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Woman agrees to pay for sister's vacation if she babysits, gets called 'manipulative.'

Woman agrees to pay for sister's vacation if she babysits, gets called 'manipulative.'


Finding the line between helping family members out because it's 'what you do' and drawing your own boundaries and limits can be extremely difficult. Especially, when in your heart of hearts you want to help, you just don't want to set an unrealistic precedent for the future.

While some families value honesty and clear boundaries, many prefer a sense of obligation over emotional transparency. Sadly, because of this, bucking against family entitlement doesn't always go over well.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not paying for her sister's vacation unless she babysits.

She wrote:

AITA for not paying for my sister's vacation because she won't agree to babysit?

My (32m) family is planning a vacation for this summer. Both my parents, my older brother, and my SIL, my younger sister Camila (22f) and my husband, my two kids (10f and 8m) and I are all planning to go. We are planning to stay in a resort for 2 weeks.

This will obviously be a bit expensive (at least 2k USD per person and that is an enormous amount of money in my currency). Camila is in her last semester of university and will start a full time job on August. Right now she's not working and lives with my parents (not passing judgment on her for being unemployed because my brother and I went through the same at her age).

Camila called me last week to ask if we could pay for her ticket and accommodation (my parents would pay for food and activities). My husband and I can comfortably afford our family, but adding Camila would put financial pressure on us. I told her that I would discuss it with my husband and then I would call her.

So my husband and I agreed that we would be willing to pay for her if she would babysit our children on certain occasions. Of course, not every day and without notice, but at least twice a week for two hours for two months. She would basically be the replacement for our current babysitter. Anyway, I texted her basically saying what I just wrote, and she replied 'Absolutely not.'

So I called her to ask why she was so against this arrangement, which I think benefits both of us: she gets to go on vacation and we have a babysitter we trust and don't spend more than our monthly budget. Camila said that we were manipulating her into doing unpaid labor to us and forcing her to say yes because neither our brother or parents could afford to pay for her.

She also said that she's way too busy with her last semester of uni and finals. I told her that she could do all of her school stuff in our house, my children are very well-behaved and need very little supervision, but she still said that she wouldn't do it. So I then told her that I was very sorry but if she didn't accept then we couldn't pay for her to go on vacation. So now she's incredibly mad at me.

But now my mom is also angry with me because she wants to have a family vacation and she knows my husband and I do have the money to pay for Camila, and 'family helps family', which I agree with, but I believe that help must be reciprocal and right now Camila is not reciprocating that help. My brother and dad just want to settle this down, they are not taking sides.

People quickly logged on to share their thoughts.

floppybunny86 wrote:


Lol “Unpaid labor”?! Did she miss the part where her pay was a $2k holiday? This is a win-win for both of you. In fact, she comes out slightly more on top from the whole deal.

Mandaloriana_2022 wrote:

So, “family helps family” only when it comes to paying for expensive vacations, but not for childcare. Gotcha! Your sister is living on another planet OP. NTA.

Mountain_Affect3782 wrote:

NTA at all!!! Your sister is a piece of work, and spurning an incredibly generous offer. Her labor is far from 'unpaid.' Looking at your arrangement, you are asking for approximately 35 hours of labor in return for a $2000 trip. That is close to $60 an hour.

That would be an amazing offer for a 22-year-old in the US, and I am guessing from the 'my currency' answer that you live in a lower cost of living country than the US, where the offer is even more generous. You are NTA at all. Your sister sucks.

SearchApprehensive35 wrote:

NTA. It's not free labor, it's prepaid labor and at a great pay rate even. She is free to turn down the offer if she doesn't feel able to take on a job in addition to school. That's understandable. But there's no call to badmouth you for offering fair and generous terms. That's where she crossed the line over to AH.

OP is clearly NTA here, but her sister's entitlement puts her in firm AH territory.

Sources: Reddit
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