Whether we have children or not, we’ve heard some of the woes of childcare.
And the concerns extend beyond where a parent might want to send their child every day, including what to do about date nights and vacations.
But it’s important to not cut corners when it comes to the care of a child, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Crazy-Department-461 felt flustered when her sister-in-law thought the family vacation would be as simple as “sharing” the nanny she’d hired, though that would place under the nanny’s care a total of seven children.
But when her sister-in-law balked at her concerns, the Original Poster (OP) wondered about going on the family vacation at all.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to ‘share’ our nanny on vacation and potentially canceling the trip over it?”
The OP’s husband was developing a closer relationship with his older siblings.
“My [33 Female] husband [35 Male] grew up with younger siblings, but he also had two older half-brothers [ages 43 and 46M] from his dad’s first marriage.”
“He wasn’t close to them growing up, they didn’t even live in the same state.”
“But his 43-year-old recently moved to a nearby area with his family and wants our families to be BFFs. His kids are about the same age as ours [11, 8, and 3].”
The OP’s family went on a family vacation every year.
“We do an AirBnB vacation every year with our kids [12, 8, 6, 2] and our nanny, ‘Lauren.'”
“Having Lauren there means we can spend more time with the kids 1:1, they get to do more of what they want to do, there’s someone to take the baby back to the house when she gets overstimulated, and yes occasionally my husband and I can have a dinner out alone.”
“In addition to the 7 of us, my husband’s brother [29 Male] usually comes along as well. We don’t expect him to babysit, but he’s still sort of around for the kids and is another set of hands.”
Trying to plan the trip now with two families was proving to be difficult.
“This year, my husband’s older brother also wanted to come so our families could ‘bond.’ But we’ve had issues at different points during the planning.”
“For example, we were looking at AirBnBs. What we would usually do is a master bedroom, 1-2 rooms for the kids, a room for Lauren, and then our 29-year-old brother would sleep on the pullout couch.”
“SIL really wanted to put Lauren in with the kids, which I felt was inappropriate.”
But the biggest issue involved Lauren the nanny.
“Second of all, it became clear as we’ve approached this trip that SIL expects to be able to ‘use’ Lauren as well.”
“For example, I said on our first morning, my husband and I were taking our12, 8, and 6-year-old on this sailing activity while our two-year-old would stay with Lauren.”
“My SIL said, ‘Great, I think we’ll take our 11 and 8-year-old into town’ while clearly intending to leave her 3-year-old with Lauren.”
“I said, ‘Hmm, I’m not sure if Lauren will be available to accommodate.'”
“My SIL was like, ‘It’s only 2 kids, what’s the problem?'”
Lauren was able to confirm the OP’s concerns.
“I went to Lauren and said, ‘What do you want here,’ and she said she’d be fine with it as long as she was paid 50% more and also was never solely responsible for more than 4 kids outside the house (in other words, it’s fine if they’re just hanging around, but she wasn’t comfortable keeping 7 kids safe at the beach).”
“She was also open to sharing responsibilities with a second babysitter.”
“My SIL’s kids are actually pretty easy, which she knows.”
The OP’s SIL was furious about her choices.
“I told my SIL that and gave her the option of covering that 50% increase or covering another babysitter.”
“SIL was like, ‘Well, we can’t afford a babysitter for the entire vacation or to pay Lauren, and I don’t understand what the big deal is, considering she’d rarely be alone with all 7 kids anyway, there are 5 other adults.'”
“My SIL and BIL are doing okay money-wise, but we are significantly more comfortable, so my husband thinks we should just eat the cost of Lauren’s additional pay to keep the peace.”
“But I’m really irritated by SIL’s attitude and honestly want to just cancel the entire trip at this point, even though flights and the house have already been booked.”
“This feels like a sign of things to come.”
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 concerned the SIL would find a way to push her kids on Lauren during the trip.
“While the OP can certainly push back, that means the vacation will have unpleasant confrontations, which is not very fun on a vacation. It’s not a matter of the OP not being able to argue back if the SIL tries to do this, it’s not wanting to have that discussion on the vacation.”
“People like this will yes you to death ahead of time and then just assume you’ll cave when the time comes, in order to keep the peace.” – EtonRd
“She’s going to wait until the OP goes out and pull the, ‘Oh, it’s just for a minute, be a love,’ and disappear on her day out.”
“Or maybe, ‘Oh, I ran it past the OP, we’re on the same page, it won’t be a problem,’ or, ‘Oh, little jimmy has been asking for jenny all morning, how about we come in and play, but whoops, I left something at home.'” – knit_stitch_ride
“Lauren already has a relationship with your kids and presumably they listen to her. She knows their moods and likes.”
“And the ‘no’ applies not just to SIL/BIL. Already having this relationship, Lauren is familiar with your parenting style and presumably authorized to discipline your kids.”
“What happens if she has to tell one of their kids ‘no’? I’m willing to bet SIL/BIL would blame her for any minor injury as well.” – Escritortoise
“NTA There’s a simple enough solution to that too. Have them pay a 100% deposit for Lauren’s time. They use her even once for 30 seconds and they lose an entire day’s worth of deposit.”
“If they really can’t afford it, they’ll get all the money back at the end.” – toketsupuurin
Others were concerned with the SIL’s views of Lauren as a person.
“This is Lauren’s JOB. No employee is expected to just double her workload for free. You have an employer-employee transactional relationship and she earns her compensation. She is not a servant.” – Shells613
“The first thing SIL wanted was for the nanny to not have her own room. She doesn’t see Lauren as a person, doesn’t think she needs her own room, and doesn’t see why she would need more money.”
“SIL doesn’t sound like a great person and I would not want to risk losing Lauren.” – LivSaJo
“I get the sense that when op goes out with older kids, SIL will dump the child on Lauren and run out the door, leaving Lauren to be forced to tend to a child she is not being paid to care for.”
“Their lack of respect for Lauren as a fully-fledged human being is startling.”
“Throw her in with the kids? I’m sure that breaks some employment laws as it would exceed any modicum of work hours initiative.” – Wolfpawn
“There’s probably too little context here to know for sure that OP’s SIL will or won’t behave in a rational, respectful manner and go through any lengths to make sure her kids don’t end up impacting OP and Lauren.”
“From what little information we have though? I would not bet on it. Anyone who’s entitled to not only latch themselves on to someone else’s vacation but to start both imposing on the nanny (more kids, her sharing the room with kids) and think it’s not a big deal and think it’s not their place to pay? Yeah no.” – X-e-o
A few cautioned the OP to not lose Lauren in the process of going on the trip.
“The SIL has already attempted to dehumanize her several times in the planning stage. Under no circumstances can Lauren ever help out with SIL’s kids or she’ll be risking further harassment and abuse of a nanny she cares for.” – Lurkeyturkey113
“This is not worth losing what sounds like an incredible nanny over, and if Lauren has to put up with what SIL’s obviously planning, I wouldn’t blame her for seeking new employment afterward.”
“There’s no way she won’t belittle and boss around ‘the help’ if she gets a chance because it’s pretty obvious she sees Lauren as a service and not a human.” – gregdrunk
“Lol (laughing out loud). SIL will absolutely dump her kids on Lauren regardless.”
“SIL has already shown she thinks very little of Lauren and is more than happy to dump her kids on her. She won’t care that Lauren isn’t getting paid more for her kids.”
“Lauren will end up watching all the kids for the same rate. Then you may be out a good nanny.” – jennsrivas
The OP shared how she was feeling in the comments after receiving feedback.
“If you’re a nanny, you can probably also understand how hard it is in practice for Lauren to on-the-spot refuse to babysit the other 3, in terms of power dynamics but also because of how kids cluster together to begin with, and because she’s a good person who cares about kids.”
“In other words, even if we empower her to say no in certain situations like if SIL/BIL say, ‘We’re leaving the baby with you,’ it will be impossible for her to not interact with the other 3 or look them in the eye and be like, ‘No, I’m not paid to help you with that.'”
“Even if we took Lauren out of the equation and assumed a great relationship between us and SIL/BIL, I would expect there to be situations where we’d be watching their kids while they grabbed lunch for everyone and vice versa, or where their 11-year-old wanted to come with us to the beach.”
“So at this point, I feel like we should cover Lauren so that technically we are paying her for the extra kids, but then tell SIL/BIL that we didn’t do so and that the extra 3 are therefore not her responsibility. We will tell Lauren to say the same to them when she does have the opportunity.”
While the OP was looking for a way to keep the trip comfortable for all involved, since canceling would be far too financially steep, the subReddit encouraged her to be careful.
Though she was entertaining the idea of playing her nanny more to cover the likely costs of assisting with the SIL’s kids, they worried about the OP losing a quality nanny in the process.