Don’t micromanage your helpers. Be grateful for the help you receive, even if it’s not done exactly the way you would do it.
A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for not watching my nieces and nephews at my house?”. Tell us what you think in the comments section.
Original Poster, OP (M32) has been with his girlfriend (F29) for 8 years.
From the very beginning, they have been child-free. OP’s girlfriend isn’t a big fan of kids, and while he loves being the fun uncle, he loves being able to give them back.
A Bit About OP’s Girlfriend
Some background – OP’s girlfriend is incredibly introverted and suffers from anxiety. Because of this, she is definitely a homebody and prefers hanging out at home with their two dogs.
She likes things quiet and calm and definitely thinks of the house as her safe space. OP completely respects that.
What Happens Usually
OP watches his 2 nephews and his niece, 7, 5, and 3, once in a while for his sister and brother-in-law. He always goes over to their house to watch the kids.
Partially because all their stuff and toys are there and it’s just easier, and because he knows his girlfriend wouldn’t enjoy having them over at the house. Plus she didn’t agree to watch them so that wouldn’t be fair.
What Happened Lately
They’ve had some really lovely weather lately, and OP’s sister and BIL have been asking him to take the kids over to his place to watch them instead.
They live in a town home and don’t have much of a yard while OP and his girlfriend are pretty lucky and have a pretty large backyard. OP offered to take the kids to the park instead if they wanted some outside time.
They Wanted Kids At His House
Neither OP’s sister nor BIL liked this much. They said that they would rather have the kids in a safer fenced yard to run around and play than at a public park.
The Past Weekend
It all came to a head this past weekend. OP’s BIL called and asked if he was available to watch the kids. OP told him sure that wouldn’t be a problem.
He, politely at first, asked if he could drop the kids off with me for a change. OP told him no, he would come to them.
He Got Frustrated
He got a little frustrated and said the kids really needed some fresh air to get their energy out. OP said okay, they can go to the park. He exploded at OP and told him he was a jerk for never letting the kids come over.
He said never mind he didn’t want OP to watch them because he was too selfish. Now OP wants to know if what he did was wrong.
No One Is Entitled To Your Service/Home
“Not the jerk. You’re providing a service. No one is entitled to your service or your home. And the whole weirdness about public parks is just weird.”
Your Suggestion Made Sense
“Your alternative suggestion of going to the park is a good one unless the parks where you live are really unsafe for some weird reason.
I can understand not wanting 3 kids running around at a public park with only 1 adult to keep an eye on them all, but they don’t get to dictate how you agree to help. They can ask, but demanding is a no-go.
Maybe suggest that one of their parents joins you for a test visit to the park, so they could see how you’re able to keep a good eye on all 3?”
Your Home, Your Rules
“It’s your home, and your girlfriend’s home, and you’re showing her respect by not babysitting there. Taking the kids to a park is a reasonable solution. Maybe your city likes to build playgrounds in the middle of the road, but most public parks I’ve seen put the playgrounds plenty far away from the roads.
Your BIL is trying to make this into a power play. It’s not really about your fenced-in yard or whatever, it’s about control. Don’t give in or you’ll never get the ability to say no back.”
Tell Him It Is Not An Option
“You are watching his kids and he is complaining. The kids are more comfortable in their own homes. Tell him it is not an option. Your home is not available.”
You Did The Right Thing
“You offered a solution and your girlfriend is entitled to feeling safe and comfortable in her/your home. It’s not like you’re avoiding the kids or refusing to help your BIL. I wonder if your sister and BIL know about your girlfriend’s feelings.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.