Man Refuses to Babysit Children of Sister Ever Again

Gillian Sisley

Should family members offer free childcare to loved ones?

The pandemic came with a lot of challenges, but one of the bigger ones was a lack of access to affordable and available child care for working parents.

Due to this lack of availability, many parents turned to family members to bridge the gap created by this issue. However, while family members may have been eager to help at the beginning, it doesn't take long to start feeling taken advantage of.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man refuses to babysit his sister's children ever again, leading to significant family conflict.

Should family members offer free childcare to loved ones?

A Reddit post published on June 28th, reported on by Amanda Spence from Newsweek, has gone viral with over 12,000 upvotes.

The author begins his post by explaining that he is 37 years old and also child-free. Rather than children, the author has two German Shepherd mixes who are very well behaved and quite nice.

The author also indicates that he has several nieces and nephews, who range from ages 2 to 13 and love his dogs. Between his four sisters, the author has 10 nieces and nephews altogether. He tends to babysit the kids a lot, but will do so for free because he's working from home.

He indicates that he's pretty much always available to watch the older kids, but if he needs to look after the younger children he has to move his schedule around significantly. While the author is generous with his free childcare, he has one rule in his house: no chocolate. The reason for this is that chocolate can be deadly for dogs.

Be wary of expecting free childcare from your family.

Experts warn against using family members too frequently as a source of free childcare. If family members do not feel that there is enough appreciation for what they're offering, resentment and tension can build.

The other day, the author explains that four of his nieces and nephews were visiting. And he noticed that the older two had brought chocolate with them, and were sharing it with the younger two children. He indicates that his dogs were sleeping on the balcony, but there were still chocolate crumbs everywhere and all over the floor.

When the author asked about this, reminding the kids about his rule, the older children admitted that their mom gives them chocolate every single time they come to visit, and she just instructs them to ‘eat it secretly'.

When the sister came to pick up her children, the author told her what happened and she said it ‘wasn't a big deal’. He then informed her he would never babysit for her children again. She became furious and told him that he was overreacting. Another one of his sisters agrees, and his mother thinks that he's wrong for putting his dogs before his nieces and nephews.

What do you think? Is the author entirely justified to refuse to keep offering free childcare if his family isn't going to follow his one rule? Or is the author truly overreacting, and is leaving his sister in a horrible spot by suddenly cutting off his offer to babysit?

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