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“You’re Gonna Lose Her”: Dad Expects To Be Paid For Babysitting Daughter While His Wife Hangs Out With Neighbor, The Internet Gives Him A Reality Check
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“You’re Gonna Lose Her”: Dad Expects To Be Paid For Babysitting Daughter While His Wife Hangs Out With Neighbor, The Internet Gives Him A Reality Check

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As someone who has worked as a babysitter countless times, I can say that taking care of kids is certainly a job. Keeping them fed, entertained, happy, active and off-screens can be exhausting, and I wouldn’t do it without getting some form of compensation. But what about when they’re your own kids? You signed up to have them, so you probably shouldn’t get paid just for watching them, right? 

Well, according to one father on Reddit, “babysitting” should be a paid gig, even if the girl’s father is doing it. Below, you’ll find a story that was recently shared on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit where a father received a harsh reality check after trying to receive payment for, well, being a father. Keep reading to also find some of the responses frustrated readers left him, as well as a conversation we were lucky enough to have with marriage therapist Dr. Lee Baucom, then you can decide for yourself whether or not you’d write this babysitting dad a check.

Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring babysitting drama, check out this story next! 

This father shared that he’s tired of staying home “babysitting” while his wife hangs out with their neighbor

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

But instead of making the effort to join them, he is requesting compensation for watching their kids

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Image credits: DC_Studio (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: AliveLeg61

We reached out to marriage therapist Dr. Lee Baucom to gain some insight on this topic, and he was kind enough to have a conversation with Bored Panda. First, we asked Dr. Baucom if it is healthy for partners to find friends outside of their relationship to enjoy their interests with, or if they should make the effort to take part in what their partner cares about. “It can be healthy for partners to have friends who share interests. But there is certainly a balance to this,” Dr. Baucom says. “Sharing an interest is different than sharing levels of intimacy outside of the interest. When that happens, it pulls from energy that should be invested in the relationship. And while most couples are not going to share all the same interests, I think it is good to try and stretch toward each other’s interests. If it is not possible, then being supportive is important.”

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“In this case, the OP is supportive of the spouse’s interests, for sure,” he continued. “I don’t see any stretching, though, to be involved in those interests. So maybe he doesn’t like horror movies. But I think he could stretch toward enjoying the restaurants. And my guess is that there are likely some movies in this genre that he could at least tolerate, if not enjoy.”

We also asked Dr. Baucom if it’s healthy for one partner to be going out all the time while the other is at home with their children. “The bigger issue for couples, in terms of health, is whether they are making time for themselves as a couple,” Dr. Baucom explains. “If one is constantly out with others, and one is constantly taking care of the kids, or if both simply alternate who is taking care of the kids, they are not likely caring for their relationship. When this becomes a habit, it creates the habit of disconnection.”

But it’s still possible for couples to get on the same page, even if they don’t share the exact same interests. Dr. Baucom told Bored Panda, “Having varying interests is pretty normal. For example, I love the water. My wife does not enjoy sports in the water, but is happy to support me in doing them. I can’t expect her to suddenly love the water, nor would she expect me to come to dislike the water.”

“But we have also found other activities that we both enjoy together,” he noted. “Given the many possible activities and interests there are in the world, it is certainly possible — and I would recommend — to find some joint activities. Healthy couples find a balance between individual and joint interests. Either extreme — only individual or only joint interests — is not the path to health, either as a couple or as individuals. Support each others’ interests and have joint interests. That brings energy into the relationship and keeps energy there.”

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It’s also important to remember that give and take are both parts of being in a relationship. “A partnership is always about compromise and support,” Dr. Baucom says. “There is only so much resource in any family, time and money being at the top of the list. If one person’s interests come to dominate the resources, resentment will build. Where resentment builds, connection suffers. It isn’t fair for either person to have to give up interests. And when we are talking about fairness, it always calls for compromise. If both can work from places of respect and connection, the compromise can be found without feeling like you lost.”

But when it comes to this particular situation on Reddit, Dr. Baucom notes that there may be an even deeper issue. “The OP has abdicated connection with his spouse to a neighbor. Whether it is from prior disconnection or not, the future path is toward further disintegration,” he explained. “It really has little to do with getting paid or not for the babysitting. It has to do with the boundaries in the marriage, nurturing of their own relationship, and allowing intimacy to grow outside of the marriage. Given the post, I have no idea if there is something more to the relationship of the spouse and the neighbor, but that is where the path leads. And the OP is fostering it, consciously or not.”

If you’d like to hear more wise words from Dr. Lee Baucom or get advice about your own relationship, be sure to check out his website Save The Marriage right here and his podcast of the same name right here.

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Although this story has many readers speculating that more might be going on between the wife and their neighbor, the point is that this dad doesn’t seem very involved in his daughter’s or his wife’s life. We would love to hear your thoughts down below, and then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring babysitting drama, look no further than right here

Readers gave the father a harsh reality check, noting that dads don’t get paid just for parenting and that it might be wise to care more about his wife’s interests

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ac_txva avatar
Tiger Pearl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m sure his wife and Walter are probably just friends. I fully believe men and women can be just friends. However, if his wife were to leave him for Walter (or heck just leave him), I’d say it’s his own damn fault. As a woman I would hate it it if my husband would be okay with me spending so much time with another man, all because he’s happy someone else is putting in the effort of date nights. Sheesh!

sean-mccrimmon avatar
Zephyr343
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently I can send "anonymous potatoes" to people. Thank you random ads, I will use this information wisely.

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ac_txva avatar
Tiger Pearl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m sure his wife and Walter are probably just friends. I fully believe men and women can be just friends. However, if his wife were to leave him for Walter (or heck just leave him), I’d say it’s his own damn fault. As a woman I would hate it it if my husband would be okay with me spending so much time with another man, all because he’s happy someone else is putting in the effort of date nights. Sheesh!

sean-mccrimmon avatar
Zephyr343
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently I can send "anonymous potatoes" to people. Thank you random ads, I will use this information wisely.

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