What’s appropriate behavior for a babysitter? In the past, people have argued over whether a babysitter is allowed to sleep when the kids are asleep — or if they have a right to eat whatever they can find in your kitchen. Can babysitter discipline your kids? Can they do homework on the job?
Now there’s a new question up for debate: should your babysitter be allowed to shower in your house? What if the kids are looked after and accounted for? What if she’s washing off after a spill?
A mom turned to Reddit’s ever-popular “Am I The Asshole?” forum this week to see if she was totally out of her mind for getting really angry — and threatening a pay cut — when she found out her new sitter showered during her paid shift after a spill.
Here’s the situation, told from the mom’s point of view: she hired a 24-year-old babysitter a few weeks ago for her kids who are 5 and 3 years old. And everything was going fine, right up until it wasn’t.
“I came home at 6pm and noticed the babysitter's wet hair and new clothes,” the mom wrote. “She told me she took a shower after one of the kids spilled milk on her. I was confused but visibly upset but she tried to ‘reassure’ me the kids were fine, because my husband watched them while she took her shower which only lasted for few minutes. I was more confused that my husband was home when he had a shift to cover. I told her I didn't think it was appropriate of her to shower in my home like that. She argued that it was fine and that she had no choice and couldn't leave the milk on her like that.
The husband, who was home sick for the day, took the babysitter’s side.
“We argued and my husband heard the commotion and got involved,” she continued. “He said it was not as big of a deal as I was making it out to be but I told the babysitter that I did not appreciate how she basically ignored how I felt about this and dismissed my feelings still.”
Nothing got resolved — and the mom and sitter continue to fight about the transgression. In fact, the mom threatened to cut her sitter’s salary.
The commenters overwhelmingly sided with the babysitter for this one. Lots of people pointed out that the kids were safe and looked after.
“I understand maybe being upset if she thought the nanny was the only adult in the house and left the kids unattended,” one wrote. “But she wasn’t.”
Another pointed out that the sitter clearly asked the dad if it was okay.
“Why exactly should she have called and asked for your permission,” they wondered, “when clearly your husband had already given her permission to take a shower?”
On the mom’s side, a small minority pointed out that a full shower probably wasn’t necessary.
“I wouldn't want to stand around for hours with souring milk all over me,” one person mused. “But I probably would have just changed my clothes and maybe run a wet paper towel quickly over my skin in the bathroom, and if some milk got into my hair maybe rinsed it quickly in the sink. I'm guessing it's not like a kid dumped a gallon on her head.”
And then there was a bit of an elephant in the room: a lot of the commenters thought that the babysitter showering with the husband home sick was either suspicious or suggestive — and that the mom’s anger had little to do with the actual issue at hand.
“I think OP is truly upset and uncomfortable with the fact her husband was home all day with their babysitter,” one person wrote. “I don’t think it’s right to blame the babysitter or threaten her salary over this. Especially since, like I said, I think the OP’s real issue is with her husband. Her mind jumped to some wild conclusions. She needs to take this up with him.”
Sounds like a Porn Hub scenario come to life! But whatever the reason for her outrage, it seems like the public verdict is pretty unanimous: let your sitter clean up after your kids spill, for goodness’ sakes, as long as they’re are safe for a few minutes while they do it.