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Dad Balks After Wife Wants Him To Pay Babysitter To Watch Kids For Her Since She Had A ‘Bad Day’

Woman face down on couch
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Redditor watchthekidsaita recently found himself in a confusing spot after his wife had a bad day.

The Original Poster (OP) was originally supposed to attend a party with his wife, but after she came home from a tough day they mutually decided he’d go alone.

The OP cancelled the babysitter and went to the party. However, the OP’s wife didn’t realize he was cancelling the babysitter and got frustrated when she had to watch the kids.

This drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

He asked:

“AITA For cancelling the babysitter after my wife decided not to attend my work holiday party”

He went on to explain:

“My [38-year-old Male] work held our annual holiday party last Friday. It was held at one of those axe-throwing places which I had never done before so I figured it would be pretty fun.”

“My wife [36-year-old Female] and I have 3 kids (10, 8, & 5) so we don’t get out of the house for dates very often.”

“The holiday party was planned almost 2 months ago and my wife agreed to attend with me.”

“I suggested we make it more of a ‘date’ by either going out for drinks after the party or catching a late-night movie. She thought this was a good idea too.”

“I also arranged for a babysitter to come watch the kids for that night.”

“The day of the party, my wife got home from work and told me that she had a horrible day and was in a bad space mentally so she didn’t want to come to the party.”

“I told her I was disappointed, but I understand if she wants to stay home. As I was getting myself ready to head to the party, I called the babysitter and cancelled.”

“I apologized to her and offered to Venmo her an hours worth of our agreed rate ($30) to compensate for the cancellation and she agreed that was reasonable.”

“As I was getting ready to leave, my wife asked when the babysitter was going to come.”

“I kind of looked at her funny and told her I had just cancelled the babysitter because she was no longer coming with me.”

“She got mad at me and told me that I knew she had a bad day and was in a bad mental state and needed some time to herself.”

“I told her that I had assumed none of that meant she was incapable of watching our kids and that I didn’t think having the babysitter come when my wife was still home made any sense at all.”

“She told me to call her back and see if she could still come watch the kids and I told her that if she wanted to do that she can do it, but I’m not going to.”

“She tried to argue with me about it, but I told her that I had to leave for the party.”

“While I was at the party, she sent me multiple texts about how the kids were driving her nuts and that the babysitter didn’t answer her calls and she needed me to come home.”

“She kept blowing up my phone and I eventually left the party over an hour early to go home.”

“When I got there, she kept arguing with me about how I was an AH for cancelling the babysitter when I knew she had a rough day.”

“I told her I was not going to pay a babysitter just so that my wife can rest after a bad day. I told her she could have just thrown a movie on for the kids and relaxed.”

‘“I told her she was the one who ruined our potential night out and that having a bad day at work is not a good enough reason to pay a babysitter $150-200.”

“She still thinks I was an AH for cancelling the babysitter without talking to her first and she’s still mad at me for it.”

But I don’t think that was an unreasonable assumption to make considering that there have been plenty of times when I’ve had a bad day…”

“…and I am still 100% capable of watching the kids by myself while my wife leaves the house.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“NTA. No sane persons going to spend $200 for a babysitter when a parent is actually home. She didn’t have to take care of the kids.”

“Based on their ages she could have made it a movie night or put their favorite shows on while she relaxed.”

“My guess is she had other plans she didn’t want you to know about and got upset because you canceled the babysitter which is super reasonable thing to do since she’s staying home.”

“The fact she got so heated about it is odd. Who makes plans for a date night at a work party then decide last minute not to go because they had a bad day , that’s pretty rude.”

“The fact she just assumed you’d keep the babysitter despite your plans changing is weird and should be talked about.” – Delicious-Baker-8335

“NTA. Why pay for a babysitter if she’s home. They’re old enough to entertain themselves.”

“If mom says ‘guys I’m too tired to be running around tonight dealing with messes. If I order pizza and put a movie on, you have to promise to be quiet and leave me alone’”

“Basically, she’s allowed to act like an adult and reason with her kids.”

“200$ for a babysitter and she has the guts to b*tch at you when SHE canceled something you were looking forward to…last minute?”

“She’s TA.” – diamondnbronze

“ESH. you both really need to work on your communication.”

“While it makes sense to cancel the babysitter, it could have been one of the things that was helping your wife hold onto her sanity in getting through the day.”

“And she should have let you know she still wanted the sitter.”

“Maybe the night could have been salvaged with her taking the time of your party to relax and destress and you both still could have gone for that date afterwards.”

“All it would have taken was you saying ‘I f you’re not coming to the party, I’ll call and cancel the babysitter’ It would have given her a chance to respond.”

“But she should not have blown up your phone. At 10,8&5, the kids are old enough to grab snacks and watch a movie.”

“The 5 year old would need some help with things, but the siblings should be able to do most of that.”

“I think every parent has had a crappy day and still gone home and taken care of the kids. Most parents have had the flu and felt like death and still taken care of the kids.”

“But it does make parenting that much harder. And not all bad days and flus are the same.”

“I know I have had bad days where I know if I come home I’m going to yell at the kids because my temper is done.”

“A call to hubby and I don’t come home until I’ve had a chance to calm down, it’s only happened once…”

“…but the ability to calm myself without the stress of worrying about my attitude was what I needed.” – Sunnyok85

“NAH, and I feel like I might get a bit of disagreement about this.”

“I think communication is the key issue here, and you and your wife would benefit from working on your communication patterns.”

“I don’t think you are the AH, because you didn’t cancel in retaliation or to be difficult, but because you assumed it was the right thing to do.”

“I don’t know about your financial status, to comment on if the $150-200 is a large sum for your family or not, but understanding thinking this was not a good way to spend money.”

“I assume you usually don’t use a babysitter to recover after a bad day if your wife is unavailable to watch the kids.”

“I also don’t think your wife is the AH. I can imagine having a bad day, and not feeling like being social.”

“Then thinking of a night to yourself, not being responsible for your kids either, and how great that thought may have been.”

“Then learning that this dream is not happening, and you need to switch straight into parenting mode when you just don’t have it in you.”

“I think communication and empathy (from both of you) are what needs to be worked on. Remember that you are a team, not against each other.”

“You shouldn’t have minimised her bad day, and she shouldn’t have blown up your phone, knowing you’ve been looking forward to this night for two months.” – NoteRCT

The OP went on to edit their post:

“EDIT: Hey everyone, can we cool it with the purely speculative cheating angle? My wife goes to yoga class with 5 other moms from our neighborhood.”

“So, unless they are all stepping out on their husbands or all in cahoots together, she’s not cheating. Our neighborhood isn’t a reality TV show and real life isn’t like that.”

“She’s an introvert and when she gets to her social limit, she doesn’t want to go out. It’s happened before which is why I didn’t push her to come out with me.”

Hopefully this family can work things out in time for a happy holiday season.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)