18 Lies Moms Tell Their Kids to Stay Sane


Last Sunday, as we drove home after an exhausting tournament, in a heavy downpour, my kids suggested we continue the nonstop excitement by going to see a movie. Frankly, my eyes were closing just thinking about my cozy bed and if I wasn’t the one driving, I think I would’ve passed out cold.

Me: “Wow guys, that’s a great idea! Oh, wait, I forgot, they don’t show movies after 8PM on Sundays. Darnit. Maybe tomorrow.”

Yes, I’m always quick to throw out a creative, well placed lie. Ry, my 9yo daughter, quickly to accessed the statement, and confident in its validity, went back to whatever she was playing my iPhone. My son J, who’s 12, went back to his phone too. After a short pause, he said, “Mom, what are you talking about? They have an 8:25.”

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Damn you interwebs from ruining the only sanity saver I had left!

Here’s the thing, Moms lie. We do — and frankly a fast thinking fib can be the difference between a good night’s sleep and being sent to padded room. You see, mothers are a brilliantly dishonest bunch. And deception is one of the strongest tools in our arsenal (well, until your children figure out how to look things up on Google, that is).

Of course, we fabricate things in different ways. There are the universal terms and phrases, and there are the incredibly creative lies that we tell to prevent a meltdown, an argument or simply to give us a moment of peace and a brief reprieve.

Here are some of the best lies moms tell their kids to save sanity, furniture, face, time, and money…  (Thanks to my genius Facebook fans for their help!) Feel free to steal any and all you may need.

1. They don’t give you ketchup at drive-thrus.

2. The lunch lady calls me when you don’t eat your sandwich.

3. The cat is allergic to Moon Sand, so we can’t have any in the house — for her safety.

Related post: 10 Reasons Not To Play With Your Kids

4. You didn’t get money from the Tooth Fairy last night? That’s because she doesn’t work the 3rd Tuesday of the month. I should have told you. I’m sure she’ll come tonight.

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5. They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.

6. Harry Styles hates girls who don’t listen to their parents. Now, go brush your teeth and don’t forget to floss.

7. There are no cartoons on at night because that’s when the characters sleep.

8. The ice cream man only plays that song when they’re out of ice cream.

9. It’s such a shame; the movies, arcade, and bowling alley are all closed after 6PM on weeknights.

10. The restaurant I’m going to with Daddy doesn’t allow kids or we would totally take you … I think the waiters say inappropriate things.

11. No, this isn’t a brownie. It’s a breakfast bar and it has lots of protein and fiber and even spinach in it. Do you want one?

12. Animals want to be eaten, it give them such joy to be chosen as your food. Here’s some chicken … go ahead make it happy.

Related post: 33 Reasons Moms Are Late

13. Unicorns are real, but you only see one when you’re being really good. What, you haven’t seen any? Well, you have to be even better.

14. Babies come from the internet and that baby sister you wanted is on back-order.

15. Chuck E. Cheese’s is only for birthday parties; you have to be invited to one to go there.

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16. What do the signs say? Um, no running, no touching, no talking. (I’m so screwed when he learns to read!)

17. The stuffed animals will be lonely for their friends if we take them out of the store.

And of course the most universal (and ironic) Mom Lie…

18. I’m your mother, I would never lie to you!

About the writer


Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog is the humorist behind The Suburban Jungle. A card carrying Gen Xer and columnist at Huff Po and The Stir, her goal is to you keep herself sane and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join the insanity on Facebook and Twitter.


Brianna 1 year ago

My most creative lie to my child, “The tooth fairy is on the other side of the world every 2 weeks handling tooth fairy business. She’ll be back soon.” Now my child knows my payday schedule.

Heather 1 year ago

When my 5 year old would ask me to go somewhere I’d tell him they were closed. He’d always ask how I knew if I wasn’t there. I told him I’m mom… I know everything. Worked like a charm until I picked him up from school and was asking how his day was. Without missing a beat he told me I should already know because I’m mom and I know everything…. sigh, I hate when they get smarter than us.

StarkeyRaina 2 years ago

I remember if you sing Christmas songs when it’s no where near Christmas you won’t get presents

Alloryn 2 years ago

My sister and nephews lived with me for a year when the boys were 12 & 10. I told the boys that I would always know if they broke the house rules because I had installed security cameras around the house.

“You mean like spy cameras?”

“Yes,” I said, “but they’re hidden really well & I’m not telling you where. Oh, and don’t bother to try and find them, ’cause I’ll see that, too.”

From then on, the number one question in the house, heard at least 150 times a day, was whether or not one of the cameras was housed in the small, Celtic style plaque in the living room. Hee hee hee.

The boys are now 20 and 22 and they still look suspiciously at that plaque when they come over.

Denise Manning 2 years ago

“Oh, why is your toy in the trash? I really didn’t want to throw it out, but the dog threw up on it.”

mom 2 years ago

I don’t teach my kids to lie.

hbombmom 2 years ago

I seriously believed this one when I was little. Never checked for fear of what they may have looked like (child raised on extremely inappropriate 80’s horror movies right here). I also believed my mother when she said she was a witch. I tried it once on my boy and he just laughed and grabbed the back of my head to check it out. LOL. He was severely disappointed.

    hbombmom 2 years ago

    Oops. Meant to reply to the one about eyes in the back of your head :-).

Autumn Quick 2 years ago

I have my preschooler convinced that kids have to ride in the cart at the grocery store until he is 5. It is store policy, I can’t break the rules.

Jean Mess 2 years ago

My mom never said “I’d never lie to you” instead she would say “I would never lie to you, if you’d ask me if you were pretty I would tell you that you were VERY smart.” I also made a list similar to this if anyone wants more motherly lies http://www.jeanmess.com/lies-my-mother-told-me/

Ashley 2 years ago

Aw I’m sad I’m late for this one. My big whopper is that Netflix is broken, because honestly, if I have to hear Bob the Builder’s machines cry about one more thing I might just lose it. Netflix is broken all the time around here. All. The. Time.

Scarlet 2 years ago

For an amazingly long time my kids believed only grandparents could take you to McDonald’s. Moms and dads weren’t allowed.

Kat 2 years ago

I know that this list is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and not taken seriously but, frankly, I rarely told my kids white lies. If I didn’t want to go to the movies, buy them a stuffed animal or if I wanted to go to a restaurant without them, I just said so. They needed to learn that they can’t always have what they want and needed to learn how to deal with it. That being said, we did have fun with the tooth fairy, Santa, the Easter rabbit, etc. After all, childhood should have some magic, right?

Mommyalex 2 years ago

I tell My daughter weve been in the park for 3 WHOLE hours with wide eyes like I lost track of time when it’s only been 45 minutes needless to say I don’t like the park much

Simon 2 years ago

Great advice, convinced Moms/parents that dishonesty should be the hallmark of their parenting style. I have a technique for the kind of dilemmas you mentioned too: telling my child the truth. You may think that you are being clever; I think you are not giving children enough credit. Eventually all your silly lies made up to prevent such utter catastrophes (oh no, my child wants do something, quick I better get him glued back to his smart-phone!) will lead to problems. But please, keep writing poorly-written, inane articles that convince parents their unhealthy habits are OK, because you are an expert and you said so. And “I would never lie to you!”


Great work.

    Justin 2 years ago

    I agree Simon. This article promotes telling lies to your children, even though these are just small white lies, but parents are perplexed as to why their children begin to lie to them. I’m all for telling 100% truth. Oh, it’s late on a weeknight and you want to go to the movies well I don’t really feel like it tonight. However, if you act really good we will see if we can go this weekend. You want some ketchup for your fries? Well you’re likely to make a mess in the car so you’ll just have to do without or I’m too lazy to pull over and open the packs for you. No the tooth fairy didn’t bring you anything last night because she doesn’t exist. You really shouldn’t go around thinking that mystical figures exist, oh and by the way Santa didn’t bring you those gifts either Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa bought them for you. Let’s start telling the truth and our lives will begin to get easier and our children will begin to be better.

    Lucid 2 years ago

    Its going to be “scarypeople.com” when these electronic zombies become adults.

    Mary 2 years ago

    Well, I bet you’re lots of fun at parties.
    Poor kids who grow up with no Santa, no Easter bunny…. no hope, no wonder.

    Tell me, do you read them the Narnia books? Or are you so terrified of fiction you wouldn’t dare lead them astray like that?

Katie @ The Surly Housewife 2 years ago

Slow clap. This is epic!!! Love it!! Totally using a couple of these too.

Allie Smith 2 years ago

I love your list! I have told many of those lies. lately I’ve had to tell my kids that if they don’t wear a coat to school (for some reason, this bitterly cold winter, there’s been a coat rebellion) that the school will report me to the police for child abuse.

Claudia Anderson 2 years ago

For years I would tell my boys while we were shopping that I couldn’t afford something, but that they were perfectly free to put it on their Santa Claus list. Now, if they asked for it more than once it did indeed go on “Santa’s” list One of them told his Grandma that he believed in Santa long after his friends didn’t because Santa brought stuff he knew his parents couldn’t afford!

    mariac223 2 years ago

    I use that every time @ stores…I tell my 2 and 3 yr old mommy doesn’t have any money but you can ask santa…its march..lolol

Ash 2 years ago

I’m sure I have more frequent one, but during the Holiday Season the darn Elf on the Shelf turns me into a pathological liar. “Sure he moved honey….see, his hand is in a completely different position;” ” I think he took a lap and went back to the same spot…he must really like it;” When is he coming? I think he really wants us to decorate the tree – so he refused to come until its all made up”

MJ 2 years ago

My favorite to my daughter is: I can see and hear everything you do no matter where I am, even when I’m not home. It’s a special gift Moms have.

Shelley OConnor 2 years ago

When my oldest daughter (now 20) started noticing the ice cream truck when she was about 2, I told her it was the vegetable man. “Oh look! there’s the vegetable man. I’ll bet he has some carrots! would you like to get some?” She would make a face and say “No thank you!!” She believed it until she was about five (and her younger brother 3 years younger) muahahaha.

    ABG 2 years ago

    I told mine that the ice cream truck was out of ice cream if the music is playing.

mommycakes 2 years ago

here’s my worst…which my daughters find hilarious….My 4 year old daughter could ride a two-wheeler the first time she climbed on at age 2 and rode like the wind. At the same time, her 7-year old (very tall for her age) sister was struggling to manage training wheels. When the caregiver lined the little munchkins up to head to school my little one was tearing off at the front of the line and the older one was miles behind. Not exactly and ideal safe group ride to and from school. So we told them that the law in our city was “no training wheels once you turned 7 and they had to stay on until you were 5”. We just wanted everyone to get to school more or less at the same time, safely, in a controlled manner. The 7-year old chose to run along with the cyclists who all had to slow down as the speed demon 4 year-old had been hobbled. Guess who is now a nationally ranked runner? Who incidentally still struggles to ride a bike…lol.

    Jenny from the Blog 2 years ago

    Hilarious, who says lying doesn’t pay? XO

wifforlif 2 years ago

I’ve always told mine that McDonald’s cooks the syrup right into the pancake so we don’t need to use any more! Keeps the car free from syrup packet explosions!

    Jenny from the Blog 2 years ago

    I’m totally stealing that one!!! Thx for reading.

Says Ella 2 years ago

My favorite is that I have eyes in the back of my head.

Buffster 2 years ago

The only one I do all the time is when I’m hiding in a corner/bathroom/bedroom/any room my child isn’t in and eat a piece of chocolate or whatever (when she inevitably appears) is to say I’m eating nothing. Let me eat my chocolate in peace!

cheesehead4ever 2 years ago

Too funny! The only one that might not be a lie is #3. I’ve ready about pets being poisoned after eating Moon Sand. Don’t know if those stories are true, but I wouldn’t take the chance. The only reason I found these stories is because the first time Moon Sand came in the house some ended up on the floor and I helped clean it up. Within half an hour my hands and bare feet swelled up to twice their normal size and were itching like crazy. Moon sand was banned from our house forever.

    Jenny from the Blog 2 years ago

    I had no idea… I’ll say it with more conviction from now on.

BlondieRox 2 years ago

When my daughter was younger it was “No we can’t go to Chucky Cheese today they have a Rat problem”. She then started to ask “Mom does Chucky Cheese have a rat problem today?” lol Poor kid

    Jenelle W. 2 years ago

    Someday she’ll laugh at that :)

    Jenny from the Blog 2 years ago

    Technically Chuck E. is a rat or a mouse who looks pretty ratty, and he’s always roaming around, so you’re not even lying. It would be really scarring if you brought a massive trap and caught Chuck in front of your daughter and said, “All clear, we can go in now.”


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