It’s human nature to want to be there for your family whenever they need your help.
But on some select occasions that simply might not be possible.
Such was the problem recently faced by Redditor ResponsibleSuspect86, who’s parents were not pleased when he didn’t change his plans to help them out.
Wondering if he was in the wrong for doing so, the original poster (OP) took to the subreddit “Am I the A**hole (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not babysitting my sister?”
The OP first filled fellow Redditors in on his current living and family situation, which included some added challenges.
I (19M[ale]) am attending college nearby my hometown.”
“I live in a small apartment with my roommate.”
“My parents live about an hour away and I see them a few times a month.”
“I have a sister(15 F[emale]) with cerebral palsy.”
“I do go over to the house to babysit and help.”
“My parents do not want help from babysitters and nannies.”
“There was a babysitter that was great and my sister loved her, but my parents felt differently.”
“I have no problem helping out with my sister when needed.”
The OP then revealed, however, that his parents may have become somewhat too reliant on his willingness to help.
“My anniversary with my girlfriend was last week, we have been together for 2 years.”
“I had a special day planned for her.”
“Well, my mom calls me while I’m waiting for my girlfriend to ask if I can babysit my sister.”
“I tell her no, I am about to take my girlfriend out for a nice evening.”
“My dad gets on the line and starts demanding I cancel my plans.”
“I tell them both no, I’m not canceling and to find a babysitter.”
“I turn my phone off and have a wonderful night with my girlfriend.”
“I get home and turn my phone on to see a bunch of messages from my parents and aunt about how I ruined their evening.”
“AITA for not babysitting my sister?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they felt the OP fell in this particular situation.
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They overwhelmingly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole in this particular situation.
The general consensus was that it was highly inconsiderate of the OP’s parents to expect him to be at their beck and call whenever they needed someone to watch his sister.
“But your parents and aunt sure are though.”
“So it is ok for them to ruin your evening? “
“Your sister is your parents responsibility, not yours.”
“I suggest you minimize babysitting your sister.”
“You also need to have an honest conversation with them about your sister’s care once they are gone.”
“They need to have that setup, and no, you should not be forced to become her guardian.” – v2den
“NTA at all, it was very inconsiderate of your parents to assume you would be available for babysitting at such short notice.”
“You didn’t ruin their evening, they did by not planning ahead of time.” -gherbi2356.
“You had plans and they had plans – why should yours be the ones to be broken in this instance?”
“Your parents were being unfair and need to understand that relying on a single alternative caregiver/babysitter for their younger kiddo will always bring about some scheduling conflicts.” -Kathalysa.
Several Redditors also addressed concerns that the behavior of the OP’s parents suggested that they didn’t make any long term plans for the needs of his sister, and that the OP needed to have a serious conversation with them regarding this.
“So it’s ok for your evening to be ruined but not theirs?”
“Maybe if they’d asked you and given you fair warning or made caregiving optional for you, but neither is true.”
“If your sister is unable to care for herself, then what are your parents’ plans when they get older?”
“Are they saving for assisted living, planning to hire a carer, etc.?”
“Or are their long-term plans just for you to assume the responsibility?”
“This is an issue you need to start discussing with your family.”
“You guys need to have a a solid long-term plan in place.”- Hooked_on_PhoneSex.
“Your parents need to have a plan for a care giver for your sister and that person isn’t you.”
“You definitely need to sit down and have a conversation with them and manage their expectations.” – Lola_M1224
“Your parents are responsible for her care.”
“No matter how much you’ve helped before or have been willing to help, it doesn’t change that they are responsible.”
“You are an adult with a life too.”
“What is the plan when you possibly get married and or start a family?”
“Or if you relocate for work?”
“Or just have an adult life in general? “
“They can’t possibly expect you to drop everything for your sister?”
“It’d be one thing if they had no other options, but they are just refusing to hire a babysitter.”
“That doesn’t make you liable if their plans fall through, and you handled this perfectly.” -InternationalCode234
“Remind them YOU ARE NOT HER PARENT, they are.”
“You are an adult with a life of your own, and while you don’t seem to mind helping out sometimes, she is NOT your responsibility, she is theirs.”
“You were absolutely right telling them to get a babysitter.”
“They need to learn to do things without relying on you – what happens when you finish school and get a job, potentially moving away?”
“They’re going to have to figure it out sooner or later.”
“Patrol your boundaries, OP, and don’t let them cross them by trying to guilt-trip you, or they will ruin your life.” -Alarmed-Hamster-4047.
There was also a firm agreement that the OP’s parents were taking advantage of his generosity after he had already made himself available to watch his sister on multiple occasions.
“NTA – It’s nice of you to babysit your sister, but your parents are not entitled to your help in this.”
“Especially if they didn’t arrange it with you beforehand and just called on the evening expecting a yes and then demanding that you cancel your plans when you rightly said no.”
“At the end of the day they ruined their own evening.” – Catatomical.
“They didn’t respect your decision and excepted you to just drop what you were doing to take care of their kid.”
“Yeah she’s your sister but unless you got sign documents stating you have to watch her anytime your parents ask you don’t have to do jacksh*t.”- 15thingstodo
Being the parent of a child with special needs certainly comes with all sorts of challenges, and one can’t help but sympathize with the OP’s parents.
But it does seem that they do need to take time to think about making arrangements should the OP not be available to care for her when they need extra help.
Here’s hoping this can be resolved without any further conflict.