Most of us understand that staying in someone else’s home is a courtesy and a favor.
But some people assume visiting someone’s home should be the equivalent of a spa day, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After agreeing to look after her niece and nephew while their parents were on vacation, Redditor PopEquivalent3244 decided to involve them in her work on her farm.
But when her sister-in-law loudly objected to them working while on vacation, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for expecting my niece and nephew to help out on the farm while I watch them?”
The OP involved her niece and nephew on the farm while they were visiting.
“I’m a 34-year-old woman and am currently watching my niece who is 10 and my nephew who is 7 for my Brother and SIL over the Spring Holiday so they can go on a kid-free holiday.”
“I run the family farm as my older brother wasn’t interested in taking it over when our parents got too old to keep up with the demands it has.”
“As the kids are staying with me for the time being, I decided they’d help out on the farm in age-appropriate ways, nothing too taxing and honestly far less than what my brother and I did at their ages.”
“If they do this in the morning, they’re free to spend the afternoon as they please.”
“I think it’s a good way to teach them responsibility and besides, I don’t have kids, so the farm might end up being taken over by one of them one day if they take an interest in it.”
The OP’s sister-in-law was not happy when she heard about it.
“My Brother and SIL (Sister-in-Law) phoned the kid each night to say goodnight and check how they’re doing.”
“They mentioned how they were helping out on the farm.”
“When I talked to my brother and SIL after the kids said goodnight, my SIL was angry and demanding to know why I was forcing her children to work.”
“She said they were here on vacation and it wasn’t right of me to do that.”
“My brother asked what they’d been doing, and when I told him it was mostly mucking out the stables and feeding the animals, he tried to talk her down.”
“But she was even more upset to know her children were doing something so ‘dirty.'”
“I was rather bemused by this as it’s honestly not that bad. It’s not like they’re rolling about in the dirty stables.”
“I told her how they were having fun and it’s honestly not that bad and did no harm to me and my brother growing up.”
Her sister-in-law did not step down.
“She has told me she doesn’t want my kids lifting a finger for the rest of the time I have them. She said it’s their holiday, so they should be treated as such.”
“My brother clearly thinks she’s overreacting, but he also tends to defer to her in most things, so I’m getting no support there.”
“Honestly, I don’t know what to do, I’m running a business, not a resort, so I can hardly wait on them hand and foot while my brother and SIL are on holiday.”
“Is it truly so bad that I’d expect them to help out in the mornings while staying?”
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 there was nothing wrong with a “farm camp.”
“NTA. There is nothing wrong with doing chores and the kids are having fun, so it probably doesn’t even feel like chores to them.”
“They are on vacation. A free vacation at a private farm camp. People pay for kids to go there.”
“If she wanted that for her kids she should have send then to luxury kids camp or taken them with her on vacation.” – Borgteddy
“My parents paid for me to go to a horse camp when I was a child, with all the mucking and grooming that involves!” – Kitchen-Arm-3288
“Seriously. I have 3 kids and my brother and his spouse are child-free. They have never offered to babysit and I have never asked. They interact with my kids at family events but kids are just not their thing and I respect that.”
“If they ever offered up free services I’d laugh at my kids if they complained about helping their uncle out around the house etc. what a huge gift OP is giving them so they can vacay like proper adults.” – Worldly-Abroad2858
“Loved pony camp as a child!”
“Have my own horse now so I still pay for the privilege to do it.”
“If SIL wanted them to do nothing, she should have paid a babysitter.” – equimot
“‘I pay to muck stables and get dirty and smell like horse.’ Horses are like fireworks. You burn your money. And you love doing so.”
“God, I miss horses in my life.” – goldenstatriever
“My kids are going to two weeks of farm camp this summer because they absolutely love taking care of the animals. They do all the chores and learn how farms really work.”
“And I’m paying a s**tton of money for them to do it. So wherever OP’s farm is, do you want some free labor from two enthusiastic kids?” – Woodnote_
Others agreed and said the parents could do something else if they were unhappy.
“The parents could come home and make sure their kids are ‘chore-free.'” – QCr8onQ
“Oh but working would disrupt their ‘child free’ vacation made possible by… OP.”
“The complete lack of any humility and thanks in posts like this is mind-blowing. The parents should be THANKING op for teaching kids about work.” – PRtheRights
“If SIL is so concerned about her kids doing chores (that they don’t seem to mind doing!), she can cut her vacation short and come home to coddle them.”
“She’s getting free child care to be able to have a kid-free vacation and should be grateful. She sounds like an entitled AH.” – TA122278
“They’re using the term ‘vacation’ strongly there. On most breaks, we’d all as a family be up with a grandparent, and a little help around the house was expected. It’s not the best spring break as a 16-year-old, but I can plant the f**k out of some hydrangeas.” – BirdsLikeSka
“NTA – did SIL miss the kids are enjoying it! I used to help out when we went to stay with the family that had livestock or at my granddad’s weeding, planting, watering & harvesting veg during school breaks I enjoyed it.”
“People even pay for the experience! Seriously princess SIL needs to get over herself. Honestly I wonder if she’s the real reason your brother didn’t take over the farm.” – These_Guess_5874
“If the kids were resistant or complaining, my reaction would be a little more nuanced because then you get the issue of discipline in absence of parents. But they are happy about it!”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s even making the visit more special. They get to be treated like they are responsible, are contributing in a tangible way, and are going to have some great stories when they see their friends again. Those can be some heady things at that age.” – Various-Pizza3022
Some took issue with the sister-in-law’s parenting style.
“The SIL is an AH who’s raising entitled kids, AKA, a bad mother. They’ll suffer later on, thanks to her attitude and her husband’s cowardice. NTA.” – dustrat
“Wouldn’t it be great if the kids came home from this ‘working’ vacation and cannot stop talking about all the fun they had and when can they go back?” – karmarro
“The absolute audacity of the SIL demanding her kids be treated like paying guests on vacation at some resort.”
“I would be telling the SIL that if she didn’t want her precious babies doing any work, she should have taken them with her or sent them to a real camp (where they would be given chores as well).”
“One more complaint and OP should threaten to make them cut their kid-free vacation short and come get their kids if OP’s standards are so bad. Your brother also needs to reattach his spine and tell his wife the kids will be fine and be grateful the kids are being cared for and treated to a new experience.”
“I live on a farm and visiting kids absolutely always want to help with the animals.”
“Definitely NTA.” – WarLazy7979
While the OP was taken aback by what her sister-in-law had to say about her niece and nephew’s visit, the subReddit insisted that she was in the right.
She was providing care to these minors while their parents went on a childfree vacation, and they were also enjoying the vacation, even if it did include doing chores.
For all the sister-in-law knew, her children may have found something they wanted to do with their future summers, if not even a future career as descendants of the OP’s family farm.