The woman told her parents how it was unfair of them to make her babysit younger brothers and how it gave her anxiety.
Kids should be given a fair amount of responsibility while they grow up. That being said, parents should refrain from giving them too much responsibility and burdening them. u/Mediocre-Tax8719 recently shared a post where she talked about how she became overwhelmed by babysitting her siblings throughout her childhood. The woman begins the post by sharing that she was in her late 20s and was the oldest and only girl out of five siblings.
Since she was the oldest, many times, the babysitting responsibilities were given to her but she was not allowed to discipline her brothers in any way. She writes, "As a result, my brothers fought, hurt each other, broke things, ate food my mom was saving for dinner, etc. I was blamed for all of this and punished." Her dad kept insisting that she should treat her younger brothers like her "own sons." To make matters complicated, one of her brothers had special needs, which meant that medical emergencies could take place at any time.
She shares, "I wasn't always sure of what to do and my parents weren't always easy to get ahold of." The woman was also asked to babysit for her mother's friends for free. These inconsiderate women would stay out late and would get home only after midnight. Due to all these traumatic experiences with babysitting, the woman opted to never babysit for anyone again once she became an adult.
The woman also shared that she developed severe anxiety, for which she attends therapy. This anxiety came about from balancing her academics and family life, which was extremely difficult. On Christmas day, she was with her family when the topic of babysitting came up. Somebody asked if "birth order affected personality," to which the woman agreed. She writes, "When I was questioned about my reasoning, I just said that I had to be responsible in different ways than they had to."
Her family accused her of being overly "dramatic" and questioned her more on the same topic. She pointed out: "I asked my youngest brother if he ever had to be responsible for younger siblings and he, of course, said no. I said that babysitting them put a lot of responsibility on me that I didn't consider appropriate for my age and maturity level and that they'd never had to go through that. I also explained that I had to go without a lot of our parents' attention so they could have it (for example: they missed my fencing tournaments and orchestra concerts to go watch my brothers' wrestling practices)."
Once she was done stating all these points, her family was silent until her father asked her, "So you don't believe in family responsibility?" She replied that she did, but that there should be a balance. The woman also told her dad how babysitting her siblings made the dynamic between them. Sadly, she thought about raising more points about her parents' lack of commitment to the tasks at hand when it dawned on her that her father was not taking her seriously.
She also shared how she rarely asked her parents for anything, highlighting just how neglected she was in the family. The post concluded with the woman asking people on the site if she was in the wrong in this situation. People overwhelmingly sided with the woman in the comments section. u/Tls-user commented, "NTA - your parents were the ones responsible for raising their children, not you. And why on earth would you be made to babysit other people's kids for free?" u/Economy_Algae_418 added: "NTA. You were given responsibility without the authority that makes responsibility effective. That is a recipe for trauma. Being volunteered as unpaid babysitter for your parents' friends was wrong. Your parents imposed servitude on you -- you were made to do a task without the necessary authority or agency. Your parents were irresponsible. They used you as a placeholder so they could waltz off on their own."