Any parent will tell you that there’s no way to totally prepare for having children. There are always going to be situations that you never expected to come up or that you’ve never heard of happening before!
All a parent can really do is take the situation as it comes and make the most informed decision possible, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AppearanceIll8214’s toddler had recently come down sick, right at the same time that her future husband was supposed to have his bachelor party with friends he hadn’t gotten to see in a long time. She sent him away guilt-free and insisted she could take care of their son.
But when he later heard that she’d had to get the doctors involved while he was away, the Original Poster (OP) felt conflicted over making her future husband feel like a bad father for not being there while their son was sick.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not telling my fiancé our son was unwell and I’d called for urgent care advice?”
The OP and her future husband’s son had recently been ill.
“I’m 27 (Female) and my partner is 29 (Male). Together we have a two-year-old and are getting married next month.”
“On Thursday, our kiddo came down with a pretty nasty infection. My FH (Future Husband) and I went to a walk-in center and were advised to go straight to the hospital where we were seen within 30 minutes of arriving by a consultant in that field.”
“We would have been admitted, but there were no beds. Our kiddo was tolerating oral antibiotics pretty well and hadn’t lost any of his energy, so we weren’t too concerned. We took him home.”
The OP took care of their son while her husband went to his bachelor party.
“Yesterday was my fiancé’s stag do (bachelor party). He doesn’t go out much, and some of his friends don’t live locally, so it’s been a long time since he’s a had night out with his best friends.”
“Our kiddo was a bit worse for wear yesterday. I noticed he wasn’t really peeing much, so I kept an eye on him and documented everything, including weighing nappies.”
“I didn’t want to bother my future husband, and I didn’t think it was anything Calpol and some extra fluids couldn’t fix.”
The OP had to make a quick decision.
“But then he started vomiting heavily and not keeping fluids down.”
“So I called NHS 111 (UK’s National Health Service Line) for advice. They advised us to get checked urgently and booked us at an out-of-hours General Practitioner service, as he’d passed some urine and was taking fluids they weren’t concerned and said to monitor at home.”
“I didn’t end up telling my fiancé until midnight last night to avoid interrupting the stag do.”
“He immediately started getting upset with me that I hadn’t told him. He felt guilty for not being here for us and felt guilty that he was drunk and couldn’t drive home.”
“In his words, he felt like a bad dad for not being here if it had ended up being more serious.”
The OP hadn’t expected her future husband to react this way.
“My future father-in-law was out with him and had been told by my future mother-in-law our son had been sick, but neither really knew the full extent.”
“I just didn’t want him to feel like he had to cut his night short or be up checking texts for instant updates and not enjoying himself.”
“He really does deserve a night off, and if we’d had to go back to the hospital, of course I would have told him.”
After it was requested multiple times, the OP also broke her post down into a timeline.
“Thursday: My fiancé and I both took our toddler to the hospital and were sent home when there were no beds.”
“Friday: Our toddler was doing well, tolerating oral antibiotics, and was full of energy. My fiancé and I were both together looking after him.”
“Saturday morning: Our toddler had slept well and was still full of energy, so my fiancé left for the stag do (bachelor party).”
“Saturday midday: I noticed he wasn’t peeing a lot and was a bit grouchier, so I kept a close eye on him, and gave him Calpol and extra fluids.”
“Saturday 6:00 PM: Our toddler began vomiting heavily.”
“Saturday 6:45 PM: Our toddler had a second bout of violent vomiting but still not a lot of urine. I called NHS 111 (UK’s National Health Service) for advice. They set me up with an appointment with an out-of-hours general practitioner (GP).”
“Saturday 10:00 PM: Our toddler was home and in bed after going to the out-of-hours GP.”
“Saturday 11:00 PM: He was still vomiting.”
“Midnight that day: My fiancé texted me while on his way to the hotel. He had had enough on the night out and was heading back to sleep. His night was over, and as we were chatting, I told him about the evening we’d had and reassured him our son was okay. My fiancé felt guilty for not being there.”
“Sunday morning (today): My fiancé returned home.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood why the OP protected her partner but said she took his choices away.
“Sorry, I understand you didn’t want to spoil his Stag, but this is his child too. You should have told him so he at least had a choice to come back before getting drunk.”
“If this was the other way around, you would be having a hairy fit!” – theitguy1968
“You didn’t do it with bad intentions (like, for the sake of withholding info from the dad), you wanted to make sure he had a good time while you handled the situation.”
“But, because he is the other parent, you should have notified him while telling him, ‘This is a unique night for you, I don’t want you to feel like you have to choose between having your stag or going to the hospital with me, I got things handled fine here,’ and let him make his own decisions.”
“After all, if he decides that his son’s health is more important, who are you to decide otherwise?”
“This is a parenting philosophy that should have been discussed beforehand BUT it’s impossible to think of all possible parenting scenarios and come up with a solution for them in advance. I get that you were trying to make the best decision for both of you, but it just wasn’t the best one.”
“The road to h**l is paved with good intentions, as they say.” – ChibiSailorMercury
“You admit you would have been livid if your husband had made the same choice.”
“Texting and checking in would have given him the option of getting home sooner or slowing down or whatever he wanted to do. It would have meant if things had in fact gotten worse he not only would have been in a more ready place in the moment but he also would be in a better place after the night.”
“He’s already feeling guilt for not being there. Can you imagine how he would have felt if he was partying while his kid took a turn?”
“It’s so easy when someone is the caregiver to try and ‘protect’ the other parent and handle things alone. However, it’s important to not only remember you are part of a team but that the other person wants to be part of the team; they want to be there to support you and the child you have together.”
“Parenting is hard enough. Don’t carry unnecessary burdens.”
“I’m so glad your kiddo is okay.” – EmpressJainaSolo
“Soft YTA. I get you were well-intentioned, but it’s his decision if he wants to continue on with his stag night or be home with his sick child. You don’t get to make that decision for him.” – racherdoodle
“OP has already acknowledged that if her husband failed to inform her that their child was ill and had to be taken to a hospital or outpatient care, she would be fuming or livid. But the N T A comments are acting as if because mom has taken care of everything, she doesn’t owe her husband/father the same courtesy she would demand.”
“It’s either YTA or NAH. OP, you should have told your husband what was going on with (collectively) your son. It doesn’t matter that you thought he deserved a night out or that it would ruin his stag do. He gets to decide how to react to the information and he could always re-do the stag do.” – noble_apprentice
Others didn’t think anyone was the AH but encouraged more communication.
“He sounds like a great man, partner, and father. You guys are fine. Ignore the YTA votes (most of them are toxic anyways), but ask your partner what you would like him to discuss in the future should this arise so he won’t feel guilty and go from there.”
“He deserved a night out. He is not a bad father or a bad partner. Just reassure him of that and continue on towards that wedding! (Also, I hope the little one is better now!)” – sacchilaxx
“I think better communication could’ve been helpful, but it was kind of you to take into consideration his night out.”
“It’s understandable why he feels the way he does and it’s valid. You tried to do what you thought was the right thing in the moment. Nobody is at fault, but since this was such a severe incident, he probably should’ve been told earlier. Hope your kid is okay now.” – Abyss366
“NAH, there was nothing he could have done, he was already out drinking and kiddo was taken care of. If he’d said in advance to call him in if anything happened or if you’d texted him, you could have avoided the whole thing, but I get why everyone did what they did.”
“Better communication will help both of you going forward. I hope your little is doing better!” – Jyllidan
“It’s one of those situations where no one is an a**hole for requesting a level or communication that makes them comfortable, but given the unique circumstance of the night, it was a totally reasonable call. She did still tell him about everything that night, just after they returned home from the hospital and kiddo was cleared to just be monitored.”
“If they want immediate play-by-plays in the future, that’s fair. However, if they can’t leave to be with kiddo unless it’s an emergency anyway; it adds a bit of undue stress to keep them updated. Now the parent on duty is managing a sick kid, getting them checked over, and the other parents anxiety while they both wait for answers, as opposed to after the appointment when you have all the info and a game plan.” – xdem112
“I’m 37 (Male) with a two-year-old who got sick last Christmas, and it was scary as h**l.”
“You love your fiance and want him to have a good time, and he loves you and kiddo and wants to be there for his family. There’s a lot of love in this family. Just keep communication open and talk about how you felt and how you would like future scenarios to go.”
“Parenthood is a big-a**ed learning curve, and I feel like I’m learning every day. Hope your little one is feeling better, ultimately that’s the main thing, everything else is irrelevant. NTA.” – Infinite_Delivery_117
After reading the comments, the OP took some time to think.
“Thank you, everyone. I’ve had some really great comments and advice from tons of people and I know I was wrong to withhold information, even if I was trying to spare him the worry.”
“I’ve had a few comments and private messages suggesting I haven’t apologized and only posted on here to then rub it in his face.”
“I apologized to him the minute he was upset because even if I thought I was in the right, my intention absolutely wasn’t to hurt him and I apologized to him that I had.”
“We posted this together and have both been reading through the comments. It’s been good for us to see both sides and chat through this experience.”
“To the person who did PM me saying he should leave me and sue me for full custody over this: I was wrong, I made a mistake, but we’re taking it as an opportunity to learn and grow. We’re both first-time parents trying our best, and it’s inevitable that we’ll both f**k up at one time or another.”
The OP also shared in a comment:
“We’ve been reading the comments on here together and to be honest, it’s made us both aware we need to work on better communication.”
“I don’t think it’ll set us up for failure in any future good times as this situation has brought up an issue we didn’t know we had.”
“I know I was wrong for not telling him but I do think this will be a situation we grow from rather than apart.”
We couldn’t say it better: parenthood is all about first-time experiences and thinking on your feet, and sometimes the plans that are fostered in that moment are not the best ones. Sometimes it takes time and distance to make the best decision possible, but parents don’t always have that luxury at their disposal.
It seems this couple is taking this moment in stride and really using it as a teaching opportunity for both of them in how they want to parent, what they need in a partner, and most importantly, what their communication needs and expectations are going to be as this relationship continues to grow beyond their upcoming wedding day.
Here’s to hoping their little guy will be feeling all better in time for the big day!