Redditor Spirited_Refuse_9211 is a 32-year-old mom who planned to go see a movie with her 30-year-old husband.
She searched for a babysitter to look after their two kids–a six-year-old and a four-year-old–and found a Facebook group specializing in the area of interest.
A woman named “B” responded to her request and accepted the job.
When the couple returned from their night out, they realized they were living their own horror movie.
She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after making a decision that was met with backlash from the babysitter’s group and asked:
“AITA for refusing to pay my babysitter?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained why she didn’t pay B.
“Me and my husband planned a date to go see a movie at a theater near us. Since the movie was 2 hours long and it’s 30 minutes to go there and 30 minutes to go back (The movie was also starting at 6, and the kids go to bed at 7/8 pm), hired a babysitter for 3 hours.”
“I posted an ad on a Facebook group for babysitters and a girl, who I’ll just call B, messaged me saying that she would take the job.”
“I have 2 kids (Caleb, 6 Male, and Todd, 4 Male) I agreed to pay the amount she requested which was about 25/hour per kid. When B got there, I gave her a list of things I wanted her to do which included:”
“• Keep them entertained. I’m fine with them just watching TV for a bit, but not over 30 minutes. We have a play set outside and toys in their room.”
“• Feed the kids. Sandwiches are fine. They can have something sweet after dinner before they brush their teeth.”
“• Make sure they brush their teeth (Caleb can do it mostly by himself but help Todd)”
“• Put them to bed. Make sure you give them a bit of time after they eat to use the bathroom. Get Caleb to bed at around 8:00 and Todd to bed around 7:00.”
“• Try to pick up toys that they brought out when playing.”
“And so my husband and I left and drove off. When returning, I walked into the house and my boys were playing on the couch (kids should have been asleep for at least an hour or two by now). This already made me a bit angry, since I had put times on the list of things I needed from B.”
“The kids also had food stains all over their mouth and hands, and there were candy wrappers and paper plates on the floor and the couch. They also had half of their toys on the floor, and B wasn’t watching them.”
“I asked my husband to put the kids to bed and I’d find and talk to B. I went into my kitchen and B had her phone in her hand and was sitting at my dining table. When she noticed me she looked up and asked if I needed a minute to go get her money or if I already had it on me.”
“I told her that she would not be getting payed as she did not do any work and did not take care of my children. She yelled at me that we agreed on me paying her and that she tried to take care of the kids but they weren’t listening to her.”
“I yelled at her to get out of my house and she left without getting payed. My kids aren’t perfectly behaved and I can definitely imagine them giving B hard time.”
“I also feel bad now that I’ve gotten some talking to’s from the other moms in the babysitters group, and I don’t think that any of the babysitters will accept my sitting requests now.”
“So Reddit, AITA?”
“Edit: I don’t know if this helps, but the babysitter agreed to do the things I listed as part of the job. She fed the kids, but they Caleb threw up a small amount and Todd got a stomachache later because of the amount of food and sugar they had. Todd was extra cranky the next morning from not getting to sleep until an hour and a half late.”
“Though, I’ll probably message the babysitter later and see if I can arrange to pay her.”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors weighed in with their discerning thoughts after discovering in the comments the babysitter was charging $50.
“ESH: I’ve been a babysitter and nanny for over 10 years. Your demands/rules were fairly basic. And could’ve been done very easily. 5:30 -Arrive and let kids watch tv, while prepping sandwiches 6:00 – Go outside for picnic and play to get ride of energy, let kids have small sweets.”
“6:30 – Bring inside, prep both for bed with pjs, toothbrush, and start potty breaks. 7 – put youngest to bed and entertain oldest with soft quiet games (or even bribe with tv time) 8 – put oldest to bed Chill for the next half hour.”
“Ops rules were pretty basic and easy, I have had way more strict rules over the years and would have loved such a simple gig. The thing is, the sitter didn’t do bare minimum. Yes, the kids were alive at the end but there was trash everywhere, stains, and the kids weren’t even in their rooms.”
“Hell the sitter was sitting on her phone in another room, didn’t even pretend that she was working. But come on OP, one night with a little less sleep, to much tv time, and some extra sweets.”
“Your kids might be overstimulated and cranky for a day but it’s not the end of the world and is not gonna permanently harm your kids. Leave a bad review on FB and don’t hire again.”
“Should OP have done a better job vetting her sitter? Yes. Should she have yelled at another child? No. Should OP have at payed sitter? Honestly it’s arguable.”
“I personally would not pay $50 an hour, homegirl would’ve been lucky if I payed her minimum wage. You should get what you payed for and you most certainly did not receive comparable service.”
“If you go to the salon and ask for a dye job with cut and wash and the stylist does a trim and tells you go on. Are you going to pay? If you hire a lawn service for a full yard work up and they just pick up trash and rake the yard, will you pay?”
“You go out for dinner and order a meal and they just bring you a drink, what are you doing? None of you are going to pay full price and I guarantee more then a few of you wouldn’t pay anything.”
“Anyone who has any experience with kids will recognize that this job was a cake walk. No fancy food requirements, tons of options for the kids to play, and a simple bedtime. Any baby sitter would be thrilled to have such an easy job. Even if the kids were a handful.”
“From the way things were left, she probably sat on her phone the whole night, only getting up to feed them. She does not deserve a full wage for that.” – Impossible-Pause3788
“This. clearly the babysitter did not do the full job, those are basic tasks to complete. If I was being paid $50 an hour you bet I’d be doing everything OP asked of me and more probably!”
“I would’ve even taken half that lol, I’m not sure how the babysitter negotiated that! If I were OP, yeah I would not have paid the full amount, since the sitter did a shitty job, but I would still pay her something. and your examples are spot on.” – rdweezy27
“I’m sorry are you paying a kid $50 a hour to watch your kids?”
“I would have paid a cut rate, and explained that she didn’t fulfill the requirements.”
“As adults we don’t expect to get paid for a job that isn’t complete. This is consignment work, not salaried.”
“If I don’t bake a cake that is what the client wants, I don’t expect to get paid for that cake.” – mamasalhoff
“Agreed, and OP should ask for references to better vet future babysitters.”
“Most jobs require background checks as well as professional references, and especially if you’re leaving your 2 children with someone else at home for several hours, you’ll want to make sure they’re actually qualified to take care of them.” – kokoromelody
“Speaking as a nanny myself NTA. It was not even like she was in the same room just watching a movie with them all night which she shouldn’t have been anyway. She wasn’t an entirely different room from them when you got home.”
“Does she have any idea how fast kids can get hurt? If she had been just lazy but had stayed with them the whole time I would have said pay her and never hire her again. She wasn’t watching them. She was in another room on her phone. I would not have paid either.”
“If you wanted your children left alone with no one directly watching them then you wouldn’t have hired a babysitter in the first place. I would have agreed with all these other comments that she still provided care for your children even if it was not up to the standard you wanted and should still be paid if it was not for the fact that she left them alone to go play one her phone in another room.”
“Not even to play on her phone in the same room. At least would have been some sort of level of watching them. Hell no. She did not deserve to be paid.” – A-Mess-Always
The OP clarified a point in edit.
“Edit 2: For those of you talking about the price, yes, it was high. But, it was a bit last second, on a weekend which means that the kids in my area are charging more, my kids are still small, and the girl had good reviews from quite a few people (looking back most are from family members).”
“I trusted that she would be a good fit due to her high ratings and high price, and she never said no to any of my requests so I thought that she would be eager to work and get a high paycheck. I’m also a bit of a worrier, so I try to pay high to make babysitters go above average with their care.”
Overall, Redditors focused more on commenting about the rate the babysitter was charging and how expensive that was just to look after two children for three hours.