The consequences of our actions aren’t always what we thought they’d be.
So what happens when someone else’s choices threaten to create consequences for you?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Apprehensive-Egg4368 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not helping my neighbor with her kids after her husband left her”
“My husband and I (late 20s M&F), have lived next to Jack and Jill for two years.”
“We have a son who’s six years old, and they have two kids who are a similar age, but a little bit older.”
“All the kids go to the same elementary school and I used to see Jack in the car rider line.”
“Our neighborhood is relatively close to the school so the school bus does not pick up here, we have to walk or drive our kids to school.”
“Jack and Jill have constantly had loud fights ever since they moved here.”
“And by fights I mostly mean Jill would scream at jack and kick him out the house on a weekly basis.”
“Normally he would sleep in his car and come back inside in the morning after she leaves for work.”
“Jill works as a CNA at a nearby hospital, the 6am-6pm shift.”
“Jack worked from home, like I do, which let him take the kids to school.”
“Well, after this last fight jack packed up all his stuff and left, flew back home to his mother in a different country.”
A friend in need?
“Jill recently came to me saying that she has no one to watch her kids from roughly 5 am to 7 pm.”
“She asked if she could send them over in the morning, have me watch them and feed them breakfast and then take them to school.”
“And then later pick them up and feed them dinner and watch them till she gets off work.”
“I explained to her that being expected to be a second parent basically to two kids is not something I’m really interested in.”
“I asked how much she was willing to pay and she said she EXPECTED me to do it for free, since she has no friends and no one else to ask.”
“She also asked if I would watch them on the weekends so she could pick up extra shifts, otherwise she won’t be able to pay the rent.”
“I told her absolutely not, and that she’s insane basically to think I’d agree to something so unreasonable when we aren’t even friends and our kids aren’t friends either.”
“My husband thinks I was an a**hole, and that we could offer to at least help sometimes for the kids sake.”
“My stance is that we both know she wouldn’t do the same for us if the roles were reversed, since Jill isn’t really a nice person.”
OP was left to wonder,
“AITA for not helping my neighbor with her kids after her husband left?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Commenters had no patience for the entitlement.
“This is quite an extensive and unreasonable expectation. It’s not even her asking you for help, it’s her expecting you to pick up her slack.”
“5a-7a Monday-Friday (with breakfast and transportation)”
“3p-7p Monday-Friday (with snack, dinner, and transportation)”
“weekends as needed”
“And let’s not forget, it’s about time for summer break. So you’d what, have to provide full daycare while she works?”
“She needs to come up with a plan on her own that does not involve forcing neighbors to parent her children.” ~ DisneyBuckeye
“The 5am start is the absolutely bonkers cherry on top of the whole ice cream sundae of entitlement.”
“Unless OP and her husband have a 7am start at their own jobs, they’re not going to be getting up at 5am at the moment.”
“So the neighbour wants to get her own kids up by 4.30am at the latest (to get them and their things together) and get OP or her husband up to receive them at 5am.”
“Even if both OP and the kids are able to get back to sleep, it will only be for an hour, or maybe 90 minutes at a push, so hardly time for the properly restful REM sleep.”
“Or you keep them up but risk waking up OPs son, also reducing his rest time.”
“I might, if I was feeling generous, accept a drop-off that was after the normal time that I get up.”
“But there’s not a chance in Hell I’d be changing my wake up time to 5am for at least 5 days a week to accommodate someone who feels entitled to free childcare from me.” ~ NannyOggsKnickers
For others, it was just too early.
“Exactly what I was thinking.”
“5 f*cking am?”
“I would not wake up for my nephews at 5 am let alone some chick that is defo lost her minds to be kicking her husband weekly out of the house.”
“OP better stays her grounds cause that is sleep deprivation at best.” ~ Dessinigx
“Exactly if nieces and nephews need care cause parents are leaving 5am, than saud nieces and nephews will have to come and sleep over, I am not waking up at ungodly stupid o’clock.”
“This is for the siblings I like, not the inlaws I dislike 😒” ~ Massive-Wishbone6161
What about escalation?
“She’d just start saying that the kids should just sleep over ‘this one time so they can get more sleep since they’re exhausted waking up that early.'”
“It would turn into mom never being there/going out to party and leaving her kids permanently with OP, after all, ‘sHe’S a SiNgLe mOm NoW and mom’s deserve to have fun too.”‘ ~ hjo1210
“We all know that if OPs husband volunteers to have the kids ‘occasionally’ it will very quickly become the permanent 5 days a week that this woman wants.”
“Every day will be some kind of emergency or desperate need, or she’ll just dump the kids on the doorstep and drive off before OP can say no.”
“And it won’t be the husband picking up any of the slack. OP will be voluntold to deal with it all.” ~ NannyOggsKnickers
“Sounds like one of those situations where you bring the kids over to your house and never hear from her again.”
“In all seriousness, NTA x100.”
“If there was some cash I wound consider it (kind of) but free? That’s worthy of a literal LOL. Like you guys aren’t family, not friends, what are you getting out of this?” ~ LetsRide987
There was also the money issue.
“This woman would actually be basically paying the kids mom to watch them if you factor in the cost of said snacks and food.”
“If mom isn’t paying neighbour and neighbour has to feed them? Food is expensive man. Going from 1 to 3 kids is no joke.” ~ Intelligent-Base3385
“Accounting for the extra food, this will actually cost OP money.”
“This woman isn’t even only asking for free transportation and labor, but wants OP to pay for their basic needs out of her own pocket.”
“That’s insane.” ~ AndShesNotEvenPretty
“Not to mention how expensive it would be to add 2 more children (around 16 extra servings/ week according to the schedule suggested by Jill) to the meal plan with the rising food costs.”
“And to not even be willing to cover THAT in and of itself is extremely rude.” ~ Beneficial-Step4403
Think of the children.
“NTA How sad for the kids that their dad just left the country and isn’t taking responsibility for his kids either, which makes him sound like not such a great person as well.”
“Even if she isn’t the nicest person, being the sole person responsible for 2 kids is so tough and I honestly do feel bad for her and the kids.”
“However, expecting anyone, much less people who aren’t family, to be responsible for helping her get through it is so unreasonable. And expecting it for free??”
“It is a terribly sad situation but that doesn’t mean that you have to take on that responsibility. Exactly how long does she think you should have to do this?”
“30+ hours a week when they are in school and all day when school is out for the next 4-5 years?”
“It is too much to ask. Honestly, it’s too much to ask even with compensation when you have a whole other job to do and a family of your own.”
“I do feel bad for her but you can’t personally take that on, especially when she doesn’t seem like a reasonable person.”
“You will never get out of it.”
“I’m assuming you are in the US because she has a CNA job, in which case there are programs to help low income families with child care.”
“If she can’t afford where she lives then she needs to look at what her options are. It’s a terrible situation for her kids mostly but I don’t think you are the AH here.” ~ wontgotoheaven
The impact of our choices doesn’t always just effect us, but can ripple outward.
And sometimes, those ripples hit a wall.