Woman Treats Neighbor Like A Free Babysitter, Blows Up When She Refuses To Help Anymore


When somebody babysits for you, unless they’re a paid professional, they’re doing you a favor. It’s important to remember that! Nobody owes you free childcare, whether they’re your family, friends, or… your kind neighbors. Ignoring personal boundaries reeks of entitlement.

One redditor, u/Surfergirl7681, recently went viral after sharing how she enforced some healthy boundaries with her neighbor, who kept asking her to babysit. It got to the point where it became very intrusive. Read on for the full story and the insights the AITA online community shared with the OP. Bored Panda has reached out to u/Surfergirl7681 for comment via Reddit, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from her.

Some neighbors are unable to understand basic boundaries, so they keep asking for favor after favor

Image credits: simbiothy/ Envato elements (not the actual photo)

One woman shared how she finally called out her neighbor for taking advantage of her kindness when it came to babysitting

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Image credits:  natanavo/Envato elements (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Surfergirl7681

The neighbor could have solved her problem in a lot of different ways

Image credits: Polina Zimmerman/Pexels (not the actual photo)

In an ideal world, all neighbors would have the time, energy, and willingness to help each other out with every little thing. Whether that’s babysitting, cleaning out the gutters, moving in/out, or helping cook awesome things on the grill.

But we do not live in an ideal world. People are incredibly busy with their own lives. There are full-time jobs to focus on, homes to tidy up, kids to feed, homework to help with, hobbies to pursue, an active social life to maintain, and… the list goes on and on.

Despite this, many of us try our best to be kind and generous whenever we can. At the same time, there have to be limits to our altruism. If we’re already stretched thin as it is, it’s much better to say ‘no’ than to agree to something you’ll resent your neighbors for.

Babysitting in emergencies is fine. However, babysitting whenever your neighbor feels like wanting some peace and quiet is a bit of a gray area. If you genuinely have the time to spare and don’t mind their kids running wild at your house, then go for it. But if it’s an actual hassle, it’s best to be honest with yourself and your neighbor about it.

Just like there’s an issue with not being kind enough, so there’s a potential problem with putting other people’s needs ahead of one’s own. If you’re constantly exhausting yourself doing favors for others, you’re putting your goals last and may need to reevaluate your priorities.

While some folks are perceptive enough to notice this and know when to stop asking for help, others might try to take advantage of your kind spirit. The latter may need some friendly (then firm) reminders that you’re not at their beck and call.

If the neighbor needs to focus on her work while her kids are being too noisy, then she needs to find a proper solution to the issue. The obvious solution to the entire problem is for redditor u/Surfergirl7681’s neighbor to start hiring a professional sitter to ensure some peace and quiet at home.

Alternatively, the neighbor could hire a sitter and also look for some quiet space to work from that’s outside her home. Soundproofing a home office also works. As would talking to her kids about why it’s so important that they keep the noise down.

There’s also the possibility to send her kids to some sort of fun camp during the holidays or find them an extracurricular activity that’d keep them busy. These ideas might cost a bit of money, but it’s a safer bet than constantly asking your neighbors for favors they don’t want to do.

These days, many people spend very little time interacting with their neighbors

Image credits: Daniel Frank/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Meanwhile, when it comes to enforcing some basic boundaries with your neighbors, it’s usually best to start things off as friendly and politely as possible. Try to explain to them why what they’re doing doesn’t work for you and how it affects your day-to-day life. This works equally for refusing babysitting ‘duties’ or telling them to knock it off with the late-night partying.

In most cases, your neighbors will get the hint. However, some folks are a tad too entitled: they can’t stand someone saying ‘no’ to them. You may need to spell it out to them in a not-so-subtle way.

Though, if you feel that the conversation is going nowhere, it’s perfectly all right to tell them ‘no,’ wish them a great day, and get on with your life.

There’s no surefire way to get along with your neighbors, but spending more time with them can help you get to grips with who they are as people. For instance, you can try to go to more neighborhood parties, charity drives, or neighborhood meetings. Or you could even invite your neighbors over for dinner sometime.

After that, you can decide whether you want these people as friends or if you’re fine with them being cordial people who simply happen to live near you.

The fact of the matter is that most people don’t even know who their neighbors are. Pew Research Center found that 57% of Americans know only some of their neighbors while just more than a quarter (26%) know most of them.

Younger people are more likely to have fewer interactions with their neighbors. Meanwhile, married and older folks tend to be far more involved in neighborly life.

According to the Pew study, 14% of respondents who know some of their neighbors said that they meet their neighbors once a month or more often for get-togethers. 28% revealed that they attend these social events less than once a month. Meanwhile, a whopping 58% said that they never meet their neighbors for get-togethers.

The woman shared a lot more context while responding to some of the comments

Most readers were on the author’s side. Here’s their take on the conflict


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