My Sister Refuses to Babysit My Kids Despite Our Initial Agreement, and Our Family Is on Her Side

Family & kids
2 months ago

We received a letter from Rebecca, 30, expressing her worries about her younger sister. She wants her sister to honor the agreement they made when her sister agreed to babysit Rebecca’s children but later changes her mind.

The two sisters made a specific agreement that they were expected to uphold.

Rebecca, a 30-year-old, recently shared a family issue involving her 20-year-old sister, Anna, who is currently a university student. Rebecca expressed her frustration, saying, “I allowed my sister Anna to stay with us while she attended university. In exchange, we agreed she’d contribute $500 each month. This covers her living expenses, utilities, and food, which I think is quite reasonable. Additionally, she helps out with household chores and our two kids. We even documented our agreement to avoid any misunderstandings.”

Rebecca elaborated, stating, “Based on my understanding, shared accommodation at Anna’s school costs around $1,200 monthly, only available during the 8 months of school. So, staying with us costs her $6,000 a year, compared to $9,600 for 8 months at school and 4 months with our mom and stepdad. This arrangement worked smoothly for two years. She’s a diligent student and a wonderful person.”

There has been a noticeable strain in the relationship between the sisters.

Rebecca continued her story, expressing, “Recently, Anna and I had a major disagreement where I feel she’s completely in the wrong. Unfortunately, our parents are siding with her, which is frustrating. The issue arose because Anna now has a serious boyfriend, and naturally, she wants to spend more time with him, which I understand. However, she’s also started to complain about babysitting the kids every other Saturday night so my husband and I can have a date night. This caused a significant rift between us.”

Rebecca clarified, stating, “Since we have our agreement and Anna’s still in university, I insisted she stick to it. I even offered to find a babysitter myself, but I made it clear she’d have to cover the cost since she was originally supposed to watch the kids. Now Anna’s upset with me, claiming that paying the babysitter is eating into all her earnings.”

Rebecca is facing criticism from all her family members at the moment.

I dont see anywhere in this story that Rebecca is having her children raised by Anna. She said that her sister helps out with them and watches them two Saturday nights each month so they can get some them time away from the kids. That is also something that a caring sister does for her sibling. She has also given her a comfortable place to stay at a greatly reduced cost and she doesnt have to worry about moving out every eight months. The parents of Anna and Rebecca also may have ulterior motives themselves. They would and should be helping Anna pay for the cost of her rental situation. Where are they in all of this? Do they "babysit" too? The cost of living has got way out of hand anymore and as much as we all would love to help even family the reality is we all need to pitch in. Rebecca is not running a free bnb. Also a good Aunt would love to help. Why is it all up to Rebecca to offer free place to stay? Anna thought the agreement was good for two years but now its just asking too much? Just because the parents are on Anna"s side doesnt make her right.

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Rebecca shared, “Anna got really upset with me after I made my suggestion. She felt like I was taking advantage of her. She was furious and declared that she’d rather stay on her university campus next year. I calmly told her that it sounded like a great idea and assured her it wouldn’t be an issue for me. Plus, I mentioned how I’d regain my hobby room once she moved out.”

Rebecca expressed her frustration, saying, “I faced criticism from all sides of my family. My parents phoned me and insisted that Anna shouldn’t be treated like an unpaid nanny. They stressed the importance of sibling support without any financial expectations. My mom even went as far as demanding that Anna live in our house rent-free, claiming I shouldn’t interfere with her finances. Despite explaining our agreement, they remained adamant.”

She continued, “When I mentioned Anna’s plan to move to campus next semester, my mom became furious, threatening to sever ties with me. When I returned home, I found Anna packing without a word about where she’d stay. She accused me of being unfair, arguing that increased expenses and time away from her job and boyfriend were harsh. I’m torn because I believe our agreement was reasonable.”

We’d like to offer you some guidance.

Our suggestion is to seek a compromise that benefits both you and Anna. Instead of making Anna pay the entire babysitting fee, consider splitting it evenly between you both. Alternatively, you could discuss creating a schedule where you take turns watching the kids, ensuring that both of you have time for your personal lives without burdening the other.

We believe that having a calm conversation with Anna and finding a solution that works for both of you is achievable. We hope that you can resolve this issue without causing further strain on your family relationships.

Completely Ridiculous "Agreement" aside, your 20yr sister is a College Student that is paying her sister $500 a mo & doing her share in chores, studying & attempting to have a social life if possible? You have her as your in house babysitter, I can understand a Once in a while helping out with the children if she chooses too but making her take on the responsibility for your offspring is taking advantage of your younger sister when she's probably already stretched thin. Having Responsibilities is fine but as her sister, shame on you for taking advantage of her.

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It’s important to offer Anna a sincere apology for any distress your disagreement may have caused her. Exploring alternative solutions together is key. Remember, you’re family, and supporting each other is crucial, even during tough times. Money and childcare can be tricky topics, leading to misunderstandings, but it’s essential to address them openly.

Regarding your family’s involvement, it’s vital to communicate that you intend to reconcile with Anna and establish clear boundaries. Don’t allow others to pressure you into actions you’re not comfortable with. Your decisions should be based on what’s best for you and Anna, not on external influences.

It’s tough when someone we trust and care about deeply ends up hurting us deeply. Recently, a woman opened up about her painful experience when her best friend of 20 years broke her trust and caused embarrassment for her and her husband.

Preview photo credit freepik / Freepik

Comments

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Honestly she is getting a good deal for room and broad she gets to stay nearly all year long and for less than the school would cost plus a little childcare. Maybe mom could take a few less date nights but that is the most I think she should give up. If the niece wants to whine to her family every time she can't get her way she needs to grow up

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Anna needs to go back to stay with mom. You gave big sister some horrible advice. She owes her no apology. And let Mom be petty. See if she misses the grandkids.Big sister needs to see her family for the hypocrites they are.

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Anna would be better off with mom Rebecca needs a hard dose of reality. Her sister is NOT a free nanny nor is it her responsibility to pay a babysitter for Rebecca's children.

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I agree with you, she’s definitely using her sister as a free babysitter and she definitely shouldn’t be responsible for paying for a sitter. Her sister definitely shouldn’t have put that in the agreement.

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Work in exchange for rent credit has been in practice for a long time. No work than no discount in rent. She’s being paid by not having to pay market rent.

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It's not free, it's a trade for a fantastic reduction in rent. If she doesn't want to watch the kids then she should pay at least $200 more in rent per month, because that's about what a sitter would cost for 10 hours in most cities.

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Based on this letter, the agreement was written and accepted by both sisters. The family was not involved at the time. I think that if Anna wanted to be out of the agreement she should have just talked to her sister instead of going to the family to get them on her side. Her sister is not getting a free nanny I see it as a trade for trade. I have lived on campus and I'm sure the cost the sister listed was just for the room and not food or other living expense. However, Anna has options and does not have to stay. Also, if the family was against the arrangement she should live with them.

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2 months ago
Can't find the comment? Ask your mom.

Raise her rent $100 a month. That should be enough to pay a babysitter for a couple of nights when you and hubby want to go out.

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This story is too one sided to really weigh in. There are a lot of factors to consider. The ages of the children, what household chores, and childcare responsibilities entailed in this agreement. Did the younger sister go along for two years silently dealing with an unfair deal or did changes in her life make her want to change the established agreement? This article doesn't really answer these questions, however, Rebecca and Anna can answer them. I think ending this agreement will likely be healthy for your sisterly relationship. When cooler heads can prevail, you should talk to each other.

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I agree. We all know the people who submit these word things in their favor. I'd be willing to bet the sister is doing a LOT more babysitting than just 2 nights a month. I know how much my sister helps out when she's just here visiting. I also can't imagine charging my sister rent if she needed to move in with me. Paying for part of the utilities and groceries is all I would ask. That alone makes me disinclined to side with OP.

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The arrangement was entirely one sided. The older sister is talking terrible advantage of the younger sister. She's supposed to go to school, study, clean house, take care of kids, also work a job AND pay most of her income to the older sister. Just how is she supposed to get good grades, pay for her transportation, room and board and have any money left, let alone socialize?

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2 months ago
Hidden for the greater good.
2 months ago
Nothing will stay buried forever, apart from this comment.

I hardly think babysitting two Saturdays out of the month is unreasonable. I think the little sister sounds like an entitled brat. And if the parents think she should live right free then she can move in with them.

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You do not know the reason she is not living with them now!! They could be in a Senior Living facility for example!! JS

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month ago
The comment has been deleted but it will stay in our hearts forever.

It honestly feels like this article was written by either AI or someone who didn't really read the letter.

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I'd suggest you both sit down n rework the contract considering the change in Anna's life. I get OP wanting a date night but its unfair to not allow Anna the same n potentially ruin a serious n longterm relationship. You said everyother Saturday OP has their date night? Well why not work it so for ex. Saturday A is OPs n Saturday B is Anna n back n forth? Contracts need amending sometimes n this seems the time to do it.

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2 months ago
A cat is having a nap right on this comment.

Paying roommates usually share household care chores. But a college student paying 500 a month plus childcare is not reasonable. Student deserves her Saturday nights at least twice a month. And no she shouldn't have to pay the babysitter

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She does have two free Saturday nights per month, it literally says that she cares for the kids two Saturday nights a month. And believe me, in this day and age $500 a month is a freaking steal at any age. If she doesn't want to live with her parents that's less than she would have to pay anywhere else.

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If this contract was not with your Sister everyone would be on your side. An agreement was made now Anna wants to alter her contract, that's not how business or the world works. Anna signed as an adult and defaulted as a baby sister. Your Mom is wrong to step into the disagreement, she needs to step up and help your sister as she broke her contract with you.

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The whole thing is messed up. Why is she even charging her sister rent? It doesn't make sense. She's only 20 and is still going to school. She gets enough pressure.

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Because she's an adult in the house and the rent is all inclusive, including food. If the parents want her to have free rent they should pay for it. I buy my own food and pay $700/month for a basement room with limited kitchen access. Watching the kids 2 Saturdays a month and otherwise helping out with them when I can to save $700/month vs. living in the dorm is well worth it.

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month ago
This comment was eaten by a raccoon.
month ago
This comment will be published in 2236.

Let her leave and tell your parents to F-off. The parents are on her side because they don't want to pay the extra amount for your sister's room and board. That's why they want you to do it for free! You both signed the agreement in good faith and she wants to break it. I'll bet you could find another student at her school that would do it for $800/month. Once you do, your sister will beg you to have her back but both she and your obviously biased parents will have learned a lesson when you say no, because you've signed an agreement with another person who will keep their word.

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My personal opinion is that if the agreement was to assist with childcare as part of her rent than she should have to pay a total of 800$ instead of the 500$ in place of her no longer babysitting due to you depending on her assistance. I feel that you should have her put in a 2wk to 30 day notice to allow you to accommodate hers and your families needs. This will allow both of you the time to find a sitter for your children and her to either find a different place to live or save a little money to pay you the difference for not babysitting. Or if you wanted to go the legal route you did put the babysitting in writing as well as rent amount, you could take it to court.
I feel that talking with your sister is the better option, however everyone has their own ways of dealing with things. I wish your family the best, and many 🙌

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Look like to me everything was alright with Anna till she got a boyfriend so to say the problem is the boyfriend Anna was being a grown up tell she couldn't have her way then she started acting childish and her mother showed who the favorite child is in that family smh

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Also I would gladly move in ??? You said 500 a month right 🤣 your sister is getting a good deal

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Seriously, right? It's different if she was what's the primary caretaker most of the day every day. But that doesn't seem like the case.

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Having a young adult sibling in the house with the other sibling's spouse and children is TOUGH. If the sister is asking for bill money, I'm sure it's because they need it and the sister (or someone else) can swing it. I understand there is a contract in place, but it was signed (2) years ago. Situations have definitely changed. The younger sister definitely should have communicated better to see if they could renegotiate the contract. Bottomline, I think the contract needs to be altered and a compromise had to where they go on day dates so that younger sister can tend to her blossoming romance because I'm sure it's not easy balancing school, job, babysitting, and a new relationship.

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