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Artist Balks After Friend Demands She Leave Her Art Supplies For Daughter After Babysitting

Woman doing art with young girl
Afriandi/Getty Images

The respect for small business owners has grown dramatically in the U.S. in recent years. Small Business Saturday emerged to round out Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Unfortunately, however, some people still see small business owners as hobbyists. Redditor masterwoodhandler seems to be one of those.

The artist recently babysat for her best friend and learned how her art supplies were viewed.

It caused the original poster (OP) to turn to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

She asked,

“AITA for not sharing my “toys” with my best friend’s daughter?”

She went on to explain.

“So my [31-year-old Female] best friend “Riley” [31-year-old Female] recently just got a part-time job after several years of staying home with her daughter “Ella” [6-year-old Female].”

“She and her husband “Joe” [34-year-old Male] haven’t been able to get the childcare situation totally sorted out and needed a babysitter last Saturday, so I agreed to watch Ella for the day while Riley was at work.”

“I’ve been sort of the “cool aunt” ever since Ella was born. I typically will bring small gifts or activities whenever I know that I will be seeing her, which isn’t all that often.”

“Ella is a smart and engaged kid and I like to give her things that will interest her and keep her occupied.”

“One important piece of information here is that I’m a very crafty person.”

“I have a small online store and also work with local businesses for selling and distributing small batches of my product – hand-painted wooden figurines.”

“I thought it might be fun to introduce Ella into my hobby/business, so I ended up bringing 10 unpainted figurines to choose from, a few tubes of acrylic paint, and some paint brushes.”

“We immediately got to work and Ella was so into it. She had an absolute blast painting her turtle figurine.” “

“But when it came time for me to leave, I started packing up all of my supplies, and Ella became visibly upset.” 

“Riley insisted that I leave the supplies behind so that Ella could keep and play with them. I disagreed, and basically said that I have no obligation to give away any of my belongings.”

“I personally feel like I was more than generous by babysitting Ella on my day off (I do have a regular 9-5 job as well) and providing a fun activity for her.”

“Riley pointed out that I have a pretty large stock of items at home, which is true, but still – letting Ella keep the supplies and figurines would’ve been a loss in profit for my business.”

“Ella cried when I didn’t let her keep any of the stuff, and Riley argued that I should have never brought “toys” over if I wasn’t willing to let Ella keep them.”

“Now, Riley hasn’t been responding to any of my messages or calls, and I can only assume she’s still angry over this whole thing.”

“I thought I was doing something nice by babysitting and providing a fun activity.”

“AITA for not letting Ella keep my crafting supplies?”

“EDIT: Just clarifying that I DID let Ella keep the one completed turtle figurine that she painted herself. Everything else I took back home with me.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

“NTA. Does Riley start dismantling the swings when she leaves the playground?” – xopranaut

I wish I could react with GIFs. 😂😂😂.”

“OP is NTA. She babysat (I assume for free) for an entire Saturday. Her friend is surely aware that this is her business.”

“If this person was truly OP’s friend, they should have offered to pay for the supplies so her kid could keep playing. What a ridiculous request to make. Smh [shaking my head].” – WooNoto

Look, your friend is a real piece of work. She should just have said thank you for babysitting my child.”

“Thank you for entertaining her and introduce her to your craft.”

“Good learning opportunity about possessions and moderation. The supplies do not belong to her, and she has to deal with disappointment sometimes.”

“She got to keep the figurine she painted, that is fair, she doesn’t get the other ones.”

“Stop calling your friend and maybe don’t offer to babysit any longer and don’t bring stuff over because they are entitled, not appreciative.” – Used_Grocery_9048

“NTA- I have a couple of little girls that I babysit, and I often bring over different craft tools and bring them home with me afterwards.”

“Her mother needs to teach her that not everything she sees belongs to her. And if there’s an activity she really enjoys, the mother should take her out to buy the needed supplies.” – Roadgoddess

“‘Riley argued that I should have never brought “toys” over if I wasn’t willing to let Ella keep them.’”

“that is a stupid thing to say.”

“every babysitting job I ever had, I brought an “activity bag” with fun stuff and crafts and when they made crafts they kept them, but all the supplies and anything unused got packed back up and taken home at the end of the night.”

“NTA and your friend is an AH for thinking her child is entitled to keep the things you were considerate enough to bring and let her play with. that is not a good example for her daughter.” – champagneformyrealfr

“NTA and Ella is old enough to understand that” – Ok_Possibility5715

“Solid NTA. Crafting supplies like paints and brushes are expensive, not to mention that everything you brought is used for your online business.”

“Tell Riley where she can buy supplies for Ella, but I wouldn’t have left any of those supplies behind, either. They’re not “toys.” They’re inventory for your business.” – AffectionateYoung300

“NTA. The kid is understandable in crying, that’s just what six year olds do. The mom is supposed to explain how we were lucky to use them and how wonderful it is. Not act like the six-year-old.” – brokenhousewife_

“NTA. They wanted free babysitting from you and they wanted you to give them all of your craft supplies, for free?”

“You were more than generous by providing babysitting and doing a craft with Ella. Don’t let them take advantage of you.”

“Ella has to learn the difference between a gift and borrowing someone’s things. Wow.” – schoobydoo42

NTA. Your friend is using you. “Fun auntie” is way too often code for ‘free childcare.’”

“’Oh but <name of child> thinks of you as her fun auntie! Won’t you come and spend some time with her?’”

“No. Not unless you’re there. Because then it’s childcare, and that’s a job.” – RiriTomoron

“NTA Probably shouldn’t put toys in quotations made me think of something else.”

“But no, the things you brought were more supplies than toys, and they shouldn’t have expected you to leave things like paints, brushes, and other art supplies behind. Maybe the figurines she painted, but that’s it.” – With-Cheese


“She got to keep the figurine she made. This is no different than if she had gone to one of those craft places where they let you make your own project.”

“You get to use their supplies and make your own project, but at the end of the two hours, you get to take home only your project, not their supplies. Mom is being silly about this.” – avocadosdontbite

Taking your supplies only and leaving the turtle Ella worked hard on is without question, not an AH move.”

“Those are your supplies, and you use them to earn money. If you took the turtle, then yes, that part would be an AH move.”

“On the plus side, you know, have a great idea for future presents for Ella.” – PhoeKui


“They’re yours….obviously there’s no issue with taking something that belongs to you.”

“You could have an endless supply of items, but that doesn’t mean the child is entitled to them. Tell Riley to buy her kid some supplies, not expect you just to hand yours over….” – DJ4116

“NTA. You didn’t bring gifts, you brought an activity over for her to do, and she enjoyed it.”

“You have no obligation to gift her your supplies for her to do the activity when you’re not there. Your friend doesn’t sound very grateful for your help!” – summerstorm74

Your friend sounds unappreciative.”

“Send her an invoice for your time in babysitting costs, the costs of paint and supplies used, and the cost of the figurines.”

“Only then will they realize the true figure and why you were not willing to hand over everything. I am sure art paint etc., was not cheap, but your friend will not have known this.” – Andrewoholic

NTA, mom should have explained to her why she can’t have them all rather than confronting you about it in front of her. You are the villain to Ella now even though you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“It’s awfully entitled to expect someone who babysat all day and provided an enriching activity to leave all “extra” stuff when you allowed her to pick from an assortment.”

“Art supplies are expensive! That is your business! This is why people need to tell their kids no more often.” – Head-Investment-8462

Like another Redditor said, at least the OP has plenty of gift ideas for Ella.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)