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Woman Called ‘Bad Host’ For Leaving SIL Who Can’t Swim On A Boat ‘Alone’ To Go Snorkeling

two people snorkeling
Roberto Moiola / Sysaworld/Getty Images

Redditor Worldly-Cupcake4 recently planned a snorkeling trip for her family of four as well as her brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew.

If planning the entire trip wasn’t enough, the Original Poster (OP) is also 5 months pregnant!

Due to her pregnancy, the OP learned on the trip that her SIL expected her to stay on the boat during the actual snorkeling.

The OP had no such plans.

But unfortunately the carefully laid plans were thwarted when the SIL refused to snorkel.

This led to confusion and conflict, ultimately driving the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

She asked:

“AITA for leaving my SIL “alone” on the boat to go snorkeling while I was ‘hosting’?”

She went on to explain:

“I [Female age 34] recently went on a snorkeling trip with my husband, BIL [brother-in-law], SIL [sister-in-law] (BIL’s wife), and the kids – my sons, ages 7 and 3 plus BIL and SIL’s son age 8.”

“When I was planning this trip, all of the communication from BIL and SIL was always like ‘We are so excited to go’ or ‘We are looking forward to it’…”

“…so I was always under the impression that everyone was going to, you know, get in the water and go snorkeling. Heck, SIL and I were talking about what reef-safe sunscreen to buy before the trip.”

“And then we get on the boat, and we’re headed to the reef. Everyone’s getting their snorkeling gear out, reapplying sunscreen, and I started to inflate my toddler’s armbands.”

“When SIL saw me, she looked a bit confused and asked me whether my husband would be looking after both the boys in the water.”

“I said my husband will go snorkeling with our 7 year old while I get in the water and stay near the boat with our toddler.”

“I’m five months pregnant, and I didn’t want to stray too far from the boat with a toddler.”

“The day was beautiful, and visibility was amazing, but no way was I going to let my husband wrangle both kids by himself. This wasn’t a beach, and we were literally jumping into the sea from the boat.”

“She told me she assumed I’d be staying on the boat because of my toddler and my pregnancy.”

“I told her no, I can’t really do that. Look, both of my kids love the ocean. If my toddler saw his dad and brother get in the water while he’s stuck on the boat, believe me, we’d ALL be suffering.”

“I asked her if there’s a specific reason why she didn’t want to get in the water, and she said she’s not a good swimmer.”

“She then asked me whether I’d be okay with my 7-year-old going with BIL while my husband took our toddler.”

“I said no because I wanted at least one adult per child. I told her she could put on a life jacket and join me in the water, but she said no.”

“She then asked me to stay with her because she didn’t want to be alone. She wasn’t actually alone; the captain was on the boat, but I guess she didn’t want to be alone with a stranger?”

“I didn’t stay on the boat. She only gave me one-word answers on the way back home, but I got a message the day before yesterday.”

“She basically said that she was wrong to assume that I would stay on the boat, but she thought I would stay as a ‘good host.'”

“I told her I’m sorry she felt that way. She called me a** that can’t even properly apologize. I promptly cut that off and let my husband deal with it.”

“SIL has called me multiple times since, but I haven’t answered. My BIL is unhappy that I’m ignoring her and told my husband to make me talk to her.”

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:


“If she needs someone on the boat, she should have called her own husband back in…was he aware she was planning to stay on the boat??”

“Did BIL know she wasn’t going to swim, and also just assume you’d babysit her?”

“And he has the gall to be annoyed with you?!”

“ETA your SIL sounds like a child who can’t stay on her own for a bit. I mean, c’mon!” – superrm81

“‘She told me she assumed I’d be staying on the boat because of my toddler and my pregnancy.'”

“‘When you assume, you make an a** out of you and me.'” Abe Lincoln. Probably.”

“‘she thought I would stay as a “good host”.'”

“You didn’t host anything. NTA: Your husband needs to deal with her and the demanding BIL. Not your circus, not your monkeys.” – KronkLaSworda

“So SIL thinks that you should not have gone snorkeling on the snorkeling trip you planned because she isn’t comfortable in the water.”

“NTA and has she always been so entitled? Why did she even go in the first place?” – Ok_Conversation9750


“This is 100% on SIL for not communicating that she wasn’t comfortable with snorkeling and assuming you would stay with her, DESPITE you being ‘all-in’ on the snorkeling.”

“I mean, it was your idea, right?”

“If she’s so afraid of the water that she can’t get in with a life jacket, then she certainly should have said something before that moment.”

“She’s right that ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ isn’t an apology. But you should make it clear that you didn’t intend it as one.” – 1962Michael

“You chose the safest option: one adult per child. Also you stayed near the boat with the toddler, so it’s not like she would be looking at empty ocean, you would be in fairly close reach.”

“I think it was very selfish of her to expect you to choose a less safe situation of putting multiple kids with one adult…”

“…or that your own child wouldn’t be able to swim, so that she, a grown adult, would have you to babysit her on a perfectly safe boat, because of her irrational fears.” – Reasonable-Sale8611


“You offered her a life jacket, and she refused.”

“This was a boating and snorkeling trip. What did she expect?”

“I suspect she was all on board (pun intended) until she actually got on the boat, and then her fear kicked in.”  

“That was her choice to decline jumping in the ocean, but she was the A H for expecting you to babysit her.” – Longjumping-Lab-1916

“NTA Your SIL seems like a lot of fun.”

“Did you pay for this trip or did she think you were the host because you arranged everything? Either way, you’re not required to stay on the boat as ‘the host.'”

“If she had anxieties or worries, she should have brought them up before, you know, getting on a boat.” – Zorrosmama

“I have been on several day trips for snorkeling.”

“Weak swimmers can wear a safety vest and/or one or more ‘noodles’ to help them.”

“Maybe that equipment wasn’t on the boats, and it should have been.”

“One these day cruises, everyone who wants to gets into the water, including the hosts. as they are all paying a commercial outfit for the outing.”

“NTA” – Aggravating-Pain9249


“We all make choices.”

“Chartering a boat to go snorkeling for a day is a pretty expensive outing.”

“Choosing to not go in the water is one thing, but expecting that the other folks who went on the snorkeling day would also do that because you wanted to stay on the boat is not cool.”

“She’s basically saying you should pay a crap ton of money to sit and chat with her. If that’s what she wanted to do, she could have invited you for tea instead.”

“She should have brought a book.”

“I don’t think you owe her an apology, but if apology theatre is what’s required here to make your family gatherings tolerable in the future, then you might consider it…”

“…knowing that it would 100% be theatre to placate an overly dramatic and demanding SIL.” – KoalaOriginal1260

“She is the AH for not telling you she didn’t want to get in the water and waiting until the last minute to spring it on you that she expected you to keep her company. NTA.” – mifflewhat

“Good lord. You wanted to enjoy the trip, and her potential enjoyment hinged on the assumption you wanted to spend time with her and not your kids. NTA” – christpherwa1ken


“She assumed and was wrong. You’re not required to babysit a grown woman. Your BIL needs to handle his wife and your husband needs to handle both of them.”

“Perhaps they shouldn’t join on holidays if SIL needs a minder.” – WielderOfAphorisms

“NTA and she’s being weird. I went on a trip with my cousin that involved snorkeling, she’s not a strong swimmer either and thought she could do it but she couldn’t.”

“Did she ask me to stay on the boat? No, she encouraged me to go with the rest of the group and took photos of the group in the water.”

“The same thing happened with my husband on a different trip (he’s also not a strong swimmer; both of them have asthma). Couldn’t do it…”

“…told me to go and have fun while he took photos and enjoyed the sun.”

“You SIL is being weird and projecting her insecurities onto you.” – helpthe0ld

Sorry, SIL. Not the OP’s problem.

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)