A single father struggles to balance work and childcare responsibilities for his two children, Max and Liza. Facing a difficult situation at work, he turns to his son for help, but things quickly spiral out of control.
An internet user took to the forum and asked, “Am I wrong for interrupting my son’s date so he could pick up his little sister?”
The Original Poster (OP) is a single father in his forties, raising his two children, Max, 17, and Liza, eight.
Usually, OP had Liza enrolled in after-school clubs so that he could pick her up after work. However, one evening, OP was given some urgent work that required him to work overtime.
Despite his efforts to negotiate with his manager, he was informed that the assignment had to be completed by that night. OP worked hard and completed the assignment so he couldn’t pick her up.
What Did OP do?
At 6 pm, OP realized that he could not pick up Liza from her after-school club due to some urgent work. He called his son Max and asked him to pick up Liza. However, Max declined, stating he was on a date with his girlfriend for their 6-months anniversary.
OP explained the situation and requested Max’s help again, promising to make it up to him for interrupting his plans.
In response to OP’s request to pick up Liza, Max became angry and turned off his phone. Despite his frustration, OP assumed Max reluctantly agreed to pick up his little sister.
What Happened Next?
After 30 minutes, OP received a call from Liza’s school informing him that the school was closing and no one had come to pick up Liza.
Concerned, OP realized Max needed to follow through on his request to pick up Liza. Fortunately, one of Liza’s friend’s mothers had offered to drop her off, which resolved the immediate issue.
What Happened Next?
Although the immediate problem of picking up Liza had been resolved, OP was concerned about his daughter’s wellbeing. He harbored concerns about Liza going home with a friend, not because of the friend herself but because of the mother’s behavior.
OP was aware of the mother’s tendency to ask Liza difficult math questions in the car, despite knowing that Liza could not answer them and then criticizing her. OP found this behavior unkind and worried about its impact on his daughter’s self-esteem.
What Did Max Say
OP called Max to inquire why he failed to pick up Liza as requested. OP was angry and told Max he was in trouble when he got home. Max responded rudely, telling his father that he was busy and to leave him alone.
Max arrived home around 9 pm, and OP informed him that he was grounded and would not be allowed to use the car for three weeks. Max became angry and began to argue, blaming OP for failing to pick up Liza and accusing him of being a bad parent who could not afford to collect Liza.
A Little More Information For You
OP had asked Max to pick up Liza on three occasions within the past year and a half. OP couldn’t afford a nanny because money was tight.
The children’s mother was absent from their lives, and OP had not tried to socialize with the parents at Liza’s school due to being busy with work. As a result, OP had only attended the yearly parent meetings and never found time to interact with other parents.
The father wonders if he was too harsh with his son, Max, and if he should have found other solutions to his childcare needs.
What Happened Next
What do you think? Is the father wrong in expecting his son to pick up his younger sister in times of emergency?
You Are Not A Jerk
“OK I’ll take the bullet here. Not a jerk. You’re not failing as a parent. You had to work overtime, not out drinking or whatever. Your son was in the wrong here for not helping, turning the phone off, and calling you out for it.
But you two need to talk this out and discuss expectations. If YOU expect HIM to be part of the contingency plan, there needs to be crystal clear on that…. And what happens to car privy when he doesn’t?”
Good You Grounded Him
“Dad was at work. He didn’t deliberately ruin son’s date. It was an exceptional work-related situation and he needed son to step up as a family member to pick up his sis. It seems dad does his best to let his son be free, by enrolling his daughter in all sorts of activities to keep her busy until he finishes work.
Son could have stepped up this one. Not a jerk, dad, and good thing you grounded your son, for his entitled behavior.”
He Didn’t Even Inform You
“Max lives under your roof and uses YOUR car. I think asking him to pick up his sister in a situation like this is pretty reasonable.
I also don’t think you are too harsh with his punishment. He ignored your request. He didn’t even say he wasn’t going to do it so that you could try to find someone else to. And then the attitude after telling him that he was grounded? I’d add another week.”
More From Mrs Daaku Studio
Relationships can be complicated and you don’t want anyone to take you for granted. Read about this Boyfriend Who Refuses To Buy Food For His Girlfriend For Two Weeks When She Was Laid Off. Says “Don’t Want To Give Money For Nothing