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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.


1944girl Thu 01-Aug-13 19:12:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EvaBeaversProtege Thu 01-Aug-13 19:10:10

How closely did you look @ the bottle? Are you certain the bottle was full & not just half a bottle?

She may have been exhausted & fell asleep - you say she's been having problems with her children, perhaps she used the time in your house to get a proper relax?

My mil babysits & I usually leave wine for her, I wouldn't be offended if she drank it.

My kids are 9 & 11 and I figure my house could burn down at any time, not only when a sitter is in charge. (more likely to happen with me than with a sitter as they wouldn't be cooking!!)

Branleuse Thu 01-Aug-13 19:08:26

I wouldnt be impressed but no good can come of bringing it up with her. shes not your regular.

cfc Thu 01-Aug-13 19:05:57

There was no harm done this time - but as I ask myself sometimes, "what would the coroner say?"!!

Cold hard facts speak volumes.

I just think passing out fluthered whilst minding someone else's children (or your own, but that's your own business) is wrong. I don't think it's judgey to think that - it's just opinion. I'm not judging her as a human being, I don't place her next to Mugabe on my list of "Bad Peeps" - just in this case, she's made an error in judgement. That's all. We've all been there, to some degree.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 19:02:26

I do get drunk at home, and neither me nor DP drive so that isn't an issue for us.

However, we wouldn't both get passing-out drunk (or I wouldn't if home alone) while DS is here as you need to be at least able to wake up if there is a fire.

KirjavaTheCat Thu 01-Aug-13 18:57:36

My MIL has issues with alcohol. Her house burnt down because she'd drunk so much and forgotten to snuff out candles in her living room. She only woke up when the flames were licking at the sofa and the dog was barking in her face, terrified. She woke up and the whole room was in flames. Her young DD was asleep upstairs, they got out safely but they lost EVERYTHING.

I don't think it's ever a good idea to get drunk when you're the sole responsible adult! Ever. You never know what will happen.

auntmargaret Thu 01-Aug-13 18:53:22

I think you're all being a bit judgy. There was no harm done.

cfc Thu 01-Aug-13 18:49:26

One of us is always able to drive. It's rare I'll drink these days, but if we had a particularly nice bottle of red, I'd have a glass.

Pregnant and nursing for the last 5 years has put paid to my drinking career.

So I agree, it's not right for both parents to be drunk when in sole charge of chlidren. But as always, there are shades of grey. At least 50, or so I've heard...

maddy68 Thu 01-Aug-13 18:45:49

Actually it's only two large glasses of wine. (I do have big glasses) perhaps she drank more than she intended?
I could drink a bottle quite easily without feeling really pissed

lurkerspeaks Thu 01-Aug-13 17:33:29

I don't subscribe to the "no drinking while babysitting" rule for friends doing people a favour.

I wouldn't however drink masses (so 2 glasses max.) while responsible for other peoples' children. I don't think any of my friends would drink more than that but the vast majority of us would have a glass or two. I wouldn't babysit for free for anyone who didn't trust me to regulate my EtOH intake. None of my friends abstain from alcohol when supervising their own children so to expect a friend to do so is a but hypocritical.

If I'm paying a babysitter then my views change radically. I'm buying a service and I want them to deliver it sober!

I think your friend has just unwittingly outed herself as having a big problem with alcohol.

HoikyPoiky Thu 01-Aug-13 17:32:10

Isn't a whole bottle of wine an awful lot to drink in two hours confused. I know some wines are stronger than others but it is a lot of alcohol.

HoikyPoiky Thu 01-Aug-13 17:29:50

Oops x post

HoikyPoiky Thu 01-Aug-13 17:29:25

Obviously YANBU.

I had a teenager turn up drunk and high but I didn't realise it until later. I don't know why I didn't realise at the time but it crossed my mind halfway through our romantic meal out. I guess I had noticed subconsciously. confused. I wasn't too worried as my kids were quite old and almost too old to be babysat.

I am interested by those saying 'what if there was a fire' etc. Does that mean they wouldn't ever get drunk when they are in charge of their own kids? wine wine

It doesn't effect me as I don't drink. <<goody two shoes>>

arethereanyleftatall Thu 01-Aug-13 17:18:26

I was just tginking that caca. Definitely unacceptable for a babysitter, but dh and I are often drunk at weekends, in charge of our, sleeping, children. So, the 'what about a fire't comments still apply. I never thought about it before. Do other people not drink ever at home?

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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)

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.

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