I feel like if I don’t mention it, soon it will seem like I’ve kept something from her. I just don’t know how to approach it, especially now that her dad and I are separating after 12 years of marriage. By the way, I also failed this marriage thing before.
#33 Hiding Their Cheating Ways
I’ve known my wife since middle school and we have been dating since high school. We got married two years ago. Now, a year before we got married, we were having issues and would often argue when the kids were asleep. I would sleep on the couch every day for a few months. I ended up cheating on her for a few months with a girl from work.
I know it’s not right but I felt unappreciated at home and this girl made me feel good. After a few months, stuff hit the fan—a guy from work messaged my wife that I was cheating. We did counseling and talked things out. It’s been a slow process and I know she will never fully trust me again. We managed to keep it together for the kids, and we’re closer than ever before. I’m a jerk for what I did but I hope my kids never find out because that’s something that would break their hearts.
#34 A Wild Past
I will never tell him (or his brother that I’m carrying right now) about how his dad and I used to party all the time. When I got pregnant, I quit as soon as I found out. We’ve been clean for a while now, but it was definitely an everyday thing and we’re still suffering from it. We lost almost everything…
Slowly, we are getting things back to normal… but it’s tough. I’ll also never tell my son why both of our families are cut out of our lives. He’s autistic and they would suggest that he be put in an institution. Just because THEY can’t handle him, doesn’t mean we can’t. We love our son and would never abandon him like that…
It hurts that no one wants to be a part of his life but that’s their deal. We get our son all to ourselves. They never got to know him and know how sweet he can be. Just because he can’t talk doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings or emotions. He’s the best.
#35 Abandoned In Public
Before we adopted him, my son was found abandoned in a box at a bus stop. We tell him that his birth parents gave him up because they loved him but couldn’t provide for him. At some point, we’re going to need to tell him the whole story, but I have no idea when he’ll be ready for that.
#36 One Bad Dad
His father is a terrible man who went MIA the second he found out I was pregnant. When I was 19, my son would cry because he didn’t have a dad. I’m glad my son has his father in his life now, but I regret bringing him back into the picture. He only talks to my son when it’s “his days to see him.”
He makes comments to my son implying that he’s been around since day one, and it makes my blood boil. He’s threatened to take him and not bring him back. He would tell him how they should go on a secret vacation to Mexico that mommy wouldn’t know of. He never paid child support until our son was six years old and only paid for two years.
I have a court order that I’m in the process of having the state enforce. He riles him up with empty promises only to cancel last minute to go party or to take out his fiance instead. (I know this because my son has come home crying to tell me about it). I can’t bring myself to burst his bubble and tell him the truth about his dad, but he’s starting to notice things on his own now.
It started with his last name—my son has mine, not his biological dad’s. He even flat out asked me if he was around when he was a baby, I had to explain that he was too young now but that we would talk about it when he’s a bit older. It broke my heart to see my son crying like that when he asked me. His biological dad will always be a terrible man to me.
#37 Almost Calling It Quits
My wife and I were an inch away from being divorced before I enlisted in the army. I was depressed and she had enough of it. She thought my decision to enlist was just my way of escaping my life. A week or two into BCT, she saw that I was in the process of really turning things around and decided to stay with me. The kids were little then, but don’t need to know how close we were to separating.
#38 Problems In School
For years, I feared that my son would learn I had been expelled from high school. I knew that if he knew, he’d take it to the next level. Everything I did growing up, he did the same but much better, depending on your point of view. He wound up being asked to leave, rather than being expelled, and he did this all on his own. He is now working on his doctorate, which just goes to show that students can hate high school but not hate learning.
#39 The Storm Before The Calm
Before I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I took a lot of prescription medications. I had always dealt with anxiety and depression. I feel like the extra hormones put me over the edge. I found out about a week later that I was pregnant. I was terrified during the entire pregnancy that something might be wrong with him. Luckily, he was completely healthy and is an incredibly smart child. I’ve never told anyone. I feel so guilty.
#40 Grandpa Is Alive And Well
That his grandfather isn’t dead. My dad was always harmful to me my mother and my siblings, so when I was 13, we managed to cut him out of our lives completely. I never wanted my son to meet him, so to avoid mentioning him, I told him that his grandfather died from a heart attack when I was young. I’ve convinced my entire family to go along with it, and honestly, they agreed pretty quickly, wanting to keep them as far away from each over as possible. To be honest, I’m not even sure if my dad knows he has grandkids. But the lie is slowly unraveling, and I have to act quick—I found a note with a phone number I didn’t recognize on his desk. When I dialed it, it was my father’s voice who I heard.
#41 Everyone Has A Price?
My daughter, now 19, has no idea that her biological mother basically sold her to me. As we were going through the divorce process, she approached me and suggested that if I were to give her $5,000 she would not pursue custody, alimony or any other type of payment that she’d be eligible for. She wanted to continue to “party” and had zero interest in being a part of her life. I agreed. It’s been a secret all her life, but I’m scared she’ll find out soon. I got a mysterious phone call from an unknown woman asking about my daughter, and I’m sure it was her biological mother. I immediately changed our phone numbers… I’m not ready for this secret to come out just yet.
#42 Still A Father To Them
My children’s grandpa (my dad) isn’t my biological dad. My biological dad split when I was one, and he actually passed away in January. My sons are five and 10. I want to tell them, and casually because it’s not a big deal and doesn’t need to be (there is a lot of adoption in my family so they’re used to the concept), but my dad doesn’t want me to yet because he’s afraid it will change their relationship.
#43 Leaving The Dark Side In The Past
My son is almost a year old now and while he obviously wouldn’t be able to understand if I told him that I used to do substances, I’m not sure how I will ever explain what I went through and how it’s made me a better person in a way that he would be able to understand. I’m thinking I hold on to this piece of my past for at least 13 more years… I’m so glad to have him and the gift of sobriety to watch him grow.
#44 Making Ends Meet
Just that we struggle with finances. But our daughter is only a toddler so she doesn’t understand. We can’t afford to rent a place where we live. Thankfully, my folks have a small apartment above their garage and have us pay whatever rent we can afford. My partner works full-time (line cook lead) and I’m a stay-at-home parent and full-time student online. It sucks to be in this position, but our child is happy, loves being close to her grandparents, and will hopefully only continue to benefit from our situation. Hoping my career change and eventual return to work will help us get to where we want to be.
#45 A Hard Road Ahead
My son’s medical condition is worse than he understands it to be. It’s not just the pain and fine motor difficulties he deals with now. One day, he may be in a wheelchair or on daily pain management. I’m afraid he’ll be unable to work or live independently.