To expect a babysitter not to be drunk when we get home...

(64 Posts)
Sticklebug Wed 31-Jul-13 20:21:00

Ok, I have delayed all day posting this as I may be being unreasonable.

We have a usual babysitter (aged 17) who babysits for us on a regular basis, but she is on holiday this week. I asked a good friend with children the same age as ours to babysit last nigh so we could go out on DH's birthday. Her DH birthday is tomorrow, so I am reciprocating by babysitting for them.

So... said friend turns up last night with a large bag - first to come out is a pari of slippers - good idea, our house is really cold. Second to come out is a bottle of red wine...ok, fine to have a glass of wine on a Tuesday night. Cue me showing where wine glasses stored and joking about needing a glass mid week on occasion.

We went out and had a lovely evening, really good food, some wine.

We got home and friend was asleep on the sofa - fine, it was 10.30 and late for me! She was really hard to rouse though and then we noticed the empty wine bottle...she had drink an entire bottle of wine in just over 2 hours...whilst in charge of someone elses children!

She shuffled to her feet and left in a hurry (lives 3 doors up so no driving), leaving us a bit unsure of how we fell about this.

AIBU?

everlong Thu 01-Aug-13 04:46:25

9 and 11?

So not babies. A full bottle is a lot but she probably got bored? I don't know.

EmmaBemma Thu 01-Aug-13 05:50:51

I wouldn't be happy either and I wouldn't ask her to babysit again. But if she regularly gets through a bottle of wine on her own a night, I doubt she was that drunk. Long before children I went through a stage of drinking that much in the evenings (I was miserable with work stress) and although obviously I wouldn't have driven a car, I was far from incapable.

Sticklebug Thu 01-Aug-13 06:39:00

Ok, am definitely going to have a quiet word tonight. I know that my friend is having some challenges with her DD's (also 11 and 9) at the moment, so maybe it is getting on top of her.

Also, I know she babysits for others locally in a babysitter circle and this may be even more of a problem if it happens at someone elses house.

Catsize Thu 01-Aug-13 07:28:18

I would be annoyed. Good job there wasn't a fire or accident.

MrsOakenshield Thu 01-Aug-13 07:39:56

don't ask her to babysit again.
What happens when she babysits other people's children is none of your business, those parents can deal with it.
Ask her as a friend if everything is OK.

FWIW I always provide wine (and chocolates) for friends who babysit, but they've never drunk it all or passed out.

greeneyed Thu 01-Aug-13 07:48:51

I'd say tonight is not the time to raise it on her way out. Could be hard for her to hear. Can you pop around another time to discuss?

WilsonFrickett Thu 01-Aug-13 10:45:24

Oof, no, don't bring it up as she's on her way out - presumably to drink. You won't be heard if there's a real problem, and she'll probably be terribly upset if there isn't a problem.

And what happens at other peoples' houses isn't your business. Presumably if she was comatose drunk in someone else's house they wouldn't have her over either?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 01-Aug-13 12:15:53

totally out of order as she was in charge of your children regardless of a friend or not

i bs a lot and do night work (night nanny) and most of my famillies offer me a glass of wine and i always refuse as im working and looking after 2/3/4week old babies

saying that if i bs for one of my reg famillies i may have a glass of wine (they offer) but its one with lemonade as 1) im working and need to be alert 2) im driving

maybe have a gentle chat with her when just the two of you, ie not when you are meant to be bs for her

and never let her bs your children again

OrangeLily Thu 01-Aug-13 12:33:56

That is so much for one evening! Maybe she did it by accident? Like had one and just kept going? I seriously doubt that though. She wouldn't have been able to act in an emergency.

I think I drink a bit because I normally drink at least one night during the week but was out with a family member for dinner last week mid-week. DH was driving so was sober. Family member then ordered a bottle of wine, when I explained I didn't drink red they said it wasn't for me! I had one drink and they polished off the entire bottle over two courses!

Dahlen Thu 01-Aug-13 12:34:01

If she's a habitual drinker, one bottle of wine is probably her equivalent of you having two glasses. She'll be damaging her health drinking like that regularly, but it wouldn't have necessarily meant she was incapacitated. If she was hard to rouse, I'd be looking for a further explanation.

You say it is out of character. In what way? If you say she's a regular drinker presumably you mean it's out of character for her to turn up and babysit while drinking that much? If that's the case, I'd say you weren't happy about it but use that as a platform to ask her if everything is ok.

Dahlen Thu 01-Aug-13 12:34:52

But unless she can promise not to drink while babysitting and you believe her, I wouldn't use her again.

shotofexpresso Thu 01-Aug-13 12:41:46

A full bottle and hard to wake up?

not good at all, be thankful your kids are older that's all I can think.

musicismylife Thu 01-Aug-13 12:43:57

Hi OP,

I agree with Dahlen. I think if it is out of character for her to drink a whole bottle, then it sounds as if something could have happened to make her want that drink. I'm only plalying devil's advocate but like Dahlen said, I would ask her if everything is ok.

Good luck and no harm done (this time).

Remember, no one is perfect and she is only young. That said, she was looking after your children because you feel that she is responsible enough to enable to do this.

God no yanbu. What if there was a fire?

When you drink yourself unconscious, it's usually a sign you went too far, to say the least. And actually it's pretty scary trying to wake someone who's drunk. When they don't rouse it's a horrible feeling. Ugh.

To do that whilst caring for someone else's children is fucking unforgivable. I wonder if she regularly does it at home.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 01-Aug-13 12:47:24

I wouldnt have her to babysit again either, there is no way i would drink whilst looking after somebody elses children. Surely people can forgo alcohol for a few hours.

Whilst i drink little, neither of us would drink together whilst looking after DS either. Whilst he might not wake, he could get ill or there could be a fire etc and you need your wits about you.

musicismylife Thu 01-Aug-13 12:47:58

Ignore my last post, OP, I thought you were saying that the babysitter was 17 blush

That said, if she is your friend, you NEED to be there for her but also make it clear that she cannot behave so irresponsibly around your children.

Good luck (again)

lottieandmia Thu 01-Aug-13 12:49:23

shock no, YANBU at all. I would not ask her to babysit again.

Grumpywino Thu 01-Aug-13 13:13:49

It is a criminal offence to be drunk while responsible for children. Clarify this with her, as the police and social services do take this very seriously.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:20:39

It's only an offence to be drunk in charge of a child in public isn't it? There's no law against drinking at home.

TartyMcTart Thu 01-Aug-13 13:20:46

OH and I will sometimes get through a couple of bottles of wine (one each) on a midweek night. The kids are in bed so yes, you cold say that we are drunk in charge of our children. However I would never babysit someone else’s kids and get through that much wine.

My friends always have wine in the fridge and offer me a glass but a) I’m nearly always driving and b) on your own when babysitting isn’t for me, the best time to have a drink. More like a cuppa and a biscuit!

FoFeeFiMum Thu 01-Aug-13 14:39:33

YA most definately NBU

DH and I left MIL babysitting recently. When we got back she had not only finished the half bottle of wine in the fridge, but had also helped herself to and drunk a whole second bottle - whilst responsible for our 2 & 4 year old.

I was livid!

She is known for liking a drink but I had assumed she would limit her intake whilst responsible for two pre-schoolers. Clearly I was naive! Needless to say she will not be asked to help out again.

cfc Thu 01-Aug-13 16:57:38

Exactly the same thing happened with my sister, except my little one had woken and we could hear him screaming from outside - she was out cold, having locked the door from the inside and left the key in the lock...so we couldn't get in.

Turns out she was a (barely) functioning alcoholic. She's in rehab now. This happened 4 years ago.

What she did is so out of order. She knows it, just as my sister did. She schlepped off as soon as she could the next morning.

pigletmania Thu 01-Aug-13 17:03:20

Yanbu at all, I would not bring it up nor would I ask her again!

aldiwhore Thu 01-Aug-13 17:05:44

I don't drink a lot, but can easily polish of a bottle of wine without feeling drunk, but I would never EVER do it whilst in charge of someone else's children!

I think the fact that she's done it whilst in charge of someone's else's children is more of a red flag that she has an issue with alcohol than simply drinking a whole bottle of wine on a Tuesday. (I say this purely because we don't have strict 'weekends', for example our "Saturday night" this week will probably be on Tuesday!

YANBU to feel very angry.

My friend suggested her DD to me as a 'number 2' babysitter, I politely declined when my friends said "Oh she's brilliant, just give her the remote control, a corkscrew and an ashtray and she'll be fine" - erm, no. (I drink and smoke) Just no.

cacamilis Thu 01-Aug-13 17:09:32

Yanbu, it sounds like she has a problem.

Just wondering though if people think its not right the babysitter drinking what about when mum and dad both have a few drinks, be it at home or on a night out? Surely if its not ok for the babysitter it's not ok for the parents either?

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