Woman Backed for Leaving Baby Niece With a Stranger to Go Out With Friends

The internet has defended a woman for leaving her baby niece with a stranger so she could go out with her friends.

Published on Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman under the anonymous username u/still-not-sure shared her story to receive feedback from the "AITA" community. The viral post has over 9,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments.

The OP began her story by explaining that she sometimes babysits her one-year-old niece, "Ava," happily for free. Recently, her sister asked three weeks in advance if she could babysit Ava since it was their anniversary. The OP agreed since they had nothing else planned. However, her college friends that she hadn't seen in a while were visiting and she wanted to see them.

"I gave my sister 5 days notice that I could no longer babysit on Friday, and that she should make other arrangements. She didn't respond to the text, but she read it, so I assumed it was OK," she wrote.

Woman leaving niece with stranger Reddit post
Above, a woman babysits a child. Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman was backed for leaving her baby niece with a stranger so she could go out with friends. fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The night of their anniversary, her sister dropped Ava off at the OP's house. Her sister said that she was leaving Ava with her as "originally planned" and that family is more important than "silly college friends" and she should "step up" to her responsibility as an aunt. Before she could argue any further, her sister ran off and left. She tried calling but her sister wouldn't answer.

Since she didn't have any other family members around that could help, she called her local friend "Jade" who is good with kids and babysits on the side. When the OP explained the situation, Jade was happy to help for free.

The OP wrote, "I texted my sister to say I'd left Ava with Jade and to collect her from her house. It's relevant to the story that neither sister nor Ava know Jade personally. My sister didn't respond immediately but after about 2 hours she started spamming my phone. I turned my phone off, as I was already out by that point anyway.

"They picked up Ava later that evening and she was perfectly happy, however my sister and BIL are furious at me for 'dumping Ava with a stranger' (even though they know Jade is a trusted friend of mine.) They accused me of endangering my own niece. Many other family members have sided with them and I've been getting angry texts all weekend. I really don't know what to think, I felt like I acted as best I could given the circumstances," she concluded.

Newsweek reached out to u/still-not-sure for comment.

Newsweek has published several articles regarding conflicts between siblings including one about a woman who wanted to "divorce" her sister following their business fallout, a college student dragged for walking in on her sister and husband and a woman defended for denying her estranged sister and kids housing.

How to say no to babysitting

Do you find yourself in a similar situation? Are you looking for ways to politely turn down a babysitting gig? According to kidsit.com, here are some tips on how to go about saying no to babysitting:

  • Don't be afraid of disappointing people as it is impossible to please everyone.
  • Before saying yes to babysitting, ask for time to think about it.
  • If you agreed to babysit but need to cancel, give the family enough time in advance to find alternate plans.
  • Do your best to find them a replacement babysitter.
  • Tell the truth about why you can't babysit instead of making up a lie.

Redditor reactions

U/Myay-4111 wrote, receiving the top comment of over 13,000 upvotes, "[Not the a**hole]. Yes, your sister asked you 3 weeks in advance, but 5 days is plenty of warning that you wanted to change plans. The fact she didn't call you back or try to negotiate with you and just dropped your neice off and ran isn't funny or cute.... she's the parent, and her kid is HER and HER HUSBANDS responsibility, not yours.

"Welcome to parenthood. She seems to be confused on this point: you don't owe her free babysitting. At all. Her antics of drop and dash, and then triangulating other family as fly I'll ng monkeys to guilt trip you are childish, selfish, and disrespectful," the commenter continued.

"[Not the a**hole]," u/ShadowCoon said, "You displayed more maturity and resourcefulness by finding a friend to look after your niece last minute than her own mother did by dumping her off, running away and assuming that you would just do it if she created a situation where you wouldn't have a choice. Tell your sister and anyone defending her to grow up because if she and your BIL are going to have a child, having solid arrangements to assure that child's health and safety should be their top priority, not yours."

"[Not the a**hole]...If she was that worried about her daughter, your sister shouldn't have bolted for the car when she knew you had plans. You didn't put your niece in a dangerous situation, and now your sister and [brother-in-law] know not to take your time and assistance for granted," u/RoyallyOakie commented.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.