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Nanny Balks After Sister Demands She Watch Her Nephews For Free During Her Time Off

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While some of us are fortunate enough to enjoy our jobs, there are certain circumstances that make even the most enjoyable work difficult, such as working too many hours or not getting a vacation.

When one of these opportunities presents itself, it’s important to take care of ourselves and take a break, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Unhappy-Telephone-95 was feeling tugged in two directions when she was given a paid vacation, which would give her a much-needed break.

But when her family demanded she continues working for them instead, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to want a break.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my sister I won’t watch my nephews during my vacation?”

The OP was getting some time off of work.

“I am a nanny and I work 50hrs a week taking care of 2 boys.”

“Last year I moved in with the family I work for due to the pandemic. For the last 2 years, I have not had any real downtime and no vacation.”

“In 2 weeks, they’re going away to visit family for the holidays. They granted me 2 weeks of paid vacation.”

The OP was volunteered to take care of her nephews.

“I told my mother this and she immediately called my sister to let her know I will not be working and told her I would take care of my nephews. I did not know she told her this.”

“My sister called to confirm the time she should drop off the kids because she has to work and doesn’t want to pay for daycare.”

“I told her absolutely not, I never agreed to watch my nephews. I love them dearly but I don’t know when I will get another vacation.”

“My whole family just expected me to be available since I am off work. I really need some downtime as this job has really burnt me out.”

“I did feel guilty after saying no and did think I was being a bit of a jerk for turning my sister away.”

Her family criticized her for saying no.

“I was called mean by my family. There was a family text after I told my sister no and it went like this:”

“Bro 1: D**n, just do it since it’s your job anyway, sis needs a break too. Don’t be so mean, you know what you’re doing.”

“Other sis: that’s why I stopped. She doesn’t pay me well enough, lol (laughing out loud).”

“Bro 2: sometimes you just have to do it for family.”

“Me: I charge $50 per hour if you need my help during vacation.”

“Sis: you only charge your nanny family $25 per hour. Why do I have to pay more than them if we are family?”

“Me: It’s my vacation, so it’s double my going rate! Would you watch them for free, bros?”

“Both bros: H**L NO!”

“So why should I??”

“I also posed this question to the other live-in nannies in the area, and 2 of them told me I should watch my nephews because that’s what family does. (Ugh)”

“AITA for telling her no?”

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 were furious with how the mother handled the situation.

“NTA. Your mother is. She had no right to volunteer you. Your sister should have asked if she needed it. Go enjoy your vacation.” – MerlinBiggs

“NTA. I would be honest and say that this is your first time off in a while, you need the time off mentally, and to take a break from watching kids.”

“Tell your mom that just because you have time off does not give her the right to say that you will watch your nephews. The fact she didn’t ask you at all and just assumed.”

“I would not tell them when you have time off in the future again.” – Brilliant_Constant20

“NTA: how’s your mom gonna volunteer you to work for free when you’re off from a job you get paid for? Your vacation would be taking care of more kids?”

“Your mom is TA for facilitating this miscommunication between you and your sister.”

“And your sister is TA for not being more considerate of you, even if you would have said you’d take care of your nephews, because she ‘doesn’t want to pay for daycare.'” – Ok_Pomegranate3775

Others believed the OP had every right to a vacation.

“NTA Your mother should have never volunteered you’d watch your nephews. Take time for you, it’s been a rough couple of years, and don’t feel guilty about it.” – Saraqael_Rising

“NTA. It’s your vacation time! You deserve an actual vacation just like anyone else with any other job. Your mother is TA for volunteering you without your permission?” – HanaBothWays

“NTA.”

“Your mom is, though. She’s a HUGE a**hole. She had absolutely no right to volunteer your time off to your sister.”

“I’d be very careful about what information I gave her going forward.”

“You deserve this time off. Take it, and don’t feel guilty.” – cillianellis

Fellow Redditors agreed, especially since the OP wouldn’t be paid for this.

“Hey guys, I’m taking 2 weeks off of my paid job, so now I’m available to do the same work I do every day for you, free of charge. Yeah, I don’t think so. NTA.” – oops3719

“NTA, you need a break, and it’s terrible that your family just assumes time off means you want responsibility for your nephews.”

“Also, she doesn’t want to pay for daycare, so she wasn’t planning to pay you?” – FormalJellyfish4683

“NTA. It’s also s**tty that I’m betting that they assume they don’t have to pay you. That is bulls**t.”

“Do not feel guilty for saying no. I’d tell my mom SHE can take care of the kids and YOU will not be voluntold.” – Maleficient_Ad_3958

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update:

“I no longer feel bad after reading everyone’s responses. My mother and sister have done this to me many times before.”

“My sister used to show up at my house (before Covid) and drop off my nephews off at the door and leave. She would come back on Sunday night to pick them up.”

“My mother would always tell my sister it’s okay because my nephews love being with me and I can take better care of them.”

“They don’t consider me being a nanny a ‘real career,’ because they say I have too much fun so that can’t be work. Yes, it is fun at times but also very stressful caring for kids, especially kids that aren’t your own.”

“For those who said I should keep things from my mother, you are absolutely right!! I WILL NOT be telling any family members if I have time off work.”

“(This is why I stopped hanging out with my friends who have kids. They always push their kids on me and I become a free babysitter while they have fun time.)”

Even though her family openly criticized her for taking a break, the subReddit agreed it was much-needed. After two years of no downtime, anyone would be ready for some quiet.

Also, the subReddit pointed out, anyone who assumed that a paid vacation was an open invitation to help with other things they may not usually have time for, are sorely mistaken.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.