When it comes to helping family and friends, many people make sacrifices and do favors without asking for payment. Not everyone is in a position to do things for free, though. After caring for her sibling for a weekend, one woman asks on a popular online forum if she’s the a**hole for demanding her parents pay her for watching her little sister?
The OP (original poster) explains that she is around twenty years old and says she was asked to watch her eleven-year-old sister one weekend while their parents are out of town for a funeral.
“My parents asked me if I could watch my sister for the weekend at my apartment. I agreed and asked my parents how much they’d pay me, and they said they’d let me know when they got back,” says the OP.
The OP doesn’t mind waiting and prepares for a fun visit with her younger sister. “I went out and bought a bunch of kid-friendly groceries, and we had a lot of fun together,” the OP comments.
The weekend can’t last forever, and that Sunday evening, the OP’s parents come to pick up her sister and take her home. Before they leave, the OP asks again about being paid.
The OP says, “I reminded them about paying me. They got all awkward and said they decided it wasn’t necessary for all the things they’d done for me, and I was her sister. I should be happy to help.”
The OP disagrees with this and says as much. She explains, “I said no, you need to pay me. I reminded them of the groceries I bought and the pizza, and how I had called out of work for the weekend to watch her.”
Her parents get upset and scold the OP for not being more giving towards her family. The OP shares, “They told me I was acting like a spoiled brat and that I shouldn’t act like watching my sister and helping my family is a chore.”
“Even though there isn’t a set agreement, I feel like I should’ve been paid. I don’t think I’m acting spoiled,” the OP states.
The reactions varied from users on the forum where the OP posted. Some were on her side and understood that people of OP’s age don’t always have the money to afford favors like that.
“This very well could have been a situation of a 20-year-old not being able to pay her bills because of this,” one person comments. “Even if it was just the food, two days off work could have been a huge chunk of her income. When I was in my early 20s and didn’t have paid time off, missing a day was a really big deal.”
Another user adds, “NTA (not the a**hole). You should be reimbursed for the groceries and the salary you lost. Maybe if you make it clear to them that you only need to have your expenses covered, they’ll understand.”
“I don’t think OP is TA (the a**hole), simply because her parents gave her a non-committal answer regarding being paid,” says another comment.
Others felt that the OP was being unreasonable. One person says, “YTA (you’re the a**hole). If you can’t afford to watch the sister without reimbursement, make that crystal clear, or don’t agree to do it. Don’t ask to be paid for things you should be willing to do anyway.”
Along the same lines, another commenter says, “Sorry, but YTA. One of your parents lost a parent and was grieving. It should have been you supporting them by taking care of your kid sister. Your parents weren’t going off on holiday or doing something fun.”
There were also some who could see both sides of the issue. One person adds, “I don’t think that OP is being particularly kind here given the circumstances, but OP also had to take time off work, which means money out of her pocket plus extra money she had to spend on the kid.”
Was it wrong for OP to ask for payment? Are her parents acting entitled by not paying her?
This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose.