People think babysitting is an easy gig, and most of the time, they’re probably right. Sure, kids can be loud and messy and whiny but it’s only for a few hours and then you get to hand them back off to their parents and go on your way.
It’s the parents who can be hard to handle sometimes, and for this woman, she found that was definitely the case with one client in particular.
She admits that she should have cut the woman off before the night in question because the single mother was almost never back when she said she was going to be, leading OP to have to cancel plans (or not be able to make them in the first place).
I (28F) do babysitting on the weekends to make some babysitting on the weekends to make extra cash. There is one family I definitely should’ve fazed out by now but the kids are cute and if I don’t have another job, it’s easy money.
My issue is, the mom is never home on time. She used to not give me return times but finally I started asking as it made it impossible to get anything done on the weekends. I’d go babysit so she could go to “brunch” but she’d be gone from 11 AM to 7 PM. My whole day was gone.
After that, she’d start giving me times but never stick to them. She wouldn’t even call to tell me, she’d just stay out.
On this night, the mother was supposed to be home by 9. She didn’t arrive by then, and ignored multiple texts and phone calls between then and midnight.
On Saturday, I got to her house at 6 and she was supposed to be home by 9. I told her she needed to be on time because I had plans to go out with friends. I was even getting ready at their house after I put the kids to be. She promised.
Of course, 9:00 rolls around and she’s not home. I call her, no response. Text, no response. Another hour. Nothing. Still calling and texting.
By then, OP had it and told the mom – in a voicemail and in a text – that if she wasn’t home by 1am she was going to consider the kids abandoned and call the police.
The texts are read but OP gets no response.
Finally, it is midnight. By this point, my plans are long ruined but I’m pissed and exhausted. I call her and leave a voicemail saying if she’s not home in the next hour, I’m considering the kids abandoned and calling the cops. I also text her this.
I try calling her 30 minutes later and it goes to voicemail on the second ring, I text her again and she leaves me on read.
At 1:15, OP called the police. They came and took the children to the police station and OP went home and went to bed.
If she had reached out saying “Hey, I’m staying out until x time”, I would’ve stayed. I don’t know any of her family nor the father of the kids so I can’t call them. I gave her a grace period of 15 minutes and tried calling again, finally called the cops (non-emergency line).
They showed up and I showed our agreement in text from earlier in the week confirming that she’d be home by 9. They try contacting her, didn’t answer. I was dismissed and they took the children to the police station. I go home and go to bed.
At 3am, she got a call from the mother and informed her that she had followed through on what she promised and to check with the police.
I am awoken at 3 AM by a frantic call. It’s her. Where are the kids? Why am I not here? I tell her I followed through on my threat, check the police station.
She cursed me out, I hung up and went to bed.
The next day the mother contacted her saying that now a DFS investigation was open and that their father was involved, basically blaming OP for the whole situation.
A friend of OP agrees that the move was petty; she thinks OP should have just waited it out and then refused to sit for the woman again.
The next day, she sends me an essay saying the kids’ father was called and there’s a DCF investigation launched against her. She called me every name under the sun but I didn’t think I was wrong until I spoke to a friend with kids.
She said I should’ve just waited it out and refuse to ever sit for her again. She asked if her potentially losing her kids was worth me being petty.
What does Reddit say? I think this one could get interesting!
The top comment points out that the woman had technically made herself a missing person, and she should be glad someone cared.
This firefighter says it’s always better to make the call and let the authorities sort it out. Kids suffer if you don’t.
These are red flags and those kids deserve better.
And if she’s a good mom otherwise, she’s not going to lose custody of her kids.
Plenty of other parents weighed in, saying there’s NO good reason to ignore messages from a sitter who is in charge of your children.
I have to agree here. Yes, OP’s reasons might have been petty in the moment, but big picture? She did the right thing.
Do you agree? Or are you on the side of the friend? Tell us your thoughts and opinions in the comments!