Something strange happens when a vacation gets mixed with parents and children. For some parents, it’s like receiving a ticket for free childcare.
That’s often at the expense of someone else’s vacation time, too, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor tiancrow was surprised when she and her girlfriend were voluntold (volunteered without consent) to watch seven children while her siblings and cousins took a break and drank.
When the couple had enough of this arrangement, the Original Poster (OP) came up with a plan to make it stop.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for getting tipsy and acting much drunker than I was when I realized my siblings and cousins were trying to get me to babysit on a trip?”
The OP was surprised at how her family expected her to babysit on vacation.
“My family was doing a family reunion trip to a resort. I went with my girlfriend (I’m also a girl, and we’re both college-age) and my siblings, cousins, and their spouses and kids.”
“The first day, a bunch of the couples seemed to just assume my girlfriend and I would babysit when we were hanging out at the beach barbecue. Just telling their kids to go to us to play.”
“We sent them back to their parents a few times, but they’d complain they were busy and needed a break and asked us to ‘help.'”
“But it didn’t feel like just ‘helping’ when it was looking like we were in charge of 7 kids all night while all their parents were getting drunk.”
The OP and her girlfriend concocted a plan to get out of babysitting.
“We weren’t planning on drinking much, we often don’t drink at all, but we decided to grab some cocktails and water.”
“We drank them and then got the idea of pretending to be s**t-faced drunk so we’d stop being considered the sober babysitters of the trip.”
“We decided to pretend each cup of ice water with lime was actually a double-shot vodka soda… So whenever we had one drink, we would act like we had two extra strong ones.”
“I grabbed us another round of cocktails and waters, and we started the act, basically getting really boisterous. And purposely stumbling or swaying on our feet.”
“We still had an eye out for the kids playing near us.”
The pair really got into their roles.
“My girlfriend got up and decided to ‘teach me some ballet’ since she used to be a dancer, and she started doing moves messy on purpose.”
“I’d copy them even worse, often falling down.”
“My sister came over like, ‘What the h**l are you doing?'”
“I slurred my voice on purpose and was like, ‘She’s teaching me ballet! She’s sooo good at it. Babe, show her!'”
“Then my girlfriend, with great comedic timing, tripped over the legs of my beach chair, and I grabbed her to keep her upright.”
The OP’s family was disgusted.
“My sister asked how much we drank, and I looked at the cups by our chairs like, ‘Uh, that was a … Long Island ice tea, I think? I had two of those. And those were some vodka sodas? But I think they were like double pours? So like 4 drinks each? But I guess they were strong?'”
“My sister was like, ‘Uhh, so those were all double or triple pours? That’s 8 drinks each at least…'”
“And I said, ‘Not the ice tea ones!'”
“She said, ‘Long Island ice teas have 2 or 3 shots each.'”
“I said, ‘Ohh, that must be why I’m feeling it, haha. Maybe we should switch to beer, babe.'”
“Anyway, after that, my sister went to talk to the other parents, and they all suddenly took their kids back.”
“We’d only had two single-pour drinks each, so we just chilled for the rest of the night.”
Eventually, the plan backfired.
“The next few nights, my girlfriend and I didn’t even have to put on much of an act. As soon as we’d grab a single fruity cocktail, nobody tried to make us babysit.”
“But on the last night, my mom caught us and confronted us about how we’d ‘played drunk,’ and she asked me what we meant to do.”
“I owned up to it and said we hadn’t actually gotten hammered that first night. We had two single-pour drinks each and were just playing so that everyone would stop treating us like babysitters.”
“Well, my mom told my brothers and sisters. They were p**sed, saying that was immature of us to do, and really immature that we scared them into thinking their kids had been at risk.”
“AITA for playing drunk?”
Some were critical and questioned why the OP couldn’t say no directly.
“YTA, yes, to yourself.”
“You’re so unable to simply assert yourself that you feel the need to get drunk, purposefully act incompetently, and lie to your family, all because you’re dangerously conflict-avoidant.”
“It’s literally easier for you to ingest drugs and lie than to simply say, ‘No, we won’t be babysitting your kids.'”
“Just say, ‘Hey, we won’t be babysitting your kids. You’re right, you probably can use a break; we won’t be babysitting your kids.'”
“Or, ‘Yes, it would be very helpful for somebody to watch your kids; we won’t be babysitting your kids.'”
“Or, ‘You’re probably right; we’re probably being selfish and wanting to enjoy our vacation too. We won’t be babysitting your kids.'”
“Next time, put down the booze and read something like ‘When I Say No, I Feel Guilty’ and learn how to simply not do things just because people ask you to.” – Cent1234
“OP, your behavior was passive-aggressive and dishonest. A better approach would have been to flat out say, ‘Thank you, but I am not babysitting today,’ and then walk away.”
“You left your family thinking that you were drunkards who could not be trusted. Some will continue to think so. That is now your legacy.”
“I don’t blame you for not wanting to be unpaid babysitters. Not at all. I take issue with the way you communicated that fact.”
“YTA, but understandably so.” – lapsteelguitar
“YTA, mostly you guys, but your family also sucks for just assuming you are the default babysitters.”
“Why couldn’t you have just stood up for yourselves and said no or just went off to do your own activity to make yourselves scarce? No means no and nobody can force you to be babysitters.”
“Instead, you acted like out-of-control drunkards, to the point where parents acting out of reasonable judgment kept their children away from you.”
“You got what you wanted, at a cost to your image and standing in front of your family. Everyone thought you were lushes. I wouldn’t want to portray myself this way, I’d be embarrassed.”
“Plus, you acted drunk, while the kids were under your care and gave the parents a scare that their children were at risk.”
“IMO (In my opinion), I think there was just a better way to handle it. Yes, you got what you wanted, to not have to babysit. You earned it by looking like drunks. Now that your secret is out, and everybody is angry you fooled them. And their kids weren’t at risk, they finally realized.”
“You have words, use them next time. It was immature and you could have handled this better.” – BeeYehWoo
Others found the OP’s family to be incredibly entitled.
“Lesbians must not ever need a vacation. I mean, really, they’re just two lesbians without any responsibilities, so why wouldn’t they want to take care of our 7 kids for a week without asking? We are so TIRED of taking care of our kids that we decided among ourselves that the only reason you are there is to babysit. (ends sarcastic comment)”
“NTA, but your family is.” – babcock27
“People cannot give you custody of your kids without your consent and you just need to remind the parents of that before wandering off somewhere without the kids and possibly even no kids allowed.”
“They want to throw their kids at you and leave, well, hope it’s a safe spot!” – Forsaken_Distance777
“If I was OP, I’d ask why the kids would have been at risk even if she was hammered? Their parents were present and OP had not agreed to have responsibility for the children.”
“They 100% deserve to be scared for not making explicit arrangements about who was in charge of keeping their 7 kids safe near water.” – MediumSympathy
“NTA. I am a mom with several mom friends, and believe me, they will get drunk around me as quickly as possible, so I get stuck being the surrogate babysitter.”
“I’m a non-drinker so yea, as soon as I figured out that pattern, I stopped going whenever I felt I was going to be made babysitter. Do whatever it takes.” – IAmTAAlways
“NTA. Mom here with many mom friends. Of course they need a break, but we would never even think of doing that.”
“OP, you were in a resort, so they should have hired a babysitter for the night or taken care of their children. The audacity of some people never ceases to amaze me.” – RUarealDr
“Growing up, I never asked or expected to be paid to watch my niece or nephews. I also wouldn’t let my siblings pay me if they tried, but my siblings have also never dumped their kids on me without asking.”
“The last time we all went on a family vacation together, my brother ASKED if I wouldn’t mind watching my nephew, so he and his wife could go out for ONE evening of the week we were there.”
“I said no problem. He took full care and control of his son the entire rest of the trip, so I was happy to give him a single night off while I stayed in and got an early night.”
“He was exhausted the next day lmao; I was fresh as a daisy!” – boudicas_shield
A few commended the OP for the hilarious effort.
“NTA, and this is hilarious. Your family needs to learn to stop imposing on other people for free childcare.”
“Their kids weren’t ever at risk and they learned a good lesson about taking advantage of you and your girlfriend.” – Long-Jeweler-5845
“Absolute f**king genius! Chef’s kiss to you both!”
“NTA. Just remember, now that you’ve outed yourselves, you’ll have to get drunk for real at least once next trip because they’ll be expecting you to ‘make it up to them.'” – randomusername71175
While the family was angry with the OP and her girlfriend for the plan they cooked up, the subReddit insisted that they were not in the wrong for not wanting to get stuck babysitting while also being on vacation like everyone else.
Some thought that the couple could have been more communicative and forceful about those feelings, but the feelings in and of themselves were completely valid.