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“I Told My Friend That I Can’t Babysit and Its Not My Fault Her Husband is Useless!”

Imagine your friend expecting you to care for her 6-month-old baby while she is at work, despite the fact that her husband is unemployed and at home all day! One woman has found herself at odds with her friend for this very reason, and didn’t hold back on telling her friend what she thought of her husband!

I(32F) am a single mother of two kids (6M and 5m F). I am a single mother by choice (my kids are donor conceived).

I am lucky enough to have a good job (French teacher in a private school), and a paid off house (parents’ life insurance and inheritance).

Before I had either of my kids, I made sure to have a year’s living expenses saved, then I would take a sabbatical to recover from birth, as well as bond with my kids. While on sabbatical, I still tutor some kids for some extra income.

My friend (34F), just had a baby 2 months ago. She is the breadwinner in her household, and her husband has been unemployed since he was laid off during COVID.

It was great to be pregnant at the same time, as well as having a friend with a newborn. But it has turned sour.

She has been saying how jealous she is of me being able to take off a whole year from work, how she would have loved to not worry about losing their home, how she doesn’t even have a couple hundred dollars in her savings account, let alone a whole year’s worth of living expenses….

I usually ignore it, or brush it off, because I kind of can understand the stress she is under.

Well, starting about 10 days ago, she started hinting at not being able to afford daycare, and any mention of her husband taking care of their kid is brushed off. Then she started remarking on how much free time I must have, which I deflected by saying -truthfully- that being a single mom to a baby and a small kid left me no free time actually.

Then last night she came out with it, and asked if I could “do her a favor” and watch her kid while she’s at work. I was firm, but polite, when I said that I couldn’t, that I am not capable of watching two kids under 6 months.

 

She started almost begging me, saying she can’t afford daycare, and if she is not back at work, she will lose her job, and they will end up homeless. I again brought up her husband, and she said that he was not good with kids, and isn’t capable of taking care of her kid.

I kept saying no, she kept pushing, until it escalated to her calling me heartless, and me telling her that it’s not my problem she chose to have a kid with a useless man.

Now she blocked me, I am feeling very guilty about what I said, and feeling like an AH.

Commenters assured the woman that she was not responsible for her friend’s child-care issues and should not feel guilty for telling her friend no.

Eek. NTA. I think there were no assholes here up to the point of her PRESSING you to do this favor, which she shouldn’t have asked for in the first place. You’re exactly right that it’s not your problem that she is in this situation, and while I do think a heavy dose of empathy is important to your friendship, her having a husband who isn’t employed AND cannot contribute to the child care she needs is a problem that she needs to solve.

 

It is annoying and impractical for her to think the answer here is for you to provide child care. It is dismissive of the fact that you are busy already, and you only have about 7 months remaining of the time you’ve allowed yourself to be on hiatus so it’s a short-term solution. It’s too bad that she’s letting her situation cloud her judgment. You are not heartless and that was an unfair response for her to have had, and inappropriate behaviour all throughout this interaction. (owls_and_cardinals)

Others pointed out the fact that the husband had been unemployed for a long time, yet she’d still decided to have a baby with him.

Can I jump on this one to point out the timeline here? Friend’s husband was laid off during the pandemic. Their baby is 2 months old. This means that the part of the story where friend decided to have a baby with this man (or accidentally got pregnant and decided to keep the baby) would have occurred about a year ago. So at that time, not only did she presumably know he “wasn’t good with kids,” but also he had been unemployed and doing nothing but sponging off her for more than two years. (CoverCharacter8179)

 

Most people did not buy the excuse that he ‘is not good with children’ pointing out that all parents have to learn in the beginning.

Unless he has an invisible disability, I think he is very much capable of taking care of their kid. All she would say when I asked about him raising his own kid, is that he is not good with kids, doesn’t know how to take care of infants, and is just not an option for childcare. (Fresh-Cucumber-980)

Unless the husband is bedbound or otherwise physically incapable of work or childcare, he needs to pull his finger out of his arse and step up to parent his own child. And if she isn’t going to make him, she needs to leave him and claim for child support (yes, if he’s not going to get a job, this won’t do much, but at least she’ll have one less mouth to feed).

Could you have said it more kindly? Maybe, but she should have kept pushing when you said no. You are NTA, OP (crazycatchemist1)

 

Bullshit. He can learn. New mothers learn on the fly all the time. She’s just too spineless to stand up to him in any kind of meaningful way.

They had nine months to figure out what they were gonna do when the baby arrived and they did nothing. He’s going to bury her, so cut them off before they get the chance to bury you too. (leslieJaye419)

Given the fact that her friend hadn’t accepted no the first time and had continued to nag her, some people thought she deserved a truth bomb to put things into perspective.

Girl , you’re fine . She kept pushing even after you refused numerous times. Then you had to lay some truth on her . If her husband is that useless she should divorce him . It’s a her and him problem not a you problem. (RaccoonKey2860)

What do you think? Was she in the wrong to point out in no uncertain terms that her friend should be looking to her husband to solve this problem, not her?

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Jolene

Jolene

Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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