When you’re a teen, requests for your babysitting services pop up all the time, from neighbors and family friends and, in many cases, your own family — little cousins, nieces, and nephews. If it’s work you enjoy and you’re getting paid, it’s a sweet gig. But when the parent of those little ones requesting your services is your older sister who has to go to work, and it’s an “emergency” but then the other parent is her husband and he’s home when you’re asked to babysit, things can get complicated. That’s the babysitting situation one teen found herself in — and she wasn’t happy about it, per her post on Reddit‘s AITA forum.
Let’s start at the beginning: The 17-year-old original poster’s (OP) sister, 34, called and asked her to watch her kids after she was called into work for an emergency because “no one else can.” OP rushed over — only to find her sister’s husband, her brother-in-law, “locked in his game room playing video games.”
The OP says her sister called her to watch the kids because her husband didn’t want to “babysit” because it was his only day off. (Insert screeching brakes sound here — but we’ll get back to this.) The OP starts hanging with the kids, but was in the middle of a messy diaper change for one when the older kids asked for a snack, and OP told them to ask their dad since she busy. According to the OP, the dad sent the kids back to her for a snack, so she made them a snack.
Dad, apparently, wasn’t happy about the nuisance of his own hungry children. “Their dad came out to eat and told me not to let the kids interrupt him on his day off,” the OP explains, adding that the dad works part-time from home, six days a week.
The OP snapped and “told him it was MY day off too and that he’s a useless f*cking father and husband if his wife has to rely on her teenage sister rather than her own husband.” It turned into a screaming match (according to the OP it was a private conversation, not in front of the kids) and he started telling the OP she was disrespectful and doesn’t understand how hard parenting is. OP snapped back that he clearly doesn’t understand how hard it is either — since he considers parenting his own children “babysitting.”
The brother-in-law kicked the teen out and now she wonders, was she wrong?
“My sister is mad at me, her husband is mad at me, my mom is mad at me for causing drama, but my dad thinks it’s funny and agrees with me,” the OP reveals. “I definitely didn’t need to call him names but I just hate this guy so much. We have argued about things in the past as well so we already don’t have a great relationship.”
The sister thinks the OP should apologize to him, and he is threatening to never let the OP into the kids’ lives if the OP continues disrespecting him. The OP doesn’t get paid for babysitting but says she doesn’t have an issue babysitting the kids. “I love hanging out with them.”
At the time of this Reddit posting, the OP says “no one has apologized to anyone yet.”
So… Is the OP an a-hole?
Reddit commenters overwhelmingly say no — and we’d have to agree. “Hold up. Your sister had to leave work because her husband kicked you out…..even tho he was literally right there for the kids. Her husband is utterly useless and she needs a reality check.,” commenter FoxUniCarKilo wrote. “Me, personally, if I showed up just to find out the husband was there but didn’t want to “babysit” his kids I would have turned right back around. That’s not an emergency, that’s enabling.”
Another poster added: “WATCHING YOUR OWN KIDS IS NOT BABYSITTING!! If you’re reading this and you say your partner babysits your kids, knock that shit off. Words are impactful. Use them correctly. OP, I love everything about what you did. Don’t apologize. Ever.”
Reddit commenter Kentiar wrote: “Can we say it louder for everyone at the back? It’s not babysitting if it’s your offspring.”
Indeed: Can we say it louder for the people in the back? While this teen may have gone about confronting her brother-in-law in the wrong way — and it’s obvious she’s had issues with her brother-in-law before — we can totally see her side. For his part, it seems the brother-in-law has very relaxed responsibilities in parenting with his wife. Whatever happens and whoever does (or doesn’t) apologize, we just hope OP can still hang out with her nieces and nephews.
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