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Mom Livid After Childfree SIL Refuses To Babysit While She Goes To Get Her Nails Done

A woman getting her nails done.
Matic Grmek/Getty Images

When you live in the same town as family members, it’s easy to be comforted by the fact that you can rely on them for help when you need it.

Of course, that help is never a guarantee.

If family members do decide to help you, they generally do so out of generosity, not out of obligation.

Redditor ArtisticYesterday207 and her husband lived close by her brother, his wife, and their three children.

Recently, the original poster (OP)’s brother asked if she could help him with his three children.

A request the OP chose to decline, much to the anger of her sister-in-law (SIL), who called her “immature” for doing so.

Wondering if she was being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not helping my brother babysit his three kids.”

The OP explained why she didn’t feel obligated to say yes to her brother’s request to help babysit his three children.

“My (33 F[emale]) older brother (40 M[ale]) has three kids under 5.”

“I myself have no children by choice.”

“He and I we never very close, but he is always asking for help with the kids.”

“Saturday was a beautiful day. My husband and I had plans to spend the day in our pool.”

“At 10 am, he calls me and asks me to come over and help with the kids for an hour or two because his wife is going to get her nails done.”

“I declined and told him what my plans were.”

“He has a fit saying that I could come to help him and then go home and still spend all day in the pool, which is true. He only lives about 15 mins from me, but honestly, I just didn’t want to have to spend the morning with his kids and was really not in the mood to babysit, so I again said no, hung up, and had a nice day with my husband.”

“Later that day, I got a nasty text from SIL about not helping out. She was pissed she has to cancel her nail appointment. She pretty much called me an immature POS for not helping.”

“My mom thinks I could have just gone over for an hour or two since it really wouldn’t have messed with my plans, and I had no real reason not to.”

“Now I feel like a jerk, so IDK, I thought I would come here.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for declining to help her brother with his three children.

Everyone agreed that however the OP wanted to spend her afternoon was her decision and her decision alone, with many shocked that the OP’s brother not only didn’t offer to pay the OP but seemed incapable of watching his three children on his own.

“Did I read this correctly?”

“A 40yo parent can’t keep his own kids alive for a few hours, and a third party is somehow to blame?”

“NTA.”- HeddyL2627

“NTA – Why does your brother need help ‘babysitting’ his own kids?”

“Can he seriously not handle them on his own for the 1-2 hours it takes for his wife to get her nails done?”

“Tell your SIL if her husband cannot care for their kids on his own, she should take that up with him.”- Forward_Squirrel8879


“I simply can’t understand people that have kids being so demanding that someone else watch their kids for them.”

“It is laughable that this ‘father’ can’t be enough of a father to deal with his kids while his wife is gone for a bit.”

“Why would anyone marry a man that helpless?”- Hausmannlife_Schweiz


“And ask your mom why she raised her son to be such a pathetic excuse of a father.”- teresedanielle


“Why can’t he look after his own kids while SIL gets her nails done?”- broken-runner-26


“Daddio can’t PARENT his children for a few hours to give his wife a little ‘me time’ so it’s OP’s fault?”

“Tell me how much this man dislikes kids without pointing to his failure to have a good relationship with his younger sister.”- Sidneyreb

“NTA, gotta love the entitlement of asking you to ‘drop everything’ without notice, on the assumption that SIL could go and have some ‘self-care’ time at the expense of yours.”

“Next time, don’t tell him what your plans are. Go full-on Phoebe and say, ‘I wish I could help, but I don’t want to’.”- TeenySod

“If you can’t handle three kids, then don’t have three kids.”



“His circus, his monkeys.”

“That’s her problem.”

“Lol… who cares?”

“Ignore her or block her.”

“Yes, it would have.”

“Why couldn’t he look after his kids for 2 hours on his own?”

“But you had one.”

“You didn’t want to.”- Sensitive_Orchid9773


“He can’t handle his own kids for 1 hour?”

“You should get him a $2 sympathy card and just write ‘welcome to parenthood’ in it.”- No-Personality5421


“He can’t manage to look after his own kids for an hour?”- Fabflab98


“Your brother is 40, he needs to grow up and be a parent.”- ar29845

“NTA and your brother and sister-in-law definitely are the a**holes, along with your mother.”

“They totally expect you to drop everything and parent children that are not your children simply because you’re female.”

“At the same time, they accept your brother’s weaponized incompetence and blame you without examining why a forty-year-old man cannot parent three children, all of them his own, by himself for an hour or two.”

“There’s only one explanation for this: misogyny.”

“Your brother is pretending to be a moron, and his wife and mother totally enable him because of his gender.”

“They also accept that you, a woman, can parent better than an actual parent because you’re female.”

“It’s just stupidity and bigotry all the way down.”

“The only reason your sister-in-law couldn’t go to her nail appointment is your brother, who has faked idiocy for years to get out of the burden of parenting the children he chose to have.”

“Everyone in your family is gross, and you need to have a serious look at their lack of boundaries.”

“They should be ashamed they even asked you.”- beanfiddler

“NTA and say no every time.”

“The level of entitlement is off the chain.”

“Do not encourage it one bit.”

“Your mom is wrong for supporting them too.”- Ok-Abbreviations4510

“Why is SIL mad at you?”

“I’d be enraged at the dad for not being able to cope with his own children for a couple hours.”

“Ya know, parenting.”

“NTA.”- HappyAsianCat


“They call you at the last minute expecting you to change your plans so his wife can get her nails done?!”

“They and your mom need a reality check.”

“That is not the way life works.”

“And then they have the gall to insult you.”

“Do yourself a favor and remember those insults the next time they call to watch their kids.”

“Then go do something nice with your husband.”- VariousTry4624


“A dad shouldn’t need help parenting his children.”

“If he does, he needs to step his sh!t up and learn.”- MoogleShoopufXV


“He can’t watch his own kids for an hour or two?”

“And gave you no appropriate notice?”

“I’m all about helping your family when they’re in need, but he’s 40.”

“He can handle his own kids juuuuust fine.”

“Now, what you could do is suggest your brother and SIL sign up at”

“Plenty of trustworthy people on there who are more than willing to drop their Saturday plans to come and help out with childcare.”- quitcute5264

“My husband literally takes our kids camping solo and leaves me alone for a weekend.”

“Because he isn’t babysitting, he’s parenting.”

“Bc he’s a parent….is your brother aware he’s a parent?”

“NTA.”- Driverpicksthetunes


“He couldn’t keep his kids alone for an hour or two?”

“Dad of the year award does not go too.”- el_gilliath


“Maybe your SIL should be mad that her husband and father of the children won’t take over parenting for a couple of hours for her to get her nails done rather than be mad at anyone who isn’t the other parent of said kids.”- Calm_Initial


“You didn’t decide to have the kids. They did.”

“Nail appointments are a luxury, not a requirement to one’s health.”

‘SIL should have discussed or set up child care prior to making her appt.”

‘Why can’t brother take care of his own kids alone for an hour, or why can’t your mom go and help if she thinks they need it?”- OutboundNewPorker

The OP made the decision not to have children, and presumably, her brother and his wife made the decision to have three.

A decision it seems they should have thought a little more clearly about if the idea of one of them watching three children on their own was too much to handle.

Then too, it’s always wise to secure the help of a babysitter, family or not, at least 24 hours before you need them.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.