Parenting is a big responsibility.
It can be beautiful, overwhelming, or some terrifying combination of both.
What happens when a parent decides that they’ve had enough of that responsibility and leaves that duty with you instead?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) throw_weeddilemma when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for calling the cops when my bf’s sister left her children with me for a few days which ended with her getting a felony charge?”
OP began with a bit of a disclaimer.
“I am pretty sure I am the AH and I did not think something this bad would happen. This happened about a year ago.”
They provided us some background information.
“Me and my BF have been together for 5 years. His sister, Claire, has a 1-year-old baby, Alex.”
“Claire is a single mom and sometimes drops her baby off at our place when she has some errands to run.”
“I will be honest here.”
“I have no clue how to take care of a baby. I play with the baby but other than that my BF usually takes care of Alex.”
“My BF’s work is onsite.”
“So he usually isn’t home for 4 days and then comes home for 3 days.”
Everything was fine, until…
“One day, Claire asked my BF if she can drop off Alex for the day. BF was supposed to leave for work that evening.”
“Since she had said that she will pick up the baby by evening, he didn’t mention that.”
“Big mistake. He left around 5 pm.”
“I was waiting for Claire and kept calling her.”
“She picked up the phone around 8 pm and told me that she went to a place a few hours away with her friends.”
“She told me to tell BF to take care of Alex for next 3-4 days.”
“I told her that BF already left for work.”
Things seemed to spiral quickly.
“Then she just told me ‘Then you take care of Alex. I will be back in 4 days.’ And then she hung up on me and switched off her phone.”
“I freaked out hard.”
“I cannot call BF because he is unreachable onsite.”
“Neither of us has family in the state that we could have called.”
“I called a few friends but no one gave me anything helpful.”
“The bag she gave with Alex only had diapers left in it.”
“The baby was crying her head off and I didn’t even know what to feed her safely.”
“I literally didn’t know how else to do.”
“So, I called the police and told them what happened.”
“They directed me to a social worker.”
“While the social worker was helping me take care of the baby, the cops called the cops where she was to locate her.”
“The cops found her high on marijuana and she had enough on her for them to classify it as possession and intention to sell.”
“(I don’t think she actually sold anything. She probably just brought enough for her and her friends for the next few days).”
“She didn’t get any jail time.”
“She had to do community service and plead guilty.”
“Unfortunately, that also meant she got a felony conviction.”
“This got her fired and she hasn’t been able to hold on to a good job since.”
OP explained their reasoning.
“In my defense, I only wanted her to come back because I didn’t want anything to happen to Alex because I am not capable of taking care of her.”
“I did not think she was doing anything that would get her arrested.”
“In her defense, she has left Alex at our home plenty of times, so it’s not unreasonable for her to think that I would have no problem taking care of Alex for a few days.”
“Also, this was probably the first time she took a break for herself since Alex was born.”
“My boyfriend was pissed in the beginning but came around later.”
“Their parents also think I wasn’t in the wrong.”
“She obviously hates me and thinks I ruined her life because she wanted a break for a few days.”
“This got brought up recently at a family dinner which is why I ask.”
OP was left wondering,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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
Commenters were quick to point out where the blame belonged.
“There’s a big difference between watching a baby for a few hours while she’s running errands and watching a baby for four-five days.”
“She can’t do that to you. Plus it’s certainly not your fault that she was caught with drugs.” ~ ananders
“Yeah and let’s not forget the fact that the sister turned off her phone so OP was unable to contact her for, at LEAST, some guidance.”
“I don’t see any mistake on OP’s part.” ~ zoemat
“Turning the phone off just shows she doesn’t care either about her baby or the people she just forced her baby on.”
“But even had her phone been kept on, I still would have agreed with OP calling the cops.”
“I know how to take care of a baby and you still don’t just show up out of the blue and dump a baby in my lap and go off with friends for several days.”
“You wouldn’t even do that to someone with your dog.”
“The audacity to assume OP is just going to do nothing for the next 4 days but give free care and supplies to her baby is mind-blowing.”
“This is something parents plan for in advance. And also the majority pay for.”
“This woman is both a crappy mother and a crappy person.” ~ undercurrents
“She ruined her life herself.”
“You were only acting in the best interests of the child during an emergency.”
“Of course, you call the cops under these circumstances!”
“No food, few diapers, nowhere for a child to sleep or play… it is not your responsibility to provide any of this after the SIL has abandoned her child.”
“Even if you could take care of a baby, you had no idea how long SIL would be gone or where exactly she was.”
“Don’t harbor any guilt over this. You did the right thing (though I think pot should be legal so people like your SIL don’t ‘lose everything’.)” ~ LeMot-Juste
Responsibility was a big topic of conversation.
“But once you have a child, there’s no room for spontaneous decision.”
“You can’t have a child and just spontaneously decide to go on a 4-day trip. That’s part of the responsibility that comes with a baby.” ~ holajajjj
“You can’t afford to be spontaneous when you have a child and fail to make proper arrangements beforehand.”
“She was ridiculously irresponsible and honestly the entitlement of telling the OP to take care of the baby then switching off her phone knowing that her brother was unreachable!”
“That’s a neat way to show the world what a failure of a parent you are honestly” ~ undercoverintrovert
Commenters even brought lists.
“Even if op decided to watch the kid and backed out because of whatever reason, that is not her kid. I have a kid. I personally couldn’t imagine doing this to someone, even family.”
“One-year-old kid: no”
“Person wasn’t aware of the 4-day trip”
“You cannot spontaneously leave your one-year-old with someone who doesn’t know how to take care of a kid with 3 to 4 diapers and leave for 4 days.”
“Come get your kid a**hole.”
“Drugs before her kid. I don’t give a flying f**k if you had your kid young, you need a break, whatever. If you put drugs before your kid, then you f**ked up.” ~ startrekmama
Some shared personal stories.
“When my daughter was a baby I was working at a school that had little to no cell reception.”
“I took the full 4 months CFRA, but after that, she was with a babysitter.”
“I had a spreadsheet printed out on the fridge with a copy in her diaper bag with mine and my husband’s cell and work number, my mom’s cell and work number.”
“But all three of us worked in different cities than the one where we lived (my husband and I were an hour away in opposite directions) so I also included my stepdad’s number, my aunt and uncle’s numbers, my dad and step mom’s numbers, my stepsister’s number.”
“And even one of my friends from high school’s mom who was really good with babies because they were in the city where we lived.” ~ punkin_spice_latte
“There are three numbers that will ring through on my phone no matter what.”
“My wife. My mother. And my kid’s daycare. And the only reason my mom is on that list is that she frequently babysits.” ~ wdh662
Parenting is a responsibility that can not be so easily foisted off on others… especially without any notice or instructions!