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Ask Sheila: When Is It Safe To Stop Hiding My Child?

My boyfriend doesn't know I'm a mother.


May 15, 2023, 08:06 AM

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Hey Sheila!

I have an issue I believe you can help me with. I’m a beautiful 30-year-old woman. I have a 12-year-old daughter who I had when I was in form four. We parted ways with the father when I was still pregnant and we were never an official couple. He went on to marry and has his own family.

This is where my problem is. I learned earlier on not to tell men I date that I have a daughter because when I did, they would lose interest.

I met my boyfriend 8 months ago and because I liked him a lot, I decided not to tell him I have a child. Our relationship has gone very well, I have met his family and he has been asking to meet mine.

I love this man. I think he will make a great husband but I’m afraid that if I tell him the truth now, he might leave me. I am contemplating just going on with the lie and then maybe later on, after he marries me, our daughter can become part of our family. What do you think?

Dear Beautiful Woman,

There are things that a love interest deserves to know about you on the first date. Things like children, your HIV status, or your criminal record is not information to withhold. It’s not one of those things you hide at first, like the fact that you snore or that you are messy.

You, my dear, hid a whole baby. For eight whole months! You could say that he never asked directly or that it just never came up, whichever makes you sleep better at night. The bare truth, however, is that you are in a relationship that was founded on a lie.

If you love him as much as you do, tell the man the truth. There’s a chance that he will break up the relationship (who can blame him? If you can lie about a whole baby, what can’t you lie about?) If he hangs around, do better.

If you keep lying to him, it will end in tears and so many more people will be hurt. If things don’t work out and you date again, tell the truth on the first date. The man who truly wants you will stay.

Lying about having a child doesn’t make you childless, it just makes you a liar. And if your child ever finds out about it, imagine the questions she would have. She might wonder why you are hiding her or even feel as if you are not proud of her.

It was wrong and it is time you correct that wrong. If it doesn't work out, it is for the best. If it does work out, he is the man for you and you are lucky to have him because he values you enough to forgive you for that big lie.

Yours Truly,


Read: Sheila, Should I Give My Boyfriend Money?