Working for ourselves, like freelancing or babysitting, definitely has its perks, but it’s really annoying when we have a tough client.
One babysitter found out just how annoying it could be when one of her clients never came back home on time, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Electronic_Professor finally had enough of trying to work with her client on returning at reasonable times.
But when she was criticized for being more strict with her client, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have handled the situation differently.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for calling the police on my client?”
The OP had trouble with one of her babysitting clients.
“I (28 [Female]) do babysitting on the weekends to make some extra cash.”
“There is one family I definitely should’ve fazed out by now, but the kids are cute, and if I don’t have another job, it’s easy money.”
“My issue is, the mom is never home on time. She used to not give me return times but finally, I started asking as it made it impossible to get anything done on the weekends.”
“I’d go babysit, so she could go to ‘brunch,’ but she’d be gone from 11 AM to 7 PM. My whole day would be gone.”
“After that, she’d start giving me times but never stick to them. She wouldn’t even call to tell me, she’d just stay out.”
The OP was let down by her client again.
“On Saturday, I got to her house at 6, and she was supposed to be home by 9. I told her she needed to be on time because I had plans to go out with friends.”
“I was even getting ready at their house after I put the kids to be. She promised.”
“Of course, 9:00 rolled around and she wasn’t home.”
“I called her, no response. Text, no response. Another hour. Nothing.”
“Still calling and texting. Finally, it was midnight. By that point, my plans were long ruined, but I was p**sed and exhausted.”
“I called her and left a voicemail saying if she’s not home in the next hour, I’m considering the kids abandoned and calling the cops. I also texted her this.”
“I tried calling her 30 minutes later, and it went to voicemail on the second ring, I texted her again and she left me on-read.”
“If she had reached out saying, ‘Hey, I’m staying out until x time,’ I would’ve stayed.”
The OP went through with her promise.
“I don’t know any of her family nor the father of the kids, so I couldn’t call them. I gave her a grace period of 15 minutes and tried calling again.”
“I finally called the cops (non-emergency line). They showed up, and I showed them our agreement in text from earlier in the week, confirming that she’d be home by 9.”
“They tried contacting her, and she didn’t answer. I was dismissed, and they took the children to the police station. I went home and went to bed.”
The OP was ridiculed by the client.
“I was awoken at 3 AM by a frantic call.”
“It was her. Where are the kids? Why am I not here?”
“I told her I followed through on my threat and to check the police station. She cursed me out, I hung up, and went to bed.”
“The next day, she sent me an essay, saying the kids’ father was called and there’s a DCF (Department for Children and Families) investigation launched against her.”
One of the OP’s friends gave her suggested another perspective.
“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 refused to ever sit for her again.”
‘She asked if her potentially losing her kids was worth me being petty.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were appalled by how the mother cared for her children.
“3 is basically 9 if you put your watch on upside down.”
“Obvious sarcasm. She has a pattern of leaving her kids, making proper arrangements for care, and staying out of contact to avoid her responsibilities.”
“It’s entirely possible they’re being left or ignored in other ways. If this affects her custody, that’s probably for the best.” – berrykiss96
“She leaves her kids on the regular, has no clue if they are ok, not checking in when the caregiver is trying to get ahold of her. Does she need to have those kids???” – mrsalwayswright
“That is neglect.”
“Would her kids being taken from her be overkill if this is the only way she neglects them and we give her the benefit of the doubt that she would have responded if the text was more urgent than an expectation of basic respect? Maybe.”
“Is it likely that this is only one of the many ways that she shows a lack of responsibility for her kids? Absolutely.”
“Regardless, this was neglect.”
“She was warned and given a generous deadline well beyond her commitment. She was given multiple courtesy calls and texts that she did receive.”
“She was given a grace period after the generous deadline with additional phone calls. She had multiple chances to do the bare minimum.”
“She s**t all over them because she assumed she was entitled to do so without consequence. She f**ked around. She found out.” – Nosfermarki
“She left her on-read, so she’s getting the messages. She’s just abusing OP’s patience and thought she’d never follow through with calling the police.”
“She came home at 3 am after promising to be home by 9? No excuse for that.”
“If she’s a good mother otherwise, she won’t lose her kids, but she’ll probably be checked in to make sure she’s being responsible.”
“If she’s doing other stuff that’s problematic, it’s fair and dad should know about it.”
“Imagine how it’s going to be for the kids when they figure out that mom is supposed to be home but blows off for hours with no contact despite promises to be home.”
“It was nuclear, but OP is NTA for sure.” – wildeflowers
Others agreed and said the phone calls could have been about anything.
“Her kids could have been in an accident or something, and she’s not even answering the sitter’s calls?” – Lanky-Temperature412
“Call me paranoid, but I always have my phone with me when I’m not with my kid.”
“If it’s in my handbag, I still pull it out and check it on the regular. Even if it’s just that he’s fallen off the monkey bars at school and sprained his ankle, I want to be there.” – Azazael
“I can only imagine one of the kids having a severe allergic reaction to something or some home accident and OP having to head to the hospital with them, with all the calls going unanswered.”
“What a terrifying situation that would be. And then the mom would blow up the phone at 3 AM, asking where they are.” – Deansaster
“As a single parent there are several things would are red flags:”
“1. Lack of response”
“2. WTF (What the f**k) as a parent am I doing that I’m not responding to my sitter?”
“3. Seriously WTF was she doing to not be home till 3 AM? Even a date night/hookup, you are checking the phone to make sure everything is ok.”
“I’m saying this knowing and admitting being a single parent is hard. It’s challenging and can be draining; but it’s no excuse to be MIA like this.” – Jenn_aye
Though the OP felt some guilt for causing an investigation to be launched, the subReddit agreed she had done the right thing.
Not only had she given the mother many chances to show up or respond, but this was also a repeated occurrence. Putting those two things together, it may be worth looking into what will be best for the children.