Romantic relationships are important, and it’s perfectly normal for a couple in love to want to celebrate their special moments, like anniversaries.
This continues to be true, even when a family member wants something from the couple, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor Cargorrrrrrrrrr felt conflicted when his parents demanded that he watch his younger sister for a week while they traveled to visit a sick relative, even though it overlapped with his anniversary plans that he had made in advance.
When they ridiculed him for going against their wishes, the Original Poster (OP) questioned if he had been selfish.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for wanting to spend time with my wife, instead of babysitting my little sister?”
The OP had fun plans with his wife for their anniversary.
“I (24 Male) and my wife recently had our five-year anniversary. We have been friends since we were kids and started dating when we were both teenagers.”
“We had planned to go to a nice restaurant, then ride in a hot air balloon, and then go to a lake and relax. I was going to buy her flowers and all.”
But the OP’s mother had other plans.
“Then out of the blue, just one day before my anniversary, I got a text from my mom, demanding me to babysit my sister for a week, while she and my dad go visit my aunt who recently got diagnosed with leukemia.”
“Fortunately, my aunt Is NOT in critical condition, she is doing fine.”
“She also lives far away, and it takes a couple of hours to get to her. (Three and a little more due to stops and other things, so it takes four to five hours probably.)”
The OP didn’t think he could make it work.
“Now, I love my sister. We’re 18 years apart but are still closer than ever. She has a bit of a mental challenge but otherwise is a pretty normal kid.”
“I was debating whether to say yes, but I didn’t want a kid in tow while I was having a date with my wife.”
“Also, my wife and I would have to work for more than half of the days I was supposed to babysit.”
“So I politely declined and said I wouldn’t be home. I didn’t get an answer, so I thought it was okay.”
But the OP’s parents did not want to take “no” for an answer.
“The next day, we were at the restaurant when my phone started buzzing like crazy. I checked it and it was filled with texts from my mom and dad.”
“They were calling me all sorts of names and saying that they showed up at my house, only for it to be empty.”
“They’re now ignoring me. When I write to them, I haven’t gotten an answer.”
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 parents were entitled for demanding the OP’s time.
“OP politely declined and yet they still showed up at his house, and they’re calling him all sorts of things?”
“To me, this is proof that they didn’t want him to ‘babysit’ the sister. They were looking to dump the sister off, regardless of what measures they had to go to accomplish it.”
“NTA by a long shot.” – FloMoJoeBlow
“I love both my parents, and I would happily help them anytime. But if either of them told me I was doing something, now that I’m in my 30s, they’d each get a big f**k you in response. And it has happened.”
“You’re allowed to have your own life. For whatever reason, some people just don’t understand that their lives, events, ideas, families, etc are more important than the ‘we’re family’ mindset where you need to drop everything for your immediate family.”
“I guess it’s my upbringing, but I can’t understand how some of these AITA posts absolutely have their family, friends, or SO’s family walking right over them.”
“My ex-wife’s dad was eight inches taller, 150 pounds heavier of pure muscle, and hated me. He still got a f**k you when he tried dictating what I did. Yet I read about all of these pushovers that let their families, partners families, friends, etc walk all over them. It can’t be a generation thing.” – PokedDaBear90
“The fact that you’re even asking if you’re the AH combined with the above, suggests them ignoring your answers to them asking you for something probably isn’t that new.”
“I can see why they’d want to comfort your aunt, but you had plans, it was your anniversary, and no is a full sentence.”
“NTA.” – danimmbxx
“NTA. You set a boundary and your parents are pissed because they didn’t get their way.”
“In the future, ‘Sorry, we’re not available. Please make other arrangements’ should suffice.”
“Let them ignore you. You did nothing wrong.” – ivylass
“NTA. Your parents are extremely presumptuous. They didn’t ask and didn’t even give you fair notice. They’ve now learned that you’re not their on-call babysitter.”
“Stop messaging them and let them come to you when they’re done sulking.” – RoyallyOakie
Others pointed out that the parents didn’t think through the OP’s sister’s needs at all.
“NTA. It’s not just any random night, it’s your anniversary that had been planned. Your parents should’ve known it was your anniversary.”
“Plus, your sister isn’t your kid, they should’ve planned better or at least double-checked you were actually free on your anniversary.” – RedHistoryTwin99
“Setting aside the already made plans, babysitting a six-year-old for a week on a single day’s notice is a ridiculous request.”
“You said you work full-time, and this kid is presumably in school, so how is that kid supposed to get to and from school? Who is going to watch the kid while you are working outside of school hours?”
“Zero logistics and just a drop-off at your house? Jesus f**king Ch**t, NTA.” – minimally_abrasive
“I have kids, and when I had to leave them to attend my best friend’s destination wedding, I drew maps, made plans, bought all my kids lunch stuff, and made their lunches (besides perishables) in advance.”
“I made sure I had every type of kid’s medicine that they could possibly need. I made lists of doctors, and other necessary numbers, and all of the info went into a binder that was left, with pictures of where things that the kids may want, would be.”
“I want to make it as f**king easy as possible to watch my kids as that’s a huge favor.” – curlywurlies
“The friend (who said she’d be happy to have the little girl over the whole week) is a mom with kids the same age, which means she has a child-friendly home, knows what sort of meals work best, knows how to get six-year-olds to school/bed/clean, etc., and likely some safety precautions that the average early-20s, childless couple wouldn’t have.”
“Plus, the friend’s kids are there to play with. That seems like a situation that would make the little girl feel more comfortable as well.” – CarrieCat62
“Sure, the parents ‘can’ ask but they should be well aware of the anniversary, and in knowing that should already look for alternatives and not even ask! This is not an emergency.”
“Also, why do both parents need to go and visit the aunt? They have a dependent child, and it’s their son’s wedding anniversary. Surely due the nature of this scenario, one should stay while the other visits.”
“Furthermore, OP provided his reply, a decline, yet they ignored him and rocked up to his house regardless, then gave him grief for not being there? Over-ride people’s wishes much?”
“There are so many ways around this that don’t involve OP canceling his plans, important and somewhat time-bound plans. Mother could’ve visited aunt while father looked after their daughter. OP could’ve offered to go up to see the aunt with his father at a later date. Or variations thereof.” – Perseus72
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a few updates.
“My sister Is currently staying with a family friend who we’ve known all our lives. The friend has two kids who are very close to my sister. The family friend said she wouldn’t mind keeping her for the week as she gets a break from her twins, and encouraged me to relax.”
“I have gone over to the friend’s house and gotten them food for the kind gesture.”
“I can clearly see that my sister enjoys the twins’ company, and the friend doesn’t work, so I intend to keep her there. However, the friend informed me, that my parents were talking badly about me and my wife in their messages to her.”
“She told me they were berating me for ‘being a bad son’ and that ‘my wife probably convinced me to stay away from an important situation.'”
“I intend to speak to them about this once they come back. I don’t want to intrude while they are visiting my aunt who has leukemia.”
The subReddit could not stop shaking their head over this one, from the parents ridiculing their son and later cold-shouldering him, all over plans they probably could have saved for shortly after the OP’s anniversary.