14 Parents on the Flat-Out Lies They’ve Told During the Pandemic

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Being a parent is tough under normal circumstances...and these are definitely not normal circumstances. After more than a year filled with uncertainty, ever-shifting demands and total freakin’ chaos, parents are doing the best they can. And for many of us, that means telling the occasional (or not so occasional) lie just to get through the day. Here, 14 parents on the lies—from minor fibs to big untruths—they’ve told this pandemic. (No judgement).

1. “I got my son to eat fruits and veggies by telling him that his doctor insisted on it in order to keep COVID away.” — Yasmin, CA

2. “I work as a therapist and when COVID hit, I immediately took my practice online. But there was no way that I could do my job with my 2-year-old daughter at home in our two-bedroom apartment, so I used my friend and neighbor’s basement. Every day I would leave our home and tell her I was going into the city to go to work when really, I was just going next door. She even came over a couple of times and saw my shoes and coat by the door and my friend convinced her that they were hers!” — Mariana, NJ 

3.In February, we drove to Ohio, but I told the kids it was ‘Pittsburgh’ so they wouldn’t tell school we had gone to a non-contiguous state. (We all got negative tests after our travel!)” — Sarah, NY

4. “Pre-dentist appointment, they sent us a questionnaire asking if our kids had any symptoms, including diarrhea. I’m not proud of it but I choose to ignore that question, knowing that my kid’s poop explosion had more to do with the Tex-Mex she ate the night before than COVID.  — Lauren, MD

5. “I started going to this boot camp to work out. It started as an outdoor only thing but that was only for about two weeks before we moved inside, and I was sticking my kids in the childcare room… yet I still tell people that it’s ‘all outside!’ But I’m 1000 times more sane so you have to pick and choose your battles, in my opinion.— Patricia, CA

6. “After six months of staying home, we rented a car and went away for the weekend. We told my son’s school about our plans but didn’t mention that we were going away with another family (who send their daughter to a different school). The weekend away was wonderful and I left a glowing review on Airbnb, mentioning how great the house was for our two families. When another mom at school asked me for the Airbnb recommendation, I panicked that she’d see the review and rat me out to the school board, so I lied and told her the Airbnb was totally booked for the next six months!– Juliana, NJ

7. “We stayed within state limits for a weekend trip away and went skiing outdoors but left out the fact that we also went to an indoor water park. We made an effort to stay clear of other families and I figured it would be our little secret. However, I didn’t count on my 4-year-old son telling his entire class about how much fun he had on his first day back. The school called us and made us pick him up. Yep, totally busted.” — Cristina, VA

8. I tick a box every morning saying I haven't given my kid any fever reducing medication... but when my son was teething, I definitely loaded him up on Infant Motrin for three days straight and still ticked the ‘no’ box the next day!” — Alex, NJ

9. “To get my 3-year-old to wear his mask, I told him that it would give him superpowers just like his hero, Superman. I even bought him a superhero-themed pack of masks. I honestly didn’t think it would work (because, um, wouldn’t he figure it out once he put the mask on?), but it totally did! I’m actually pretty proud of myself.” — Rachel, TX

10. “I told my kids that all Legolands and trampoline parks were closed so they’d stop asking to go (they have been open for months in my state).” — Maria, FL

11. “I have definitely used potential COVID symptoms in order to get out doctors’ appointments that I forgot to reschedule before the normal cancellation window. I also don’t take the boys’ temperature every day and just put in their normal temp on their school forms—a temperature kiss on the forehead is all you need (and then obviously if they feel warm, I take it properly).” — Alyssa, MA

12. “My husband was super paranoid and wanted every package sprayed with Lysol and every item from the grocery store wiped down. I totally did not do that when he wasn’t home (which wasn't that often ‘cause he never left the f*ing house).— Aya, AZ

13.For weeks, I told my kids they weren’t allowed to come with me to the grocery store because of COVID, but really I just wanted to go shopping alone.” — Emma, NC

14. “I lied to my kids about playgrounds still being closed when they first reopened because I wasn’t comfortable with it yet. I’ve also lied about how much screen time my kids are currently watching in conversation with school parents I think would judge me.— Anna, CT 

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...