12 Lies I Tell My Kids to Help Me Get Through the Day

woman with secret

Once upon a time, when I was a brand-new mom, I remember thinking I would never, ever lie to my children.


Fast-forward six long, stressful, sleep-deprived years, and three kids, and I've realized there are certain times when lying is just so damn necessary for my survival (and theirs).

Here are 12 lies I tell my kids to survive our everyday life:

1. "If you don't brush your teeth, they will turn black and fall out!" 
Obviously, oral hygiene is important -- and besides, this is self-defense. My kids insist on being two inches away from my face when talking to me and I don't enjoy my coffee with a side of hot, stinky morning breath.

2. "Get your shoes on right now or I'm leaving without you." 
I haven't followed through with this one ... yet. But nothing gets them moving like the threat of being left behind without an adult to get them 17 snacks before lunchtime.

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3. "I'm not sure what we're doing this weekend."
I know exactly what we're doing -- a lot of cleaning, probably all the laundry I've neglected, some yard work, and possibly something fun that could get canceled depending on the weather and how much you let me get accomplished. So I'm not going to tell you because you will ask about it every hour, on the hour.

4. "If it hurts that bad and you can't calm down, I'm going to have to call the doctor and see if we can get you in!" 
Some days, a simple bump, bruise, or scratch can send any of my kids into a 15-minute, overly dramatic meltdown, and this little white lie is just the band-aid they need to magically turn off the waterworks. They haven't yet figured out that unless it's broken or gushing blood, there's no way I'm hauling three kids into a doctor's office when we don't have an appointment.

5. "That outfit is dirty and I need to wash it. Just wear the one I picked out."
This one is usually a half truth. That outfit my child is insisting she wear is most likely clean but still sitting in the dryer, on its seventh "fluff cycle," waiting to be folded sometime this month.

6. "There are no onions in this dinner because onions dissolve when you cook them." 
Most of the meals I cook have onions in them and my kids usually don't notice. But every once in a while, after I've lovingly prepared a meal out of guilt over the number of times we ate pizza last week, they will proclaim their hatred for onions and follow it with a refusal to eat any dish that contains them.

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7. "We're almost there, guys! Why don't you close your eyes and relax for a bit?"
We're not almost there. In fact, we just pulled out of the driveway five minutes ago. Close your eyes and take a nap because I'm most likely lost and your whining will be just the thing to send me over the edge and make me turn the car around.

8. "This will only take five minutes!"
In my ultimate fantasy world, grocery shopping would only take five minutes, but we all know it takes that long just to get three kids unloaded, strapped into carts, and safely into the store. Sadly, this little deception has an expiration date because, for some asinine reason, schools decided it would be a good idea to teach first graders how to tell time.

9. "Sorry. Your brother ate the rest of the Goldfish crackers."
I actually shoveled the last three handfuls into my mouth an hour ago when my blood sugar started dropping to a level that might make me pass out. Also, Goldfish crackers are my weakness.

10. "If you two don't stop fighting, you are both losing your iPad time tonight!"
Lies. Lies. Lies. iPad time is Mommy and Daddy's time. Taking this away is a form of self-torture.

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11. "Here, buddy. I put some juice in your sippy."
I actually just pretended to put juice in that sippy. What you have there is organic, sugar-free, non-GMO tap water but watching me act out an elaborate pretense of pouring juice is enough to get you to stop whining and happily chugging that sippy. God, I love toddlers sometimes.

12. "Yes, Mommy and Daddy are going to bed soon too."
It's 9 p.m. on a Friday night. We are absolutely not going to bed anytime soon. This is our time to let loose, relax, and reclaim our youth. We're going to start an R-rated movie, open a bottle of wine, bust out the good snacks I have hidden in the back of the cupboard, cuddle up on the couch ... and both pass out from sheer exhaustion an hour later.

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