This is why we can't have nice things.
A mother with five kids opened her door to her neighbors with rambunctious rug rats who took advantage of her hospitality.
The kicker is, Redditor "Jumpy-Progress" has never met the parents of the wild and woolly kids.
After lots of running around, asking for snacks and leaving a mess, the Original Poster (OP) decided to limit the house visitation to just one of the neighbor's own five kids.
Then she asked Reddit AITA (Am I the A**hole).
"A family moved into the house next to us, and they have a daughter who is one year older than my oldest. They also have two littler girls, and a toddler."
"I have 5 kids, the youngest of which are 1yo twins. The oldest had come over a few times to play with my oldest, and I was fine with that."
The visits became more frequent and the neighbors had no problem making themselves feel right at home.
"Then a few times they all came over and played in the yard with my kids, which I was fine with, bit then they started coming over almost every day, staying for hours, running in and out of the house, and the youngest was always in my kitchen asking for snacks."
The next piece of information is baffling.
"I have never met their parents, don't have their phone number, and was never asked if it was okay for all of them to come over."
"The younger two pretty much just argue with my kids when they come over, so I have to watch them constantly, and they never clean up after themselves so they leave toys all over."
It was time for the OP to negotiate with her oldest daughter.
"Yesterday I was trying to get my kids to help get the house clean, but they were running all over the place being wild, so I told my daughter to tell her friend that she can come over to play, but she needs to leave her sisters at home."
The mother of the kids the OP has never met had fighting words.
"Today apparently the mother told her kids that none of them are allowed to play with my kids because I don't want to fulfill my responsibilities."
"Since when is it my responsibility to watch your kids for hours every afternoon and feed them for free? When I didn't even invite them over!"
Many of the comments sided with the OP as NTA (Not the A**hole) for providing a free baby-sitting environment in the first place.
"NTA. Her reaction...for real?"
"She's pissed her free babysitter isn't cool with a literal house full of children running around, making a mess anymore. Not your responsibility to feed someone else's kid each day either." – pennywhistlesmoonpie
"Send all of your kids to her house and watch how fast she changes her tune." rileysauntie
"Yeah I'll have a nap while you watch & feed my kids even though I wouldn't know you from a hole in the ground. Talk about freeloading. NTA- at all." – 20MLSE20
"NTA. The neighbor sounds like an entitled parent. Her kids are not entitled to your time or snacks." – EfficientHedgehog
This says a lot about the neighbor's parenting skills, or lack thereof.
"Not to mention OP never having met the parents."
"It's not responsible parenting to let your kids go for hours on end at a stranger's house even if they are only next door." – leftclicksq2
The chaotic situation sounded all too familiar for this parent.
"This sounds like the kids up the road from me that my daughter plays with. I said her friend could come over here, as my daughter (11) had been going over there to play."
"So thought I'd return favor. Next thing there's 4 kids plus my daughter going through my house and swimming in the pool. I was a bit like wtf?!"
"I didn't agree to a whole family of kids. Next thing they're leaving their shoes and helmets and scooters behind. My husband ran over one scooter in the driveway because he didn't know it was there and it shouldn't have been."
"One kid went into our closed yard next day without asking and left the gate open so our dog got out. My husband found her roaming around the front. Was NOT happy. Haven't let them over again since."
"Told my daughter one at a time is ok. But not 4. I don't wish to be responsible for that many. And they also had no respect for our things." – Jukari88
This Redditor suggested confirming some facts and respond accordingly.
"Info, have you confirmed with the parents? Kids say the craziest things and usually completely out of context."
"I'd make sure you've understood the message and the expectations before deciding on next steps." – snazarella
The OP responded with an update in an attempt to keep the peace.
"I'll probably go over tomorrow if I see them out, and try to work things out."
"It kind of seems like the oldest kid (11yo) takes care of the rest of the kids most of the time. She was the messenger."
Some kids are asked to grow up too fast.
"I hate parents who keep having kids they can't be arsed ro raise and expect the older children to be responsible for the younger ones all the time." – CeeGeeWhy
"Yeah, that's what I'm guessing as well. And honestly, having grown up in a neighborhood with lots of kids, that's pretty common."
"My friends often had to bring their siblings with them if they came over or if we did neighborhood stuff. It was expected."
"I can actually expect parents needing a break, but times should be set aside where the parents need the kids to be watched. I have friends and family with kids and they would never expect others to assume full responsibility." – winnowingwinds
However, now the OP can wash her hands clean of any guilt with this valid reason to support her decision.
"NTA - separate the kids, social distancing, covid 19." – wheely_happy