In a multi-child household, older siblings may find themselves responsible for their younger siblings.
But what if they’re unavailable or unable?
A 16-year-old thought she had the perfect solution, but her mother wasn’t on board. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor PrincessYthrowaway asked :
“AITA for hiring a nanny to babysit my siblings instead of babysitting them myself, without telling my mom?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m in charge of babysitting my half-siblings (2-year-old female) (3-year-old male) some days while mom goes out. This past Friday they stayed with me as usual and everything was going okay until I started feeling unwell out of nowhere.”
“I waited for some time but I was definitely not feeling better and there was no way I could take good care of my siblings. It was really bad.”
“I tried to call my mom a few times but she didn’t answer and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up calling their nanny, she used to stay with my siblings every day they were here last year and has stayed with them lots this year too.”
“She has been following the rules of the pandemic perfectly and I paid her with my own money.”
“My siblings’ dad is really glad that I called the nanny (he knows her and trusts her). Mom is always super hard to reach but I was really desperate and didn’t know what to do.”
“Mom came home a few hours later and when she found out I wasn’t the one babysitting them she was raging. I was laying in my bed and she came to my room screaming about how irresponsible and lazy I had been.”
“I tried to explain to her that I wasn’t okay but she said that she didn’t care.
“I am now punished and she is super mad at me and I really don’t know if I was wrong? Like I get that it was my responsibility but also, I really couldn’t do it.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“You definitely are NTA. You tried to ring your mum and she didn’t answer.”
“You put the safety of your siblings first when you weren’t feeling great. You got in someone they know and are familiar with and you paid with your own money.”
“Your mum is the A especially for not caring how you were after you tried to tell her you were ill.” ~ Affectionate-Youth21
“What’s her point?”
“You were unable to care for the younger children due to being ill, so you made sure they were safe and well cared for with a trusted person.”
“You even used your own money to do so. You were extremely responsible and generous.”
“I literally have no idea what her complaint even is. You behaved perfectly? Above and beyond?”
“NTA. She should have apologized for not checking her phone and paid you back.” ~ TheHatOnTheCat
“OP, your mom has no point, except maybe the top of her head. You are a kid—it’s not your job to provide childcare, it’s your mom’s.”
“What would have happened if your illness turned serious and you were incapacitated, or went unconscious—your mom failed to acknowledge your attempts to reach her—which would have left the 2 kids on their own.” ~ HunterRoze
“NTA. What kind of mother puts her 16-year-old child in charge of 2 toddlers and doesn’t check her phone enough to realize she missed several calls until after she returned home? That’s just irresponsible.” ~ BNHAisOnePunch100
“You should look up Parentification, OP. Your mom is expecting you to parent her children (this goes way beyond babysitting, considering the ages and periods of time involved and the fact that mom is completely unreachable at the time—what if there was an emergency?) and that’s unfair and unsafe for all three of you.”
“Is there an adult you can talk to about this? Any reasonable adult should be absolutely horrified that this is happening—your dad, grandparents, teachers/guidance counselor?”
“This isn’t safe or fair on any of the kids and your mom needs to spring for childcare while she works, not outsource it to you.” ~ yknjs-
The OP returned with an update:
“Hiiii, I’m alive. Someone from here convinced me to call someone last night and I ended up having an emergency appendix surgery at like 3 am.”
“I’m still really tired but I got lots of replies here and I’ll try to reply to everything later.”
The OP added more information in a later update.
“First of all thank you to everyone that reached out and was nice with me. My appendix ruptured but I’m doing okay I guess, recovery is super painful tho.”
“My mother was away with her friends when I first got sick, came home and got incredibly mad at me, went out two more days (leaving my siblings with their nanny) then went on a trip.”
“I followed the advice of some of you and told my siblings’ dad what was going on and he will have a talk with mom. I didn’t call CPS tho, I can’t do that.”
“I also followed everyone’s advice and am currently staying at a safe place (with my girlfriend and her family) until I get better.”
“Mom has not visited, we talked on the phone and I only got more punished but well, at least I got to solve everything else I guess.”
“I have a doctors appointment this Friday and I plan on talking with them about what’s going on. I’ll probably update everyone on Saturday if anyone cares.”
“Also I found out that the nanny told my mom she was with me and she got ignored too. She still has the messages.”
.The OP later added:
“Hi. Idk if anyone is seeing this but my appointment went okay. It will take a long time until I fully recover tho.”
“One of the nurses asked me a few questions as she had noticed a few things and told me that she HAD to call CPS.”
“Apparently my insurance also covers therapy or something like that? I’m even more scared than I was before tbh.”
Hopefully the OP is on the mend and their living situation will get healthier soon too.