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Man cancels childcare after wife decides not to attend his work holiday party. AITA?

Man cancels childcare after wife decides not to attend his work holiday party. AITA?

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"AITA For cancelling the babysitter after my wife decided not to attend my work holiday party?"

My (38M) work held our annual holiday party last Friday. It was held at one of those axe-throwing places which I had never done before so I figured it would be pretty fun. My wife (36F) and I have 3 kids (10, 8, & 5) so we don't get out of the house for dates very often.

The holiday party was planned almost 2 months ago and my wife agreed to attend with me. I suggested we make it more of a "date" by either going out for drinks after the party or catching a late-night movie. She thought this was a good idea too. I also arranged for a babysitter to come watch the kids for that night.

The day of the party, my wife got home from work and told me that she had a horrible day and was in a bad space mentally so she didn't want to come to the party. I told her I was disappointed, but I understand if she wants to stay home.

As I was getting myself ready to head to the party, I called the babysitter and cancelled. I apologized to her and offered to Venmo her an hours worth of our agreed rate ($30) to compensate for the cancellation and she agreed that was reasonable.

As I was getting ready to leave, my wife asked when the babysitter was going to come. I kind of looked at her funny and told her I had just cancelled the babysitter because she was no longer coming with me.

She got mad at me and told me that I knew she had a bad day and was in a bad mental state and needed some time to herself. I told her that I had assumed none of that meant she was incapable of watching our kids and that I didn't think having the babysitter come when my wife was still home made any sense at all.

She told me to call her back and see if she could still come watch the kids and I told her that if she wanted to do that she can do it, but I'm not going to. She tried to argue with me about it, but I told her that I had to leave for the party.

While I was at the party, she sent me multiple texts about how the kids were driving her nuts and that the babysitter didn't answer her calls and she needed me to come home.

She kept blowing up my phone and I eventually left the party over an hour early to go home. When I got there, she kept arguing with me about how I was an AH for cancelling the babysitter when I knew she had a rough day.

I told her I was not going to pay a babysitter just so that my wife can rest after a bad day. I told her she could have just thrown a movie on for the kids and relaxed. I told her she was the one who ruined our potential night out and that having a bad day at work is not a good enough reason to pay a babysitter $150-200.

She still thinks I was an AH for cancelling the babysitter without talking to her first and she's still mad at me for it. But I don't think that was an unreasonable assumption to make considering that there have been plenty of times when I've had a bad day and I am still 100% capable of watching the kids by myself while my wife leaves the house.

Let's see what readers thought.

jadedanalyst writes:

Did you even ask what happened why she was having a bad day to the point of cancelling this pre-planned thing? I get why you would feel bad about the last minute cancellation but as a husband, the least you can do is empathize and understand where she's coming from.

I also get why she would want to have the baby sitter even if she's staying. We only have one kid and whenever I or my wife is taking care of her alone, it sometimes drives us nuts!

We have a sitter who's helping us from time to time even when we are at home just so my wife can also rest. Now that's only 1 kid we have. I can't imagine being exhausted and then taking care of 3 kids!

Yes you have saved a couple of bucks by cancelling but was it worth it? It feels like you were just trying to get back at your wife for not attending. With this info alone you have shared, I'd say YTA.

justwatchin7 writes:

For all the parents and/or folks who aren't independently wealthy, responding Y T A, please ask yourself this: "When was the last time, after having a rough day at work, you decided that was a good reason to spend $150 - $200 on a babysitter, so you could stay home with your kids & the sitter?"

What? NEVER? Then STFU. Of course OP - the person who made all the arrangements for their long planned and much anticipated date - cancelled the sitter, because he hired her based on the fact that no parent was going to be home with the kids.

Now that one of the kids' parents was going to be home - and never suggested they needed the help a sitter with their own children - why on earth would he throw away $150 min? That cash can be put towards a sitter when they are BOTH able to go out! NTA.

sunnyok85 writes:

ESH. you both really need to work on your communication. While it makes sense to cancel the babysitter, it could have been one of the things that was helping your wife hold onto her sanity in getting through the day.

And she should have let you know she still wanted the sitter. Maybe the night could have been salvaged with her taking the time of your party to relax and destress and you both still could have gone for that date afterwards.

All it would have taken was you saying “if you’re not coming to the party, I’ll call and cancel the babysitter” It would have given her a chance to respond.

But she should not have blown up your phone. At 10, 8 & 5, the kids are old enough to grab snacks and watch a movie. The 5 year old would need some help with things, but the siblings should be able to do most of that.

I think every parent has had a crappy day and still gone home and taken care of the kids. Most parents have had the flu and felt like death and still taken care of the kids. But it does make parenting that much harder.

And not all bad days and flus are the same. I know I have had bad days where I know if I come home I’m going to yell at the kids because my temper is done. A call to hubby and I don’t come home until I’ve had a chance to calm down, it’s only happened once, but the ability to calm myself without the stress of worrying about my attitude was what I needed.

Looks like the jury's out. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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