'AITA for forcing my family to babysit my sister's kid (so I won't have to)?' UPDATED 2X (2024)

"AITA for forcing my family to babysit (so I won't have to)?"

I'm (19f) living at home, working a part-time job, doing some freelance stuff and taking some online courses all in preparation for attending college next year. My sister (25f) had her 1st child 8 months ago. The father isn't involved and only pays CS.

My mom is excited to have her first grandchild and constantly offers to look after the baby so my sister can feel at ease working full time and afterwards, will have some time for herself to relax. The thing is, about 70% of the time I'll be the one looking after the baby, and while I admit that I enjoy it and like spending time with him, I can't help but feel mad because they don't have any consideration for my time.

Mom would drop the baby while I'm in the middle of my lessons because "you can always watch the recordings later" or "just ask someone to tell you what it was about". Or when I'm working in my freelance stuff because "looking after the baby doesn't really require much" when I complain about getting delayed in my projects.

My breaking point happened last week when my mother and sister left the baby with me for a whole day because I mistakenly told them I didn't have to work and would be staying at home to catch up with some pending stuff and study. I told them both irresponsible and they called me a spoiled brat.

That night, my grandma and other members of the extended family were calling and sending me messages about the importance of helping family, and to understand that my sister doesn't have it easy being a single mom. I got mad and sent a message to the family group chat saying that they were right, helping family is important and we all should be supportive of my sister.

I then proceeded to write a schedule in which all of us could take care of the baby. Because one aunt goes to visit grandma on Mondays and Wednesday mornings they could babysit those days. Eldest cousin and her siblings at their home Friday afternoon??? Well, they can babysit that time... and so on.

I left Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings as my time to babysit. My sister and my mom were very pleased with the arrangement. The other family...not so much. And when someone pointed out that my sister didn't get the baby for a whole day, discussions about my sister being an irresponsible mother started, with my mother trying to defend her.

AITA for causing this??? How come they were expecting me to be my sister's unpaid nanny, but then they get offended when the same thing is being forced on them?? I may be the AH because I caused this and don't regret it one bit.

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

star_b_nettor wrote:

That was a beautiful way to address that. Everyone always says but family until it comes back on them.

OP responded:

Hahaha, thank you!! I admit I got the inspiration after reading several posts and comments dealing with similar issues. I was like... "What if I did...??" and while I don't necessarily regret taking that route, there's this little worry of having going to far. As I said, the family is having a big discussion about this.

Tarzankitty wrote:

NTA. You aren’t a spoiled brat. Your sister is a spoiled brat. She chose to bring a child into this world thinking other people would parent him for her.

The only person responsible for this baby is your sister.

OP responded:

I blame that on our mom. When my sister told us she was pregnant and that the father would be involved, our mother assured her if she kept the baby, then she would help her whenever she needed, as she's already retired and like I said, was excited to have her 1st grandchild.

JournalistPhysical26 wrote:

NTA. You didn’t have a child, your sister did. She can either pay you or find someone else to watch the child.

OP responded:

I already suggested hiring a nanny several times, but my sister claims that she wouldn't feel at ease leaving her child with an stranger. I then agreed to babysit certain days according to my schedule, but they wouldn't respect it. I did get payed to babysit a few times, but they would make a big deal out of it and I would end up feeling guilty, so I stopped asking for any payment.

kona_369 wrote:

NTA. Its nice to help out every now and then when you can but you have a life too. Your family shouldn't expect you to babysit and just be fine with it when you clearly have a busy schedule and now that they have a taste of their own medicine all of a sudden its a problem.

[deleted] wrote:

If your mom assured her that she would be the one to help her whenever she needs it, why is she turning around and dumping the baby on you instead?

OP responded:

I might have a theory on that. Way before my sister got pregnant, we (mom, sister, me) were talking about the future and the theme of marriage and kids came up. I must have around 14?? at the time and I proclaimed I would like to be childfree. Mom didn't took it too seriously at the time, kinda like "you'll change your mind when you grow up."

I didn't. So I think she is in part doing to to convince me that babies/children aren't that bad, because sometimes when I was babysitting she would go aaaawwww about how I would be an amazing mother and how good I am with children.

But I don't want to. I love being an aunt and was pretty excited about nephew being born too, but the constant babysitting pretty much drained me out. I might change my mind on having children in the future (adoption or surrogacy, which I'm sure my mom would approve either), but being pressured like this isn't helping.

A week later, OP shared an update.

OK, a lot of things happened. Honestly, I'm still not in the mood to provide a full update. The main points are: My sister did tried to impose the babysitting schedule I made and the family wasn't happy.

Mom, sis and I had a big discussion, hurtful things were said on both ends and I'm currently staying with my BFF and his GF (total sweethearts, but not a feasible long term arrangement, even though they have said I could stay with them as long as I need).

The family is complaining non stop and I'm feeling guilty because technically, I'm the one who caused this by creating the schedule in the first place, maybe I should just sucked it up, and I do really feel sorry for my nephew.

All the family usually gets together on Sundays and this time, my grandma's eldest daughter (Mom's eldest sister) is coming from another state. This is kind of like a big thing since she's grandma's golden child (in a good way) and kind of like the leader of the family. I'm both hopeful and nervous.

If someone can solve this s-tshow, is her, but at the same time I'm worried about her blaming me like everyone else. I'll provide a full update then. Also, sorry for not having the time to answer all the comments and PMs, like I said, a lot of things happened. But here's some of the questions some people asked:

1. My relationship with mom and sis: It was pretty good before my sister got pregnant. We (sis and I) always knew that she was more favored by our mom because they had more common interests, while It was the same case for me and my dad.

This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, think it more of a If one of us wanted to visit a friend or an specific favor, we knew which parent to ask. We would actually team up sometimes to convince them of something, me appealing to dad and sis to mom.

Sadly, dad passed away 5 years ago. He was an amazing father and we were absolutely heartbroken, but the one good thing that came out of it, was that it helped us bond. Dad loved classical music and was really into IT and programming, I would go to concerts with him and he got me into gaming.

After his passing, mom began to buy tickets to classical concerts and the three of us would go together as a way to remember him. We also went to watch Super Mario Movie because my dad would've loved to be there (even if sis and mom knew little of the franchise), so, things going this bad makes me pretty sad.

My job: I work part-time at a Kids' afterschool academy. We tutor them at the subjects they find hard and help them do their homework and prepare for test. My freelance job is video/audio editing for my BFF and his GF.

Both are streamers/content creators (they know about my post but asked me to leave out their personal details, so please don't ask for their accounts). I do one weekly video for her, and one or two for him.

3. Do I pay rent?: No, I don't. Dad had a hard time with his family, and while my sis and I didn't know the details and are NC with them, we kind of imagine what went down. Dad left the house to mom and make her promise to make it a safe place for us (sis and I).

They decided to except us for paying rent as long as we cover for us expenses ourselves. Sister and I cover our groceries, cellphones, some services and I pay part of their gas whenever they give me a ride because I don't have a car.

4: Extended family: As I said, we are NC with dad's family. Mom (50Y) is the 3rd of 4 siblings: Eldest aunt, Eldest uncle (deceased, was the father of the cousins I mentioned in my first post) and Young uncle (39Y, single). Grandma is currently 77 YO.

5. My nephew's dad: He and my sister were together for about 2 years. When she found out she was pregnant and wished to keep the baby the relationship ended, as he is childfree. A paternity test was conducted after my nephew was born and he was the father. He pays CS as has no contact with the baby.

His parents (nephew's paternal GM and GF) do keep in touch and by what I was told, them along with the rest of their family didn't approve of his actions regarding my sister and nephew. So far, they don't know whats going on and I didn't involve them in the initial babysitting schedule because I'm sure that would've been another whole s-tshow.

The comments kept coming in.

A lot of things happened and I'm finally in the mood to write the update, so here it goes: My sister did follow my scheduled for babysitting that involved our extended family and well... they weren't happy. Two days after my post she left my nephew with one of our aunts.

She (aunt) was meeting some friends for brunch and had to take baby with her. Baby was fussy and crying and she had to come home early. Aunt was understandably pissed off. I had agreed to babysit the next day and that's when things began going downhill. My nephew is used to be with me but this time he was very fussy and coughing and I thought something was odd.

Mom wasn't home and I tried to call her but she didn't answered until about two hours later. She came home, checked my nephew and he had a light fever. Of course, we called my sister and she blamed our aunt for taking out the baby (how dare she have a life while being forced to babysit).

She accused our aunt in the family chat and a whole discussion blew up. Suddenly, my mom and sister remembered I was the one who involved the whole family with the babysitting schedule and then I was the one at fault. That was my breaking point. I ended up yelling my sister that she was negligent and a part time mother for my nephew.

Not my proudest moment and I immediately regretted it, ngl. My mother countered that if my dad (he passed away 5 year ago) listened to me, he would've been very disappointed me. That k-lled me because I was really close to him and he always put family above all. Still, I was mad so I said that I expected my sister to reimburse me the amount I took out from my college fund in full.

Not my proudest moment and I immediately regretted it, ngl. Some info: when my sister and I were born, dad and mom set up a college fund for each of us. Dad always encouraged us to study and improve ourselves and when my nephew was born, I took 5K from my fund to start one for him to honor my dad, as I'm sure he would've done the same.

After that, I packed a bag and took and Uber to my BF's [best friend's] department [sic, apartment]. I told him what happened and he and his GF invited me to stay with them as long as I needed. I blocked my mother, sister and the rest of the family and spent the following days both avoiding them and worrying about my nephew. Last Friday, I received a call from and unknown number.

It was one of my eldest aunt daughters. She and her family live in another state, so they mostly followed the drama from afar, and my cousin told me: they were coming to visit and my aunt was going to have a serious chat with all of us. Ngl, I was really nervous. I think I mentioned this on my previous post: My mom (50y) is the 3rd of 4 siblings.

We'll call them Rose (eldest aunt), Mario (eldest uncle, deceased, father of the cousins I mentioned on my 1st post), my mom, and John (yougest uncle). There's also Jane, Mario's widow, and the aunt that I mentioned in this post that took out the baby. Rose is pretty much my grandma's golden child (in a good way), the 2nd mother to her siblings and overall a very strong woman.

She and her husband have 5 (adopted) children and due to the complicated logistics (my uncle and two of his sons are doctors, and the youngest of that set of cousins is at college), so to hear that they are suddenly coming over was a very big deal. Sunday came. My BF and his GF accompanied me to grandma's house for moral support.

Rose and her family were already there and I spent most of the time avoiding my mom and sis (deep down I knew she wouldn't dare to yell or call me out in front of Rose, as she's scared of making her angry). After some hours, Rose finally addressed the elephant in the room. It was a long, emotive discussions and we all ended up crying, so I'll sum up the main points:

Baby nephew is a human being, not a stray puppy to be passed around, he needs some stability.

Stop with the "if you could afford to/wished to have a child, why did you have it" comments, nephew is here and he's not going anywhere, let's focus on solutions.

To my sis: as a mother, you need to learn to put your child first and while is ok to rely on help sometimes, don't do it all the time, is bad for the baby and the others involved.

To my mother: stop enabling her.

To the rest of the family: unless you're willing to offer some solutions, don't meddle in other people's affairs.

To me, about the babysitting schedule: Well done kiddo (and I cried in relief).

My sister then admitted that while she loves my nephew, she felt unfit to be a mother and wasn't fully conscious of the responsibility it would take to raise him.

Apparently, my mother was aware of that and her response was to make me babysit my nephew in order to make my sister feel less stressed out...and yes, to make me hopefully change my mind about having kinds in the future (Rose also talked to mom about that).

Rose then said that, worst case scenario, she and my cousins talked and either her eldest son and daughter were willing to adopt my nephew. Apparently, both discussed it with respective spouses and all on board if it came to that.

To be honest, while is good that my nephew would be in a loving and safe home (Rose and my cousins are amazing people), it would hurt not seeing him as often anymore. Rose emphasized to my sister to think it carefully and that if it came to that, it would be a permanent adoption, not a daycare service where she could dump him for days/weeks and then pick him up later.

That's mainly it. My sister will be seeing a therapist next week, mom and I have apologized (and I clarified I didn't actually wanted to be reimbursed for the money in nephew's college fund), also some members of the extended family also apologized for pressuring me to babysit in the first place.

I'm back at my house and have compromised to babysit three times a week all according to my personal schedule and for a reasonable period of time. During one of those three times my sister will be joining me as she admitted she felt she didn't really know my nephew and haven't really bonded with him. So, since the baby is somewhat attached to me, the three of us will be spending some time together.

Overall, I think it was a good resolution, but time will tell. I really, really hope my sis will improve and be the mom my nephew deserves. Thank you all for the support and the comments, whenever I felt that what I did was wrong, your comments really helped to lessen the guilt (and some of you even make me laugh). Hopefully, this will be my last update. So, thank you all!!!!

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

Soggy-Milk-1005 wrote:

Rose is the best and she's right, good job kiddo! You're the most mature even with the things you regret saying, responsible family member (besides Rose and her kids). I hope your sister is really committed to bonding with your nephew and I hope therapy helps her. Keep standing up for yourself and your nephew.

padam_padam wrote:

Aunt Rose saw your implemented scheduling idea as a solution. It was scary to stand up to family, yet for your peace of mind, you did it. I’m happy for you too, and I honestly don’t know if I will have your same will if I had to find it for my hypothetical family drama. I’m also happy you and your mom were able to reconcile too. I hope your sister will commit to a decision that is best for her son.

I almost said “Poor kid, his mother doesn’t want him,” but really he is loved by your family and it’s unfortunate that we can’t say the same for other babies and children as well. While he may be given up for adoption, he is loved and will be fine and that makes this outsider happy for him. I’m such a fan of your Aunt Rose!

Front_Quantity7001 wrote:

As a mother of four adult children, I would like to say that I am and other mothers, proud of you for your levelheaded nature, ability to communicate and compromise! Well done and I believe that you have a wonderful future ahead of you!

Salt-Lavishness-7560 wrote:

“During one of those 3 times my sister will be joining me as she admitted she felt she didn't really know my nephew and haven't really bonded with him…”

Jaysus. What a telling statement. That baby is 8 months old and he’s more attached to OP than his own mother. And OP’s idiotic mother was pushing the entire debacle. Not just to “support” her golden child but also force OP to change her mind about having kids?!?! OP is a really mature and amazing human. I’m a sh-tier person and think I’d be still grudging on mom.

Repulsive-Pickle_704 wrote:

Three times a week? Really? After all that? They might be also making compromises cuz rest of family don't want to babysit every week ( why would they? IDC its family or whatever but its not their child ) and still want you to do it. Same for you. One day a week would be more than enough. Focus on your school and future.

You are not kids mother, think about yourself. No one can push on someone to babysit someones child, not even family. Could help in emergencies etc, but shes her mother, time to step up. And if you do 70% of job, she wont understand that.

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