Content Warning: Sex-shaming, Unplanned Pregnancy, Abortion, Sex Positivity
It’s irrefutable that having a baby will absolutely change someone’s life. While it can definitely be a positive change, that doesn’t mean the change will be easy.
But that might be especially true for a person who wasn’t planning on having a baby, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor aitanobabysitting wasn’t so shocked when she heard the news that her sister was pregnant.
But when her sister demanded that she change her entire college experience and start babysitting for her full-time for free, the Original Poster (OP) was totally taken aback.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to babysit for my sister when she has no other options?”
The OP’s sister recently found herself in a tough situation.
“My sister (23 Female) and I (22 Female) live in Texas.”
“She has recently found out she’s five months pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is.”
“She’s had unprotected sex with several strangers. The doctor said sperm can survive in the body for several days, she was given roughly a week and a half window of when she might’ve conceived. That’s how she narrowed it down to five men.”
“She can’t get an abortion for obvious reasons, so she’s having a baby.”
Her sister thought she came up with a solution that would work for her, but not the OP.
“We’re both in college right now, I’m a full-time student and I don’t work.”
“I’m married and my husband pays the bills, and he wants me to focus on doing well in school.”
“My sister, though, works full-time as a waitress and lives alone.”
“She wants me to switch to virtual school and watch her baby full-time starting this next semester.”
“I do not want to do this. I don’t even like babies. I strongly prefer going to in-person classes, and watching her baby will take away from my education.”
“Plus, I feel like it’s a lot for her to ask of me.”
But the OP’s sister was adamant that she do this for her.
“Her stance is that we’re sisters and she would do it for me.”
“She added that she can’t be a full-time student, mother, and work full-time. And she can’t afford daycare at all.”
“I think she should give up the baby for adoption, to be honest, but she refuses.”
“She said if I don’t do this, she’ll have to drop out of college and get a s**tty work-from-home job. And that it’ll be all my fault.”
“I don’t think I’m at fault here, I’m not the one that runs around letting any random stranger c*m in me with no protection.”
“AITA for not switching to virtual school to babysit for my sister?”
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 pointed out that the OP was not required to put her life on hold to help her sister.
“NTA. ‘No’ is a complete sentence. You are not obliged or responsible for her poor life choices. That is on her.” – Ok-Educator850
“Look, she chose to have unprotected sex with strangers, she gambled, and she lost. That’s not on you.”
“And yeah she’s right, she can’t be a full-time student, work full-time, and be a mom. That’s a shame for her, but it’s the truth of the situation. You played no hand, act, or part in her getting into this situation, and you don’t owe her full-time childcare.”
“Obviously, the odd day she was stuck or something would be fine, but asking you to switch to online college?? No.”
“And even with that, if you were minding a baby, there’s no way you’d be able to attend college full-time. Babies are intense! It’s not like you can just keep an eye on it and do your own thing, they need feeding and nappy changes and cuddles. You won’t get more than 10mins uninterrupted while they’re awake, and baby naps are only around 90mins.”
“She’s vastly underestimating how much work she’s asking you to do. I don’t think she knows what she’s getting herself into with having a child. It sucks but you’re right not to commit to what she’s asking.” – Anxious_Reporter_601
“You aren’t having a baby, it’s not your problem to deal with. She chose this, not you. She can do the adult thing and figure it out for herself.” – spaceyjaycey
“In a transactional sense, there really aren’t that many favors OP could ask her sister for in the future that would equal the favor of providing free, full-time childcare for the foreseeable future.”
“Even if the sister finishes school and gets a better job, it sounds like she would still need childcare.”
“And I can guarantee that even if she manages to get a good job and have the money to afford childcare, she will guilt OP with, ‘But this has been working so well and Baby loves their Auntie! You wouldn’t want to hurt Baby’s feelings, would you!?'”
“So, I mean, it kinda sounds like OP would come out the winner with saying no this once and having the sister saying no to anything in the future.” – Frejian
“I’d suggest for her to take a break from college for 6 months (if you’re allowed to in America) and then resume via online classes when the baby is 6 months old (and hopefully in a routine).”
“And also get a job that she can perform while at home? That way her baby could be in the house with her. I’ve seen parents set up a playpen in their home office for when they are working.” – newtoredit097762
Others agreed and said the sister needed to start looking for resources.
“The sister is focused on harassing and blaming her sibling, when she should be burning rubber to find out what her resources and options are and building a network.”
“I’m not saying it’s easy, but if nothing else, figuring out exactly what her life will be like might cause her to view adoption differently.”
“I could NOT get my baby to nap unless she was being held by me, ‘cuz I had the boobs. My husband could. Her daycare providers could, but even they called her ‘Little Miss I’m Not Sleepy’ in recognition of how hard this was to achieve.” – DevilSilver
“My kid napped for 20 minutes and then was up like she napped for 3 hours. I barely slept when she was a baby. And she was a poor night sleeper, and at 6 she still is.”
“But guess what? I still worked, and studied, and got things done. Having a baby is no excuse. And I have two as a single mother. It definitely isn’t easy but it also isn’t impossible.”
“And I know women who have far more than me who did it all.”
“She needs to apply for assistance and make herself a network of friends with kids she can trust so they can help each other. She’s focused on the problem when she needs to be more focused on solutions.”
“The only one she’s come up with is heavily inconveniencing her sister. And I bet you if she doesn’t toughen up and things fall bad and stay that way, she’ll be resentful of her sister for obtaining a better life.”
“When she had the same option herself all along. She needs to not use her kids as a cop-out and instead use them as the reason to get her life together!” – queenafrodite
“Tell her to check with the school, they may have on-site daycare for students. It’s not uncommon.”
“There are lots of other resources for low-income parents to apply for, like WIC, child care subsidies, etc. She needs to start doing more research and filling out paperwork.” – Notsocreativeeither
“There are other options for single parents. There are grants that help pay for child care, food, housing, and even college education. (Texan here)”
“My sister is a single parent and has had to do all of the above. She got divorced with a 3-year-old and a bun in the oven about to come out.”
“Sometimes life isn’t peaches and cream, but HER actions have consequences, and she’s gonna have to figure it out.”
“Also, you said no. You need absolutely no justification, this is not your action to pay the consequence for, so just no is going to have to be enough for her.”
“Tell her to get her s**t together and buckle up because she’s about to mature faster than she obviously intended. Good luck, OP. Hold your ground!!” – breedlez
“I like to support a woman’s right to get hers but she is being unsafe and wreckless, and even then, I could be like, ‘Okay, well, as long as she is prepared for the potential consequences,’ but she isn’t, and now she is trying to push that responsibility onto her sister.” – J4netSn4kehole
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I’ve decided to take some time to myself to focus on school, and I’ll be distancing myself from my sister.”
“Whatever she does at this point is up to her, but I wish her the best. I’ve spent years dealing with mistakes she’s made, and I’m so tired.”
Though the subReddit could sympathize with what the sister was going through and could anticipate the tough decisions she would need to make in the near future regarding her work and a college degree, they also agreed that the OP didn’t necessarily have to be involved.
While it might be nice to show her support, help her find resources, and perhaps even babysit from time to time, it was clear from the OP that she had already helped in the past and perhaps was more prepared to burn their relationship bridge to the ground rather than help her sister through this.