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Woman refuses to help sister with childcare during work hours, 'she's being delusional.' AITA?

Woman refuses to help sister with childcare during work hours, 'she's being delusional.' AITA?


"AITA for not helping my sister with childcare during work hours?"

My (26F) sister Ashley (31) decided that she was going to get a sperm donor and have a baby on her own. Doctors told her she has a condition that would mean she probably couldn’t wait much longer to have children or it will get much harder for her to conceive. She didn’t have a partner but she was panicking that time was running out, so she decided to get a sperm donor.

Our entire family were supportive of her and what she wanted to do. She’s always wanted to be a mother and we were willing to help her through this journey. Eventually she successfully got pregnant with a baby boy who is now almost 2 years old.

The issue is that Ashley had savings that she thought would be enough to raise him until he was 3. The savings had run out by the time he was 1 and she decided to go back to work. She decided against daycare because she didn’t trust strangers around her kids. She didn’t have a solid plan. We kept asking what her plan was but she would dodge the question.

At first, she asked if our parents could watch her son for a few weeks, which turned to months, while she was at work. After my parents got tired of watching her son every weekday from 6am-6pm, she decided to drop him off with my brother and his wife who is a stay at home mom. This didn’t last long because my brothers wife already had too much on her plate and couldn’t handle a whole other child 5 days a week with no payment.

Next on her list of daycare options was me. I work from home as a software engineer. A lot of people seem to think that if I’m working from home, I can do whatever I want. But no, I can’t. My workload is crazy and I obviously still have to get everything done. My sister asked if I could watch him for a week while she sorts out childcare. I wasn’t falling for this because this is exactly how it began with my parents, then with my brother and his wife.

I told her I work all day and I won’t have the time to look after him, but if she wanted to hire a nanny to look after him from my home where I could keep an eye out and make sure he’s safe with them, then I’d be happy to do so. She said she doesn’t see a point of the nanny if I’ll be home anyway. I said I have to focus on my work, I won’t be able to focus on my nephew at the same time. She asked me to just try and see if I can cope with it, and it won’t hurt to try.

I said she’s being delusional if she thinks there is even the slightest chance I will be able to successfully take care of my nephew and get work done during the day. She said she can’t justify spending money on a nanny right now when she’s trying to save to buy a home for them. I said I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do about that because I can’t simply not do my job during work hours.

She’s been so upset with our entire family for encouraging her to have a baby on her own and pretending like we would help out. She said she wouldn’t have done it if she knew just how little we would help her in emergencies. I’m trying to understand her perspective.

Why would she think we’d be available 12 hours every week day? We’d be willing to watch him after work hours and weekends but that won’t be of much help because she doesn’t work at those times. I just don’t understand what else we’re meant to do?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Rantarian said:

NTA. She's just trying to get more free childcare. You said your SIL wasn't willing to continue to do it for no payment. Does that mean she was willing to do it if she was being compensated in some way? Is that an option?

ProfessionalEven296 said:

NTA. You do what you can, but yes - WFH means WORK from home, not relax at home eating bonbons.

EvenBandicoot5971 said:

NTA. Sorry to say this but your sister doesn’t seem very competent. First she miscalculates how much money she needs to the point it run out 300% faster than she expected. Then she expects your parents to act like her child’s parents (which they did for a whole YEAR) and still she couldn’t get enough savings to be able to afford/want to hire childcare? It’s crazy! 2 years of maelstrom is NOT an emergency, it’s terrible planning and financially irresponsible. You did your sister a favor by telling her no.

SnooWords4839 said:

NTA - Sister needs to find a daycare. She is the mom; it is her job to take care of her son.

-fallen-panda- said:

NTA choosing not to use childcare is not an emergency, it is a personal choice. There is also a huge difference between helping out and basically raising the child (because let’s face it, 12hrs a day, 5 days away week, is massive) she needs to realize her family are not free childcare.

ill-name-this-later said:

NTA sorry you’re having to deal with this op. I also WFH and share your struggle with getting relatives to understand it’s not just lounging around.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these sisters?

Sources: Reddit
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