Single Mom Blows Ex's Cover After Discovering He's Been Using Their Baby To Get Dates—Now He's Upset & She Wonders If She's Wrong

He never sees his son, but fatherhood is his entire social media presence—and she's had enough.

Dad taking selfie with a baby Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava / Shutterstock

Co-parenting after divorce is full of myriad challenges and pitfalls, and for one mom on Reddit, that includes her ex using their baby's photos for social media clout—and to woo new girlfriends online.

In a post to Reddit's "r/AmITheA–hole" subreddit, a forum where people go to see if they've mishandled a conflict, the new mom described the frustrating experience she's embroiled in with her ex-husband—and how she's getting back at her son's dad for using photos of his child.


A mom figured out how to stop her ex-husband from using their baby to get dates.

The new mom says her ex texts her every day saying he "needs" new photos of their son. But that's about all he has to do with their son other than child support.

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The mom says her ex-husband "isn't present" in their son's life but posts pictures of him on Instagram every day.


She writes that she and her ex "divorced right after my son came into the world" because she found out he was cheating on her. He does pay her child support, but she works to take care of "most of the bills." Despite this, her ex-husband loves to make a big show of how he "banks me"—how he supports her financially—even though it isn't true.

He has next to no involvement with their son beyond the monetary, either. Aside from blanketing his Instagram with the tyke, she writes that "he isn't present in his life." Nevertheless, her ex-husband texts her "every day saying that I need to send him a pic of our son for him to see if he is ok."

Every time she sends a photo, her ex posts it online almost immediately—which she finds very frustrating, especially since figuring out why he's been so adamant about keeping his Instagram updated.

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The mom discovered her ex has been using their baby to impress women online.

She recently found out about her ex's new relationship and writes that she was "so upset" when she got the news because it made it seem like everything he'd been telling her was a lie—especially when it comes to the time he refuses to spend with their baby. "He claims that his job takes all of his time," and that is the reason why "he doesn't have time for our son."

She's certainly not alone in this situation if TikTok trends are any indication—the app is full of memes about uninvolved dads using photos of their kids to impress women, as seen below.



But for this mom on Reddit, it was certainly no laughing matter. She was angry and heartbroken, and talked about it to a friend at length—and that friend had an idea of how to stop her ex-husband from using their baby to get dates and impress women with a fake "good dad" Instagram persona.


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The mom began adding a watermark to every photo of her son so that her ex-husband can't use them online.

"I vented this to a friend," she writes. After a long conversation, her friend gave her an idea. "From now on, every time I send my ex pics of our baby, I'll put a watermark with my name [on] the picture."

She tried it right away, and it definitely worked—maybe a bit too well, because she says that on the very first try, her ex-husband had a total meltdown. He began hurling profanity at her, calling her a "b-tch" and an "a-–hole" for altering the photos. 

Clearly, she struck a nerve—and she was clearly right about his motives in constantly asking for baby photos. Still, given how outsized his reaction was, she wonders if she's done something wrong and asked her fellow Redditors for their two cents. 


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People on Reddit definitely did not take kindly to the woman's ex-husband using pics of their baby to impress women online.

Reddit users were firmly on the mom's side and agreed she did nothing wrong. If anything, they thought she should take things a step further.

"He is using your pictures to make it seem like he is a present and involved father, when he is not," one Redditor wrote, going on to suggest she "stop sending him photos and just reply with 'Yup, James is fine today." 

Many others agreed, like a user who commented, "If he doesn't want to post watermarked pictures, he can take and post his own. He's using your photos to make himself look like an active and involved dad. You are under no obligation to facilitate that charade."


But some wanted her to take things further still and go full-on petty to teach her ex a lesson—by only sending selfies of her and the baby cuddling together. Others suggested adding thought bubbles to the photos with quotes about how much her baby misses his dad or doing weird Photoshop edits that would make the photos unusable.

Of course, that may be taking things a bit too far toward using their son as a bargaining chip for revenge—a major no-go when it comes to co-parenting, as life coach Kate Anthony told us in 2020.

"You may be mad post-breakup—you may even be really justified in being mad," she wrote, but putting your feelings at the center puts your kids in the middle." That can be really damaging for children with divorced parents, so Anthony advises that divorced parents constantly ask themselves "'is this really in my children’s best interest?' If the answer is 'No,' take a deep breath and move on."


Okay, so turning photos of your kid into cartoons mocking your ex-husband might be a bridge too far. But you can't blame the people of Reddit for thinking about it.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.