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Mom Livid After Sister-In-Law Won’t Cancel Date To Babysit For Her On Vacation So She Can Relax At Spa

woman in mud mask at spa
Sergey Mironov/Getty Images

Family vacations—time spent with your relatives and their significant others and children—can create great memories.

Or it can lead to arguments and resentment.

A woman found herself enduring the latter so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Rushofgold asked:

“AITA for not wanting to watch my brother’s kids on our family vacation?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I’m on vacation with my immediate family. I’m female, 30, and my two brothers are in their late 30s. They’re both married and they each have kids (5 kids total ranging in age from 3-9 years old).”

“My parents are also on the trip, and I am accompanied by my boyfriend of 2 years.”

“We’re here for a week and it’s been really fun so far. We have a mix of days where we have activities planned and then a few free days.”

“My family has had a text thread going for months with all of the trip planning, so we knew which days were activity vs free days.”

“My boyfriend and I planned a romantic dinner for one of the free nights at a really nice restaurant on the island. We made a reservation months ago because it books up.”

“I was getting ready to go out and one of my sister-in-laws made a comment about me dressing up to stay in. I was confused and asked her to clarify.”

“She said that she, my brother, and my other married brother and his wife, were doing a couples spa evening experience that they booked a few days earlier and they needed me and my boyfriend to watch all of their kids.”

“She said my brother was supposed to have asked me earlier that day. He forgot to.”

“When I explained that my boyfriend and I already had plans, she was super unsympathetic. She said they already prepaid for the spa experience and since we hadn’t paid for the dinner yet, it wouldn’t make sense for them to have to cancel their plans.”

“I never agreed to watch their kids. I love my nieces and nephews, but my family knows I am childfree and have been for years.”

“It’s been a point of contention for a long time. I wouldn’t mind watching them if I had been given advance notice, but to have them slapped on me when I had plans with my BF made me really upset.”

“My sister-in-law said I didn’t understand how much she needed the time away from her kids because I don’t have kids of my own. She said I was being selfish and I could handle one night of ‘being a mom’.”

“It’s not the point. I would’ve agreed if she had asked me months ago before my BF and I made dinner plans. I checked and we wouldn’t be able to get another reservation before we leave.”

“My parents walked in on us arguing, and eventually they offered to watch the kids. They were supposed to go to a free concert on the beach together but decided to cancel so someone could stay with the kids.”

“I felt really bad but my mom insisted.”

“Now it’s the next day and my sister-in-law won’t even look at me. I’m pissed at her too but we’re stuck here for a week so I don’t know what to do.”

“My mom thinks I should apologize but I feel I’m the one owed the apology here.”


The OP added:

“Forgot to add—we are not staying in a resort/hotel that would have babysitting services. We’re staying in a family friend’s vacation house/rental property.”

“My mom is very non-confrontational and just wants to keep the peace while we’re on vacation, so I understand that, but I’m planning on talking to my brothers about it today when I have a chance alone with them.”

“My oldest brother (not the one who is married to the SIL I was talking about here) told me not to worry about it this morning so he sees my side of things, I think.”

“It’s not like her kids were left abandoned; they were taken care of. I don’t understand why she’s so mad at me today.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I might be the a**hole because I refused to watch my brother’s kids so I wouldn’t miss a dinner, and it made my parents have to cancel their own plans.”

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 unanimously that the OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA. Your SIL should be mad at your brother for not asking you for one thing. But they also should have asked you before booking.”

“It sucks that ‘they need this,’ but they are the parents, and there are more options besides assuming you will do it and then trying to guilt trip you when you don’t.”

“If you haven’t already, you should talk to both of your brothers about this. You’re their sister and they wanted you to watch their kids but thought it was fine not to ask and let your SIL bully you into it.”

“That’s a one-way ticket to never having you babysit. And your mom is out of line for asking you to apologize rather than having a word with her son and DIL about how rude and immature they’re being.” ~ friendlily

“Not to mention SIL’s jab about at least she could handle being a mom for an evening. Yuks, there are reasons for being child-free,the really big hint is FREE.” ~ Strange-Bed9518

“100% OP isn’t a mum so she doesn’t need to handle being a mum for a night or a minute. SIL however is a mum and therefore needs to sort her stuff out.”

“No babysitter? No spa.”

“You only booked it a few nights ago? Rebook.”

“OP booked months out and had not agreed to mind your children. Their plans win.” ~ StickyAction

“Exactly this. I’ve got a kid, and my sister has three. She wanted me to hold her baby one time, so she could eat her dinner while we were visiting our dad.”

“I couldn’t hold the baby and eat my own food, and my sister kind of laughed and said, ‘Now you know what I’m going through’.”

“I had a chat with her about her entitlement because she chose to have three kids, so she gets to deal with not having time to herself.” ~ lydsbane

“She is mad because she expects that you will drop everybody for their children, regardless of your plans. She strikes me as extremely selfish and narcissistic- everything revolves around her.”

“Do not apologize. If anything, ask your brother why they thought it was ok to demand YOU babysit?”

“Don’t let them guilt you for their wrongdoing.” ~ SorryRestaurant3421

“NTA – this is all I needed to read:”

“‘My sister-in-law said I didn’t understand how much she needed the time away from her kids because I don’t have kids of my own’.”

“Can’t handle kids, don’t have kids.”

“‘She said I was being selfish and I could handle one night of “being a mom”’.”

“Nope. Childfree means that you do not want to be a ‘mom.’ Not even for a night.”

“SIL needs to put her entitlement in check, and the fact that your brother did not step in is leaving me flabbier-absolutely-gasted. There is no part of this story that you are responsible for.”

“If your mother thinks that YOU should be the one to apologize, show her this post. This IS a hill to die on and we are here to support you.”

“Hopefully, you and your BF can find a way to enjoy the rest of the vacation. All the best, OP.” ~ slap-a-frap

“I will die on this hill too. I’m 34 and childless, and the number of stories I read on here about entitled parents drives me absolutely mad.”

“OP’s free time isn’t any less valuable because she doesn’t have kids, and the fact that her SIL thinks she can just dump her children on her whenever because her plans aren’t nearly as important proves how little respect she has for OP and her life choices.”

“Girl, stand your ground. You are not in the wrong.”

“Not even a little bit. Your brother and SIL’s lack of planning and communication, as well as any wasted money on a missed spa day, are not your problem. NTA, obviously.” ~ onegirlthreepups

“I’m 34 and have 3 kids and I agree. No one else chose to have those children.”

“The only ones with responsibility toward them are me and my husband.”

“I’m grateful and pleased usually when family offer to babysit or spend time with them because my kids love their family, and I enjoy quiet time too, but I genuinely like my children, and a lot of what I do is more fun with them.”

“We did a vacation recently with my family and my parents took turns watching my kids twice so me and my husband could enjoy a child-free evening/dinner and that was nice, but I would never ever plan or assume someone else was free to watch them and make plans on that assumption.”

“It’s so rude and entitled! I will never ever understand people like that.” ~ Engineer-Huge

“NTA. Securing childcare is the FIRST thing a responsible parent does when planning a night out.” ~ Wide-Heron-1015

The OP didn’t provide an update, so hopefully, the rest of their vacation went well.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.