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‘I lie about my house to get out of hosting playdates – best parent hack ever’

Writer and performer Tova Leigh has just released her second book You Did What? which features a number of outrageous confessions – including some jaw-dropping parenting fails

Tova Leigh has been sharing people’s confessions

Have you ever wondered what other people get up to when they think no one is looking? This is a topic that fascinated writer, performer and digital creator Tova Leigh.

It fascinated her so much that she wrote an entire book about it, a book which has been released this week.

Called You Did What?: Secrets, Confessions and Outrageous Stories from Real Life, the book features a collection of funny and downright shocking anonymous confessions from Tova’s followers on social media.

As well as scandalous admissions about sex, relationships and work, the book also features a number of tales about parenting and we’ve been given a look at some of the most hilarious and unexpected ones from the pages.

We’re certain many mums and dads at home will get a good laugh out of these fails and some might even be able to relate.

Tova’s second book You Did What? is out now


Steve Ullathorne)

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One parent from Australia admitted that they accidentally told their three-year-old daughter that Father Christmas had died to get her to be quiet for a little while – and it backfired tremendously.

Poor Santa!

They said: “When my daughter was younger, about three, she was OBSESSED with Santa. Totally obsessed! Every two minutes she wanted to know where Santa was, who he lived with, what he was doing, eating for dinner . . . You get the idea.

“One day, I had a terrible headache and I had had enough with the Santa questions all mother ducking day. I couldn’t do it any more.

“I had calmly asked her several thousand times to change the subject. I tried so hard to redirect the conversation but no, we were still on the same subject. And it slipped out. Dear god, I wish it hadn’t but it did. I snapped, ‘Santa is dead!’

“She was confused because she didn’t know what death meant. So I not only told my child that Santa was dead, but opened a new can of worms about what is death.”

The book features a number of parenting confessions and fails


Steve Ullathorne)

Another parent, from Israel, shared how they disliked having children over to their house for playdates, so they came up with a cheeky “hack” that would ensure they never had to host other kids again.

They explained: “When we don’t want our kids to have playdates in our house because we would much rather our children go to other people’s houses for a playdate, we lie and make up excuses and say, ‘We are having issues with the boiler and there will be a plumber in this afternoon so it’s a bit hectic. Can Bella come round to yours today and next time we can host?’

“Of course, next week the boiler is still not fixed and eventually people forget (or are too polite to say anything).

“Best parent hack ever.”

Bending the truth was a recurring topic throughout the confessions, with a third person saying how they told their little one they were allergic to Play-Doh.

“I told my son I’m allergic to Play-Doh so I don’t have to play with that god-awful stuff,” they wrote.

“He believes me and makes sure he doesn’t leave a mess behind so I don’t accidentally touch it. I’m not allergic to anything.”

While a fourth person from the UK managed to trick their son into thinking his tongue would turn purple if he had Calpol when he wasn’t actually sick.

“When my son got to about four he realized that Calpol tasted nice, and that if he said he needed medicine we would believe that he was sick in some way and that would score him time off school. So of course he started to say he needed medicine whenever he didn’t want to go to school.

“We realized that he didn’t actually need it but he would lie through his teeth and you would always have that “but what if I’m wrong” thing at the back of your mind, so I took measures into my own hands. I told him, ‘Well, you can have medicine BUT you do realize that if you take medicine when you DON’T need it, your tongue will go purple and it will stay like that for a week and EVERYONE will know you lied about being sick.’

“After that he never asked for medicine when he didn’t need it again. He is now 12 and in secondary school and he STILL BELIEVES ME! He will to this day ask, ‘Is my tongue purple?’ whenever he’s not sure whether he jumped the gun a bit in taking medicine for something minor!”

Others had simply omitted the truth for their child’s best interests, with one mum adding: “In lockdown my 23-year-old son grew a beard. One day he decided to shave it off, but his throwaway razors would not work on his beard.

“Being a helpful mum, I said I had a razor which would shave the beard off. I gave him said razor, and off he went. He comes out of the bathroom a bit later telling me how fab my razor was.

“It’s now sitting in a pot in the bathroom and he uses it all the time. But so do I – it’s my bikini trimmer! Still not told him.”

Tova Leigh’s new book ‘You Did What?’ is out now. To purchase your copy, head to

Do you have a parenting story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at [email protected] and visit Mirror Mums on Facebook for more.

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