There are always going to be those people who think they can walk all over us, and they’ll do their best to penalize us when we try to tell them they’re wrong.
One woman learned this about her sister when she decided to set a new boundary in the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor banjn was surprised at how poorly her sister took the idea, however.
So much so, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had demanded too much.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for asking for compensation for babysitting my niece after a year and a half?”
The OP’s babysitting situation recently intensified.
“My (20 [Female]) niece is a year and a half old and I’ve been my sister’s (27 [Female]) only babysitter since she was born.”
“My mom occasionally babysits but only about once a month, as she lives 45 minutes away from my sister and I only live 15 minutes away.”
“Well, my sister has been asking me to babysit A LOT recently.”
“For example, in the past week, I’ve babysat 5 days. And it’s not just for an hour… Yesterday I was there from 9 am – 6 pm.”
“I haven’t been home for more than a few hours (not [including] sleeping) in days.”
And her sister also made some unusual demands.
“She made me get somebody to cover my shift at work today so I could babysit, and does this often.”
“She doesn’t allow me to eat any food at her house but I’m also not allowed to take my niece in the car (I’ve never been pulled over or in any accidents [when] I was driving), so my only option is to order delivery, which can get expensive.”
“She’s told me in the past she’s going to start paying me, but the only time she’s EVER paid me was over NYE where she paid $40 for babysitting overnight.”
But the OP decided something’s got to give.
“My sister just moved over 30 minutes away from me.”
“I told her if she wants me to continue babysitting, I’m going to need to be compensated for the time and money I’m spending in gas and food.”
“She got really upset and told me that I shouldn’t want to be paid for spending time with my niece. AITA?”
The OP also added an important detail after posting.
“I feel like I should add this. My sister is a stay-at-home mom.”
“She asks me to babysit while she has appointments such as therapy, hair appointments, if she wants to go out with her husband, if she wants to go see friends…”
“Her husband works full time, and fully supports not paying me, and doesn’t think I should want to be paid for ‘spending time with my niece’.”
After receiving a lot of replies, the OP updated with her latest conversation with her sister.
“UPDATE: I texted my sister and said, ‘Look I love being able to see (my niece) as much as I do, but I need to start getting paid for babysitting.'”
“‘I would’ve made $180 at work this weekend, but I lost $130 since you told (my boyfriend) to tell me to split the $100 with him for gas money.'”
“‘I’m your only babysitter other than mom, but mom barely babysits, and I have been a few days a week. I want $10/hour. That’s lower than you’ll find from anyone else in (town she lives)'”
“And she responded with ‘K. I’ll find someone else’.”
“She then went on to tell me that I need to get my s**t from her house by next weekend or it’s getting thrown away, and that I shouldn’t have come at her instead of trying to have a discussion.”
“She pulled the ‘you’re her aunt’ card and said, ‘you didn’t ask to be paid, you demanded’.”
“At this point, I kinda lost my s**t and told her everything I have wanted to say for years.”
“And she said, ‘We’re done. Delete my number’.”
“Thank you everyone for all your advice.”
“While it sucks she reacted this way, I’m extremely proud of myself for finally sticking up for myself after 20 years.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some simply confirmed the OP’s sister was taking advantage of her.
“NTA… Your sister is taking advantage of you. This is not about spending time with your niece, it is about her getting free childcare. You need to stop babysitting immediately.” – Cubadog
“I rolled my eyes when I read that comment from the sister.”
“At a bare minimum she should be covering gas and a meal for watching her. That isn’t even payment, it’s just expenses.”
“OP needs to put up a stronger front for saying no.” – TogarSucks
“Please don’t call into work to take care of her daughter. This could cost you your job and you would have no income at all and your sister doesn’t sound like she’s likely to help out in that case. Always take care of yourself 1st, you are number one!” – ncaughneeto
“Just wanted to tell you OP that you’ve done the right thing. You’ve practically co-parented the kid yourself and she is extremely ungrateful.”
“She’s going to try to make you the bad guy to everyone, so you should simply post on facebook everything you posted here. It will feel good to vent and it will clear your name.”
“She has basically been putting your life on hold just to appease her and her irresponsible behavior.” – BadMrParker
One Redditor agreed and said the sister was treating the OP like a slave.
“NTA. Your sister is treating you like a slave. You need to tell her that Lincoln freed the slaves and the time has come for her to find other child care arrangements. There is no excuse for how she treats you.”
“You need to grow a spine and stand up for yourself. Why on earth do you follow her command of not going to a paying job so that you can be her unpaid slave? Providing your sister with slave labor will not pay your bills and could cost you your job.”
“Op to sister – Your daughter is your responsibility, not mine. I will no longer be available to act as your slave. You need to make other childcare arrangements for your child. This is not negotiable.”
“Then hang up and put your entire family in a really long time out. Because you know that your sister and all her flying monkeys will try to harrass you into putting the slave collar back on and perpetually being at your sister’s beck and call.”
“Nobody else is going to stand up for you so you need to do it for yourself.” – Avebury1
“You are the victim in this situation and have been chosen by your family to be the sacrificial lamb offered to the temple of your sister. They will pressure you in order to stomp out any effort you make to establish your independence because nobody else wants to take your place.”
“Seriously, this is a hill worth dying on if you want to have any life of your own.”
“Frankly, before you make your stand I would recommend that you get a new cell phone account. That way as soon as you make your stand all you have to do is turn off your old phone and then block them on social media. They will not have you new phone number and you can stay no contact for as long as you want. Enjoy the peace.”
“If you have a house, have a ring camera installed. If you have an apartment, hopefully you have a peek hole in the front door. If they all try to harrass you it will worth the money to pay an attorney to send them all a cease and desist letter.” – Avebury1
Some could not believe that the OP couldn’t even eat at her sister’s house.
“The no food thing really struck me. I mean who asks for a favor multiple times and doesn’t even let you eat something in 9 hours! And demand you give away your shirt at your job? Incredibly entitled…perhaps her entire life? Good for you to stick up for yourself. NTA” – rainyhawk
“‘Not allowed to eat food at her house’ had my jaw dropping.”
“So you feed the child? But screw you if you’re trying to prepare two pbjs? YOU MONSTER” – AelinAGalathynius
“Not to mention, the sister clearly wants it both ways – OP is the aunt, so she doesn’t need to be paid, ’cause family! But she doesn’t get to eat anything at her sister’s house? Even a paid babysitter would generally get food as part of spending the whole day at the house, but family doesn’t rank even that?” – HoldFastO2
“This is one of the worst cases of being taken advantage of that I’ve heard. She used you and wouldn’t even feed you or pay for your gas?”
“Your sister is a massively huge AH. She’s very manipulative. You need to be very proud of yourself for standing up to her. She’s horrible. NTA” – Tapioca44
It sounds like it was hard for the OP to stand up for herself, but the subReddit agreed it was worth it.
Though babysitting was a great opportunity for the OP to spend some time with her niece, getting free labor wasn’t the way to do it.