Parents would do well to remember that their adult, childfree siblings aren’t automatic babysitters. Of course, emergencies happen, and we’d expect family to help in dire circumstances, but parents often expect their siblings to drop everything on a whim.
One woman came to Reddit seeking advice after she refused to drop her relaxing day plans to watch her older brother’s three kids.
The Original Poster (OP) shared that it was a gorgeous summer day. She planned to spend it lounging at the pool with her husband.
Her older brother had other plans. He’s forty with three young children, while OP is 33 and decided against children.
OP’s brother asked her if she could babysit the kids in the morning so his wife could get her nails done.
Though the brother insisted it would only be a few hours and that OP could spend the rest of the day at the pool after babysitting, OP declined.
“I just didn’t want to have to spend the morning with his kids and was really not in the mood to babysit,” she shared.
Brother Throws a Fit
That a woman refused to drop her plans and take care of his children for him sent the brother into a fit of rage.
He said OP only lives a few minutes away and couldn’t understand why she refused to help.
Sister-in-Law Joins In
When OP returned from the pool, she found a barrage of texts from her sister-in-law, claiming that OP was a horrible, immature person.
“She was p— she has to cancel her nail appointment; she pretty much called me an immature POS for not helping,” shared OP.
Even the Mom Blames OP
Apparently, the spoiled brother also tattled on OP because her mom also called and told her she should have just babysat for a few hours.
“My mom thinks I could have just went over for an hour or two since it really wouldn’t have messed with my plans, and I had no real reason not too,” said OP.
Was OP Wrong?
Now, with everyone against her, OP feels like a giant jerk. She came to Reddit wondering if she was wrong.
Should she have sucked it up and babysat for a few hours so her sister-in-law could have a break?
Reddit had one spectacular question for OP.
Where was her brother in all this?
OP didn’t mention her brother’s whereabouts in the original post, but in a comment, she shared that he’s never parented his own children by himself.
“He has never been alone with them, my mom or his MIL are always there. SIL doesn’t really do much either its mostly my mom and his MIL that take care of them,” she said.
Not the Jerk OP
With this new information, we can 100% conclude that OP is correct. We could understand the sister-in-law needing a break if the husband was working ungodly hours, and although OP wouldn’t be wrong for declining in that situation, we could at least understand both sides.
However, this situation is clear-cut. OP’s brother is responsible for his children, no one else.
“Tell me how much this man dislikes kids without pointing to his failure to have a good relationship with his younger sister,” said one user.
Shocked that Sister-in-Law Blamed OP
Many users were shocked that the sister-in-law blamed OP for having to cancel the appointment rather than her useless husband.
“I can’t believe the SIL is so brainwashed to think it’s more acceptable to place the blame on OP than her useless husband!” exclaimed one user.
Others pointed out that it made sense when you consider the misogyny involved. If, in your worldview, women take care of children and men do not, it makes perfect sense that the sister should watch the kids.
“But OP is a woman, so obviously taking care of kids is her responsibility!” said one user.
“Obviously, being a parent is a gendered job that only women are capable of,” said another.
OP, Enjoy Your Life
OP made choices, and her brother made different choices. It’s not OP”s responsibility to help her brother with his life choices.
Enjoy your pool day, OP, and don’t let any sexist family members guilt trip you into thinking it’s your responsibility to watch someone else’s kids when they’re fully capable of doing it themselves.