During an emergency, one always aspires for help from a close friend or family member in whom one has faith. Especially if it involves watching a toddler for a few hours. In this scenario, a husband was in an accident and his wife had to accompany him to the hospital. Read the entire article to find out what occurred when she asked her niece to watch her child for a bit. What would you do in such a situation?
My husband (30s m) and I (30s f) have a 3yo son together, “Max.” Max is a sweet kid but has a difficult time in unfamiliar situations and can get overstimulated easily.
A little while ago, my husband was across the country on a work trip, while I was home with Max. I got a call one morning from his manager, informing me that my husband had been in a car accident and was in the hospital. He couldn’t tell me much but said that although he was stable, it didn’t look good and that I should come as soon as I can. I obviously freaked out. I booked a ticket just for myself, because it would be almost impossible to travel with Max, and I could barely afford the last-minute ticket for myself.
I called my mom who lives a few hours away and asked her to come watch Max while I’m away. At this point, I needed someone to watch Max for the time it would take for my mom to arrive so I could make my flight. Looking back, I probably could’ve handled the logistics better than this, but I was hysterical and was just doing things as I thought of them.
I called 3 friends – 1 didn’t answer, and two were unable to help. Luckily, we live close to my brother and SIL, who have a daughter (17f), “Sarah.” We are very close with them. Sarah answered the door and said her parents were out. I explained the situation and asked if she’d watch Max for a couple hours until my mom came.
I should note that Sarah babysits for a few local families and obviously charges them for her services. We have never asked Sarah to babysit before.
She showed some concern for my husband and when I asked her again, she said something along the lines of, “well, you’ll pay me, right? I usually charge X…” I stared at her for a moment, not really expecting that response, and then my friend who didn’t answer called me back and said of course she’d watch Max. So, I took Max and left without saying anything to my niece. I coordinated with my friend and my mom, then flew to see my husband. He ended up needing surgery, but is making a full recovery.
A few days after he was able to fly home, we had dinner with my brother and SIL. We were talking about the accident, and I mentioned that I had asked Sarah to watch Max. I also noted that I was a little upset that she brought up payment at that moment. My brother was surprised, and said he would talk to her as that’s not an appropriate reaction. My SIL interjected and said she was proud of Sarah for advocating for herself. She and I argued and she said that I was entitled for being surprised that Sarah asked for money.
To be clear, if I asked Sarah to babysit under normal circumstances, I would absolutely expect to pay her. It was unsettling that Sarah would bring up payment while, for all I knew, my husband was dying in a hospital on the other side of the country. I think it would’ve been more empathetic to bring up the topic of payment after I returned + confirmed my husband was okay. My SIL is still cold with me, and so is my niece. Am I A Jerk for getting upset?
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