Many parents rely on babysitters to hang out with their children when they’re not able to be around or when they want to have some time off. This has been a longstanding parenting tradition. Although finding a babysitter to trust isn’t the easiest task, it’s not generally a big deal. Even when we find one that is very trustworthy, we still have to share our own personal parenting boundaries with them because every family is different.
One babysitter found this out the hard way after something went sideways while watching two young kids, and it made the mom really angry. The babysitter (OP) took to Reddit to get some advice on a situation that’s become stressful.
Posting to Reddit’s AITA community, OP gave a little history of the situation she needed help with.
“I 19f put up an ad for babysitting and have babysat lots of different families children and have been babysitting for 2 years,” she explained in her post, which has since been deleted.
“This new family asked me to babysit their 2 children,” she wrote, telling the readers she agreed to watch a 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. “They were really well behaved kids.”
It’s always easier to babysit kids who have manners and behave appropriately, but they can be misleading too.
When it came time for OP to feed the kids, she wanted to treat them to something special because they had been so well-behaved. This is a tactic many parents use too. It’s a nice way for the kids to develop some good feelings toward their babysitter, making life easier.
“When I asked what they wanted to eat they asked for chicken nugget happy meals. Since they were so well behaved I decided to buy them the happy meals they wanted,” OP wrote.
The kids seemed happy about it, but when the mom found out, she was FURIOUS.
Apparently, the parents forgot to tell the babysitter a big personal parenting boundary. “The problem with that is they are vegetarian which their mom had not told me, if i was aware I would have not fed them meat.”
She added, “I had babysat for vegetarians before and made sure to respect their vegetarian diet and didn’t even eat meat while babysitting for the families.”
Mom came home early and walked into the house while her kids were eating.
“The mom came home early and seen her children eating chicken nuggets. She literally ripped the nuggets out of their hands,” she wrote. According to OP, the mom “started screaming that I’m horrible for allowing her children to eat dead corpses and yelling at her children for eating the meat.”
Reminder: Her kids are 9 and 7, and in theory, would know they’re not allowed to eat meat. This was the meal they asked for, as a treat from the babysitter. They should have known better, and mom is at fault for not letting the babysitter know this huge family restriction.
Mom didn’t see it that way and instead got really mad at OP.
“She kicked me out without paying me and then later text me saying that I need to pay her 300$ for each kid for the emotional damage I have caused them,” OP explained. The mom also threatened to “take me to court” if she didn’t pay $600 for “emotional damage.”
Thankfully, OP wasn’t too stressed about the threat. She explained that her “dad and older brother are both lawyers so the threat didn’t really scare me because I know I can have help dealing with it if she does try to take things to court.”
OP refused to pay and put the blame on the mom — where it belongs.
“I refused to pay the money and told her that she should’ve told me that she was vegetarian and I would’ve made sure to completely respect her family diet choice and since she didn’t tell me it’s not my fault,” OP wrote.
“She said that I shouldn’t just assure everyone eats meat.”
“The parent has the responsibility to tell you about dietary restrictions,” one commenter wrote. “Just like if the child had a peanut or tree nut allergy. Even though vegetarianism is growing worldwide nobody assumes you’re a vegetarian. The kids told you they wanted chicken nuggets, you didn’t just give it to them. The mom is the a–hole. You should tell her that if she doesn’t pay you for baby sitting you will take her to court for not paying for services rendered.”
“NTA it was her responsibility to tell you her kids were vegetarian,” agreed another person. “She still owes you money for babysitting. I’d be willing to bet she has pulled this stunt before to get out of paying and maybe try to get some extra cash. I find it weird that neither kid mentioned they didn’t eat meat and they wanted a happy meal.”
A third person agreed. “NTA — if anything the mom sounds like TA for not paying you for your time. She failed to notify you about dietary restrictions, that’s on her, not you.”