November 16, 2020 | Miles Brucker

Sneaky Parents Reveal The Most Messed-Up Secrets They Hid From Their Children

Raising a family is no small task. It can be full of challenging twists and turns that no one saw coming. And when some members of that family are harboring deep, dark secrets that they don’t want other members to know about, things can get real crazy, real fast. Turns out, countless parents out there have plenty to hide from their children. From the light-hearted to the disturbing, here are real-life stories of the most messed-up secrets that parents are hiding from their kids.

1. So Close, Yet So Far Away

The messed-up secret that my spouse and I keep from our children is that we are technically divorced. Years before they came along, my spouse and I decided that things between us were not working out, so we got divorced. We completed the entire process. Then, years later, things in life still weren't working out fantastically for either of us, so we got back together.

We never did get around to getting remarried, though. And we’ve had multiple children in the meantime.

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2. The Grandfather Clause

The secret that I don’t tell my kids is that “Grandpa” is not really their grandpa. I didn't find out until I was 30 years old that my dad had adopted me and that my mom had been married to someone else right before I was born. My 15-year-old self was looking at those DNA kits in the store, thinking: "I wonder what surprises it would find!"

Oh, more than you think, sweetie! I'll tell my kids the truth someday. I’m just not exactly sure when the right time will be. Then again, that's exactly what my parents told me when I asked them why they had never told me about it until my biological father reached out to me and blew their secret. I guess time will tell how this one will play out…

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3. Cutting Off Contact

The messed-up secret that I keep from my child is that she can't have a relationship with her grandfather because he's a child abuser and I would never trust him. The rest of my family maintains a relationship with him and leans on me hard to open up communication because "family comes first." They are absolutely right, my family does come first.

Which is why my daughter won't ever have to have a relationship with that monster. He has assaulted and attacked multiple members of my family, and I only found out about it when I was pregnant with my daughter. Without going into too much detail, he also has a mental illness and I've been told that I need to let him have a relationship with my daughter because he's sick and couldn't help what he did. No thanks.

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4. It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, But The Old Man Isn’t Snoring...

The most messed-up secret that my wife and I keep from our children is that we don’t actually go to bed the same time as they do at night. If they knew how late we stayed up watching television, i.e. the very thing we don’t allow them to stay up late doing, they would probably view us as the biggest hypocrites in the world. It would be tough to ever discipline them again if this cat got out of the bag…

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5. Last Minute Decision

The secret that I’ve kept from my son is that his mom and I drove all the way to the abortion clinic before he was born, but we backed out at the very last possible second. Our plan was to terminate this pregnancy, as we had done the previous time my wife had gotten pregnant. Son, you will never know about this and I love you. I am so thankful that we changed our minds before it was too late.

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6. Some Unsavoury Characters In The Family

I’m not the parent in this story, I’m the child. But this secret is so messed up that it needs to be shared. My family kept it a secret from me for years that my brother has attacked multiple children—and that’s not all. On at least one occasion my grandpa has taken advantage of my mother and threatened to kill us grandkids. I found out after my brother tried to attack me and I told my older sister about it.

She immediately told me about the rest, and about the fact that our parents secretly knew all about it. We were raised having a relationship with both of them as if they were just normal human beings and no different than the rest of the family. It’s absolutely disgusting.

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7. She Sounds Like Pure Evil

The secret that I keep from my son is that his older half-sister took advantage of him when he was little, and that's the reason why we don't see that part of the family anymore. We’re waiting until we can get access to a psychiatrist for support before we break the news to him. He was only three years old when it happened.

Because of his age at the time, he didn’t understand what was happening. However, he was able to tell us, quite graphically, what she had been doing to him. The sister also admitted it and said she did it because it was funny. She also said that she liked to hurt him. Child Protective Services became involved and investigated both families, but couldn't find anything concrete.

We are planning on telling him what really happened someday because we very strongly believe it is the right thing to do. We don't know what or how much he remembers, and we would much prefer to give him the coping skills now instead of possibly letting him disintegrate into a non-functioning adult with massive problems down the road.

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8. Putting On A Show

The secret that I keep from my child is that I don't actually enjoy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on television. My two year old would be devastated if she found out because that's “our show.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with her and I wouldn’t change that for the world. But I honestly can’t stand that show and wouldn’t shed a tear if I never had to watch it again.

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9. Body Language

My messed-up secret is how much I resent the fact that my kids have ruined my body. Seriously, my body is wrecked after giving birth to them. I hate looking at it, and I hate sleeping with my husband because of how much it hurts and how much I just can't stand the thought of him seeing the way I look now versus how I did when we were first married.

I even hate going for a pee, because when I wipe it just feels awful. This is AFTER corrective surgery in that area, by the way. Also, breastfeeding was a nightmare. I really don't like having my nipples touched at all. Plus, my darn feet are a size bigger now and I had to get rid of my favorite pair of shoes as a result.

I love my kids deeply and this is obviously not their fault. Some women have easier births, some have more difficult ones. At least I didn't lose my life in childbirth! So yeah, this is not something that affects my relationship with them in any serious way. I love them and they are the best things in my life. This selfish feeling does not get let out. It's just something I secretly feel and that I will always keep to myself.

Except for admitting it to you nice folks on the internet!

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10. Trick Or Treat

My most messed-up secret that I keep from my kids is that, each and every year, I quietly eat the majority of their Halloween candy while they are at school. I always make sure to stash a bunch of it aside immediately after they bring it home, so that they will never even have a chance to notice that some of it is missing. And, so far, they have never suspected a thing!

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11. There’s No Place Like Home

I have been living more than five hours away from my wife and daughter for the past 11 months. Every time I talk to my daughter, she asks me when I am coming home. Well, little does she know I have a big surprise for her. Next Friday, when she and her mom come for what she thinks is just a weekend visit, they are really coming to pick me up for good.

I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finds out. It is going to be one of the greatest moments of my life. I am counting down the days with great excitement. It is all I think about from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I go to sleep at night. The background to this whole story is that I was required to move to a facility in this specific area for a while due to medical-related concerns.

I am a social worker by trade, but I have not been able to work in the field for these past 11 months due to my situation. I have struggled to keep myself sane while being away from everything that I love and care about for such a long time. My wife and I actually got divorced a few years ago and we have since co-parented. However, recently we have decided that we actually should have worked harder on our marriage.

We now want to be together and are giving it another go when I get back home. I call her my wife because I never really stopped thinking of her that way. This experience has taught me so much about life and has changed my entire perspective on the world forever. I know I will definitely cry more than my daughter. It’s overwhelming just to imagine what that moment will be like. It will be a fantastic day that I will never forget for as long as I live.

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12. A Hunka Hunka Burning Love

I don’t have kids yet, but I do have a pretty dark family secret. My mom and I once accidentally left the hair straightener on in our bathroom for two full days while we took a family trip to Canada. Yes, that means it was running by itself with no one home and could have burned the entire house down while we were away.

It also doesn’t have an automatic off function, to make matters even worse. We have never told my dad about this. He would absolutely freak out if he found out. In fairness, it was a really stupid and dangerous thing for us to do. Thankfully, the house is fine. The counter was just really hot. This happened about two years ago.

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13. To Tell Or Not To Tell?

My daughter is adopted and she knows it—but she doesn’t know the chilling reason why. She was conceived as a result of a violent attack during which her biological mother was assaulted. Experts say that you are supposed to give your adopted children all of their history when they are old enough to handle it, but honestly, if it were me, I would rather just not know about a thing like that.

We are strongly considering not ever telling her. The question of what to do weighs very heavily on our hearts practically all of the time. She's 15 years old right now, almost 16. She knows that she is adopted, and is even in contact with her birth mother. But her birth mother does not think she should know her true history either.

The compelling argument in favor of telling her is that it is not our right to decide whether or not she should be allowed to know her own history. After all, it's her own personal history and her right to know both the good and the bad. But at the same time, it is so hard for us to fathom the idea of having to tell her about this horrific reality.

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14. Multi-Generational Trauma

I’m the child in this scenario. I discovered my parents’ secret against their will. It turns out that, back in the day, my grandma was so mad at my mom for dating young and getting pregnant that she caused her to lose her first two pregnancies. My grandma made my mom’s brothers beat her until she suffered miscarriages. It hurts my heart just to think about it.

My mom was an only child and this took place in Albania at the time. My grandma is a lovely person now, and it’s a shame that she was so terrible towards my mom during her adolescence. I believe that my mom suffers from some form of bipolar disorder or PTSD as a result of her childhood, and she has subsequently mistreated my brothers and me.

It felt like I was like constantly walking on eggshells for my whole childhood. Anything I did wrong ended up resulting in me being hit. One of my brothers was the worst to me. He would choke me out all the time for things as ridiculous as beating him at video games. My mom and dad were usually out working all day to support us and so they never really intervened in anything that happened.

Even when they noticed me harming myself and becoming chronically depressed, I got punished and beaten because my life in comparison to the ones they grew up with was “nothing to complain about.” It took me a year in therapy to come to terms with the idea that I shouldn’t devalue my pain just because my parents had been through worse.

After some time, healing, and forgiving, we’re all okay with one another now. I do still avoid my brother a bunch, though. My anxieties and PTSD had become a little too much for me to handle after living with them for twenty years, so I moved across the country. Despite all the troubles that my family has been through, time really did heal most of the wounds and we all do love each other.

There's more respect between us now than there has ever been at any time before. My mom had her first pregnancy at 16, then her next at 18, then gave birth to me at 21. She understandably feels like she lost most of her childhood to being tormented and then raising her kids. I even forgive my grandma for what she did, as horrific as it was.

I understand that my mom's story is painful, but they have a healthy relationship today. They love each other, my mom is supporting my grandma financially, and all of the bad stuff happened more than 30 years ago, so it’s well behind them now. My grandma was an amazing guardian to me growing up and often saved me from my mom and brother’s tormenting.

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15. The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side

On my 18th birthday, my father walked into my room with a bag of pot and a bunch of rolling papers. I was shocked. When he realized that I had caught him red-handed and that there was no sense denying what he was up to, he showed me something that blew my mind. It was an entire hidden portion of our house that he had kept a secret from me for my entire life.

This was not on the blueprints or anything like that, it was a literal, physical hidden room accessed through a discreet door that none of us had ever noticed. He had been using that hidden room to grow his own pot for as long as we had been living in that house. This was even more of a shock to me than my initial discovery.

I had never had even the slightest suspicion that my dad smoked, let alone grew it in our house! By that point in my life, I had gotten grounded for smoking several times over the years. This was in Florida in the mid-1990s. Needless to say, discovering his secrets changed the entire nature of the way I view my dad.

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16. Not My Cup Of Tea

The messed-up secret that I keep from my daughter is how grossed out by her I was when I first adopted her. When she was just six weeks old, I was changing her diaper on one occasion and I was not yet used to the unpleasantness of doing so. I was gagging and just trying to get through it, but this time was particularly challenging.

I had been through this whole ordeal several times before and thought the gagging was just my body making a threat, but that it would never dare follow through. I was wrong. Just as I was trying to finish the cleanup, a nice little liquid squirt was unleashed right onto my arm and it finally pushed me over the edge of what my body could tolerate.

Not wanting to vomit on my kid, I turned my head to the side and puked all over the ground. Of course, one of my hands was holding two little legs and the other hand was holding the wipes, so I could not try catching it or preventing a huge mess from being made. But then I looked down and saw things were so much worse than I had realized…

Guess who happened to have been standing right below me, directly in the line of fire, just casually milling about while I was puking? My pet cat, that's who! This happened soon after we had just brought this cat home as a pet, and this was certainly not the welcome I had envisioned giving him! On the bright side, we are all one big, happy family today.

And what my daughter doesn’t know won’t hurt her!

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17. All In The Family

I’m the adoptive parent of three kids, two of which are biological siblings…and also cousins. I found out a year after the adoption that the biological parents were half-siblings who shared the same dad. The biological parents were aware of what they were doing, yet they allowed them to not only have the first child, but also a second child as well.

The kids are now 16 and 13 years old respectively, and have zero clue that they are a product of inbreeding. Unfortunately, their biological grandpa just passed, so there very well could be a big reveal coming in the near future. Sharing this messed-up secret with them is not something that I am at all looking forward to. Wish me luck, I guess!

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18. A Freak Of Nature, In A Good Way!

The secret that I keep from my child is that her existence is an absolute miracle. She is currently three years old. Her birth mom, who happens to be my wife’s sister, didn’t want to have her. As a result, she basically tried to intentionally cause a miscarriage via drinking and heavy-duty substance misuse during her pregnancy.

The girl was ultimately born 11 weeks premature, and she had five different illicit substances in her system at birth. She shouldn’t even be alive by most medical estimations, yet here she is. She does have some slight developmental setbacks, but overall she is solidly inside the bell curve. Her socialization is on point, and she should start school on time with all her peers.

Most likely, she will know of none of this until she is in her teens at least. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have this impossible yet amazing little person in my life.

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19. Mommy, Where Did I Come From?

My son has no idea that he was conceived during a non-consensual relationship. He just thinks that I had really low standards in men at one point, and that this is why he is not allowed to meet his father. If he ever found out the truth, it would completely break my heart. He is such an incredible person and I would not want anything to hurt his self-esteem.

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20. A Horrifying Prognosis

A colleague of mine has a friend who hid from her eight-year-old daughter the fact that she would only be alive for a few years because of a terminal illness that she was born with. It was medically impossible for the child to have made it to adulthood. I don’t envy the parents in that situation. I have no idea what I would do if I were in their shoes.

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21. A Blast From The Past

My wife and I each have a child from a previous marriage, neither of which our kids know anything about. As far as our current children know, their mom and dad are the perfect storybook couple and they have no reason whatsoever to ever doubt that. Both of our ex-spouses were abusive cheaters. Both of our children still adore and idolize us as parents, and they don’t suspect a thing out of the ordinary about us.

And we just keep smiling and nodding along. This is definitely a secret that we’ll be keeping from them for many years to come…

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22. The Meaning Behind The Name

I am named after my grandmother on my mother’s side, who passed before I was born. For my entire life, I knew who I was named for, but what my mom kept hidden was the terrible way that she met her fate. She was stabbed by her own son when my mom was just 18 years old and didn’t make it. I had always suspected that my grandma had a tragic end because of the way my mom would always avoid talking about it. But I had no idea that it was that tragic.

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23. Too Close For Comfort

My son was planned. But after separating from his father when he was only eight months old and having basically nowhere to go and no way to actually take care of him on my own, there were many, many times I thought about the possibility of dropping him off at the hospital and skipping town. I never did, thankfully. He is eight years old now and we are very happy together.

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24. In And Out

My son is still very young, but I'm not planning to ever tell him that, at one point, his dad left us because of his heavy substance misuse…and the fact that he was having an affair with another woman. He is clean now and they split up, so he is back in our lives. He's at least trying to be involved again. I have decided that as long as he stays clean and wants to be involved in our son’s life, then I don't plan on revealing his secret.

If it does somehow come up in the future, then I would like to give his dad the chance to explain everything directly from his own perspective. And I'll be there for any questions, as well as for support. I know how hard it will be for my son if he finds out about it. My biological dad left me in a similar way when I was a kid.

I always interpreted it to mean that my dad didn't want me. I don't ever want my son to feel that way. I harbor no ill will toward my ex and I truly hope that he does stay clean for his own sake, and for the sake of his kids. In addition to my son, he also has an older daughter with someone else. All one can do in a situation like this is just hope for the best and try not to dwell on the past too much.

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25. Two Of A Kind

My cousins have never told their children that they are technically twins, even though they were born two years apart. The backstory is that they did in vitro fertilization and two of the eggs were fertilized. They didn’t feel that they were ready for twins, so they froze one of the eggs and had their second kid two years later. It’s actually pretty cool.

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26. She Saved His Life

My parents kept this secret away from me for a long time. When I was only about three or four years old, my dad had been volunteering at a baseball park to shuttle people back and forth on a golf cart. Well, one night, he didn't come home until really late. When I heard him come home, I went to say hi to him. But I stopped in my tracks when I saw him. He looked scared and distraught.

He is normally a rough and tough kind of guy and he has a very big heart. So I asked him what was wrong. He simply said nothing and that he was fine. I believed him and went back to bed. I woke up the next morning to see that our cousin, who often doubles as our babysitter, was at our house, but neither of my parents was.

I asked my cousin where they had gone. She said that they had decided to go to the morning service of church instead of their usual afternoon one. Again, I believed her and never questioned any of it. Flash forward 10 years. That was when my mom finally told me what really happened. And it turned out to be something utterly horrific.

It turns out my dad had been shuttling some guy back to the parking lot when the guy suddenly pulled out a knife and held it up to my dad's neck. He then proceeded to take my dad behind a dumpster and assaulted him in a brutal and awful way. So, when he got home that night, he waited for everyone to go to sleep and then tried to take his own life by overdosing on painkillers.

My mom woke up in the middle of the night, realizing that he wasn't in bed. She found him in the bathroom, lying on the floor completely motionless. She immediately called for an ambulance and followed it along to the hospital where he was to be treated. He made a full recovery and is thankfully still going strong today.

I don't know where I would have been without him if my mom hadn’t saved his life that night.

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27. Great Expectations

My messed-up secret that I will never tell my kids is that, after all of the wild and dangerous substances that their mother and I did before they were born, we both thought for sure that they would be born with major birth defects. We were totally shocked when that turned out not to be the case, and we don’t plan on ever telling them about the expectations we had.

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28. Grown-Ups Do The Darndest Things

The secret that I never plan on revealing to my children is the sheer volume of extreme adult toys that I have hidden in my bedroom. There's also a 50/50 chance that our eldest child was conceived in an adult club. Let’s just say that my husband and I have always had some pretty wild tastes when it comes to our bedroom life…

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29. These Things Take Time, Right?

My messed-up secret is that I really didn't like either one of my children until they were about two years old. I mean, they were cute, adorable little babies, but I really just don't like infants. They'll never know about this, because it sounds awful as a parent to say, "Yo, you totally sucked for a while." Maybe when they have kids of their own, I'll finally let it slip...

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30. Table Talk

I’m not the parent, but the child. This last Christmas, I found out that not only had my mom already been previously married and divorced before I was born, but that my dad had also had another kid before he had gotten married to my mom. So, that means I have a secret half-brother or sister out there somewhere, who I have never met.

The real kicker was the way I found out about it all. I found out from my brand new sister-in-law, who had just joined the family. Apparently, she had been doing some digging and research into our family history and she discovered all of these details. She had no idea that they had been a secret, though, and she assumed us kids already knew about them.

So, she just casually brought it up out of the blue on Christmas Eve while we were baking cookies.

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31. Wrong Place, Wrong Time

I have a very dark secret that I would never want my children to find out about. Before I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I took a massive amount of pills. I think it's the closest I've ever come to taking my own life. 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. It came as a total surprise. I was terrified throughout the entire pregnancy that something would be wrong with my kid as a result of the excess of pills that I had consumed that night. Luckily, he was born completely healthy and is an incredibly smart child. I've never told a single soul about that incident.

I feel so guilty about it, even to this day.

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32. Car Trouble

I was the kid in the scenario. When I was about 12 years old, my dad lost his life to leukemia. He was never around much when I was growing up, so I didn't see him often. But that was not the secret. I actually distinctly remember the day he took off and left us. I woke up one morning and there was a pile of new toys on the living room floor with a note for mom.

Anyway, he started coming around again later, when he received his prognosis. We developed something resembling a positive relationship before his passing. When he finally did pass, it absolutely destroyed me. I still remember the funeral. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the car because I didn't want to see it.

In his will, he left me his car. It was a Camaro that I was supposed to get when I turned 16. I was very moved when I found out about that. But then things took a bizarre turn. For some apparently inexplicable reason, my dad’s parents fought tooth and nail to keep the car away from me. They were really crummy people, as his entire side of the family was.

We eventually just told them to bugger off and we kept the darn car. Fast forward about 15 years ahead. I suddenly found out that the guy who had passed was not actually my dad. He was my brothers' dad, but not mine. My real, biological dad has been living in the next town over, 20 minutes away from my house, for my entire life without me knowing he even existed.

It turned out that my entire family knew about this, except for me. That was why my "grandparents" fought to keep the car. They knew I was not his son. I still don't definitively know if he himself knew or not, but I assume he must have. My maternal grandmother has met my biological father several times over the years. My mom said she never thought these details were anything worth bringing up to me.

Said she intended for me to never find out. I've still never spoken to my biological father. I know his full name and an approximation of where he lived as of about 10 years ago. Beyond that, I know absolutely nothing about the guy. Grandma said that if I ever want to meet him, she will help me get in touch. I have no idea if I ever will.

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33. A Grand Gesture

I have a strict policy in my household that the kids are not allowed to play violent video games under any circumstances. One of the violent video games that is strictly forbidden is Grand Theft Auto. At the same time, my secret is that I have a copy of Grand Theft Auto hidden behind some books on a shelf in my room and I play it all the time.

I have no idea how I would be able to explain that hypocrisy away if they ever found out about this…

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34. Mixed Feelings

I don’t want my son to know that he was an unwanted accident. Even during my pregnancy, I didn’t feel like I wanted a child. I was still so young and had my whole career ahead of me. I wanted to travel the world, finish school, and advance myself in life to the fullest. The last thing I wanted was a major responsibility to prevent me from pursuing my dreams.

After he was born, I had a hard time adjusting and it took me a long time to fall in love with motherhood. I didn’t feel a connection to my son at first and I felt like the worst mother in the world.

Now, I can’t stop looking at him or hugging him or crying over him all day long. Years later, I’m now finishing school and I’ve been promoted at my job.

I realized that I can have my life and still be a mother too. I seriously regret ever feeling like I didn’t want my son, because he means so much to me now and there are no words to describe the deep love that I feel for him. Before he was born or conceived, I was diagnosed with a condition that gave me a slim chance of getting pregnant due to the state of my ovaries.

In fairness, I knew I wanted to have a child eventually, but I didn’t want one right at that moment. We were not mentally ready for a child. At least I felt that I wasn’t. I had always intended to have a child later in my life. When we found out that I was pregnant, we considered having the pregnancy terminated. I was scared of everything.

Everything from carrying the baby, to giving birth, to potentially feeling guilt or regret about my decisions. There were a lot of confusing emotions and thoughts that I dealt with during this pregnancy. I finally decided to go through with having the baby. So it was my own “fault” for keeping him. And I definitely don’t regret my decision.

Thankfully, I had the support of my friends and family members all around me both during and after the process. I even had a friend who admitted that she had felt the same way as I did after giving birth to her child. I am so happy with my life right now and thankful that it has turned out the way it has. I never want my son to find out that I ever doubted wanting him.

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35. The Chicken Or The Egg?

My secret is that my wife is not the biological mother of our twins. We did IVF and their biological mother was an egg donor from a country in South America. My wife carried them and gave birth to them, but has no biological connection to them. We'll have to tell them the truth someday when they're older and capable of grasping everything.

It's a little bit strange, but one looks exactly like I did at their age. The other one looks very much like my brother. They are currently eight and a half years old. My side of the family has always known the truth, even since a time long before the procedure had actually taken place. But for whatever reason, my wife did not want her own family to know about it.

Instead, she decided to tell her family that she was the egg donor and that we did IVF because we were older and needed medical help to get her pregnant. I never understood why she wasn’t upfront with them, but I went along with it anyway because it was what she wanted. I guess sooner or later, the truth will probably come to light.

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36. A Change Of Heart

I’m currently 22 years old. When I was a teenager, I found out that my dad did not believe I was his kid when my mom had first given birth to me. He even demanded a paternity test so that he wouldn’t have to pay child support on me. He really thought my mom had cheated on him during a business trip she went on. It was a pretty messed-up situation.

I don’t know why, but a paternity test was never done. Unless it was done in secret and I’ve never been told about it. Either way, learning about this explained why I always felt so distant from my dad for the first ten years of my life. He always favored my older sister more when I was younger and called her “daddy’s little girl.” I felt like he always hated me and this explained why.

Today, he’s the best dad ever. I don’t know if something shifted or what, but me and him are extremely close now and he loves me endlessly. He’s been such a great dad, especially when I was going through a rough time in high school and had really bad depression and anxiety. My mom is a little bit bipolar, so we’ve always lived in a toxic household.

He was the only one to come and pick me up and just be there for me when I needed it most.

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37. Without A Trace

I'm the child in this story, even though I am currently a 48-year-old woman. All throughout my childhood, my father had led me to falsely believe that my mother was deceased. And every other member of the family supported the lie. This includes all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and even my stepmother. Every single one of them.

I had no reason to ever doubt this claim. What’s even worse is the reason behind the lie. It turns out he made this up not because my mother was on substances or harmful as a parent, or even a bad person in any way. Nothing like that at all. It was just because the two of them had gotten into a huge argument one night and she went to stay in a hotel with a friend, without me.

When she left the house that night, he was enraged and decided right then and there that she would never be allowed back into my life again. Ever. Under any circumstances. He wrote her off completely and made up a fake story to explain her absence away. Then, on my 18th birthday, she called our house and asked to speak with me. So, I found out the truth.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

38. Appearances Can Be Deceiving

The messed-up secret that I hide from my children is that we are so poor. They're little, so they don't notice. But we struggle a lot every month just to be able to pay the rent and buy our groceries. We were kind of young when we had our kids. We were both in grad school at the time. So we're in a pretty weird spot when it comes to our job prospects.

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 PhD. You'd think I'd be smart enough to work out how to get more money..." The problem is that I moved my family to a new country for this job, so I can’t just leave it so easily.

That is another thing that gives people the false impression that we are in better financial shape than we are. Knowing that we went out on a limb and traveled halfway around the world for a fancy-sounding job would make you think we had everything sorted out. But in our case, nothing can be farther from the truth. I just hope that my children can have a happy childhood and that I won’t have to reveal the truth to them any time soon.

This is us factsShutterstock

39. If It Quacks Like A Chicken...

I'm still working out a plan for how exactly I’m going to explain to my children that the “chicken” we eat for dinner every night is the same kind of “chicken” as the ones that live on the farms they love to visit. That is definitely going to be an awkward conversation. For the time being, I am more than happy to keep this as a secret from them.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

40. If They Only Knew...

My whole family makes fun of me and thinks that I'm awful with money because I'm super broke despite having a good, well-paying job. But they don’t know my secret. My secret is that I'm actually socking away every spare penny that I get my hands on in order to put my niece through college and to take care of my parents when they can't work anymore.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

41. Happy Old Year!

My secret from my kid is that I've been changing all the clocks in the house on New Year’s Eve to three hours early for many, many years. At 9:00 pm, we celebrate the new year, then hang out for an hour and have some fun as a family. My son thinks that he is breaking every rule in the book by staying up till 1:00 in the morning.

He loves it, and we always have a great time. Now that he's turning 11, this will probably never happen again. With cell phones and him being somewhat smarter at this age, I doubt that I’ll be able to get away with it anymore. But at least it was fun while it lasted. And I don’t plan on ever telling him the truth about what I’ve been up to all these years.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

42. The Truth Finally Comes Out

I’m the child of a parent that hid something horrible from me until I was 27 years old. One day, when my parents had been having some kind of a domestic dispute, my dad decided to call me up just to “get back at my mom.” What he said was so disturbing, it’s unforgettable. He said, “Do you want to know something about your disgusting mother? She slept with over 30 guys during our first two years of marriage!”

I just sat down and started stuttering. He said. “Yeah, you know how people have always said that you looked different than the rest of the kids?” I said, “Yeah...” He said, “That’s because I’m not your dad. Your mom slept with my best friend and that’s how you were conceived. And another thing! Your brother who’s a year younger than you? He belongs to my brother!”

My mom just bawled in tears in the background without denying it. I just laughed it off. And then I immediately went into therapy…

Improve Their Lives factsShutterstock

43. Out Of The Past

I'm hiding a lot of things from my kids. Like the fact that I used to be a stripper for more than 10 years. And the fact that I grew up in a horrible and unstable home. And the fact that I partied hard as a youngster and used to be a huge part of the New York City and Montreal club scenes. And the fact that I was once kidnapped and taken to another country as a hostage.

There's a lot of things about my past that I would prefer to just forget, and I definitely don’t want my children to find out about them anytime soon. Now, as far as anyone I know today is concerned, I'm just a boring accountant mom. And that’s all I want to be. No one has any clue about what I've been through in my past. Isn’t it crazy what your kids don't know about you?

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

44. The Summer Of Love

My parents were in the high school class of 1968. My dad had actually attended Woodstock. When they got married, in their wedding picture, my mom had flowers in her hair and my dad had a beard that made him look like Jerry Garcia. Yet, somehow, I went through my entire childhood and adolescence without realizing that my parents smoke pot.

They obviously did a good job of hiding it from me for all those years. Then I came home unannounced one day from college and the entire house just reeked. All of a sudden it hit me. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. In hindsight, I have no idea how I never put two and two together before, but either way, their secret is a secret no more!

Bob Dylan factsWikimedia Commons

45. The Story Behind The Story

I’m the father of a young child. I lost my job at the age of 24 and I couldn't find a new one. I didn't have a degree in anything, so after a year of being "poor," I decided to start selling my body on the streets. After two years of this, a condom broke while I was sleeping with a female client. I noticed it quickly and I decided to tell the girl about it right away.

I could have chosen the easy way out by pretending that nothing happened and just avoiding all contact with her if she got pregnant. But I didn't. After a few months of having contact with her, it was clear that she was pregnant. I could have chosen the easy way out again, but instead, I decided to be a father for my future child.

We didn’t get married, but I made sure I would be a part of the child’s life. Because I strongly believe that every child deserves a father. Besides that, I couldn't live with myself knowing that I had a son out there who I didn't take any responsibility for. I quit my “work,” moved in with this girl, made sure everything was alright, and six months later there he was.

Our beautiful son. For the first few years of his life, we didn't tell him anything about the origins of our relationship, for obvious reasons. When he was seven years old and he really started asking questions, we told him we were boyfriend and girlfriend but had broken up when he was three. The story went that we had stayed together because we still liked each other, but that we didn't love each other anymore.

That's what we told him and we'll always keep it like that. Looking back on it, I don't have any regrets whatsoever. Our son just turned 10 years old and he is a happy kid growing up as any other kid would, with a father and a mother. Seeing his smile makes my day. Is it the easiest thing in the world to live with? Definitely not.

Did I do the right thing, though? Of course, some people out there will have different opinions on it, but I think I made the right choice for myself and that's what matters.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children factsShutterstock

46. Toying With Her Heart

My messed-up secret is that I recently accidentally ran over my young daughter’s favorite stuffed toy with my lawnmower. I knew she would be devastated at losing it, and I couldn’t bear to admit that I was the one responsible. So I told her that the neighbor’s dog had eaten it. I know that it sounds silly and that she will know it was a lie if she still remembers this when she gets older, but I will never come clean.

Parenting Backfired FactsPexels

47. Adopting A New Attitude

My parents recently confided in me and told me that my sister is adopted. They have never told her about this, and they apparently plan on keeping it a secret from her forever. They are worried about how she would react to being told, and how the knowledge would affect her relationship with them. She's currently 34 years old. I have no idea what to do with this information.

Secrets They Hid From Their Children facts Shutterstock

48. The Big Sleep

I‘m the child in this story. My dad chose to wait until I was fully grown up to tell me that my mom had secretly given me an excessive amount of sleeping pills on a pretty frequent basis when I was a little child. As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, there was also the chilling reason why she did it. It was so she could leave me alone at home for hours at a time and maintain her secret, adulterous relationship with her lover while my dad was off working in another country.

Hearing about this secret cleared up many questions that I had long wondered about with regards to my childhood. I’m doing well today, and my mom’s actions haven’t affected me in any real long-term way; except for the fact that I don’t remember much about my childhood. On the bright side, at least I didn’t suffer physically or feel any direct pain as a result of what she did.

Being that irresponsible and careless towards her child, she could easily have done something much worse to me if she’d had a reason to. I should mention, though, that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since I was only a few years old. But I’m not sure whether or not this is directly related to what my mom did.

To be honest, I have gotten pretty good at dealing with depression since I have been living with it all my life. So, in a sense, I have actually gotten some small amount of good out of the whole ordeal. Other than this one problem, my life is really good on the whole. So I really can’t complain. I also want to clear up that, despite all that happened, I’m on okay terms with my mom today.

I believe that she was simply young and dumb when this went down and that she has since learned from her mistakes. I forgave her for what she did to me. At the same time, I do not forgive her for what she did to my dad. She did a terrible thing to him. My dad is the greatest person that I’ve ever known and he deserves to be happy.

Unforgettable Comments FactsShutterstock

49. A Match Made In Heaven, Not!

My daughter knows that her grandparents are currently getting a divorce. However, she does not know that it’s because her grandfather, who is 72 years old, decided to knock up a random 23-year-old girl. We will talk about this reality once she’s older, but for the time being I don’t want to normalize that kind of a relationship for a preadolescent.

The grandfather in question is my father-in-law. He’s definitely not rich, but he’s in fairly impressive shape for a dude pulling Social Security, so he seems to have no problem attracting younger girls when he feels like cheating on his wife. For some background, they live in a small town and the girl is a single mom.

My father-in-law is just an old man who hasn’t experienced much emotional growth since being drafted for service in Vietnam many decades ago. These two individuals would never have ended up together if they were emotionally healthy and didn’t have control issues. I am definitely going to do my best to explain the situation to my daughter someday, but not right now.

She’s only nine years old, and she’s already overwhelmed by the very idea of the divorce. Once she’s older and capable of processing things more fully, then I will explain the full details of the situation to her the next time we decide to talk about it. My husband has already told his dad that our family and his new family will not be getting together for a barbecue any time in the foreseeable future…

Helicopter Parents factsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit,

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