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Woman fires mother-in-law as overnight babysitter, MIL calls her 'heartless;' AITA?

Woman fires mother-in-law as overnight babysitter, MIL calls her 'heartless;' AITA?


Hiring relatives to help out around the house, babysit, or work for the family business almost always creates some inevitably awkward situations, but what happens when you have to fire your husband's mother?

We've all heard of passive aggressive monster-in-laws ruining beautiful family moments with a snide comment, but life can get even more complicated when your mother-in-law is your employee. So, when a conflicted mom decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about firing her mother-in-law from watching her children while she and her husband work, people were ready to help deem a verdict.

AITA for firing my MIL?

Back 4 months ago both my husband and I landed the same job, making fantastic pay. This job pays $28 an hour so this was HUGE for us. The problem is that it's overnight shifts so we needed a sitter for the kids.

We asked MIL to do so, she said yes and we told her to pick what she felt was a fair amount for payment. She said $300 on the 3 day weeks and $400 on the 4 day weeks. (12hr shifts)

I will admit I was a bit thrown off with that price ONLY because she didn't get here until after the kids (all over 12) were already sleeping and left before they woke up so all she did was use our hot water, eat all our food, and sleep. I didn't say anything because it's really long hours and we needed someone. It turned to sh*t quick.

Every work day we get out at 5:30 and have an hr drive home. She is blowing up our phones by 5:50-6am asking where we are and telling us to hurry up. We get home to filth, created by her because my kids are sleeping the whole time (like garbage beside the chair/sofa where she sleeps, dirty dishes everywhere), dog sh*t (apparently she wasn't bringing the dog out) and found she's been letting the dog sleep on our bed (absolute big no-no), as well as feeding our dog table scraps (I only know this because she all the sudden begs constantly when she didn't before).

Between me trying to manage this new sleeping schedule and me having to un-do everything she did while here, I decided I couldn't do it. This was following her calling us out of work twice because her back hurt and she wanted to go home.

So, I spoke to my husband and told him I wasn't paying her to watch our kids anymore because she's creating more problems than she's worth and that he needed to 'let her go.' He agreed but he didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I told him I could do it.

He decided it would be better if we both did so we called her on speaker and told her this wasn't working out. When she asked why, we were pretty blunt in our reasoning.

She trashes the house, she eats everything in sight (even stuff we said don't touch), she doesn't follow our rules about the dog and she cost us almost $1300 for having us leave work within an hour of being there because of her back.

She starts yelling and saying she quit her job to do this (we had no idea she quit or WHY considering she didn't work the days we did) and that we were heartless because this was her only income now.

My husband was visibly uncomfortable but we stood our ground. He is feeling some type of way because now he's questioning whether or not she was causing that many issues.

He isn't seeing it the way I do however because he's not the one who deals with all the problems, I am. I do the grocery shopping and have had to go several times more than I usually do after not sleeping. I'm the one who cleans (he does other chores). AITA? He feels terrible, I do not.

ETA: minimum wage where I am is $7.25 an hour; For those who think that what I was paying her wasn't enough (it's above minimum wage).

Of course, the jury of internet strangers was eager to weigh in on this family drama. Here's what people had to say:

KronkLaSworda said:

'She trashes the house, she eats everything in sight (even stuff we said don't touch), she doesn't follow our rules about the dog and she cost us almost $1300 for having us leave work within an hour of being there because of her back.' You can't trust this sitter with your kids. NTA.

Inallea said:

NTA. $100 per night to 'babysit' 13 and 14 year olds and be the adult present just in case something goes wrong? Hon, for that price I'd also throw in organizing school lunches, having breakfast ready for you when you get back and the house would be so tidy you wouldn't know I had been there.

spicyhooligan said:

NTA. The reason you hire a babysitter is to help make your life a little easier while you take care of your business. If it's making your life harder, it's not worth paying up the a*s for. It's best to not hire family for future reference imo. Things get sticky real fast.

Revolutionary_50 said:

100% NTA. If she wanted the employment, she should have done a good job. If she treated your house like that and didn't care, imagine how she might have been if there was an emergency with your children!

Nitropeanut3 said:

NTA, and I understand why he does but he needs to get over it. You were paying her good money and she wasn’t listening to the “boss”, if this was anywhere else would she act the same? She gave to sh*ts about respect of the house and to you both.

If this was her primary income now she should’ve understood the ramifications for not abiding by your terms. She’s TA. And she’s old enough to understand all that.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this mom wasn't at all wrong to fire her mother-in-law for making her life even more stressful. Her husband will move on eventually, but the dog will never learn to stop begging. Good luck at all future family holidays, everyone...Thanksgiving is about to be awkward.

Sources: Reddit
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