While babysitting can be very enjoyable, it can also be quite stressful. Things can be great when the children are sweet and the parents are thoughtful and there is a healthy working relationship. These people can feel more like extended families. But, that’s not always the case, according to Reddit user, @Electron_Professor who posed Her question in the AITA (Am I The A**hole) forum.
Adventures In Babysitting
Our storyteller, let’s call her Anna, starts her post by stating she babysits to make extra cash on the weekends. She’s continued to work with a certain family even though she knows that the mom has a history of making bad decisions. The mom doesn’t communicate with her well, is often late returning home, and makes it very difficult to get anything else done on the weekends other than caring for her kids.
Anna agrees to sit down again after having a conversation regarding the mom’s desire to stick to a set time. Anna even gets the agreed-upon time (9:00 pm) in writing. But, once 9 pm rolls around, there’s no sign of mom. That’s when things get even more complicated.
“Of course, 9:00 rolls around and she’s not home. I called her, no response. Text, no response. Another hour. Nothing. Still calling and texting. It’s midnight. By this point, my plans are long ruined but I’m pissed and exhausted. I call her and leave a voicemail saying if she’s not home in the next hour, I’m considering the kids abandoned and calling the cops.” [email protected]Electron_Professor
That’s a lot to unpack, but, I’ll try. So, not only did the mom disregard the agreed-upon time to return home, she knowingly ruined Anna’s plans that evening. It’s also concerning that she doesn’t respond at all. What if her children were in an emergency? Despite this, Anna didn’t want to take drastic measures just yet.
“I try calling her 30 minutes later and it goes to voicemail on the second ring, I text her again and she leaves me on read. If she had reached out saying ‘Hey, I’m staying out until x time,’ I would’ve stayed. I don’t know any of her family nor the father of the kids so I can’t call them. I gave her a grace period for 15 minutes and tried calling her again. [then I] finally called the cops (non-emergency line).” [email protected]Electron_Professor
After several attempts to get her mom to respond to texts or calls, Anna was left with two options: reward bad behavior and stay, or call law enforcement and let the mom deal the consequences. She made a decision.
After unsuccessfully trying to contact Anna’s mother, the police arrived and removed Anna from the station. Anna wanted to be with the children so that they could see a familiar face. However, she was told she was not allowed because she wasn’t a family member. Our storyteller was left with no choice but to go home after a long and stressful night.
The Mother Finally Responds
“I am awoken at 3 AM by a frantic call. It’s her. Where are the children? Why am I not there? I tell her that I did as I promised, and she went to the police station. She cursed me out, I hung up and went to bed.” [email protected]Electron_Professor
Anna did what she had to do. The mom had so much time to respond and one could even conclude that the mother was in trouble. This caused major problems for mommy dearest.
“The next day, she sends me an essay saying the kids’ father was called and there’s a DCF investigation launched against her. She called me every name under the sun but I didn’t think I was wrong until I spoke to a friend with kids. She said I should’ve just waited it out and refuse to ever sit for her again. She asked if her potentially losing her kids was worth me being petty.” [email protected]Electron_Professor
Reddit user Anna was questioning her decision as it is the nature subs. While the mom was clearly in the wrong for staying out so late without responding, were Anna’s actions overkill?
Luckily for her, commenters were overwhelmingly on the Anna’s side. They had a lot to say about her friend’s response, however.
“NTA (not the **hole) you gave her every opportunity under the sun to create a better outcome. You gave her many warnings and made sure she got them. Instead, she tried to hold you hostage for 30% of the agreed-upon amount. You gave her everything. Your friend, however, was being an a**. You were not being petty. She did abandon those children. She knew she did not have childcare for those 6 hours and chose to stay out of the home and make herself unreachable instead.”~@JusttheBean
The mom should hopefully take this as a wake-up call and get her act together. We totally agree that the babysitter did the right thing and mom needs to be more considerate of other people’s time. Maybe a live-in nanny would be more ideal for the mom’s situation? Communication is essential, and caregivers or babysitters should be aware of red flags.