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Teen Accused Of ‘Ruining’ Stepmom’s Social Life After Her New Job Doesn’t Allow Her To Babysit As Often

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Reddit pl4ntpl4net is a 17-year-old who has a stepmom with kids.

The stepmom referred to as “Jenny” depends on the Redditor to babysit her kids in order for her to have a social life.

However, when things changed and Jenny felt inconvenienced as a result, she lashed out at our Redditor.

Looking to hear from an outsider’s perspective about her situation, she turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:

“AITA for ‘ruining my stepmother’s social life’?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

I (17F) have a stepmom who always makes me babysit her kids when she goes out with friends (3-4 days a week). Let’s call her Jenny.”

“I don’t mind usually. They’re great kids and I love them. By the way I never get paid or anything for this.”

“So here’s where the issues started. I recently got my first job and it’s a 45 min drive away. The pay is better than anything I’d find locally which is why I took the job.”

“Jenny started screaming at me today because she can’t go out with her friends as much because of my job schedule. ‘You’re ruining my social life’ and ‘Who’s going to watch the kids now’ sums up the 20 minutes she screamed at me.”

“IMO, I think it’s selfish of Jenny to demand I’m always here available to watch her kids. It’s like she expects me to drop everything to suit her.”

“I need someone’s perspective on this. Am I being the a**hole Jenny thinks I am?”

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in this situation. When she mentioned the option of quitting her job so as not to upset her stepmom, Redditors advised against it.

“I would be careful about quitting. If she keeps you unemployed you have no income or resources other than her. At that point you have fewer options for escape. I bet she would try to get you to go to community college too just to keep you around. Be careful.” – B00k_wyrm_

“Op please do not quit your job, if you move out before going to college if (possible) you’ll need a job reference to get an apartment.” – Karbear12

“Speak to your manager/s and warn them that your stepmom is pressuring you to quit. You don’t need the hassle of trying to rectify things if she goes to the extreme of calling your employer and trying to tell them you’re wanting to quit.”

“I’ve heard too many horror stories from people whose family members have screwed them over like this to discount the possibility as far-fetched. Edit: Absolutely NTA. You take care of yourself.” – blucougar57

“NTA, unless those kids are yours.. go work.”

“But also, please also go and enjoy time with friends going to do things you enjoy.. life is so short, especially that period where you have independence, a little bit of cash, and no responsibilities.”

“Please. And you are not in any way to blame here.” – Dream_Think


“Stepmom is a total b**ch. She should NEVER scream at you unless you are about to do something dangerous and hurt yourself or someone else.”

“It is not your job to parent her children, parentification is a form of abuse. Tell her to be a Mom to her kids.” – Maybeidontknow99

“Congrats on finding a job where you will actually be paid for your time!”

“She is really out of line to expect a stepchild to be a free babysitting service, and you are 100% NTA for saying no to this.”

“The fact she was screaming at you about this is just absolutely classless.” – eslburnout

“Absolutely not. Being a mother isn’t constantly passing your children over to someone frequently during the week to go out and pretend like you don’t have responsibilities.”

“I should know, I had my baby at 16, now 18 and I wasn’t getting my parents to babysit while I go out drinking or seeing friends. When you’re a mother you put your children above EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ELSE.”

“And if her ‘friends’ can’t understand that and possibly let the kids join for a fun day out all together, then they’re not really her friends.”

“You going to your job should be a real slap in the face to her and show her how much she’s slacking. DEFINITELY NTA.” – sazo2407

Many suggested telling her stepmom and dad they needed to hire a babysitter. 

“NTA. I’m so sorry you are going through this.”

“Tell your dad and your step-mom they will have to hire a babysitter or alternate childcare as you are going to school and working.”

“And they will actually have to parent their own children.” – lolunnb

“Explain to Jenny that she and Ed need to hire a babysitter like every other parent does.”

“Explain to your dad that he needs to take some of the profits from his wonderful business and put them in a babysitter bank for his wife cause you intend to have a life.” – 2ndcupofcoffee

“NTA. You are not the live in babysitter – you are their sister. You have the right to live your own life.”

“I would get your dad involved in the discussion.” – Lumpy_Ingenuity1287

The OP responded:

“Unfortunately he’s not in the picture. He’s always away on business trips and I hardly see him anymore. He could talk to her but I doubt he’d do anything because she’s very controlling over him.”

Another OP weighed in with:

“NTA Jenny can and should hire a babysitter to watch the children if she wants to go out. It’s not your responsibility.” – Slugdirt

“NTA unless Jenny paid you a competitive wage to watch the kids, it’s not your problem. You are a person, not a slave. I am a firm believer that children shouldn’t have to free sit their younger (step) siblings.”

“It’s not your circus; not your monkeys. Whst does your biological parent think about this? Can you talk with them? A job for you is great for learning responsibility, work ethic, and hopefully budgeting/saving. It is much more important than her social life (in respect to you)” – IamtheHuntress

“NTA – whose going to watch the kids? HER AS THE MOTHER WILL WATCH HER OWN KIDS OR YOUR FATHER! There ya go. Her problem is now solved. She can stop being a cheapskate and go ahead and pay for an actual babysitter.” – Fun-Tourist-7395

“NTA you’re 17 and should be starting on your career path, figuring out what you want to do in life and saving money for the future. Your parents should be proud you took some initiative and got yourself a job.”

“If Jenny is a SAHM she should look after her own children/socialise while they’re at school/pay a babysitter/take her children out with her. It’s not your problem. Congrats on your new job.” – Weak-Possession-7650

It’s parentification and it’s a form of abuse. They’re not your children and you shouldn’t have to raise them. If she wants to go out, she needs to hire a qualified nanny for them or shouldn’t have had them at all. Edit: NTA” – jillyjillz42

“NTA. You stepmom is perfectly capable of hiring her own babysitter. Also, it is her responsibility to look after those kids, not yours, and her priority should be the children, not her social life.”

“You are on the verge of becoming an adult, and having a job is a good thing for you, as is earning money. This should be a priority for you, not doing free work for your stepmother so she can go out all week and get drunk with her friends.”

“In short – you are right. It is selfish of your stepmother to demand that you are always available to watch her kids. After all, they are her kids, not yours.”

“I really think you are far more mature than your stepmother is.” – bamf1701

“You are a minor child living with a father and a step mother, and what I assume are your father’s second wave of children.”

“You are not Cinderella, here to serve her children. If she is SAHM, then she can SAH!”

“You need to be doing more grown up things like having paying jobs, that offer you a view of what might be after you are through with school (at whatever level you pursue). You also need pocket money at this age. So, shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Let your Dad know about your plans, in a private conversation. Let him know that your really like the siblings and enjoy taking care of them, from time to time, but that you need to have outside employment opportunities too in order to become a successful adult.”

“Hopefully he’ll be all for that kind of proposal, and help to smooth things over with his current wife.”

“An adult’s social life is not your responsibility. Your Dad might think that you should avail yourself from time to time for date night, but I can’t imagine he’s going to take kindly to a tantrum over her ‘social time.'”

“Good luck. And keep it civil .(sounds like you are)” – Educational-Food9471

“NTA. Jenny popped those kids out so Jenny can figure out paid childcare logistics or le gasp entertain her friends at home and watch her own damn kids like everyone else.”

“What was her plan when you start college? Was she going to try and guilt you into staying home after high school to be live in unpaid childcare at the expense of your own future?” – Tiny_Willingness_686

“NTA. I’m a parent and close to your stepmother’s age and just to reassure you, she is very much in the wrong here – you don’t owe her a social life!”

“When you have young kids, your social life does slow down, unless you have an army of carers/friends/family to step in. Some people do but most don’t, that’s just the way it is.”

“I suspect she’s probably fed up with your dad being away so much and is taking out her issues with him on you, which is totally unfair. And – I can’t emphasise this enough – it’s NOT your problem to solve! If she’s otherwise reasonable it might be worth talking to her. You’ll know best about that though.”

“Best of luck.” – J4nos

“A lot of good comments here and you seem to have a good head on your shoulders.”

“Obviously NTA.”

“I just would like to add to another side of your experiences. You have toxic environment all around you, and that might set itself deeper than you realise. Please do not hesitate to get some professional help to sort out what is normal and what is not.”

“The feeling of always being the one that is to blame and feeling guilty is not only unhealthy but also not correct. (I’m saying this as I’ve been there and I wish I had gotten help sooner.)”

“So I’ll just put a link to toxic parents here for you to understand you are NOT to blame, this is NOT your responsibility and you are entitled to your own autonomy.”

“Don’t quit your job, make sure your earnings are safe from parents and that you have all important papers (or copies of them).”

“Good luck!”

For further clarification, the OP added:

“For those asking where my father is and why he’s not doing anything, here’s the situation. My dad isn’t really around due to him always working. He has this business and it’s his pride and joy.”

“He loves it way more than any of his kids. He leaves Jenny to handle the parenting. He’ll try to avoid conflict with her by always taking her side, no matter the situation.”

“I just want to say thank you to everyone for the endless support. It means the world to me to finally feel like I’m being heard. You guys are great <3”

Overall, the OP was given heaps of support and sage advice.

The OP mentioned she plans to move out when she’s 18 to live with her mother but added moving out could take a while for her as she needs to save up enough money.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo