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Teen Called Out For Refusing To Babysit For Family Friend Because Her Restaurant Job Pays Better

Joanna Nix-Walkup/Unsplash

We all have those certain tasks in our lives that we absolutely despise doing, making it very difficult for someone else to talk us into doing them.

It might be home tasks like washing dishes, or it could be possessing a certain type of job, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

For Redditor throwawaysitter1, that task was babysitting.

When her family openly criticized her, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to be so against doing it.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for wanting to work instead of babysitting?”

The OP didn’t enjoy babysitting.

“When I was 14, my parents paid for me to take a babysitting class. It included CPR, First Aid, and basic skills for babysitting.”

“Then around 15, I got my first babysitting job.”

“I didn’t like it. The mom always wanted me to ‘help out’ after the kid fell asleep.”

“That meant to wash dishes that I didn’t dirty, ‘tidy up’ their living room when it literally was a mess when I got there, and to help with her business stuff if she was home, like filing or helping with mail.”

“And I ALWAYS had to remind her to pay me and how much before I left, which was awkward.”

The OP didn’t want to babysit anymore after the latest experience. 

“The last straw was when she called me one day and asked that I sit for her that night.”

“I said that I couldn’t because I had orientation for school at 8 the next morning.”

“She said she promised to be back by 10, and not any later, and practically begged. So I said fine.”

“I went over there, the kid fell asleep around 7. So I watched TV.”

“Then 10 o’clock came. At 10:30 I called her and she didn’t answer, and I called again at 11 and no answer.”

“She finally showed up at 11:30, saying, ‘Oh sorry, my friends just wouldn’t let me leave, they kept wanting to talk and talk.'”

“I decided not to babysit for them anymore.”

When she got a job, it became easier to say no to babysitting jobs.

“Then 6 months later, I turned 16 and I got a job at a restaurant that pays WAY better than babysitting did.”

“Plus I make tips, I have a scheduled time that I get off, and I don’t have to remind them to pay me.”

“My dad’s friend Ned’s wife had a baby a year or two ago. Ned asked my dad to ask me if I could babysit on weekends.”

“I said, ‘I work weekends.'”

“He was like, ‘Well, maybe they’ll ask ahead of time and you can ask off work.'”

“I said, ‘No, I’d rather work. I’d probably make more money than I would babysitting anyway, and I didn’t like babysitting.'”

But her family criticized her for refusing.

“My dad was like, ‘Wouldn’t most girls your age rather babysit than work? Just because you had one bad babysitting experience doesn’t mean they’ll all be like that.'”

“Dad’s girlfriend said, ‘I babysat from when I was your age until I went to college and I loved it.'”

“My dad said something like, Ned wanted me to be their sitter because he’s known me since I was a kid and trusts me and I should be more willing to help.”

“Then my dad said, ‘You’re too young to be one of those jerks that only does stuff for the money.'”

“AITA for not wanting to babysit because I’ll make more money working?”

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 said the OP had every right to do what made her happiest.

“NTA. I also hated babysitting as a teenager and much preferred my sh**ty part-time job to taking care of people’s children.”

“Is your dad openly misogynistic or does he just not realize what he’s saying when he tells you that as a girl you should rather take care of children than work, and shouldn’t care about how much money you make for said work? Because honestly.”

“You’ll be working either way and, given the choice, I can’t imagine anyone deciding to go with the job that they don’t like and that pays less – that’s a lose/lose situation.” – hannahkelli

“When you hire a babysitter, you’re hiring someone to take care of your kids, and that’s it. That lady was taking CRAZY advantage of you making you do housework (and actually work-work?!).”

“An older/more experienced babysitter would have just laughed in her face if she tried telling them they had to do the dishes, clean her house, then some light filing.”

“She knew you were young and inexperienced and treated you horribly.”

“It’s absolutely fair to just not like babysitting, but keep in mind that you don’t have a good reference for what it’s actually like. You were paid way too little and manipulated into doing a lot of extra, non-babysitting work.”

“If you want to give babysitting another try sometime, be sure to charge however much you’re making at your actual job (plus tips) or more, and feel free to refuse to do anything not directly childcare-related.”

“If you want to wash the dishes or tidy up a little after the kids go to bed, that’s a nice bonus for the parents and might make them more likely to hire you again, but it should NEVER be expected.” – Kathrynelena

“NTA. I always hated babysitting too. Just because you’re a girl does not mean you are required to do it.”

“Ned just wants the convenience of a trustworthy, hard-working person he already knows to watch his child.”

“Well, guess what, Ned, that trustworthy, hard-working person already has a better job!” – JeepersCreepers74

Others agreed and said the payment was also a valid concern.

“We really need to make it normal to pay the people responsible for your children’s health and safety like you actually want your children to be safe and healthy.” – TestSubject147

“‘Why do you care about money?'”

“‘Why do you not care about your child enough to make sure that the person in charge of their well being is adequately compensated for their time and effort?'” – PrettyFly4AYaoGuai

“NTA. If/When it comes up again, and it will, use this trick:”

“Base babysitting (taking care of the child and only the child): Your hourly wage at your job X 3 per hour to be paid at the end of each babysitting day.”

“If they aren’t home on time? 1/2 the base rate for every half hour they are late.”

“Housekeeping or anything else not directly related to the child: Hourly wage x 4 per hour.”

“They want you to babysit? They can pay you what you’re worth PLUS what you are missing out on from your actual job.”

“‘Why do you care about money?'”

“You: Because this is a job and I deserve to be paid for my time and skills.”

“They are not asking a one-time favor, they are asking me to WORK for them on a set schedule. Therefore they need to pay me, my time and skills are not free.” – PommeDeSang

Some also thought the dad was being manipulative and sexist.

“NTA. They are being so sexist. Just because you have a vagina doesn’t mean you love watching other people’s kids.” – EZHedgehog

“NTA at all. Your dad is being manipulative. You are never ‘too young to be one of those jerks.'” – waterballoont*ts

“Dad just wants to look good for his friend at the expense of his daughter.”

“‘Of course her time is worth nothing, she’s FeMaLe’ is going off in his head.”

“This kind of sexism needs to be exterminated.” – Academic_Snow_7680

Though their criticism made the OP second-guess herself, the subReddit insisted the OP had the right to opt out of babysitting, especially since it would be during her scheduled work hours.

Expecting someone to work for less wouldn’t be fair, and if they really didn’t want to do it anyway, they might not be the best option for babysitting anyway.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.