Woman Praised for Refusing To Babysit for Friend: 'Not My Responsibility'

A 19-year-old woman has sparked debate around parental responsibility after rejecting her best friend's request for help to babysit her young child.

The transition into parenthood has been shown to place a significant strain on mothers' mental health. Figures published by the British Medical Council show anywhere between 9 and 21 percent of women face bouts of depression and/or anxiety during this period.

Those first few months of motherhood are a time when many new moms will lean on friends and family for support. However, when one 18-year-old mom turned to her friend for help, she found her pleas for support with babysitting had fallen on deaf ears.

Writing in a post that has racked up over 10,000 interactions on Reddit, the friend said she had her reasons for rejecting the new mom's pleas for help. "I don't want to be a babysitter since I have been busy with school and work and don't have much free time for myself," she said.

Her response drew criticism from the mom though, who said she desperately needed some "free time" to look after herself. The friend was unmoved by this argument, responding: "Why have a baby if you aren't prepared to take care of it?"

The new mom, unsurprisingly, became "upset" at this response and pointed out that "she didn't have anyone else who supports her," having been cut off by her family.

Even then, her friend was unmoved telling her the baby was "not my responsibility" and that she has her "own life" and "problems to worry about."

She was branded a "horrible friend" by the young mom who said she would be "thrilled to babysit" if things were the other way around. But on social media, the woman's response drew considerable support.

Wehav2 wrote: "The only person she has a right to expect support from is the father." MotherPierogi was similarly scathing of the young mom's response commenting: "She's manifested this situation for herself and should have thought things through prior to trying for a baby. Let her face the consequences."

Crystallz2000 said the young woman was right to be "selfish" and "enjoy her life" while she is still young. "If she plans to have kids one day, they're amazing, but they are also very difficult," they added.

WakawakawakeAAAA, meanwhile, offered up an alternative solution to incentivize the friend to babysit. "If she really wants you to babysit, then she can do what everyone else does when they need a babysitter and pay you," they suggested.

Mayaisboredd agreed, posting: "She can hire a babysitter if she wants a break. the baby isn't yours or your responsibility, she shouldn't throw it all on you. you never agreed to be the babysitter."

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

Babysitting remains a contentious issue and source of much discussion on social media. One woman sparked controversy after revealing she demanded to be paid for looking after her brother's children. In a more extreme case, a dad flat out refused to babysit his kids and give their mom a break.

Another man meanwhile unloaded at his parents after they repeatedly turned to his wife for support with babysitting duties.

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.

A young mother and another woman.
Stock images of an upset young mother and an unimpressed woman. A young woman has been praised for prioritizing her own needs over her best friend's who has just had a baby. Himerka/ Deagreez/Getty