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Sister begs brother for heat in her room, he says 'you're just the help.' AITA? COMPLETED

Sister begs brother for heat in her room, he says 'you're just the help.' AITA? COMPLETED


Sibling relationships can become tricky in adulthood.

One woman was living with her brother and his family while between jobs. They didn't charge her rent and, in exchange, she cared for their 4 children while they worked. However, she was starting to feel unappreciated and disrespected.

As the weather got colder, she noticed that only her room had no heat. Her brother refused to pay for her room to be heated, he said that it is his house and his rules.

'AITA for leaving my brother without childcare over a heater?'


Some backstory: I live with my 35 year old brother and his wife and 4 kids (3 girls 1 boy and all 4 and under). I am basically a live-in Nanny for them and I live in their house rent free because I don't have a job. Both my brother and his wife work.

When they first got pregnant, they asked me to move in with them with the promise that they would pay me for child care. Well that only lasted a month and they proceeded to have 3 more kids in the process.

I never complained cause I do live in their house rent free and I know he really needed the help. Well they recently came into money trouble and they now owe an insane amount of money. They have both been working extra hours to make up what they owe.

On to what happened: it's been really cold lately and because of that the house has been really cold. To turn on the heaters is a process and I don't know how to do it so my brother has been turning them all on except for my room. My room is now the coldest in the house. I can't sleep at night even with all the thickest blankets. I get pain when I am cold so I'm up all night in pain.

I have been exhausted watching 4 kids by myself all day. I have been asking my brother to turn my heater on but he keeps saying he'll get to it. Well a week ago he told me that he was never turning mine on cause he needs to keep the bills down.

I asked him if I could just have it on at night and turn the ones in the main room off during the night. He said no that it's his house and he'll do whatever pleases in his house and I don't get a say cause I don't help financially.

I didn't say anything to him right away. I just texted my mom and asked her if she could pick me up. After she said she could, I told him that my mom was coming and I'll see if someone can come pick up my stuff soon.

He asked me what I meant and I only told him that he needs to find someone else to watch his kids. Either get a nanny or one of them quits because I am not doing it anymore. He told me that I was being dramatic and that he'll give me time to calmed down.

I said I didn't need time and he told me to think of the kids and how they're super attached to me. I said I'll still see them with a parent present because I don't plan on babysitting.

At this point his wife is trying to diffuse the situation and my mom showed up and I asked if it was okay for me to move back in with her and she agreed and said she'll have my step-dad come to pick my stuff up tomorrow.

My brother has been blowing up my phone and he told our dad so now he's blowing up my phone too. My dad texted me asking how I could abandon them knowing they're struggling. I feel bad cause I did abandon them but I couldn't do it anymore. So aita?

Here are the top comments from readers:


NTA your brother is about to understand how much you were helping out financially when he has to actually pay for childcare.


NTA, they’re abusing you, at least financially.


NTA. Calculate the total of what your brother should have paid you over the years. Every time your brother and father text you, just respond with that amount. Also, start looking for a job please. You can't stay at your parents' rent-free forever jobless.


NTA. You should probably tell your dad that you didn’t have basic human needs met while living in your brother’s house which is why you needed to move out. Yes you contributed financially by giving offering free labour.


NTA. You did live there rent free, but it's kinda messed up for him to not turn on your heater at night. Especially because you were in pain. I don't see why he would treat you like that?? Especially because you took care of his kids?? You'd think your health would also have been a priority??

3 weeks later, the OP returned with an update.

'Update on leaving my brother'


I never expected this to blow up like this and I'd like to thank you for all the kind words and resources you gave.

On to some good news: I got a job pretty quickly after leaving my brother's house. A friend, who I lost contact with after moving in with my brother, is looking for a roommate and asked me if I'd like to be his roommate.

I started getting back into my old hobbies and forgot how much I used to enjoy listening to music that wasn't for kids. I found a small artist I enjoy (MazeontheBeat on Spotify if anyone is curious).

It feels good to listen to whatever I want without having to worry about the kids will hear. I started hanging out with my friends again and just living life.

On to what happened with my brother: he showed up at my mom's house at 7am the day after I left, demanding I watch his kids because it was my responsibility and I owed him for the years he let me stay with him.

Thanks to some of you I realized that I owed him nothing and told him such. My mom (who is not his mom btw) threatened to call the cops if he didn't leave. Which caused him to get angrier but he eventually left.

The friend, who I mentioned above, offered his home after realizing the lengths my brother might be willing to go. We agreed on rent 50/50 even though he offered to let me stay for free.

I told him I don't feel comfortable cause I don't want to find myself in a similar situation. He assured me that he would never put me in that situation but understood my point.

While I know some people are telling me to sue him for money that he owes me, I won't be doing that for the sake of his kids. They're good kids and they're innocent in this.

I have blocked my brother, SIL, and my dad and took some advice from some of you and told my dad that if he feels so bad he can stay in the unheated room.

Well that's how it's going for me right now. Nothing really interesting to tell. I'm safe and happy in a house where my brother won't find me.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this belated update:


You never owed your brother anything. He has exploited and financially abused you for 4 years. He kept you as an indentured servant that was never paid and always working. He exploited you and has the nerve to claim you owed him.

He never paid your for 4 years of being the full time live in nanny of his 4 children. He owes for 4 years of unpaid wages. Your father supports your brother abusing, exploiting and enslaving you. Glad you got out and woke up.


Wow... a live-in nanny for 4under4. That's pricey to replace. Sounds like it would have been a lot cheaper to keep oop and just prevent her from turning into a popsicle at night.

Jokes aside that is an extremely abusive situation and as a former nanny I can tell you 999/1000 the problem isn't the kids. We love the kids like they are our own and it makes it so hard to leave even when things are unbearable with the parents. Especially since you know once you walk out that door you know you are unlikely to see them again.


Glad OP managed to get a job pretty quickly, that was a long time without working and when I read the original I thought they'd have trouble finding one because of that.


I’m so happy OP got out of that situation, they literally kept her as a slave 😱

I knew the brother would try something based on the last post. EDIT TO ADD I’m just happy that it didn’t end the way I was thinking it would.

Thank god OP had other family/friends to help her escape 🙏❤️


Sometimes I wonder if I have a temper problem or the people I read about here don't have enough of a temper problem. Forcing someone with rheumatoid arthritis to sleep in a literally freezing room is literally torture.

If I was OP's father and I found out about this, let alone the obvious financial abuse, my son and DIL would find themselves with brand new holes torn into them.

OP's entire family, except her mother, failed her, hardcore.

What would you say here? Did this sister have the right to ask for them to spend money on her lodging while she technically lived there for free? Was leaving the right move?

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