Any parent who had ever needed to hire one can confirm that a good babysitter is hard to find and should be treasured and treated well once they’re found.
But babysitters unfortunately can also tell you that good clients can be just as hard to find at times, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When they were already two hours late and not responding to text messages, Redditor RepresentativeRow608 invented a small lie to encourage their clients to return home for the night.
When they accused the babysitter of being unprofessional, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they went too far by lying.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for lying to the people who I was babysitting for to get them to come home?”
The OP agreed to a babysitting job during the previous weekend.
“I am 15 years old and I babysit to make money. I took a first aid course and a babysitting course.”
“Last weekend, one of my little sister’s classmate’s parents had a wedding to go to and asked if I would babysit.”
“I asked how late they would need me and if I should pack an overnight bag if they were going to be staying out all night.”
“They said that they would be home by midnight.”
“So I checked with my dad if that was okay because he is my ride. He doesn’t want me alone in a car with adults that he does not know.”
But the parents did not return when they said they would.
“So my dad was there to pick me up at 11:50. The kids were all asleep and I was watching tv.”
“I had texted them at 11:00 to double-check that they would be on time. The mom texted me back, ‘yes.'”
“12:30, and they still aren’t there. I texted again. No answer.”
“I called my dad and he was p**sed. Not at me.”
“One o’clock, I called them. No answer. My dad went and got a coffee at home and came back. He is all calm. Not good. He is ready to blow.”
“I texted every 15 minutes. No response.”
When they continued to not respond, the OP tried something else.
“2:20 AM, and I had an idea. I texted them that someone tried to break into their garage but that the alarm scared them away.”
“They were home drunk in an Uber in 15 minutes.”
“My dad made them pay me for my extra time before we left.”
“He told me that I’m not allowed to babysit for them again unless I charged them for an overnight stay.”
“Yesterday at school, I saw the mom when I was picking up my sisters after school.”
“She gave me s**t for scaring her and her husband. She said that they had checked their security cameras and no one tried to break in.”
“I said, ‘Sorry, the alarm went off, so I called you.'”
“She called me a liar, which is fair, but I don’t feel bad about what I did. They lied to me first.”
The OP had mixed feelings after that.
“My mom says I should have just sucked it up but my dad says that they broke our deal.”
“I kind of feel bad for tricking them into coming home from their party. But they could have told me it was an overnight arrangement or texted me that they were going to be late.”
“My dad has brought me an overnight bag before when that has happened.”
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 said the OP had done everything they needed to do as a babysitter.
“Why would you have a next time babysitting for them?”
“They lied, jerked you around, came home drunk (most likely would have stiffed you for the extra time if your dad hadn’t been there), and then were rude and aggressive the next time you saw them.”
“You texted them an hour before they were to be home and they assured you they’d be on time. You had a ride there waiting for you. They wasted your time and your dad’s time and odds are they’d of wasted both of your entire nights if you didn’t call with the emergency you had (and I doubt they’d of paid what all they owed without prodding from dad).”
“Plenty of people need help with childcare. I’m sure you can find plenty of other people to set for who will respect your time and your boundaries.”
“NTA.” – acegirl1985
“Since they told the 15-year-old not to pack a bag, they were putting a kid in a really awful situation too. She’s expecting to go home, her dad is there waiting. She’s not going to go to sleep. She’s going to stay up way too late for a kid her age.”
“If I were her, I would have called their emergency contacts or the police after 30 minutes assuming they had been in an accident or something.” – distrustfuldiscovery
“OP, don’t ever babysit for these people again. They left a 15-year-old in charge of their kids until after 2 AM, took advantage of you, and they did it on purpose. The fact they ignored your texts but then immediately came home when you said there was a break-in proves they were deliberately ignoring you.”
“You’re NTA but you will be (to yourself) if you ever give them another chance. Especially considering they are not even remorseful for their actions and are instead angry about the measures you took to make them come home to their children.” – WingedShadow83
“They clearly knew your parents were picking you up, so they had two people waiting on them. I would’ve paid you 3x your fee, made your family dinner, and brought it to your house the next day with more apologies. Then she doubles down with her rude comments!!!”
“UGH!! These people suck… Did you tell your parents about her giving you shit at school? Hopefully, they never ask you to babysit again!”
“30 min, 40 min late, would be annoying but once it went over 60 min with no contact… they are mega AH. If I was your Mom, I’d be on the phone with every parent I know to share this story. Don’t let your kids babysit for these idiots.” – Alarming_Reply_6286
“When I was your age, I babysat too. I had one family that did the same to me as well.”
“Because I had another family that was chronically by 30 minutes every time, I has a ‘late fee’ set up. It was a dollar for EVERY minute late instead of the normal 12 dollars an hour. (Strangely that family was NEVER late after that change…)”
“Also, my parents (my mom is a lawyer so…) had every family sign a contract before I could work for them that had the rate of pay and late fee spelled out.”
“IF you ever babysit for them again (I recommend you not) I suggest you do the same.” – KSknitter
Others also thought the OP had been right to lie and get the parents home.
“They would have stayed out all night leaving a teenager to take care of their children if OP hadn’t lied to make them come home. They’re more concerned about their property than their children or the person they left to care for them. NTA.” – nololthx
“They got lucky you didn’t call the police. And to be fair, you tried to get their attention more than enough times… AFTER CONFIRMING AN HOUR BEFORE THE AGREED TIME!!! If I was your dad, I would have made them pay you for an overnight stay just for being 2 hours late with no notice.” – ArlTheCrazy
“‘My mom wanted me to call the police to see if they had been in an accident. But I thought that if they were still at the wedding that would cause a scene.'”
“Not to be rude, but tell me you’re white without saying you’re white.”
“The babysitter knew what was up. She knew they weren’t in an emergency. If they hadn’t responded to her text (white lie) about the garage, then she might have had reason to believe there was a real problem.”
“OP is NTA. What she did was pretty reasonable, and also shows that the parents were more concerned about the property than their children.” – redfreebluehope
“You handled this pretty darn well overall. I will say from your description of events that I am glad your dad was handling the situation with you.”
“No disrespect to your mom, but she strikes me more as the ‘don’t rock the boat’ type, and that’s not really a healthy attitude to have. Standing up for yourself, without being ridiculous about it, is the way to be. That means you will invariably encounter people, who are used to trouncing boundaries, getting mad at you, and blaming you for their decisions, but that is infinitely better than perpetually avoiding any and all conflict and ending up being the one losing time and time again.”
“Set clear boundaries in life, keep in mind those boundaries will soften and harden over time, but feel no shame in enforcing them, nor in letting the people who don’t respect them fall to the wayside.” – DilbertedOttawa
“I don’t know what the situation is like in your town, but in my town, reliable babysitters are hard to find. Bad behavior by the parents means you are out of luck the next time you need a sitter. The lack of apology would be unheard of here. I mean, it IS Canada, but still.”
“Blow this story up among your friends and hopefully your parents will talk among the other parents of older kids, I think these people will have a hard time securing childcare in the future. I hope they had a great time at that wedding, in my area it would be the last wedding they were able to attend until their kids could stay home alone.” – CarelessProcedure
The subReddit was proud of the OP for how they stood up for themselves, especially given the late night hour and the fact that the parents were intentionally not responding to their messages.
While their solution involved a small lie, it was probably for the best, so everyone could return safely home, and the OP could exit the relationship with a negative client once and for all.