Father Leaves 3-Year-Old Son with Uncle with No Notice to Go On Dates

Gillian Sisley

How childcare responsibilities can get in the way of a parent’s dating life.

Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. It comes with many responsibilities and lifestyle changes compared to pre-child days.

Single and divorced parents routinely report on the struggles of balancing raising children while maintaining a dating life. The requirements of careers, child care, parenting responsibilities, and everything in between can create a lot of obstacles and restrict time availability to go on dates and meet new romantic interests.

An example of this struggle can be found in a Reddit post that has gone viral due to a father being criticized for constantly dumping his childcare responsibilities on his brother so that he, the father, can go on dates with many women.

A person should only have children if they really want children, because the amount of sacrifice that comes with that commitment is immense.

Going on dates does not trump caring for one's child.

A Reddit post, originally reported on by Lydia Valjanovski from Newsweek, has gone incredibly viral with 25,700 upvotes and 2,700 comments. In this post the author explains that his brother is a single dad of a three-year-old, and routinely calls on the author to babysit.

The author clarifies that while he's happy to help now and again, however, his brother started the nasty habit of dropping off his 3-year-old son more frequently and at the very last minute. The author is a nurse, so his schedule can be unpredictable, which means he's not always available to babysit.

The author then explains that he was recently in the shower when his brother came over to his house around 6:00 p.m. with the nephew. Without consulting the author, the father left his son there and headed out on a date. The author had a shift to work soon, and tried calling his brother many times, but the father wouldn't pick up.

The author finally texted his brother telling him to pick up his son right away or the cops would be called for child abandonment. The brother begged the author to just suck it up and babysit because he had an important date, but the author insisted the child had to be picked up immediately otherwise authorities would be notified.

Dating as a single parent is tough, but the child always has to come first.

Over 750,000 divorces are finalized in the US every year, and ⅓ of divorced couples have children.

In 2020, data showed that there were 15.31 million children living with a single mother, and 3.27 million children living with a single father. While being a single parent is a tough job, and can complicate a parent’s dating life, a parent is always a parent first and foremost. And to leave a child at a place where supervision has not been agreed upon or coordinated beforehand qualifies as child neglect and abandonment.

After the author threatened to call the cops, the father became very angry and accused his brother of ruining his date and making him leave in the middle of it, just because he wouldn't skip a shift to watch his nephew.

What do you think? Was the father out of line for dropping his son off without prior notice so that he could go on a date? Or should the author have been more supportive and found someone to take his shift at work in order to look after his nephew?

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