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Man Refuses To ‘Babysit’ Daughter After Wife Asks For Break From Kids

Photo: Getty
Mother taking care of child while father yawns

A 29-year-old man bought his wife a plane ticket to go see her grandmother in Italy, and bought their daughter a ticket as well, assuming that she would be taking her.

When the 25-year-old wife told him that she needed a break from taking care of their child and wanted to go on the trip alone, he refused to take time off to take care of her and posted about his predicament in the subreddit “r/AmItheA--hole.”

AITA is a place where anyone can post about a certain situation or experience that they are going through and ask for strangers’ opinions on who is in the wrong.

Is the man who refuses to ‘babysit’ his daughter after his wife asks for a break from kids in the wrong?

The first red flag in the post comes from the title, “AITA for refusing to babysit our daughter?” when he refers to taking care of their daughter as “babysitting.”

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He refers to it twice more in his post, and is the main cause for concern to a lot of the Reddit users who flocked to the post to tell this man that he indeed was “the a--hole.”

Their daughter is four years old, and as such, she is unable to take care of herself alone for a week while her mother is in Italy and her father is at work, so he assumed that his wife would be taking her to Italy to take care of her.

That’s the second red flag that could go under the radar without the proper context that was given in the end — his direct quote here was “The other ticket was for our daughter since I assumed she’d be taking her,” nothing more, nothing less.

When his wife said she wanted “a break ‘from kids’,” he told her “that that was unfortunate, since there’s no way that our daughter can not go if she goes. Because I have work and don’t want to take time off to babysit our daughter for an entire week.”

Here’s where the sirens start blaring and the CPS’s phone number gets punched into the phone.

The assumption can now be made that he thinks his wife should always be taking care of the daughter as the mother of the house and that if she were to go to Italy, “there’s no way that [their daughter] can not go.”

This, along with the second mention of taking care of his daughter being referred to as “babysitting,” caused a lot of people to instantly call him “the a--hole.”

The top comment, which has nearly five times the upvotes as the thread itself with 59.2k, reads “YTA. IT ISN’T BABYSITTING WHEN IT’S YOUR KID,” and has received nearly 130 awards.

However, the post continues. He says “I suggested we have someone else watch her, but we don’t know anyone that lives close by who’d be willing to watch her. I love my daughter, but I don’t want to take a week off to babysit her.”

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Afterward, he added that the gift was for his wife’s birthday and that she was a stay-at-home-mother/homemaker.

While some of the commenters completely berate this man for his callousness and nearly complete disregard for his responsibilities as a father, one message stood out as particularly well-thought-out while remaining passive-aggressive.

“From what you’ve said in your other comments it sounds like your wife does EVERYTHING on the ‘domestic’ front,” this redditor said, “did you REALLY think that she would want to take all of those responsibilities on the road?”

They mentioned that he should have planned out all the details beforehand, and maybe then it would have been a lot nicer of a gift.

“Man up, ask off work like you should have before booking the ticket, and parent your daughter for a week like a normal father,” they called him out. “If you need help, I’m sure YouTube has some ‘how to be a functional parent’ videos that you will find useful.”

YourTango expert Keya Murthy commented on the splitting of responsibility between two parents toward their child.

“When parents split responsibilities raising their children, they both get to start, grow and enjoy their unique relationships with their child whom they brought into the world, care for, and love,” said Murthy, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Spiritual Life Coach.

“Even when a mother is a stay-at-home mom, she should have time to herself to hang out with her sisters, family, and friends, while dad gets time to bond with the child.”

The father is neglecting his responsibilities as a parent and treats it almost as if it were a chore, shoring all the responsibilities to his wife.

“Taking care of your child is not babysitting,” she added. “It is taking time to let the child love, respect, and adore you for you, and not because you are her father. Time with one’s own child is the most precious time in both the child's and the parent's life.”

She also believes that the best solution would be to find someone that can take care of her during the day while he’s at work.

The conclusion that most people reached was that he is indeed, “the a--hole.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.