This young Redditor was tasked to care for her younger cousins. But why should the responsibility fall on her when they have a supposedly capable father?
OP (Original Poster) is a 17-year-old girl asked by her uncle, a 50 year-old-man, to take care of his three kids. His wife, OP’s aunt, would be in surgery, and he needed assistance.
However, though they reached out to OP, it didn’t mean they were that close.
To give some background, OP explained that her mom and aunt have never gotten along. The problem started before OP was born but only worsened after her grandfather died.
One of the main reasons for the worsening of relations was her aunt’s behavior. While OP’s grandfather was dying, OP’s mom took care of him, while her aunt didn’t offer to help in any way.
Missing in Action
Her aunt never showed up to see her father, nor had she offered any financial assistance to care for him. She never got involved in any decision-making, medical or otherwise, and she made OP’s mom take care of everything.
Then, to add to that, OP’s aunt married a man OP describes as a “very stereotypical neck-beard.” He was overweight, didn’t work, didn’t help with chores, didn’t help raise the kids, and played more games than OP did.
Uncle Fun Time
When OP was younger, she thought her uncle was a lot of fun. But as she got older, she noticed that he was fun for children because he had never grown up and was “immature.”
A Regular Nanny
When OP’s aunt and uncle showed up at family events, her aunt would tell her to take care of her kids while she would hang out with her cousins. OP didn’t mind because she liked her younger cousins and liked hanging out with them.
However, recently, medical issues caught up to OP’s aunt. She wrote, “She had complications with a very safe, non-life-threatening condition and had to go back to the hospital.”
A Lost Shepherd
Since OP’s aunt had been in surgery, she couldn’t care for the kids. This meant that her uncle had to step up.
The only problem was that he didn’t know what he was doing.
The Only Solution
Since OP’s parents had been out of town, her uncle had no one to contact but her. He sent her videos of his children, a 2-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy, and an 11-year-old girl, climbing on furniture in the hospital and being nuisances.
Barking up the Wrong Tree
In the videos, he would say things to her like, “I really need some help right now.” He would also comment and say, “I don’t know what to do,” even though he was a 50-year-old man.
OP received the videos, but she had suffered a concussion and couldn’t help. Her extended family kept bothering her, though, asking her to go because she was the “closest.”
But to OP, two hours wasn’t that close. She also hadn’t driven that far before, so she was apprehensive about going.
Escalation and Recrimination
No one cared about her concussion, and they wanted her to drive. The pressure and criticism got so bad that OP even had to block her grandmother.
Showing True Colors
However, she did keep her texts with her uncle open so she could screenshot what she received for evidence.
OP wrote, “He started calling me ungrateful and lazy and told me not to talk to him or his kids unless I apologize.”
Sadly, when OP’s aunt got out of surgery, she agreed with her husband. At that point, OP felt so alone, as everyone else thought she was wrong not to offer them help; they all told OP that she “should have been there” for them.
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
Although she couldn’t find support in most of her relatives, Redditors think OP was right. They even called her aunt and uncle out for their rude and insolent behavior.
One said it best, “Not the a**hole. You have a concussion and should not be driving. You need quiet and rest. You should not be driving for two hours to take care of someone else’s kids. Plus, you are, and no one should be asking a minor to do anything without asking their parent’s permission. Which I doubt would happen since your mom and aunt have bad blood. Her husband needs to grow up and take care of his own kids.”
Another Redditor laid into the family, saying, “Not the a**hole. Your health is the priority. But even if you didn’t have a concussion, you would still be not the a**hole. The fact that he’s incapable is his problem. You’re a teenager. He’s an adult and parent, and it’s his job, not yours. Two hours away is too far, and it’s not considered ‘close.’ Just silence your phone and ignore his and extended family’s messages. By the way, have you been to a doctor regarding your concussion? You really shouldn’t be alone in that state. It’s very dangerous.”
While Redditors were strongly supportive of OP, a few did point out some elements of her story that were problematic.
One, in particular, pointed out, “Good lord, not the a**hole, even without a concussion. It’s his responsibility, not yours. He’s being immature, and my guess is s***** by trying to foist them on you. A small point, his weight and facial hair have nothing to do with his deficiencies. You don’t want to casually insult people who are overweight among your readers.”
What do you have to say about this issue? Was OP right for declining to drive two hours after suffering a concussion, or should she have dropped everything and helped her uncle take care of his own kids?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Babysit Her Cousins While Her Aunt’s in Surgery Because She Needed to Recover From Her Concussion. Her Deadbeat Uncle Says She’s an “Ungrateful” and “Lazy” Brat, but They’re Not Her Responsibility! on Quote Ambition.