Dad Admits to 'Conspiring' With MIL to Lie to His Wife About Their Baby's Milestones

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Back view of baby boy sitting in a Bumbo chair playing with toys.
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Some little white lies are understandable in a marriage. (You know, like saying your husband's lasagna is the best ever, when really it's about one notch above airplane food.) But others are better off avoided if they'll just hurt your partner in the long run -- especially if you repeatedly keep the charade up for ... oh, say, months.

One man on Reddit is learning that lesson the hard way after a little white lie he told his wife one day led to another -- and then another and another -- until eventually, the whole thing imploded.

  • It all started when his wife, who's doing her medical residency and working hellish hours, worried that she'd miss a bunch of their baby's "firsts."

    The couple, who welcomed their first child just 11 months ago, have done everything they can to make things work -- he cut back to a part-time job, and his mom even moved in to help care for their son.

    Still, he says, his wife "comes and goes" for one to three days at a time because of her work schedule, so their son is usually asleep the whole time she's home.

    "My mom and I make sure that when she's home and the baby is awake, my wife gets him 100%," the poster writes. But he knows that it's all been pretty hard on his wife, who faces another year of residency and a continually grueling schedule.

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  • Still, even with that arrangement, it was kind of inevitable -- she was going to miss some stuff. And it wasn't long before she did.

    The first missed milestone? Rolling over. And that, he says, is when the lies began -- though it happened somewhat innocently.

    "When she got home, my mom pulled her over to the baby all excited," the poster recalled. "I thought she was going to tell her, but instead she says 'Julie, you came home right on time! He's been moving about as if he's going to roll over!'"

    (Oof, smooth move there, Grandma!)

    "They both stood there encouraging him, and right on cue he rolls," the dad continued. "My wife was elated. She was so worried and guilty about not being there and she took it as proof that she can still be a present mother while working."

    Putting it that way gets you right in the feels. Because as we all know, working mom guilt is REAL, and it can totally crush a mother who is trying so hard to chase her professional passions while also being there for her kids.

    This, of course, is how things snowballed.

  • The poster says he started texting his wife little things she missed throughout the day but reserved the "big" things for when she was home.

    First crawl, first words, first time standing -- Mom was "present" for it all. It's just that she had no idea these things had actually happened already.

    "The walking one was difficult," the new dad shared. "There was a tough 7-day stretch where she just wasn't home during the daytime when he was awake, and his walking went from teetering to walking a couple steps pretty confidently in that time."

    And that's where things got a little elaborate.

    "We put little beanbags in one of his pants pockets so he'd be wobbly and unbalanced and it looked believable, since he fell after the first step like he was doing a week ago," he wrote. "Yes, it was mean to our poor son but my wife's face was worth it."

    Except apparently, it wasn't, because his tower of lies came tumbling down recently and let's just say things didn't end well.

  • Soon after seeing her son "wave goodbye" for the first time, the wife took her husband's phone and discovered a previous video of him doing just that.

    (I don't know about you, but I am cringing SO HARD right now.)

    "She figured the whole ruse out pretty much instantly," the poster wrote, adding that he's "never seen her look so upset and heartbroken before." 

    Nothing he could say or do would comfort her, and soon after the discovery, she locked herself in the bathroom to cry and refused to come out. 

    "I'm on our bed hoping someone can please tell me what to do to make this better," he pleaded.

  • The people of Reddit were immediately at his service, replying to the thread with mostly kind advice and support.

    "Oof, your heart was in the right place, but I completely understand why she feels betrayed," wrote one user. "She is probably just as angry at herself as she is upset with you. I can't imagine how tough it would be for a new mom to be away from her infant so much, she is probably carrying a tremendous amount of guilt despite knowing she's going through residency for your family. I'd just give her space for now and when you talk, promise her that you'll be transparent going forward."

  • Many encouraged the husband to remember that his intentions were good, and that his wife's tears may be rooted in more than just the lie. 

    "You are an awesome husband. Honestly," wrote one commenter. "I don't think this is about the movie clip at all. It is just that she feels guilt about being away so much. And seeing this on the phone made her question and doubt her motherhood, and probably made her realize the reality."

    She may have a point there -- though her immediate tears were no doubt the cause of feeling betrayed.

  • But others had zero sympathy, and were all, "NOPE, NOPE, NOPITY, NOPE -- YOU LIED, DUDE!"

    One user even went so far as to say they would divorce someone if they ever lied about such a thing. (Yikes.)

    To that, plenty of other commenters jumped in to say that would be a bit of an overreaction, given the situation.

    "You would divorce your spouse and the mother/father of your child for trying to make you happy and spare you heartache?" one user shot back. "Obviously it was misguided but this is insane."

  • In a follow-up post two days later, the husband shared that he and his wife eventually talked things out -- and are stronger for it.

    "I apologized and explained why I did what I did," he shared in the update. "She said that feeling like she was there for our son's milestones was really just a band-aid solution that didn't actually convince her she was present. She said that if she actually had been using the milestones to feel like she was present, this would probably have felt worse for her. But since she wasn't, in her words, 'deluding herself into thinking she's actually home,' her main issue was that I lied which hurt her feelings." 

    Ultimately, he said his wife definitely felt betrayed but understood that his heart was in the right place because he loves her. Plus, he added, "she thinks we'll probably laugh about it with our grandkids one day."

    The couple then ordered takeout while they watched the real milestone videos of their son together. And believe it or not, they ended the night in laughter.

    "She almost choked from laughing so hard when I tentatively revealed the beanbag trick," he shared. "I am the laughing stock of her friend-group chat. So I guess we're already at the stage where we're laughing about it."

    Phew -- crisis (sort of) averted. The moral of this story though? It's the same one our parents told us since we were old enough to listen: Don't. Tell. Lies. Even if you think you're getting away with things, it'll eventually come back to bite you in the butt. (And when it does, hopefully you have a spouse that's as understanding as this guy's wife.)