Babysitting can be so much fun, but it can also be a lot of work. When the kids are cute and sweet, the parents are thoughtful, and you have a healthy working relationship, things are often great. These people can even end up feeling more like extended family. 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.
After having a conversation with the mom about sticking to an end time, Anna agrees to sit once again. She even gets the agreed-upon time (9 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 call her, no response. Text, no response. Another hour. Nothing. Still calling and texting. Finally, it is 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.” ~@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 there was an emergency with one of her kids? 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 of 15 minutes and tried calling again, [then I] finally called the cops (non-emergency line).” ~@Electron_Professor
And, after several attempts to get the mom to respond to calls or texts, Anna was left with either rewarding bad behavior and staying, or calling law enforcement and letting the mom deal with the consequences. So, she made a choice.
The police arrived, and after also unsuccessfully attempting to contact the mother, dismissed Anna and took the children to the station. Anna wanted to go with the children so they had a familiar face, but was told she was not allowed as she was not family. So, our storyteller had no other options but to go home and go to bed after a long, stressful night.
The Mother Finally Responds
“I am awoken at 3 AM by a frantic call. It’s her. Where are the kids? Why am I not here? I tell her I followed through on my threat, check the police station. She cursed me out, I hung up and went to bed.” ~@Electron_Professor
So, Anna did what she needed to do. The mom had so many chances to respond, and at that point, one could even assume the mother might be in trouble herself. As one might expect, this created some 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.” ~@Electron_Professor
As is the nature of the sub, this reddit user was doubting if she made the right decision. 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 several warnings, and even made sure she got them. Instead, she attempted to hold you hostage for 300% of the agreed-upon time. You gave her every consideration. 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
Hopefully, the whole situation will be a wake-up call to the mom to 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? Regardless, communication is important, and whether you are a babysitter or caregiver, you should definitely watch out for red flags.