Let’s be honest, it’s hard to say “no” to children. But it’s especially hard if those children are in need.
One woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit struggled with setting boundaries, because she knew a pair of kids weren’t getting what they needed.
But being pregnant herself, Redditor yyay162653849725 finally had to start saying no.
But when she received backlash from the parents, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being selfish.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not watching my roommate’s kids?”
The OP found herself regularly having to watch her roommate’s kids.
“My roommate has two kids (4 [Male] and 2 [Female]) that come over on his days off, so just two days a week. The rest of the time they are with their mom.”
“My roommate has a bad habit of staying up all night playing video games and sleeping all day and this happens when his kids are there as well. So he is asleep all day while his kids are running around the house making messes.”
But with kids of her own, something had to give.
“I am currently 7 months pregnant and have a child of my own (6 [Male]) to look after.”
“During the day when his children are here, my roommate will sleep all day and close his children out of his room. They then ask me for things.”
“I had finally gotten tired of it after about a month and told them that their dad is watching them and to ask him. The older child told me that he asleep.”
The OP’s roommate didn’t agree with her.
“I went and knocked on his door and told him to take of his kids.”
“He got p**sy with me and told that I was already taking care of my son so to just help his kids.”
“I told him I wasn’t doing that anymore and opened his door and put his kids in his room. I could hear him slamming things around his room.”
The roommate and his ex ironically saw eye-to-eye on this one.
“After they went back to their mom’s, I got a Facebook message from her. [She said] that I should have just taken care of this kids and that he needs to sleep.”
“[She also said] that she trusted me more [than their father] and said I was a d**k for not helping them because they’re just kids.”
“So AITA in this situation?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said it absolutely wasn’t the OP’s responsibility to watch someone else’s children.
“NTA – you should call CPS, you are not a hired baby sitter, he is neglecting his children for the measley TWO DAYS a week he’s responsible for them, this is against the law and I feel awful for these poor innocent kids.” – YeetBigly123
“Yeah definitely NTA. It’s his responsibility not yours. The fact his ex has a problem with it is absolutely ridiculous.”
“I would tell her that child care is not part of being a roommate and that maybe her and her ex should work out a better system for taking care of their kids if he can’t do it when he is supposed to.” – AgreeablePlace4439
“Absolutely not the a**hole. His kids are not your responsibility. Unless he’s paying you and you have consented.”
“I would consider getting a new roommate that doesn’t neglect his children and expect you to take up for it. I would have cussed that Mom out. No way in h**l.” – TheBarBarBinks
Others agreed and suggested ending contact.
“NTA. But you need to find better living arrangements.” – Jamescookstan1
“I’d say be prepared to block this guy’s number and his social media, as well as the kid’s mother. If they see you as free babysitting, they might not stop asking/demanding just because you moved out. And I’ll say NTA in advance if they try to make you look like an ahole for moving out.” – RedditKentiar
“Does your boyfriend live with you? If not, can you stay at your boyfriends during the days he has his kids? H**l, a few hours with the kids and he would probably be up until they’re ready for bed.”
“If he keeps trying to make you take care of them, start asking for payment, babysitting is hard work, and if he doesn’t shove the kids in his room. He spawned them, they are his responsibility.” – Logical_Ruse
“Try being away from home on roommate’s 2 days. You can visit bf, family or spend more time at a park/cafe. Your wellbeing is important.” – Amanda_the_human
A few also questioned the children’s mother’s choices.
“Yeeeeeah. I was going to say call the mother, but she’s apparently totally fine with the roommate completely neglecting them while they’re in his care? What the heck. How is she not documenting this to get his custody time reduced?”
“Both of them need a swift kick in the pants where those poor kids are concerned.” – LeisurelyImplosion
“The mother said she trusted op more so she knows her ex is a deadbeat and sends the kids anyways. One of her kids is only 2 so probably still in diapers.”
“She should be furious that her ex is sleeping all day and leaving the two kids with his roommate when he should be looking after them. Those poor kids don’t have any parent looking out for them.” – PaddyCow
“It was honestly shocking to find out the mom is ok with her two and four year olds running around while he sleeps with his door closed. And that she trusts a random third party more than her ex.”
“If this were me, he’d be back in court while I pursued full custody. Both of these people sound terrible.” – Smishysmash
At the end of the day, everyone needs a break from parenting from time to time, whether it’s taking time to rest or simply going to a doctor’s appointment or grocery store in peace.
But there are also non-negotiable times to care for those children.
The subReddit agreed on this one that wanting two days of break time, or staying up all night to play video games, were not suitable reasons not to be responsible.