People with family who live close by are very lucky.
Should they be on good terms with them, they will likely always be able to depend on them for help in case of emergencies.
However, when family members offer help, they are being generous, and should never be expected to be able to help at a moment’s notice.
When the brother of Redditor ThrowAwayUncle44 and his wife moved into his town, he found himself suddenly expected to watch his nephew here and there.
Initially willing to at first, the original poster (OP) was less pleased when his brother and sister-in-law began to expect he’d prioritize watching their son over his own plans.
And he wasn’t afraid to hide his displeasure.
Concerned he may have overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for choosing to go on a trip with my girlfriend instead of taking care of my struggling brother’s son?”
The OP explained how watching his nephew once or twice a week suddenly turned into a burden that he did not appreciate being forced upon him.
“My (24 M[ale]) brother ‘Luke'(31 M), his wife ‘Emma’ (28 F[emale]) and their son ‘Kyle’ (4m) moved to my city last year because Emma got a new job.”
“They would occasionally ask me to watch Kyle because I work from home with very flexible hours.”
“I personally do not like kids at all, but I was happy to do it at the time because I wanted to help them.”
“It was not that often (maybe once or twice every 2 weeks), and Kyle was very well-behaved.”
“Now, the issue started near the end of last year when Luke decided to change careers.”
“He was previously working remotely as well.’
“His new job required him to go to work a lot more often and make substantially less money.”
“This left them depending on me more and more to take care of Kyle.”
“It went from once or twice every 2 weeks to around 3 days out of the week.”
“To make matters worse, Kyle’s behavior changed drastically.”
“To be completely honest I can barely stand the kid anymore, constantly running around and screaming while I’m trying to work and just overall being a little sh*t.”
“My sister-in-law (SIL) Emma was over the other day picking up Kyle and made some comments about getting rid of some of the ‘dangerous’ furniture in my house, like tables with glass edges and stuff, so that my home is safer for their son and made a joke about baby proofing my house because they’re planning to have a daughter.”
“This pissed me off, but I didn’t say anything.”
“The situation hit a breaking point last Friday when I was talking about the 1.5-week-long trip I was going on with my girlfriend (GF) on the 15th.”
“Me and my GF like to travel somewhere nice at least once a month, we could not the past couple of months because of Kyle but I promised my GF we would go somewhere exotic for valentines.”
“Upon hearing this, they got pretty mad saying who was gonna take care of Kyle, that I need to stop these ‘childish trips’ and that I need to take more responsibility because ‘I’m an uncle now.'”
“I’m not gonna lie, after hearing this, I f*cking snapped.”
“I said that their demon child isn’t my responsibility, and I’m not just gonna give up my life because they f*cked without a condom.”
“It got pretty obscene from there, and some horrible things were said.”
“They left, and we are no longer on speaking terms.”
“My parents and Emma’s parents are on their side and EXTREMELY angry at me for ‘refusing to pull my weight.'”
“My parents said that this is my duty and I should be sacrificing everything to help them.”
“It’s honestly got me really down, and I’ve cried my eyes pretty much every day since seeing those messages from my family.”
“I’m starting to wonder if I really should be taking more responsibility.”
“AITA for choosing my trips over my brother and nephew?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for going on vacation with his GF instead of watching his nephew.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s brother and sister-in-law were being presumptuous, and it was unfair of the OP’s parents and in-laws to scold him when they weren’t being of any help themselves.
“Sounds like your and Emma’s parents need to start doing THEIR ‘duty’ and watching their grandchild.”
“If they’re not willing to do that, all their huffing and puffing that you need to watch Kyle is just hot air.”
“This is not your child, and you have no ‘weight’ to pull.”
“This just reeks of trying to gang up on you because you’re the youngest and you’re nice, and they think you’re going to cave.”
“Stay strong and keep your boundaries.”- crockofpot
‘If the grandparents don’t like it, they can babysit the kid.”
“Don’t cancel your trip.”
“Kyle is not your responsibility.”- TrueJackassWhisperer
“Your family is guilting you because none of them can be asked to take care of the son either.”
“Sorry this is happening to you OP, but stand your ground. You’re 100% right.”
“Sounds like your brother and sister-in-law have become entitled to your help and forgotten what it’s like to be solely responsible for your kid, so they’ve begun to rely on your help.”
“But as you so rightfully pointed out, this is totally a them problem.”
“Your parents are probably joining in because they know if you stop looking after K all together, they’ll be relied on a lot more.”
“Also re your outburst, yeh maybe not the best way to react, but they pushed you to breaking point and you snapped.”
‘Also they were being rude and unreasonable in their expectations, so I don’t expect you to respond 100% calmly and rationally either.”- throwawaycheese2021
“lmao like you made the kid with them, like you’re into some kind of 3 way parenting situation.”
“It’s one thing to watch your nephew once in a while. It’s a whole other thing to watch the kid 3 times a week, every week.”
“They need to stop their ‘childish demands’ and get that a nanny for Kyle ASAP because ‘they are parents now.'”
“Plus, it would be better for Kyle.”
“You’re not focusing on him while watching him, and that’s completely normal since 1) you’re working from home and, most important, 2) it’s not your damn responsibility.”- Lummita
“If you didn’t make it, it isn’t your responsibility.”
“Do not shed one tear over two irresponsible people sponging off a relative.”
“Ask your parents if they’re pulling their weight.”
“No where is it mentioned their or SIL parents’ lives got interrupted.”- Cannabis-aficionado
“Your nephew isn’t your responsibility.”
“It’s his parents who should be figuring out how to take care of him.”
“You have your own life to live.”
“Enjoy your vacation with your gf!”- CrystalIntrospect
“Anyone who tells you that your nephew is your responsibility is an AH.”
“I do think that you should have spoken up when it started to become a problem rather than wait for a blowout but still NTA.”- Substantial_Swing_69
“Not your child, not your responsibility. Did they even pay you to babysit?”
“They want you to put their needs before your own.”
“A family member should not be expected to babysit a child that isn’t theirs. Why do they not pull their weight?”
“Where are the grandparents? Surely they can pull their weight!”
“They can hire a babysitter.”
“But you should not be expected to change your life for them.”
“You can do them a favor IF and WHEN you want to (but honestly, after all this, I wouldn’t).”
“I’m sorry to say this, but your parents have an obvious favorite, and it’s not you.”
“I’d go low contact or even no contact with all of them tbh, they expect you to be a servant and nothing more.”- PlateNo7021
“The family is worried they will somehow have to pick up the slack if you don’t.”
“The slack is your brother’s kid he can’t care for without your help and the threat they may soon have two.”
“You don’t have to plan your life around your brother’s life.”
“Grandparents are usually the source for free babysitting.”
“So maybe your parents and Emma’s parents can step up.”
“Otherwise, it sounds like your brother moved to a city he cannot afford to live in because he can’t afford childcare with two incomes, so he should probably think about moving home.”
“Since they decided to have your parents and your SILs parents gaslight you, you have the perfect excuse never to babysit again.”
“Because they are too much drama.”- DeepFriedMia
One can’t help but wonder why the OP’s brother and SIL didn’t feel the slightest bit uncomfortable leaving their child with someone who openly admitted to not liking children.
Or, for that matter, taking what seem to be fairly serious behavioral issues seriously.
Making one wonder if they are, in fact, in any kind of position to tell the OP that he isn’t making their child a priority.