Is This Dad Wrong For Charging His Ex To Babysit Their Daughter? The Internet Says No

Co-parenting after a separation can be challenging and chaotic. It often takes time to sort out what system will work best for everyone involved. Even once families have a system in place, sometimes all it takes is one minor inconvenience to send the whole plan crashing down.

That's what happened to one Reddit user who went to the popular r/AmITheA**hole thread to ask the community whether he was in the wrong for asking his ex-partner to pay him for childcare services. Of course, there's a bit more to the story...

They Have An Existing Custody And Child Support Agreement

Small child holds stuffed whale toy in front of face
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

The post starts by explaining that the man has "a custody and child support agreement" with his ex-partner, for their 5-year-old daughter. The agreement "has been unchanged for the past 3 years," since the couple broke up.

He goes on to say that he has always strictly adhered to the agreement "to the tee."

ADVERTISEMENT

He Always Follows The Agreement, But His Ex Is Less Responsible

ADVERTISEMENT
Man sitting down checks the time on his watch
Photo Credit: Gilles De Muynck / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Gilles De Muynck / Unsplash
ADVERTISEMENT

He says that he's never been late or missed a meeting. He goes on to explain, "I make sure everything else in my life will agree with our agreement because I know that's what's best for [my daughter]."

ADVERTISEMENT

Unfortunately, his ex-partner does not have the same approach. He says that while his ex has never been an overly organized person, her life seems to be "even more disheveled" since he's no longer around to help.

ADVERTISEMENT

When Her Babysitter Fell Through She Called Him To Say He Had To Take Their Daughter

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Man talking on phone with city skyline in back ground
Photo Credit: MarĂ­lia Castelli / Unsplash
Photo Credit: MarĂ­lia Castelli / Unsplash
ADVERTISEMENT

The incident in question happened a couple of weeks prior to him making the post. He writes that his ex called him at 7 am to say he needed to come pick up their daughter because her childcare plans fell through and she had to go to work. The problem was, he also had to work.

ADVERTISEMENT

She told him that her usual babysitter (her mom) was unavailable, and so was her backup sitter (her sister) because of a family emergency in the night. The post continues, "apparently her grandfather fell the night before and had to go to the hospital."

ADVERTISEMENT

This Is Not The First Time This Has Happened

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Parked cars in a street
Photo Credit: Matt Hoffman / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Matt Hoffman / Unsplash
ADVERTISEMENT

He explains that since the woman's mother doesn't drive, the sister always has to be available to provide the mom with rides, which is exactly what happened the night their grandfather ended up in the hospital.

ADVERTISEMENT

He goes on to say that "this is the 3rd time this has happened in the past year. Both of her babysitting options live in the same house," and complications arise when her "backup" sitter is unavailable because she is tied to her "primary" sitter.

ADVERTISEMENT

He Had Already Asked Her To Prepare A More Reliable Childcare Plan

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Couple in disagreement outside
Photo Credit: Keira Burton / Pexels
Photo Credit: Keira Burton / Pexels
ADVERTISEMENT

The man says he's discussed this issue with his ex the last two times it happened, making it clear that she needed to figure out a better backup plan for when her mom is unavailable. The last couple of times he had to watch his daughter unexpectedly he says "wasn't a big deal" because he wasn't working at the time.

ADVERTISEMENT

But this time was different because he was also supposed to be at work.

ADVERTISEMENT

He Had To Risk Taking The Day Off Work So He Could Watch His Daughter

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Man sits on couch with laptop open talking on cellphone
Photo Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels
Photo Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels
ADVERTISEMENT

After double-checking with his ex to make sure there was no other option for childcare that day, he called his boss to ask for the day off.

ADVERTISEMENT

He explained his situation and though his boss said it was okay, he reminded him that he was a new employee and didn't have paid time off, and that "in general it doesn't look good for new employees to call-off last minute." The man said he understood and went to collect his daughter.

ADVERTISEMENT

He Told His Ex That She Owed Him The $100 He Missed From His Day Off Work

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Mans hands outstretched while couple have disagreement
Photo Credit: Keira Burton / Pexels
Photo Credit: Keira Burton / Pexels
ADVERTISEMENT

When his ex came to collect their daughter at the end of the day he told her she owed him the $100 he lost by not going in to work that day. He said that while he understands it was an emergency, it was her own fault for not preparing a proper backup plan.

ADVERTISEMENT

He reasoned that "our agreement says I pay you child support to cover partial childcare costs when Sumara is with you, but then I turn around and provide the childcare." He says not working and still paying the support is impossible.

ADVERTISEMENT

She Freaked Out And Called Her Mom For Backup, But He Didn't Back Down

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Woman's hands hold small smart phone
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
ADVERTISEMENT

Her reaction was not what he was hoping for, he said that his ex "BLEW UP" on him, screaming and swearing at him. She then accused him of trying to capitalize on her family emergency and called her Mom on the phone who also began yelling at him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nonetheless, he says "I stood my ground and collected my $100."

ADVERTISEMENT

He Asks The Online Community If He Is In The Wrong For Trying To Teach Her A Lesson

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Man sits in front of computer looking frustrated, hands on head
Photo Credit: Oladimeji Ajegbile / Pexels
Photo Credit: Oladimeji Ajegbile / Pexels
ADVERTISEMENT

He finishes his post by asking if he's the "as*hole" in the situation, further highlighting that for him it's not about the money, but more about "sending the message that she's not being a responsible parent and she needs to face harsher penalties due to her lack of preparation."

ADVERTISEMENT

Also, just for clarity, he adds "Grandpa is now fine, BTW."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Reddit Community Vote That He Is "NotTheAsshole"

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Comments from original Reddit post, screenshot
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit
ADVERTISEMENT

People online voted that he was "NotTheA-hole" after reading his story and seeing his perspective. A lot of commenters agreed that at first, they were ready to label him the "AH" in the situation, but there's no way he should have to pay for childcare and also provide it.

ADVERTISEMENT

This is certainly a situation where he tried the communication route first and it just didn't work out.