Did you ever lie about not having children?

Once upon a time, I was a regular contributor to a parenting magazine. I wrote articles about nutrition, health, summer camp, the likelihood of having twins, the cost of having a baby, and other topics. I glommed ideas off my stepson. He wouldn’t eat vegetables? It became an article. He was color-blind? Another article.

When I interviewed parents and childcare experts, I did not tell them I had never had children. I let them assume that I was a mom, that Michael was my kid. At the time, I was immersed in the day-to-day challenges of life with an adolescent. I did the doctor runs, got the calls from the school, baked cookies for the Boy Scout troop. Didn’t that count?

I got busted a few times when people asked about my experiences with pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care. I had no such experiences. My parenting life began when Michael was almost 12, and it was only part-time. Then I would have to confess that I didn’t actually have any children of my own. But most of the time it was easier to pretend.

How about you? Have you ever lied about being a parent? Pretended your stepchild, niece or nephew or another kid was your own?