My SIL Demanded That I Babysit Her Kids for Free Because I Work as a Nanny – I Gave Her a Reality Check

Barbra, a dedicated nanny, finally reached her breaking point when her sister-in-law, Karen, continuously belittled her profession and took advantage of her kindness. In a bold move to make Karen understand the value of her work, Barbra orchestrated a lesson neither of them would soon forget.

I’ve always had a passion for childcare. From a young age, I knew I wanted to work with children, helping them grow and learn. So, it was no surprise to anyone when I became a professional nanny. I take pride in my job, and the families I work with appreciate my dedication.

Dark-haired woman with a kid | Source: Pexels

Dark-haired woman with a kid | Source: Pexels

My sister-in-law, Karen, knew about my career choice from the beginning. Karen and I had a cordial relationship, though we were never particularly close. She had two adorable kids, Lily and Jack, who I love.

However, Karen’s demanding nature often rubbed me the wrong way. She had a knack for assuming people should go out of their way to help her, without consideration for their circumstances.

Little girl on her mother's lap | Source: Pexels

Little girl on her mother’s lap | Source: Pexels

It all started innocently enough. Karen would occasionally ask if I could watch Lily and Jack for an hour or two. I didn’t mind helping out here and there, especially when it was for family. But soon, her requests became more frequent and more demanding.

“Hey, Barbra, can you watch the kids tomorrow from 9 to 5? I have a spa day planned,” she asked one evening.

“Karen, that’s a full workday for me. I have other commitments,” I replied.

Woman talks on her phone outdoors | Source: Pexels

Woman talks on her phone outdoors | Source: Pexels

“Oh, come on! You’re a nanny. It’s not like you’re doing anything different,” she retorted, brushing off my concerns.

It stung. My job was being trivialized, and Karen seemed to think that just because I was a nanny, my time wasn’t valuable. She never offered to pay, nor did she acknowledge the inconvenience she was causing.

The final straw came when Karen called me one Friday evening.

Woman dials a number in her living room | Source: Pexels

Woman dials a number in her living room | Source: Pexels

“Hey, I need you to watch the kids tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mike and I are going to a friend’s wedding,” she said, her tone leaving no room for negotiation.

“I’m sorry, Karen, but I already have plans. I can’t cancel on my clients,” I responded, trying to keep my frustration in check.

“You’re always with kids anyway. Why can’t you just take Lily and Jack with you?” she snapped.

Woman receives a call while working | Source: Pexels

Woman receives a call while working | Source: Pexels

“Karen, this is my job. I can’t just bring other children along without the parents’ consent,” I explained, exasperated.

“You know what? Forget it! I thought family was supposed to help each other. Clearly, I was wrong,” she huffed and hung up.

The next morning, my phone buzzed with a text message from Karen: “I’m dropping the kids off at 8. We really need you. Thanks.

Woman receives a text | Source: Pexels

Woman receives a text | Source: Pexels

I sighed, knowing I had to stand my ground. I dialed her number and waited for her to pick up.

“Hello?” Karen answered, sounding rushed.

“Karen, I saw your message, but I already told you I have plans. I can’t watch Lily and Jack today,” I said firmly.

“Barbra, please! We don’t have anyone else. Just this once,” she pleaded.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t. I have commitments to my clients. They depend on me too,” I replied, trying to stay calm.

“Fine. I guess I’ll just cancel everything then. Thanks for nothing,” she snapped and hung up.

Woman talks on her phone taking notes | Source: Pexels

Woman talks on her phone taking notes | Source: Pexels

I felt a mix of anger and sadness. It wasn’t fair that Karen expected me to drop everything for her, especially without any appreciation or respect for my time and profession.

I knew I had to do something to make Karen understand how unreasonable her demands were. That Saturday, while I was at home, an idea struck me.

Karen, being a professional cook, often hosted elaborate dinner parties. I decided to turn her logic back on her. I called my brother to confirm that Karen was hosting a dinner party that evening. Perfect timing.

Woman driving | Source: Pexels

Woman driving | Source: Pexels

I drove over to Karen’s house around 4 p.m. I knew she wouldn’t be home, as she mentioned earlier that she had errands to run before the party.

Using the spare key they had given me in case of emergencies, I let myself in. The kitchen was filled with delicious dishes she had spent the day preparing.

I started packing the food into containers I had brought with me. I took everything I could: appetizers, main courses, desserts. Once I was done, I left a note on the counter: “Since you’re a cook, I figured you wouldn’t mind giving away some of your food for free. After all, it’s just what you do, right?

Barbra packed all food into containers | Source: Midjourney

Barbra packed all food into containers | Source: Midjourney

I drove home, unpacked the food, and settled in to wait. It wasn’t long before my phone rang. It was Karen, her voice panicked and angry.

“What is going on? All the food I prepared is gone! Did you take it?” she shouted.

“Yes, Karen, I did,” I replied calmly.

“Why would you do that? I have guests coming over in an hour!” she yelled.

“Well, since you’re a cook, I figured you wouldn’t mind giving away some of your food for free. After all, it’s just what you do, right?” I said, repeating the line from my note.

Angry blonde woman | Source: Pexels

Angry blonde woman | Source: Pexels

There was a stunned silence on the other end of the line.

Finally, she spoke, her voice quieter. “I can’t believe you did this, Barbra. I’ve been cooking all day.”

“And I can’t believe you keep asking me to drop everything for you. I have a job, too,” I said, trying to stay calm.

“You know I’m a cook. It’s not the same as what you do,” she snapped back.

“Maybe not, but my time is valuable. Just because I’m a nanny doesn’t mean my work isn’t important,” I said firmly.

Unhappy woman | Source: Pexels

Unhappy woman | Source: Pexels

She sighed. “I get it, okay? I get it now. But what am I supposed to do about tonight?”

“You can call for takeout or ask your guests to bring a dish. Just like I have to rearrange things when you ask me to watch Lily and Jack last minute,” I suggested.

“Fine. You made your point. I’ll figure it out,” she grumbled before hanging up.

From that day forward, Karen never made unreasonable demands of me.

Happy Barbra | Source: Midjourney

Happy Barbra | Source: Midjourney

I don’t think she began to appreciate the value of my work, but since then, she always offered to pay whenever she needed help with Lily and Jack. It was a hard lesson, but one that finally taught her respect for others’ work.

And as for me, I gained a newfound confidence in standing up for myself and the profession I loved.

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