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Mum divides opinion after refusing to pay niece for babysitting

Lucy Devine

Published 
| Last updated 

Mum divides opinion after refusing to pay niece for babysitting

Featured Image Credit: Antonio Guillem Fernández/Alamy Stock Photo Cultura Creative RF/Alamy Stock Photo

A mum has divided opinion online after refusing to pay her niece, who she asked to babysit her son for a couple of hours.

The mum took to Reddit to explain that she had a family emergency when her husband was involved in a car accident. Frantically, she began searching for someone to watch her son Max while she rushed to his bedside.

"A little while ago, my husband was across the country on a work trip, while I was home with Max. I got a call one morning from his manager, informing me that my husband had been in a car accident and was in the hospital," she began.

"He couldn't tell me much but said that although he was stable, it didn't look good and that I should come as soon as I can. I obviously freaked out. I booked a ticket just for myself, because it would be almost impossible to travel with Max, and I could barely afford the last-minute ticket for myself."

The woman began searching for someone to watch her son Max. Credit: Chris Rout/Alamy Stock Photo
The woman began searching for someone to watch her son Max. Credit: Chris Rout/Alamy Stock Photo

The woman explained how she called her mum who lives a few hours away to come and watch her son, but she needed someone to look after him until her mum arrived.

"I called 3 friends - one didn't answer, and two were unable to help. Luckily, we live close to my brother and SIL, who have a daughter (17f), 'Sarah'," she continued.

"I should note that Sarah babysits for a few local families and obviously charges them for her services. We have never asked Sarah to babysit before.

"She showed some concern for my husband and when I asked her again, she said something along the lines of, 'well, you'll pay me, right? I usually charge X...' I stared at her for a moment, not really expecting that response, and then my friend who didn't answer called me back and said of course she'd watch Max."

The mum left her son with her friend and flew to be with her husband, who is making a full recovery.

A few days later at her brother's house, she mentioned what had happened. Although the brother was shocked, her sister-in-law said she was 'proud of Sarah for advocating for herself'.

"To be clear, if I asked Sarah to babysit under normal circumstances, I would absolutely expect to pay her. It was unsettling that Sarah would bring up payment while, for all I knew, my husband was dying in a hospital on the other side of the country," the mum added.

The woman was shocked when her niece began discussing payment. Credit: Prostock-studio/Alamy Stock Photo
The woman was shocked when her niece began discussing payment. Credit: Prostock-studio/Alamy Stock Photo

People were divided over the post, with many siding with the mum.

One wrote: "It was an emergency, a one-off thing, and the kid is family, ffs. Your niece is sadly lacking in empathy and decency, as is your SIL. I'll bet had she agreed, you'd have done something nice for her upon your return. Glad your husband will be okay."

But others were more sympathetic, with one adding: "I can understand a 17yo babysitter not fully grasping in the moment it was a matter of being there for family."

What do you think?

Topics: Life, Parenting

Lucy Devine
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