I (30f) have a half brother, “Enzo” (40M). We’re not very close since we were both raised with our respective mothers but he has always gone out of his way to help me with anything I’ve needed.
Enzo married his wife “Steph” (33f) two years ago. Steph has a daughter, “Alice” (4) with her ex but has sole custody, and Enzo and Steph have a 7mo son “Teddy”. I also have a 3 year old daughter.
Enzo and Steph moved to the city I live in when Steph got pregnant. Since then, Steph developed a habit of showing up at my apartment building unannounced. It became a problem and I talked to both her and Enzo about it and she stopped, until she gave birth.
Now, she regularly drops by unannounced to leave Alice at my building for “babysitting” while she has to run errands or something. She’s had her carpool drop Alice off at my apartment before.
My poor housekeeper is a wonderful woman who has had to deal with Alice arriving unexpectedly while I’m out and I feel terrible about it. I’ve told the concierge not to let her up and to say no one is in but then I’ll arrive to Alice waiting in the lobby which is not safe and the concierge has told me I can’t make them responsible for a child.
Steph keeps saying she only does it when she’s desperate but I don’t see how she can be that desperate to run errands at least twice a week and frankly I’m not a nanny if she’s desperate she needs to hire some help.
I’ve spoken to Enzo and he is always extremely apologetic and says he will talk to her and I believe he does, but he also works during the day and can’t police where she is at all hours.
I reached my breaking point a couple of days ago when I returned from lunch to find Alice at home, having been dropped off since she had a half day at school. I apologised profusely to my housekeeper who had spent time playing babysitter and called Steph, no answer. I called her several times, and then Enzo, who was on a business trip and distraught over the situation.
Steph eventually turned up a couple of hours later and I went ballistic. I said if she ever leaves Alice at my building again I will call social services and I will call them every single time she drops Alice off with me until they do something, because this is not my job and she is an irresponsible and neglectful parent.
She burst into tears and begged me to help out with Alice but I said no and reminded her I’d never said yes in the first place, she just kept dumping her kid here. Steph kept trying to guilt trip me but I was too exhausted and upset about the situation to be receptive and eventually my husband had to tell her to leave.
I feel bad because as I said, Enzo has never been anything but the most accommodating person where I’m concerned and maybe treating his wife like that was harsh, but at the same time I chose to have one kid because I don’t want another one, Steph can’t use my house as a daycare. Was I too harsh?
NTA. She may also flat out need to be told that you did not hire your housekeeper to watch her child. How unfair for her to be infringed on like that. Have you told her directly she is free to tell SIL that she is not babysitting/it's not what she's hired to do?
I have many times, but she’s just the sweetest woman. She sees a child at the door she doesn’t have the heart to just leave her outside or call social services. She knows we’d support her if she just straight up refused to take Alice but she’s too nice.
Have you sent Steph the invoice for what she owes the housekeeper yet?
NTA - She's being careless and her daughter is going to end up getting hurt by her mother's actions. What happens when your housekeeper and you aren't home and she ends up getting hurt or worse?
I honestly don’t know how Steph can be okay with it. My husband often works from home and we have many men going in and out of our apartment on a daily basis. I trust those people and my husband implicitly with our daughter’s safety but I know them and I have rules. Steph has no idea who we entertain and who is around her child when she just leaves her there. It’s very strange to me.
NTA. Do it! Steph is not entitled to your free services as a day care. I also think it is kind of sus. Where is the other child during this, and why does she feel the need to get rid of Alice so often?
She takes Teddy everywhere with her. At least I presume she does because she always has him when she collects Alice.
NTA. Maybe I have been on Reddit too long and please if I’m wrong I apologise. Is Teddy really your half brothers son? Is she going off to be with another man so he can see his son? At 4 a kid will blab that is maybe why she is not taking her daughter. To be honest I would be even more positive it was an affair if she wasn’t taking her son.