I know that secrets don’t make friends, but there are plenty of reasons that parents might keep them from their kids. Kids are kids, after all, and may not understand the intricacies of adult life, and even once their grown, our instinct is to protect our no-longer-littles from the tough stuff we’re dealing with in private.

These 14 parents are getting real, though, and dishing on the secrets they don’t want their kids to sniff out.

14. That means she’s doing well by them, I’d say..

They can’t even IMAGINE my past. I now live in a middle class bubble with my husband and my children…but I grew up in a poverty stricken area with very few opportunities.

I lived on a travellers community for some time in my late teens, then in squats in London during the early 90s.

13. No one wants to know that about their parents.

My nephew is 13 now, going on 14 in high school.. His father was in jail for a year for drug possession / trafficking, and his mother was a p**n star and had a golden shower video online for a while.

I really hope he doesn’t stumble onto any of those vids.. He’s starting to get to that age.

12. That is honestly a lot.

Commenting as the child here. Found out my mom used to work at a Playboy Club when she was younger. There she met a Hell’s Angel who she dated for a few years. She got arrested for possession when she went to drop off coke to a friend of his (mom’s bf sold drugs, obviously).

And it all came to an end when he asked my mom to marry him, mom said no, he shot himself in front of her.

None of this my mom knows I know. Found out bits and pieces when my dad would blurt something out or I would eavesdrop as a kid.

11. To a point, indeed.

I’m not a parent. But my parents grew weed, and I have a photo of myself standing in a weed garden. We had an incubator room. They were allegedly tomato plants.

We actually did grow tomatoes, and the plants are surprisingly similar, to a point. At the time, I just dealt with the plants, had no idea.

10. It all worked out in the end.

Found out a secret my parents were keeping from us. About 5 years ago I started figuring out why my parents would go out ALL THE TIME at night and wouldn’t come back till about 3am. They always told me that they were hanging out with friends and going to see late night shows in the city.

I was about 18 at the time and didn’t think much of it. Then one day my mom had a “close friend” come over to hang out. Which I thought was weird because I’ve never seen this dude before. Turns out my parents were swingers and they been trying to hide it from us as long as they could lol. They finally told us about it 2 years ago.

Turns out my dad was gay and had been seeing another guy for awhile. It was really hard for him to tell us cause I could see it in his eyes he didn’t want to disappoint us but we didn’t care. As long as they were happy I didn’t care what they did.

Then my dad passed away a few months later due to an ATV accident. My mom ended up marrying the guy she was seeing. He helped us out a bunch and is an alright guy.

9. I hope this kid is ok.

I spent two years in prison, got released, and had full custody of my 4yo a few months later.

I was a bad addict when he was born, and one of the things I had done caught up to me. When I got clean, I became a new man, spent every day of those two years planning my new life.

At the same time, his mother fell down a black hole. She was the shy, quiet girl who I couldn’t get to drink some vodka with me. When I got home she was a negligent stripper, with various older ‘sugar daddies’ supporting her while abusing my son both emotionally and physically.

Before I even went home on my release date, I spent two hours in court filing papers just for visitation, as she wouldn’t voluntarily allow me to see my son. Once I was approved by a judge and saw what was going on, it didn’t take much to persuade that same judge to let him live with me, although I came ready with character statements from my parole officer, and employer.

This was a little over a year ago, and his mother is slowly coming back into the picture. She seems to be making positive progress, and I know as well as the next guy how important a second chance can be. It’s honestly the hardest thing I’ve had to do, knowing what has happened in the past. But it’s necessary in my mind. I won’t be the reason my son doesn’t have a mother. I’ve cried myself to sleep so many times because I simply don’t know what’s right.

I’ve even lost the respect of the judge after I went from demanding her not be around him while the judge gave her visitation, to then coming back a month later to tell him she was doing a fine job during the couple of hours each Saturday he gave her with our son. It seemed as if he believes I should either be all against her, or all for her, with a never changing opinion. The way I look at it, I walk into his court room and tell him the truth. If the truth is positive for my sons mother, absolutely great. If it’s negative, so be it, I can take care of him myself (with family support of course)

I will never let my son know what his mother allowed happen to him, it’s simply not my place. I’m here to keep him safe and as happy as possible, and I swear on my life I try every damned day to ensure this. I hope she does well, and I never have to answer why she isn’t around. If I do, I honestly don’t know what I’d say…

One day, however, I will most likely tell him my story. If it can be of use to him, I will let him know how drugs affected me. I’m not too eager for this, and will only tell him if it’s relevant, but for now, those are my secrets. Life has been a crazy 23 years for me so far.

8. I guess they thought he’d figure it out.

I’m a child. When i was 5 i remember visiting my dad in a place where there were other men. i was never sure what it was, my parents said it was a hospital so that’s what i grew up thinking.

When i was 15 i found my dads criminal record and it said he went to prison. That place they called hospital was really prison.

7. It’s probably best not to ask.

Speaking as the child here, but I found out that my dad killed someone when he was young. My mom told me, blurted it out even though I was never supposed to know. Dad doesn’t know that I know. I really want to ask him about it, but at the same time I don’t.

I tried googling and I found his prisoner number but the records were expunged after he turned his life around. It doesn’t scare me; I remember thinking at the time that I know he would do anything to protect us, even if that meant killing an attacker.

It’s just so weird because my dad is the most mellow, calm and wonderful person in the world. I love him so much. But I know when he was young he had a really rough life. I think about it a lot.

6. Musicians. I tell you what.

Not a dad yet, but will be in about 2 months. I plan on keeping the fact that I toured the US with a deathcore band as guitar player right after I got out of high school. Been out of the music game for years now though.

I’ll reveal it if he ever gets into music and starts to think I’m not cool enough to understand.

5. That’s a big one.

My dad died in 2013. It was an impressively depressing and bizarre situation. About a month afterwards, my older brother just casually blurts out that before my dad married my mum, he had a whole other family.

A wife and three kids. And I never knew any of it. Neither did my younger brother. It’s not like they were keeping it from us, I just never knew. I still have no idea who they are or where they are.

4. This breaks my heart.

My children have no idea that we are poor.

We rent an okay-sized house for our family away from the poor, more dangerous part of town.

We often are very low on food, but our kids think we haven’t had time to get to the store yet.
Our utilities, phone, etc are shut off nearly every month, but we blame outages.

We also do not completely hold back their childhood. We still do things and go places that are fun, often free or obtained through connections.

We are facing eviction now, and if/when we move, it will be harder to gloss over. But in the meantime, our children have almost no idea that we are very poor and scraping by day to day.

3. She’s one lucky girl.

I’m not my daughter’s biological father. Her bio father has never been around. I did meet her till she was three. As far as she knows I’m dad.

Eventually she’ll learn her birthday and our wedding anniversary and connect the dots. Being a dad has made me the happiest man alive.

2. He’ll tell them later.

That I had been married (and divorced) before I met their mum. It’s a part of my life they don’t need to know just yet. I’ll tell them when they’re older and mature enough to understand.

1. This seems like a bad choice for a lie.

Child here, we had a dog that we did not give the attention it deserved, so one day he “followed our neighbor’s dog” into the road and got hit, conveniently when no one was home.

2 years later at a new friend’s house, I meet his dog, which looked just like my old dog. It even had on the exact same collar. What. A. Coincidence.

I love when other parents get real, y’all. It makes me feel normal.

What secret are you keeping from your kids? Drop it in the comments for u!