Taking care of someone else's children can be tricky, especially if they misbehave. One mother has found herself in the unusual position of being told off by her kid's babysitter, who is annoyed she hasn't enforced a punishment she implemented when she was looking after them.
Posting to Reddit, the woman clarified the babysitter is her aunty, and she usually babysits a couple of times a week.
"About two weeks ago, I'm running errands across town and I get a message and picture of my very favourite ceramic mug I use absolutely every morning, shattered to pieces," she explained. "My aunt said the kids were careless and broke it, and apologised since she knew what it meant to me.
"The mug was special to me and I was sad to see it broken but I'm not mad at my kids," she continued, saying she makes an effort not to get angry at her kids for breaking dishes because it was something she'd get "screamed at" for doing when she was younger.
"I hopped on Etsy on my phone right then and there in the parking lot and ordered two more mugs from the same shop, so I have a back up one, just in case and moved on," she said.
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Although she wasn't mad about the situation, when the woman got home she discovered her Aunt had grounded her kids for breaking the mug.
"I didn't realise she meant for the week at the time and just said "ok" and she left," she wrote. "I told the kids after she left that they should have been more careful, they apologised, and I felt it was implied they weren't grounded anymore."
A couple of days later, the woman posted a photo to Facebook of her kids with one of them playing with a video game in the background, and her Aunt was quick to reply questioning why they she was allowing them to do so.
"She sent back a message that they were grounded, why was I letting them have screen time?" she wrote. "I told her I thought she just punished them while they were under her care, I didn't think it was an appropriate punishment, so we changed it.
"Then I told her I already had another mug on the way, it really wasn't that big of a deal."
Unfortunately it was a big deal to her.
"She was very upset with me and said I can't just replace everything they destroy, they need to learn a lesson and that if I "keep" undermining her, she'll have no bite or way to discipline my kids when she cares them," the woman said. "They'll know they can just come to me to undo her punishments.
"I apologised, she accepted but something about this doesn't set right with me. AITA for undoing her punishment?"
Redditers agreed that trying to enforce a punishment when the parent of the kids doesn't want to is definitely overstepping.
"I think it's customary for a babysitter to pass on information to the parents and let them handle discipline," one person wrote. "It's odd to me that your aunt would feel entitled to set the rules in your house."
"No way should a babysitter be grounding kids, without directly being told they can by the parents," agreed another. "That's a huge overstep, right there."