Dad Wants to Know If He’s the Jerk For Demanding $100 From Ex to Watch Kids on Her Custody Day

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Childcare is essential for working parents. When both mom and dad are working outside the home, someone has to watch the kids. Sometimes it might be a family member. Sometimes it might be an after school childcare program. Other times a babysitter might be necessary.

Childcare is even more essential for single parents. When mom and dad split up and share custody, whoever has custody that day has to arrange for childcare in order to go to work. The question becomes, what happens when childcare falls through? Is it overstepping to ask your ex to help? That’s what one dad wants to know.

One dad shared with Reddit that he shares custody of his daughter with his ex-wife. He also pays his ex child support. He emphasized, “I adhere to the agreement to the tee. I make sure everything else in my life will agree with our agreement because I know thats whats best for Sumara [his daughter]. My ex…I can’t say the same. She’s never been a very organized person and after our breakup it seems to me like her life has been even more disheveled since I’m no longer around to bear that load.”

Recently, this dad was getting ready for work when his ex-wife called to tell him that she needed him to watch Sumara on a day that was not one of his custody days. Why? Her childcare fell through. Her primary childcare is her mother, and her backup childcare is her sister. Her mom and sister live together, and since her mom doesn’t drive, if the sister isn’t available basically there’s no childcare available.

The dad ended up agreeing to watch his daughter for the day, but that meant he had to call in at the last minute and ask for the day off work. He wrote, “I called my boss and explained the situation and he said it was cool, but he reminded me that I’m a new employee so I didn’t have any paid time off, and that in general it doesn’t look good for new employees to call-off last minute. I said I understand, and picked up my daughter.”

When his ex-wife came to pick up his daughter, he informed her that she owed him $100 for babysitting. He explained that he lost money since he didn’t go to work that day, and it’s impossible to pay her for childcare and also not be able to work because he is the childcare. He explained, “I can’t both not work and still pay…its literally impossible.”

The ex-wife was furious. Dad wrote, “She started screaming and said she’s not going to pay me to watch my own daughter.” This dad didn’t back down, and he ended up getting the $100. Now, he wants to know if he was being a jerk for requiring his ex-wife to pay him to watch his daughter on a day that was not his custody day.

Reddit users are siding with the dad agreeing that he can’t pay child support and be prevented from working because he’s babysitting. Many people pointed out that the ex-wife should’ve been the one to miss work that day. One comment reads, “Next time just tell her no. She will have to be the one to miss work. If the situation was reversed I can promise you she would not have handled as well as you did, putting your child first. Plus you have a new job.”

Another Reddit user wrote, “If she can’t handle the responsibility of equal custody, she shouldn’t have equal custody. Also, she can use the child support to hire a baby sitter, or she can take a day off like you would when it’s your day to watch her and you can’t find a sitter. But instead, she chose to be a irresponsible parent and force somebody else who care more about the child than than her to pick up the slack.”

Do you think the dad was being a jerk for requiring his ex to pay him for babysitting? Do you think the ex should’ve been the one to skip work? Have you ever had childcare fall through?