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Dad Asks If He's Wrong For Charging His Ex $100 To Babysit His Own Child Since He Had To Miss Work

Photo: Josh Willink / Pexels
Dad and daughter hugging while on a hike

After a man was forced to miss work to look after his daughter on a day that his ex-wife had custody of her, he decided to charge her $100 to send her the message that she needs to be more organized and prepared. 

His ex disagreed and believed paying the man for watching his child was ridiculous. However, he argues that it is not about the money, but the principle. 

The man charged his ex $100 after he had to babysit his own child on his ex’s custody day and had to miss work.

Sharing his story to the subreddit, r/AmITheA–hole, the father revealed that he and his ex have been split up for three years. They share a five-year-old daughter named Sumara and have a solid custody arrangement in place. 

According to the man, he abides by the set custody schedule. “Personally, I've never missed anything, never been late. I adhere to the agreement to the tee,” he wrote. “I make sure everything else in my life will agree with our agreement because I know that's what's best for Sumara.” 

RELATED: Woman Feels Conflicted After Husband Told Her To 'Stop' Sending $200 To Her Mom For Watching Their Kid Overnight

 Photo: Freeograph / Shutterstock 

Unfortunately, he cannot say the same about his ex. “She's never been a very organized person and after our breakup, it seems to me like her life has been even more disheveled since I'm no longer around to bear that load.”  

A couple of weeks ago before the man left for work, he received a call from his ex telling him to pick up Sumara since she had to go to work and both her mother and sister, one of whom usually looks after the little girl, had a family emergency. “Apparently, her grandfather fell the night before and had to go to the hospital so her Mom went to see him, and since she doesn't drive her sister also had to go (Mom and sister live in the same house),” the man wrote. 

He claims that this is the third incident in the past year his ex has relied on him last minute to watch Sumara on what was supposed to be one of her custody days. He argues that her plan to have her mother and sister as her child caretakers while she goes to work is impractical since her mother doesn’t drive and they live in the same house.

“We talked about this the last two times and I clearly explained to her she needs to figure this out,” the man wrote. 

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The first two times he had to retrieve his daughter last minute worked out since he did not have work on the days his ex asked him to watch her. After double-checking with his ex that nobody else could take the girl, he called his boss to inform him that he could not make it to work.

“I called my boss and explained the situation and he said it was cool, but he reminded me that I'm a new employee so I didn't have any paid time off, and that in general, it doesn't look good for new employees to call-off last minute,” the man shared. “I said I understood and picked up my daughter.” 

When his ex came later in the day to pick up Sumara, the man decided to charge her $100 to make up for some of the money he lost that day since he could not work, and to hopefully push her to organize a better childcare backup plan on her custody days. “I understand it was an emergency, but this is your fault for not having a proper backup,” he told his ex. 

He also pointed out that he has to pay child support, including childcare costs, to his ex when she has custody of their daughter, and she should be willing to do the same for him. Although, his ex felt differently.

“She started screaming and said she's not going to pay me to watch my own daughter,” the man wrote. “She called me a piece of s–t for trying to capitalize on her family emergency.” Still, the father says he held his ground and collected his $100 from his ex. 

 Photo: Antonio Guillen / Shutterstock 

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“It's not even about the money it was about sending the message that she's not being a responsible parent and she needs to face harsher penalties due to her lack of preparation,” he claimed, adding that his ex’s grandfather recovered from his injuries and is doing well. 

Although other Redditors were unsure if they were going to agree with the father at first, they believed he made valid points and praised him for his decision. 

They agreed that the man’s ex should have been better prepared in the event of an emergency and that her job was not superior to his, considering it was her day to look after their daughter. 

“This is 100% correct… you made an excellent point. Next time just tell her no. She will have to be the one to miss work,” one user commented. “If the situation was reversed I can promise you she would not have handled as well as you did, putting your child first.”

“Her work is not more important than yours,” another user shared. “If you had had a day off and there was an emergency on her side, sure. But you’re both in the same situation except it’s HER week.” 

“She needs backup care to properly provide the level of childcare you’re already assisting in paying for. Stuff happens, but when the same stuff repeatedly happens, she needs to figure out a new system that doesn’t jeopardize your job,” another user pointed out. 

However, others argued that the woman could not help if there was a family emergency and her backup childcare plans fell through and the man should not have demanded money from her when she picked her their daughter. 

“Grandpa was in the hospital, child care fell through, that happens,” one user wrote. “Your options were to tell her you weren’t available and she’d have to take the day off work. Or to tell her upfront, I can take the day off work, but I need you to reimburse me $100. Don’t bill her after the fact.” 

“Having a child doesn’t always perfectly align with the court order. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond,” another user noted.  “I’m going to guess mom has primary custody and does the bulk of the day-to-day work in raising the child. Taking a day off to help in a family emergency isn’t like a crazy situation.” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.