Babysitting is one of the hardest jobs out there, but experienced babysitters and nannies often don't get the credit they deserve. While there can certainly be 'easy' babysitting gigs where you snack and watch TV while a child sleeps, a lot of gigs involve full-on parenting responsibilities for someone else's child - which can quickly get stressful and complex.
When parents underpay babysitters, disregard their concerns, or aren't transparent about their child's needs, it can be incredibly stressful for both the child and caretaker.
AITA for getting a family blacklisted by all their local babysitters?
I've recently taken up babysitting to make some extra money while I'm studying at college. It's a lot of fun and I love kids so it's no hardship for me while I've had a few bad experiences it's nothing that I've not been able to handle until a few days ago. I was babysitting for a couple while they went out to celebrate their anniversary.
It went great, their toddler was sweet if a little out of it, the reason for that became clear later as she was clearly unwell and began to throw up. I took care of her and comforted her while trying to contact her parents but there was no answer on the number they left behind. Not great but she seemed fine if a bit weepy so I went back to comforting her.
Later on, however, she kept being sick and her temperature was beginning to spike. I tried to call them again but there was no answer and at this stage, I was getting worried so I called the out-of-hours doctors. They tried to tell me I couldn't bring her down as not family but I explained the situation and how I couldn't contact them and I was panicking and they told me to bring her down.
I fired them a text explaining what was going on but also figuring they were having phone troubles wrote a note and left it on the table. I was out at the doctors three hours with her and by the time we got back to the house we were both exhausted and smelly from where she'd thrown up on both of us at one stage.
I'd cleaned us off as best as I could in the toilets at the doctors but gave her a bath, changed her into fresh PJ's and gave her the medicine the doctor had given me for her. Once she was asleep I took a quick shower myself and changed into the spare clothes I keep in my car for emergencies.
When her parents returned I filled them in on what had happened and what the doctor had said, and that I'd bathed and changed her before getting her settled and that I'd taken a shower myself. They weren't apologetic at all and said their phone must have been on silent.
They then paid me and I left and they acted very casual about the whole mess as if it hadn't been a night from hell for me. I will admit I was kind of upset and stressed still so when I got home I texted two of my friends who also babysit and warned them to not sit for that family, it had a bit of a domino effect as they ended up telling their friends who told their friends and so on.
I had no idea the scale it had reached until I got a call from the mother today demanding to know what iId said and why no sitter will agree to watch her daughter this Saturday. I didn't intend for it to reach this scale and I'm a bit in shock wondering if maybe I went too far, AITA?
NTA. 'Their phone must have been on silent.' I don't believe that for a second. IMO they were having a good time without a worry in the world and just disregarded your multiple calls. If other babysitters decide that they do not want to work with this family due to their actions, that is on the parents, not on you.
NTA. They knew she was sick...and instead of delaying their plans they went ahead...and ignored your calls. Most reasonable people will answer their phones when someone else has their kid....even if the first call was missed they will check their phone and call back. No way they didn't see you blowing up their phones.
Nobody should babysit for them. It's a huge safety risk for the poor child and for the sitter. If someone does...they need to demand a list of the places they will be and require an hourly check in.
NTA. You told a couple of friends an honest account of what happened. You didn't threaten or coerce anyone into refusing to babysit for them. FWIW, sometimes it's not always obvious that a kid is getting a stomach bug. My own kids have very suddenly thrown up without any warning.
They genuinely could have not known that she would get sick later on. Vomiting and fever aren't typically reasons to rush to the doctor, especially after only a few hours.
The parents could've told you all of that if they had answered their phone (hopefully while quickly making their way back home), but I figured it was worth mentioning if it could help ease your mind in future babysitting gigs!
NTA, For multiple reasons but I’ll start here:
There is a reason nannies talk and things like this have a domino affect. There’s plenty of parents that take advantage of their babysitters. The real question you need to ask yourself is can you live with yourself better if you allowed tens other nannies + experiencing what you did, or worse with them because you didn’t say a word.
Or can you live with yourself better if the mom has a slightly harder time finding a nanny because they’re all well-informed of what they’re be getting themselves into. Them having a bad reputation also doesn’t mean they’ll never find childcare again, it just means that the next person they hire will be aware and know what boundaries/rules to set in place.
It also forces the parents to be more responsible and treat whatever babysitter they get well, because they know they’ll have a hard time finding another one. Second, and this is pure speculation but based on previous experience.
The parents knew she was sick, I was a nanny/babysitter for 10 years and grew up raising my three younger siblings. You not only know when your kid is actively sick, but they’re coming down with something. There's no way they didn’t notice her acting different, or showing any physical symptoms period.
They just didn’t care, about her or about what that meant for you. I get parents want/needs breaks but that doesn’t mean they get to manipulate or lie their way into getting one. At the end of the day no one owes them that break, and then being deceptive to get one will only bite them...and it is.
Their lack of shock at hearing you had to drive her to the doctor said everything as well, if she wasn’t Ill they’d be up your a*s worried, asking questions, etc. They likely gave her an OTC medicine to hide her symptoms long enough that you wouldn’t notice until they were gone.
It’s happened to me and plenty of other friends that worked as nanny/babysitters, etc. If I were you I’d just block the parents' number and forget about her. You did the right thing, she’s just pissed her plan backfired and now everyone knows what kind of people they are (and can’t do it again in the future without big consequences).
ETA If you don’t block her she’s going to harass you non-stop, not because she’s right but because she thinks if she can make you feel bad enough you’ll do damage control for her.
Don’t do it, it’s not fair to anyone else she may try to get to watch her kids to not be aware of their past. You’re a good person and you did the right thing. There’s not one thing you said or did in your entire post that I disagree with or think you should’ve done differently.
OP is definitely NTA, if anything, she did other babysitters a massive favor by telling the truth.