On a recent Reddit thread, a poster asked the community if they were being a jerk for not wanting to help her cousin by caring for her child.
She Was Wary of Children
The Original Poster (OP), a 20-year-old female, recently visited her extended family upstate, which included her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and her cousin C, who had a 3-and-a-half-year-old named, L.
She Just Wasn’t a Baby Person
Despite her family knowing she does not like children, she had spent some time with L during her last few visits with C and her family.
To OP’s surprise, L was not too difficult to handle during those visits, along with the rest of her family.
She Couldn’t Deal With the Screaming Baby
During the latest visit, however, OP found L, who had previously been manageable, to be very difficult to handle.
She constantly screamed, cried, and threw tantrums, even throwing objects across the room.
She Was So Angry
As OP and L were staying in the same house, she had to endure the noise for a few days.
OP chose to distance herself from C and L during this time, except for one instance when during one of L’s tantrums she threw OP’s phone to the floor, causing a crack in the corner of the screen.
OP became upset with C and L, and C accused her of overreacting.
Forcing Her to Babysit
OP was watching television in the living room when C entered with L, who was being fussy at the time. C asked OP to look after Lily for the day because she needed a break.
She Didn’t Want to Do It
However, OP was hesitant to agree, as she had previously mentioned her dislike for children and did not think she could handle a difficult child like L.
Despite her concerns, C insisted that OP take care of L.
Why Must It Be Her?
OP asked if anyone else was available to take care of L because she didn’t want to. C said that everyone else was out shopping and emphasized the difficulties of being a mother.
She Called Her Heartless
Despite this, OP reiterated her concerns about taking care of L and her doubts about her ability to do so. In response, C called OP heartless and left the room to care for L herself.
Everyone Was Mad at Her
After 15 minutes, everyone returned, and C told them about OP’s refusal to take care of L. As a result, everyone was cold toward OP for the rest of the day.
She Had to Leave
Feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome, OP left the next morning. Some family members expressed sadness and anger over her departure, but OP still checked into a hotel.
Now, she is having second thoughts about her decision and wondering if she was the one in the wrong for not looking after L.
What Redditors Said
A number of Reddit users agree with OP in this situation and say that C was unreasonable to expect OP to babysit her child for an entire day without any prior notice or discussion.
It’s Just Not Fair
Some users argue that C’s behavior is indicative of entitlement and disrespect for other people’s time and boundaries and that it’s not fair for her to assume that other people will be able or willing to care for her child just because they’re family.
Have Some Respect!
Another user suggested that C should have respected OP’s aversion to children and not put her in a position where she felt uncomfortable or unsafe.
They point out that caring for a young child requires a certain level of knowledge and experience, and that it’s not reasonable to expect someone who has never done it before to do so without any support or guidance.
A Terrible Accusation
Some users take issue with the fact that C became angry and confrontational when OP declined her request, and that she accused OP of being heartless and uncaring.
They argue that this kind of behavior is unfair and immature and that it’s not productive to engage in name-calling or personal attacks.
Stand Your Ground
Several users expressed sympathy for OP’s situation and suggested that she should stand her ground and not allow C or anyone else to bully her into doing something she’s not comfortable with.
They advised her to communicate clearly and assertively, and to set clear boundaries around what she is and isn’t willing to do.
What Do You Think?
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The post She’s Not a Baby Person and When Her Cousin Asked Her to Babysit, She Said No. Her Cousin Called Her Heartless! But Was It a Reasonable Request? first appeared on Fistful of Dollars.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jasen Wright. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.