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Dad Livid After Spouse Leaves Toddler With Him While He’s In A Business Meeting With His Brother

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Juggling childcare with work can be a difficult task. For one parent on Reddit, it sparked drama when they asked their husband to help out with their toddler while he was in a business meeting.

They weren’t sure about how they’d handled things, so they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by aitatoddlertroubles on the site, asked:

“AITA for leaving my toddler with my husband while he was in an important meeting?”

They explained:

“I have two kids under 3. I was trying to feed my youngest when my oldest started crying because he wanted to be picked up which set of my youngest. I tried calming them both down but it wasn’t working so I asked my oldest if he wanted to go see daddy and took him to my husband.”

“My husband was in a meeting with his brother. They’re business partners and something important is happening this week which my BIL is supposed to be handling. He came over to ours to get some advice/insight from my husband since this will be his first big solo deal.”

“When I took my son to his dad, they said they were in the middle of something important but I told my husband to just watch him for a few minutes until I could finish feeding our youngest and put her to sleep. It took longer than I anticipated and I went to collect our son after 25 minutes.”

“After I finally got our oldest to sleep, my husband and BIL were upset with me for interrupting and said I wouldn’t do that if the meeting was with someone else and I should treat meetings between them the same way. Which is fair enough, but my husband doesn’t usually have the people he’s meeting with in his home office at midnight.”

“AITA?”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following criteria:

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

And while some were understanding of their husband’s objections, they were nearly all on OP’s side on this one.

“Unless it’s normal for him to have meetings at midnight (which I’m doubting), NTA. Only family would be allowed to have a meeting at midnight, only family should understand the need to interrupt a meeting in that situation.Toddler teacher/caregiver here and two kids at midnight are a two person job.”

“Also, my family has multiple members in the same field and my dad tends to mentor them (not in business together though to be fair). He reviews their work and gives them advice, sometimes even during family gatherings but if any of their kids needs help they take a break.”

“I also think you need to make a boundary of work hours even for family, especially with young kiddos that require a lot of hands on work. Really surprised by the responses on here. You both sound like you’re trying your best, parenting toddlers is hard, hang in there!” –SamanthaParkington21

“I was gonna say op was an AH until the very last sentence” –Opsdadns

“Nothing more needs to be said, honestly. I was ready to vote YTA but that completely made me change to NTA…”

“Having that meeting by affording his brother family-specific privileges completely undermines their own argument about treating it like a business meeting instead of a family meeting.” –Affectionate_Ice_

“If I were OP, I would tell them that if they want their ‘business meetings’ to be taken seriously, they should happen in an office during regular business hours and not at your home in the middle of the night.”

“Both of them can shove it. They are entirely out of line for speaking to you like that.”

“NTA.” –theresbeans

“NTA. I wouldn’t even come to Reddit for this if I were you. There are way too many people giving purely hypothetical advice who have zero child rearing experience. Kids aren’t robots.”

“And if your BIL doesn’t want his midnight business meetings interrupted, he can pay for 24 hour office space. When he has the meetings in a home with two small children, he runs the environmental risks.”

“It’s a bit rich that he wants to bootleg things on his end but expects you to treat him like a real professional. It’s like the dude who sells BBQ plates out of his trunk for $10 and complains that people try to haggle with him. ‘Y’all don’t haggle with Red Lobster…’ Red Lobster doesn’t serve its biscuits out of a plastic Shop Rite bag with a hole in the bottom…” –Leading_Vehicle_4325

“NTA They could have called a short break during their meeting and helped out for a quick minute. It was midnight. You needed help. The fact that they ‘reprimanded’ you for not treating their meeting as you would if it were someone other than the BIL is ridiculous.”

“It wasn’t someone else. It was in the middle of the night with two unhappy little ones that you needed help with for all of 25 minutes. This would bring the petty in me out in full force so maybe I’m not the best one to answer lol.” –blueberryxxoo

“OP just needed 25 minutes to collect herself and idk if this sounds ignorant, but the father shouldn’t be having meetings at midnight anyway, especially when he knows he has two small children that OP was probably taking care of all day long.” –InformalGarlic2285

“NTA, if you were walking into a meeting, brother or not, during business hours, knowing your husband was busy, the verdict would be different. You can’t be expected to juggle everything on your own, specially when its midnight. I’d have a talk with him about parental duties/expectations so this doesn’t happen again.” –legallllybrunetttte

“…Parenting is the most difficult job ever especially when you have to be the primary caretaker/stay at home parent. She probably woke up at 6 with the kids and now it’s midnight and she’s still going. Tiny kids don’t let you shower or pee alone. You can’t unwind you can’t do anything with a toddler. It’s work.” –Signature-Disaster

“NTA. I work from home and I’ve ended up with kids on my laps for meetings a number of times.”

“Colleagues across the board have been understanding every time, and at almost 3, there’s no way your child should be so disruptive that the meeting can’t continue.” — LifeHasLeft

“Omg what the actual f’k! I’m so sorry you are in this situation cause you are 2000000% NOT the asshole but your garbage husband & shitty a** BIL are.”

“It doesn’t f’king matter how ‘important’ their meeting was, they’re not on Zoom meeting with the CEO of Google.”

“They’re your family, your kids are HIS KIDS. Even in current work related situations, plenty of employers are more flexible to the interruptions that may come up as we work from home – it’s ridiculous to me that you were made to feel crummy for asking your spouse to HOLD HIS KID WHILE YOU FEED HIS OTHER KID.”

“Lady, your husband & BIL sound like old school jacka**es and I hope with time, he changes his stupid mindset. You’re not the a**hole, THEY ARE!” — Mysterious_School_98

“NTA. My family has a family business and for awhile the main office was in our basement. I couldn’t begin to tell you the amount of times I managed to sneak in and interrupt a meeting when my mom was busy with my siblings.”

“Especially if it was between my uncle and dad.”

“If you’re working from home and it’s a family business then it’s not that big of a deal honestly. Especially at that time of night, they need to get over it.”

“I’ve heard stories where I interrupted meetings with lawyers by climbing onto their laps because I decided I liked them. A toddler being watched by their dad for half an hour is not a big deal.” — sora2121

“I was ready to call you an asshole but:”

  • Brother-in-law (aka the kid’s uncle)
  • At your house
  • Midnight

“Oh please, if your meeting is ruined by your own 3-year-old kid staying in the room for 25 minutes at your own house out of commercial hours while your wife is wrestling an angry baby…”

“Maybe you need to give some hard rethinking on what you are doing with your life.”

“NTA.” — judgemental_bu**hole

“I work from home and have at least 3 video conferences a week. I don’t have small kids but I’m not about to throw a fit if someone comes in, the doorbell rings, etc…”

“You politely excuse yourself for a moment, deal with the issue in front of you and come back to your video conference with a polite apology for the interruption.”

“My clients often have little ones running around and it’s no big deal when they come in the room.”

“I had an early morning video conference a couple of years ago when suddenly the client’s 3-year-old walks in and says, ‘Daddy, why are you and this lady talking so loudly? Mommy is still sleeping and you both need to be more quiet’.”

“As if that wasn’t cute enough, this was with a non-English native that wasn’t aware that I was from the same country. He only realized I understood what his little one had said when I burst into laughter.”

“My client was mortified when he realized I understood every word and it was then he asked about my nationality. Where he was living was not far from where I was born.”

“The poor client apologized while I continued to giggle. I assured him it was no big deal and that I found his little one adorable and charming.”

“Your husband and BIL need to get over themselves. When you bring your work into the home, your home becomes part of your work.” — WarLazy7979

“NTA. Being a father should be a responsibility far more important than taking care of any business.”

“If he were working with a stranger, you would have damaged his reputation and job (something pretty stupid, but it’s the world we live in) , but it was his brother so it was appropiate.”

“If my aunt could clean the house with a crying toddler in her right arm, he can talk with his brother about business with his son present. Far easier.” — Facing_Alone

“I work for an international company and since the pandemic there are always kids interrupting the important meetings.”

“It’s the sad truth, but it’s mostly female colleagues who have to take care of business, home schooling and household simultaneously.

“The other colleagues give them only respect for being able to handle the situation so well and nobody would ever complain.” — elrulo007

“NTA. We have twins and a small house. My husband works in the living room, the babies playpen, toys etc… is in the living room.”

“Whenever he has a meeting (not with family but with supervisors, department heads etc…) I do take the babies somewhere else, like for a walk.”

“But there’s the odd occasion where I really need him to hold a baby and he just does his meeting while holding a wriggly 1-year-old for a bit.”

“No one bats an eye. Because working from home, everyone has a similar moment.”

“Everyone, and I mean everyone got used to hearing barking dogs, crying babies, someone flushing a toilet somewhere in the house etc… during a Zoom meeting.”

“It’s just what happens when everyone works from home for almost 2 years. It’s not news anymore.”

“Even if your BIL wasn’t family and just some coworker or even a boss of your husband’s, he should be understanding that this not an everyday occasion, but it can happen. It’s normal.” — eye_snap

“I was all set with one judgement, then you filled in the details.”

“NTA. Yes, generally, business meetings should be treated as business meetings (even with family, but family should also be able to accept that family issues like kids might sometimes get included), but when they’re in your home outside of business hours, the rules change.”

“Dad and Uncle can have a short time with Mr. 3-year-old before he goes to bed, since their meeting was so late. It’s called ‘parenting’, Dad.” — RevKyriel

Hopefully OP and their husband can find a way to resolve this conflict and evaluate their boundaries against their priorities as parents.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.