Woman Praised for Picking up Sister and Leaving Aunt Without Child Care

The internet has praised a woman for picking up her sister, ultimately leaving their aunt without a babysitter.

Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum—which has over 4 million followers—a woman under the anonymous username u/Open-Door-7684 shared her story in order to get the opinions of the "AITA" community. The viral post has over 10,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

The original poster (OP) began her post by explaining that her 15-year-old sister has been spending time in the city they currently reside in for her summer vacation. She has been spending half her time with her family and the other half with their aunt.

Their aunt has two toddlers at home and is currently on maternity leave. While the OP's sister is at the aunt's house, she spends most of the time babysitting. The time she spends with her aunt's kids is unpaid and typically four to eight hours a day while the aunt goes out with her friends, gets her nails done, dates with her husband and more.

Woman picking up sister from aunts
A woman has been praised by the internet after picking up her little sister, leaving her aunt without child care. miya227/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The OP recently asked her sister if she wanted to go to Dave & Buster's with some friends. As much as her sister wanted to go, she had to babysit. When the sister asked her aunt if she could have the night off, she said no, as she and her husband were going out to dinner and they had put down a nonrefundable $250 deposit.

The OP wrote, "My sister told my aunt that she was exhausted from babysitting, but my aunt basically said sorry, but she has to stay and watch the kids. My sister was disappointed, but didn't put up any more fight. At that point, I decided to intervene and told my aunt I'd be picking up my sister on Friday and that's the end of it. She sent me a whole bunch of texts after that, but honestly I didn't reply or even read them."

"I show up to pick up my sister, and my aunt comes out to my car yelling at me. She says it's not my business what my sister does and she's staying. I ignored my aunt and saw my sister at the door and yelled over to her to come get in the car. She did. My aunt couldn't believe that she was actually leaving and started yelling at my sister too. My sister looked scared, but I told her to just get in the car. We drove away. They couldn't find a replacement babysitter last minute and ended up missing their reservation and being charged for that cancellation," she continued.

While the OP's mother is on her side for getting her sister out of the house, other family members think she shouldn't have picked her up, as they had a deposit on dinner. The OP is skeptical if she should have left her sister there to learn how to stick up for herself or if she did the right thing.

Newsweek has reached out to u/Open-Door-7684 for comment.

Newsweek has published many articles regarding babysitting, including the internet being furious at someone's grandparents for canceling babysitting to attend a wedding, a woman who was praised for refusing to babysit for a friend and how outrage occurred after a parent offers to hire a babysitter for $1.36 an hour.

The effects of people pleasing

People pleasers have the "underlying urge to make others happy and to be positively regarded," according to PsychologyToday.com. Do you think you could be a people pleaser? Some signs include: pretending to agree with everyone—even if you disagree, feeling responsible for how people feel, apologizing often, having trouble saying "no" and feeling uncomfortable if someone is angry at you.

Per verywellmind.com, being a people pleaser can have different effects on a person, including anger and frustration, stress and anxiety, weak relationships, lack of authenticity and depleted willpower.

So, how can you stop being "too much" of a people pleaser? It's good to establish boundaries and stick to the limits, start small, set goals and priorities and assess the request—"Is this something I really want to do?"

Redditors' response

"[Not the a**hole], I'm glad your mom is on your sister's side. She should learn to stick up for herself? She's 15 and being taken advantage of by her adult aunt. You did the right thing," u/GroundEagle wrote, receiving the top comment with over 16,000 upvotes.

U/Grouchy_Sale_2597 exclaimed, "[Not the a**hole] and thank you for doing that. Your sister is not free babysitting and not at the whim of your aunt. Also, shouldn't your aunt be bonding with the kids? Not sure how long mat leave is where you are but even a year, I'd expect the mother to be with baby a little more. I know parents need breaks but a whole day??? Not."

"[Not the a**hole]. If they can afford a $250 reservation they can afford a babysitter. Your sister should not be pressured into unpaid labor so they can splurge," u/Bostonya said.

"[Not the a**hole]. You are helping your sister learn to stand up for herself! You coached her through the entire process - telling her aunt 'no,' repeating the 'no,' helping her to act on and enforce that 'no' despite the aunt trying to dismiss it. Next time something like this happens, your sister will have these experiences to model her actions on, and be able to stand up for herself even better," u/Jazzlike_Humor3340 commented.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts