Babysitter Who Refused to Give Baby Back to Mother Was Just Doing Her Job

OMG 128

carseatShould a child care worker ever hand over a baby to a drunk parent? A New Year's Eve fight broke out over that question when a "highly intoxicated" mother attempted to pick up her 2-month-old baby from a babysitter. She attacked two other people and was later arrested.

This was not just an argument, either. The mother hit one of the victims several times in the face, arms, and chest, and the second victim in the face. I don't know where the baby was during this fight, but I just hope he or she was a safe distance from this altercation and not in one of the victims' arms. I guess I'd have to hear more about the story to really say ... but maybe it was a good call not to let the baby go home with the mother?

I can imagine the mama-bear rage that would be unleashed if a sitter refused to hand over a baby. I'm sure the mother was outraged (and maybe a little embarrassed) to be told she was too drunk to take her baby. And then of course there's that lingering threat hanging over that accusation -- if you're too drunk to take your baby home, maybe you're a lousy mother. Maybe you're a total screw-up in life.

I don't know if the mother was driving, either. I would feel less nervous about sending a baby home with a drunk mother if I knew she at least had a safe way to get home. (I would still feel uneasy, though.) But if I knew she was getting behind the wheel of a car with that baby? No way. Better to suffer the mom's wrath than to let an accident happen.

People in that state can become irrational -- and dangerous. But what if the mother wasn't really that drunk? What if it was just a bad judgement call? I don't know that I'm completely comfortable with the idea of a sitter being in the position to make that call. I've come home to a sitter after parties or dinners where I did have something to drink. I don't like getting drunk in the first place, so I've never been in that position. But I think I'd get kind of defensive if I came home a little "happy" and was then accused of being unfit to stay with my baby. 

I guess when in doubt, the sitters should call the police. But what are you supposed to do while you wait for them to arrive? For all I know, that's what these two people did, and the fight broke out while they were waiting for the police to arrive and make the call. Still, you could look at it this way: These two people may have saved a baby's life.

Do you think a babysitter should refuse to hand over a child to their parent if they suspect the parent is drunk?


Image via Deborah Austin/Flickr

childcare, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

anali... analivrose2012

also if she had to care for that baby (maybe she just had a ride home and the person was leaving) i would worry the baby could have been neglected had mom passed out at home


nonmember avatar Teresa Shere

She was right!! One new year's eve we decided to babysit for several friends, relatives. We told the parents ahead f time we felt better not having the pick up the kids after drinking and then driving home with them. We offered an overnight stay for 20.00/$30 for more than one child. This included them topping their own mini pizzas on English muffin halves, popcorn, movies, and slumber party. We had our own New Years Eve celebration with horns and all. Then doughnuts for breakfast. The parents had to pick them up by 10am or be charged $1 an hour extra until they did. Parents and children were thrilled and they all went home safe before 10am

Jalestra Jalestra

I don't know why that wasn't covered to start with. I don't go out and just get drunk, but on one occasion or another I have had dinner with friends and not realized I'd had several glasses of wine too many. I figured out that even if I'm  going to moderate my alcohol closely all evening it's best to have a secondary plan. Used to I would just arrange for it to be an overnight job as it is. Even if I don't drink I can stay out and have fun if I like. These days I just insist all sitting be at our home. I prepare dinner that only has to be warmed, they have THEIR toys and THEIR beds, and they get to enjoy being "hosts". They don't get woken up in the middle of their sleep and I can indulge mommy hovering without disturbing them. 

Margaret Powell Walton

I really think the babysitter did the right thing. If Mom started to get angry over the fact baby was not going home with her, I would offer to keep baby and mom there till Mom sobered up a bit. If Mom would not go for that, then I would call the police. I would not want to be responsible if the Mom had a bad accident and there was bad injuries or death.

Mike Alan

I want my baby back, baby back, baby baby ribs. I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs

Mike Alan

If I wasnt allowed to be with my baby while drunk, Id never see my kid

MomLi... MomLily67

Even if mom wasn't  driving, the sitter did the right thing.

Honie James

i think if you trust someone enough to babysit your TWO MONTH old baby while you get drunk, than you should already know that they would only have that baby's best interests at heart. i know that i have never left my kids, especially that young, with anyone that i did not trust with their lives! the sitter did the right thing by far!

Erin Williams

It depends. If she was with someone sober who was a designated driver and helping out then I think it would be okay. Sounds like she was alone though so in that case if she was obviously drunk, I'd try to sober her up first. If the mother is sober enough she should have called the cops instead of starting to hit people.

Cathy Bavaro

i completely agree with what the sitter did if the mom was that big of a piece of trash then yes she should hold the baby for their safety and deal with the consequences in the am . shame on that mom

21-30 of 128 comments First 12345 Last