There’s a reason why the saying, “It takes a village,” is so popular.
Not only is having a child a tremendous undertaking, but the child and their parents tend to be happier and healthier when they have the privilege of support behind them.
But sometimes “more support” only comes with tough decisions pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AITA_890090 found herself forced in the middle of a situation like this when she was encouraged to babysit her sister’s baby.
After seeing a mix of reactions, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she made the right decision.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to babysit my sister’s kid, even if it means she loses her job?”
The OP refused to take care of her nephew after what her sister did.
“My (16 [Female]) sister (19 [Female]) gave birth to my nephew 7 months ago.”
“She doesn’t know who the dad is and therefore doesn’t receive child support.”
“My step-dad gave her a year to find her own place and move with her child because he refuses to enable her behavior.”
“I support my sister, I love her, and I want the best for her, but I refuse to babysit.”
“When my nephew was 3 months, she used to leave it (him) with me during the night to go to parties and ‘have a life’ because she didn’t felt it was right for her to be a mother 24/7 when she was still young.”
“I didn’t know about this until my stepdad caught her. I thought she was working night shifts and had agreed to take care of him.”
“When my SD made her come clean to me, I felt betrayed and that’s why my parents gave her the year notice because she used to make the three of us babysit all the time just so she could ‘get a life outside her kid.'”
The OP’s sister started taking her job seriously.
“After realizing that our parents weren’t joking, my sister began to take her job seriously and saving up like crazy while taking care of her kid.”
“Two days ago, she came to me and said that I had to babysit my nephew for the next 6 days from 8 pm to 5 am because she had a night shift during those days.”
“I said no and she told me that she wasn’t asking.”
“She said that she never asks me for anything and that I had to do it, so she can get out of this house.”
“I said no again., I’m still in school and my first class begins at 8 PM.”
“Between that, homework, and taking care of my nephew, I won’t be able to sleep properly.”
“She said that it was only for 6 days, and when I reminded her what she did before, she called me a b***h.”
The OP continued to refuse.
“These past 2 days, I’ve been locking my room so she can’t get in and give me my nephew.”
“She bangs at my door for at least 30 min before she gives up and treats me in a pretty hostile way during the day.”
“This morning she said that I had to babysit him or she’ll lose her job, but I said no again.”
“She said that she wasn’t asking and to better get up and open the door at night, and I said that I won’t.”
“My mom and stepdad agree with me, but my aunt and grandma are calling me a ‘petty b***h’ for refusing to help her, because ‘I don’t know how hard is to be a mother, let alone a single one.'”
The OP elaborated on her sister’s “not knowing” in the comments:
“This backfired at her because she was sure who the father was and only had my nephew to get some ‘easy money.'”
“But when the paternity test came back, he wasn’t the father.”
“Apparently, my sister was sleeping around just to ‘annoy’ our parents.”
The family also recommended adoption, according to the OP’s comments:
“My parents told her that [she should put her baby up for adoption], but she refused to give him up out of ego.”
“She also said that nobody can take care of him like her because she’s his mom.”
The OP also said her sister tried to leave her baby outside her door when it was locked.
“She tried to do it the first time [she went for the night shift], but my step-dad works that type of shift and caught her trying to leaving my nephew unsupervised.”
“He threatened to call CPS and my sister thinks that she’ll go to jail for that?”
“We don’t correct her because it’s the only thing that stops her from actually dumping my nephew at my bedroom door.”
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 had nothing but contempt for the OP’s big sister.
“You owe nothing to anyone. You are a minor. Your sister played her games and is now living the life of a teenage single mom.”
“After she abused your trust, any family obligations were done. Either she can pay for a sitter or find childcare.”
“If she wants to pay YOU, make sure it is a fair wage and get the money in advance. If you do not want to be bothered by her about this again…”
“Threaten to call cops the next time she is pounding on your door.”
“Honestly? She should give the child up for adoption. The kid will have a HORRIBLE life with her as the only parent.” – crazeyal
“I feel a certain amount of sympathy for your sister in the abstract.”
“But it is goddamn absurd to ask a 16-year-old to take care of a baby overnight for a week straight. Much less to bully her when she refuses.”
“She should make alternate arrangements, or should speak with her boss to have her schedule arranged.” – Tamika_Olivia
“It sucks to have your life upended at age 19 by becoming a mother – but OP’s sister CHOSE this life – it was a CONSCIOUS CHOICE.”
“The stork didn’t just come by and drop this baby on the doorstep.”
“When you CHOOSE to have and raise a baby, you CHOOSE all that goes with it – and that includes finding (and paying for) childcare and giving up your partying ways because, you know, you’re a mom now.” – HouseRenovations
Others questioned what the whole family was even thinking.
“NTA – as your aunt and grandma think you are being petty, why are they not babysitting overnight?” – Profit_Careful
“NTA. You are only 16, and you don’t want to be responsible for your sister’s child, especially since she has lied about being at work before, while she was really partying.”
“I think your aunt and Grandma should watch the baby, since they are the ones who think your sister deserves help.”
“Frankly – this poor baby should have been given up for adoption. Your sister sounds awful, totally unprepared to be a mother, and she doesn’t even know who the dad is?”
“No, your sister does not deserve help. She made this mess.” – CrochetBeth
“1. Had you wanted to be a baby sitter you could go get a job and get paid for it. I’m betting she isn’t offering to pay you.”
“2. Seriously who demands you watch their child. I would feel she was less of an entitled parent had she asked politely.”
“3. If your aunt and grandma are so concerned they can watch the baby or take in your sister. They have no right to judge.”
“4. You didn’t get knocked up so why should you have to risk your education for your sister’s baby.”
“Your sister sounds irresponsible but kudos to your parents for putting their foot down and not expecting you to babysit.”
“Your sister is experiencing natural consequences from her poor decisions especially about lying to you.” – carrieosman
“Godd**n, this is one toxic family. NTA.”
“How f**king entitled does she think she is. First, she lies to you saying that she wants you to babysit FOR FREE as she’s working night shifts. But no, she’s getting plastered.”
“Not only did she lie but she expected you to be fine with it because you are her nephew and she wants to go out and party. She needs to take responsibility for her previous actions and you are not obliged to raise her child.”
“And if she loses her job, well she shouldn’t have lied to you. She’s put herself in this situation and she’s the only one to blame for it.” – manyc**kfosters
“NTA. A baby isn’t like some puppy that you can dump on your family members whenever you don’t feel like taking care of it (animals don’t deserve that treatment either, by the way) it’s a human child.”
“When she chose to have your nephew, she also chose to take on the responsibilities of that baby. Her baby is her responsibility, not you, a child’s responsibility.”
“Tell your aunt and grandma that they are more than welcome to be your sister’s free, full-time babysitters and enable her to be a party girl.” – ShastaWolf
“I find it funny that she doesn’t want to be a mother 24/7 and that she thinks her sister doesn’t know how hard it is to be a single mother…. when she is dumping her child on her sister for 8+ hours at a time, so yes, sister does know what it is like to be a single mother.”
“OP is effectively being punished for her sister’s bad choices and it is now impacting her education. NTA.” – del901
Some said it was time for serious change.
“I second the adoption option… There are MANY families that are not only willing but EAGER for a small child.”
“Under 3s are the most sought after age group in the adoption community.” – KSknitter
“NTA. Sounds like your Aunt and Grandma are volunteering to babysit. Not your problem.” – StabbyMum
“I’m curious what exactly she thought being a mother was supposed to be like. Why does she even want to keep this child when she clearly doesn’t want the responsibility of taking care of him?”
“Yeah, being a young single parent is definitely not easy. But if that’s the choice she wants to make, she needs to learn and accept that that choice comes with sacrifice and dedication.”
“She gave up her right to a young, carefree lifestyle when she chose to have a kid.”
“Getting a break now and then is totally fine. Making it a priority over making sure you’re being responsible for your own child’s care while you let loose is not.”
“NTA” – MissLadyLlamaDrama
One Redditor offered the OP a solution in letter form.
“NTA. Demanding your baby sister watch your 7 month old baby over night for a week during school time is absolutely an outrageous request.”
“Write her a letter and hand it to her.”
“‘Sister, you chose to have this baby. You had options, and opted to keep this child when you are not committed to actually raising this child without mom, step-dad, and I forcing you kicking and screaming into your responsibilities’.”
“‘I have no responsibilities to this baby. I am not going to take any responsibility for this baby’.”
“You have taken advantage of my time and efforts already by lying to me so you could go out and party. You’re in this situation in the first place because of your lack of responsibility and lackadaisical behavior and you don’t get to cry to the world about how unfair single motherhood is when you made the active choice to become one’.”
“‘You chose to keep your pregnancy and after that you opted to keep your child. You have not made any concentrated efforts to locate any support groups, to find resources for underprivileged mothers, or to find your baby’s father… but continue to harp on me, a minor in high school, about taking on a more active role for your child’.”
“‘That is wholly selfish and irresponsible and you have no business raising a child if you are just going to strap your high school aged sister with the responsibility of watching your child all night for a whole week on school nights’.”
“‘You made the sole decision to have this child, now you have the sole responsibility of raising it. If you cannot make the proper sacrifices to ensure your child is cared for then you need to reconsider keeping this child and put them up for adoption’.”
“‘You are clearly not prepared to raise a child on your own, but you don’t get to demand I help you raise it – or anyone else for that matter’.”
“‘If Aunt and Grandma are so pissed about you not getting help from me, then they can offer their time, money, and energy to this child or keep their noses out of my business’.”
“Here is the number for social services as a start. If you can’t grow a back bone and find some form of state sanctioned childcare for impoverished or underprivileged women and continue to have instability in your ability to maintain a job, I strongly recommend you call them and have your child placed with someone who can provide those things and is happy to’.”
“‘Stop treating your baby like an accessory you can just shove off on someone. Your baby is a living breathing human, not a purse’.”
“Because when you beat on my door, yell at me for not taking your child, scream and cry about the woes of motherhood, and lie to go and party – I can’t help but think you simply are not willing to be the mother your child deserves’.”
“‘So either make a commitment to your new role as a mother 100% or do your child and everyone else a favor and put your child up for adoption to a more capable couple. But quit complaining about your own poor life choices and stop shirking your responsibilities’.”
“‘Make a decision and stick to it. But don’t you dare complain to another living soul about the decision you make – especially if you decide to keep your child from this point forward’.” – Affectionate_Pipe_11
Some family members may have wanted the OP to be more responsible for her nephew, but the subReddit did not agree.
Not only was the OP still a child herself, but as a responsible mother, her sister needed more of a backup plan than her younger sibling to watch her child.