We all know that feeling of greatly appreciating someone who works for us or alongside us.
But that appreciation doesn’t give us the right to criticize that person if they decide to quit, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor SeesawSalt4927 didn’t seem to get that memo, however, when they received the news from their babysitter that he would not be working with them forever.
But when they heard the reasons why their babysitter was thinking of quitting, the Original Poster (OP) was not ready to hear the truth.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for shaming the sitter?”
The OP noticed how close their son was with their long-term babysitter.
“My 10-year-old son is autistic. It’s clear that he’s not going to be a brain surgeon and will need some kind of care as he gets older.”
“He talks and has some self-care abilities.”
“We have a sitter named Max who has been with Charlie since he was 6. Charlie is very close to Max.”
The OP was critical when the babysitter expressed an interest in a lifestyle change.
“The other day, Max mentioned that he’s thinking about going in a different direction in his life.”
“I asked what that meant.”
“He said he isn’t sure if he wants to be a sitter anymore.”
“I asked if he was unhappy and what we could do to change it.”
“He said he really doesn’t want to care for a teenager or young adult with autism and puberty is around the corner for Charlie. He said it’s just not cute anymore.”
The conversation escalated.
“I asked him what we were supposed to do if he leaves.”
“He said to start looking at institutions.”
“I told him that was pretty f**ked up to suggest.”
“He said he was leaving anytime soon and can’t imagine anyone being with Charlie right now.”
“My wife told me to apologize for shaming him over telling me to think about putting our kid in an institution.”
“I don’t think I should.”
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 should have already had a backup plan for their babysitter.
“YTA. You asked your babysitter how to care for your child after they leave their employment as though it’s their burden to help you change care providers. This is up to you and your wife to figure out.”
“Your babysitter doesn’t owe you to find their replacement or figure out the next step in arrangements. The sitter has given you notice, and he won’t continue after your child reaches puberty. So plan accordingly.”
“Mentioning institutionalization may have been tactless, but you’re asking the wrong person how to manage your child’s care needs. You should probably let him know that you understand that working for you is not his lifelong career and you reacted badly so you’re sorry and you don’t expect him to figure out what you and your wife will do going forward.” – wildferalfun
“I think ‘institution’ was the wrong word to use, but the OP does need to think about what is going to happen to his child once he and his wife eventually leave the world. Who’s going to care for him, who’s going to be feeding him, and where is he going to live?”
“There are so many things they need to pay for and secure now, and since the child is young, they can even secure a fund for him so that he is set.”
“Shaming the babysitter for resigning isn’t the problem, the problem is finding a new carer that is trained, licensed, and equipped for the tasks.” – crocodilezebramilk
“I asked him what we are supposed to do if he leaves.”
“That is not his f**king problem. That’s a question you should already know the answer to! This is a job for Max, not a lifetime commitment.”
“You asked your sitter an inappropriate question and then got mad when they gave their opinion. It says a lot that Max suggested institutionalization instead of… you taking care of your child.” – thoracicbunk
“Max is just as free to change careers or do what he wants with his life as anyone else. It is YOUR responsibility to arrange appropriate care for your son, not Max’s obligation to provide it.”
“When he told you what he was thinking about, he was kindly giving you a heads up to start looking for other options, since he likely knows those can be difficult to find the right fit for.”
“And when you asked, ‘What are we supposed to do if you leave,’ you were trying to guilt him into staying in a career path he wasn’t happy in for YOUR benefit. Why would you even ask him that? Is it his job to arrange a replacement? No.”
“What you do is neither his business nor his problem to solve for you. There was no purpose to that question except to make Max feel bad about making a decision for his own happiness. And given how long Max has been there for you and the fact that he was giving you a heads-up, it was especially uncalled for to respond this way.”
“Rude questions intended to guilt, manipulate, or make the other person feel bad often get rude responses. Which is exactly what happened.” – Meemaws_BearCheese
“They need to think about when he becomes an adult. Honestly, they needed to be thinking about future care years ago.”
“Depending on his needs, they might need an actual and licensed care provider, not a babysitter.”
“Also, it seems he has some ability to self-care, he should be in a specialized education to be learning some form of semi-independence for when he is an adult.”
“He might not be able to reach full independence, but I know in some countries there are programs out there that can assist and make sure he will be looked after in the future.”
“Also, I’ve actually left a babysitting job for less than OP’s comments. If you like your babysitter, do not mistreat them.”
“I have to say that it is usually the parent who’s away from the house the most who have given me the issues. Some of them had no idea what babysitting on a usual day will look like, so they think we sitting around doing nothing the entire day.”
“One husband accused me of staying too long and charging extra but he didn’t realize his wife was working late or stuck in traffic all those days, and I had the messages to prove it. Of course, I can’t just abandon the kids before a parent comes back, and some evenings the wife would ask me to stay another 30 minutes, so she can have a shower/rest.”
“Your wife might work 9-5, but I need to be there before 9 AM and after 5 PM, because your wife doesn’t have a magical portal to and from work (of course, the billing is for more than 9-5).”
“Honestly, nobody should expect a babysitter to stay forever. Kids grow up and go to school, and then they need fewer care hours. Babysitters have lives and expenses, too, so if you aren’t giving them enough hours, they need to find employment elsewhere. Sometimes they are not doing it as a career but as an in-between thing.”
“Also, there are always babysitting jobs. Everyone knows if you find a good babysitter, you treat them well, because other moms are always willing to poach a good sitter.” – De-railed
Others agreed and were concerned about the OP’s language when describing their son.
“Your comment that ‘it’s clear he’s not going to be a brain surgeon,’ as an autistic person, I find this really offensive.” – FrogMintTea
“As the parent to an autistic child with an IQ of 40, I feel sick reading this. My girl is learning to pass out coffee and lemonade at the school Cafe, and I’m so frickin proud of her!”
“She’s 20, by the way. Like most young people with their first job, she complains, lol (laughing out loud).”
“OP mentioned his son has autism and implied he’s a useless person because he won’t be a brain surgeon.”
“My daughter also won’t be a brain surgeon, but I’m very proud of all she’s accomplished in her 20 years. Unlike OP.” – SuperDuperSugarBean
“As an autistic adult, I’m not a brain surgeon but a successful IT manager for 14+ years at the same place, and I’m also angry with that statement.”
“Degrading, diminishing, and devaluing your child. Wow.”
“Parent of the year for sure – NOT.”
“YTA.” – SamuelVimesTrained
“Someone who is also autistic and has a sister who’s on the spectrum as well (and has higher support needs) so am I. My sister won’t live independently. She probably won’t get a high school diploma.”
“She’s also f**king intelligent. This kid is teaching herself how to code just because she wants to make a mod for a game she loves. Someone’s intelligence (and value) is not defined by what job or degree someone can hold.”
“H**l, I’m in university. OP’s attitude sucks. Even if his son won’t be a brain surgeon, what’s wrong with that?” – MeRachel
A few were irked by the teen’s word choice, as well.
“As a 38-year-old autistic woman, I find this post offensive. I have two degrees and a job in analytics but for two days now, I have struggled to leave my bedroom, brush my hair, or put on real clothes.”
“I also found the carer saying his autism was ‘no longer cute’ really offensive. Bleurgh to both of them.” – Altruistic_You737
“OP is definitely the AH in this situation, but I’m also picking up on ableism from the caregiver which makes me deeply uncomfortable.”
“I’m just sad for Charlie that he’s surrounded by adults who don’t treat him like a person.”
“Whatever his future situation is like, I hope he’s happy and surrounded only by people who give him the agency and respect he deserves.” – Imendale
“I asked him what we were supposed to do if he leaves and he said to start looking at institutions.”
“That’s a crappy answer, but you asked a s**tty question. What am I supposed to do without you?’ is a manipulative, guilt-tripping question, particularly in this context. It has me suspicious that you’ve been relying on Max for a lot of things that go well beyond the role of ‘babysitter,’ which is also not usually a permanent job.”
“I have a feeling that your son needs more care and assistance than you’ve really stated, and you want Max to stick around because a ‘sitter’ is cheaper than a specialized caregiver that your son probably actually needs.”
“I’m gonna go with YTA.” – CanterCircles
While the subReddit could understand the parent being disappointed that their babysitter would not be sticking around forever, and maybe even hearing facts they weren’t ready to hear, they did not agree with how the OP handled the situation.
Though it would be great if the same babysitter could stick around, shaming them and trying to guilt them into staying wasn’t the way to provide for their son.