A man recently asked the internet if he was in the wrong for wanting payment for babysitting his daughter while his wife was at the cinema with another man.
Here’s the story.
The man’s wife is a big movie buff. She likes scary films, independent movies, and art-house stuff.
He hates these kinds of movies. So when his wife struck up a friendship with the next-door neighbor, Walter, who loves the same movies, the husband was relieved.
His wife now had someone to enjoy the movies with. And that was great news for the guy. It meant his wife wouldn’t drag him to any more screenings of weird foreign films with subtitles or force him to sit through another home movie night. Instead, she could go on cinema trips with Walter while the guy stayed at home and looked after the kids and Walter’s kids.
It was a win-win situation for everyone.
His wife and Walter would watch a movie a few times per month. But as they became closer friends, they started spending more time together and doing other things. They’d meet for coffee, and drinks or have dinner at fancy restaurants.
Again, the guy was cool with this. He doesn’t like fancy cocktail bars or expensive restaurants. He thinks they’re a big waste of money.
So he was happy to take on a few more monthly babysitting shifts. Plus, now that his wife was going out with Walter to eat, she wasn’t harassing him about not taking her to dinner every once in a while.
Another win-win situation.
But as their nights out became more common, the guy started to get a little tired of all the babysitting. Looking after his own kids was fine (obviously), but he was also spending a lot of time caring for (and feeding) the neighbor’s kids.
So he decided to bring this up with his wife and Walter.
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Walter said he was uncomfortable leaving his children with a young babysitter. He felt much safer knowing the kids were being watched over by an experienced father. Still, he acknowledged it was a big commitment and offered to slip the guy a little cash to compensate him for his time and help.
They agreed he would receive a standard babysitting fee (around $20 an hour) whenever his wife and Walter went out.
Sounds fair, doesn’t it?
The guy and Walter thought so. Neither of them had any issues with the new arrangement.
The only person that did was the guy’s wife. In fact, she was furious that her husband would even think of accepting cash from Walter.
“You should not get paid for babysitting our daughter, nor the daughters of a close family friend,” shouted the wife. “It’s not right.”
The pair have been arguing about it ever since, and they’re nowhere near agreeing. The guy thinks he deserves the $20 an hour, but his wife refuses to see that side of the story.
This is what you call a deadlock.
Even Walter agrees with the guy and has tried to convince the wife that paying her husband to babysit the kids is not a big deal.
But she’s not listening at all.
And the way she’s acting has got the guy doubting himself.
It’s reached the point where he’s starting to wonder if he’s in the wrong for wanting to get paid. In other words, he’s asking if he’s the one being a jerk.
What’s your opinion? Is the guy out of order for expecting payment? Or is his wife in the wrong?
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