To be posting on AIBU rather than just being a grown up and figuring this out myself?

(60 Posts)

Because I feel a bit pathetic! I'm a single parent, 3 kids, stbxh left when I was pg with DS2, now 5 months old. Was hideously horrible time, included him having deep and meaningful fb conversations with female friends about how awful and what a "nutter" I was. Anyway, today I received a message from one of these women (who fully engaged with the "yeah she is a nutter chat") asking if I will teach her daughter....

I teach privately, only person in the area in this subject. The money from an extra student would be very very very helpful (no maintenance for the DCs), and I do love teaching, but I don't really want to be involved with this woman who was laughing about what a nutter I supposedly am when I was seriously ill in my pregnancy and struggling to cope with my other DCs alone.

Argh. I know I should just be a grown up and either say yes or no, but I would rather sticky head in the sand and ignore the message. If I say yes, I will keep getting reminded of what was a black time , if I say no I have to give a reason and it means her DD cannot learn the specialist thing I teach. Which seems mean to let a little girl down because I am in all probability being a bit precious about some slightly bitchy fb conversations.

So, AIBU for feeling like this is an actual dilemma. And, because that is how I feel, WWYD?

brightnearly Sun 12-Jan-14 11:19:54

I think you've given yourself the answer and should say yes.

financialwizard Sun 12-Jan-14 11:20:03

No, I think it must be difficult and can understand why you would feel torn. Business head on, I'd do it.

Does the lady know that you saw the message? If so have the conversation - be upfront. I know you know I went through a tough time but I have come out the other side and I would like a fresh start. You might want to do it even if she doesn't know. That way it is out in the open and this little girl isn't disadvantaged.

magimedi Sun 12-Jan-14 11:21:19

I have read some of your other threads, Waves & I think you would be daft to teach this child - it's only going to keep reminding you of things that are now in the past. You are also going to have to see this women, when she drops of her daughter & it's just not a good idea.

All you need say is that you are too busy atm to take on any further commitments.

brightnearly Sun 12-Jan-14 11:21:24

And I admire your strength, and the matter-of-factness and lack of self-pity of your post!

dayshiftdoris Sun 12-Jan-14 11:21:56

No it's a dilemma for certain

And I am not sure either hmm I would be a little bit suspicious of her motivation if I am honest

Your ex sounds a delight btw and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job under the circumstances

navada Sun 12-Jan-14 11:23:09

No way I'd do it - I'd rather starve.

IDontDoIroning Sun 12-Jan-14 11:27:05

If you do it do it in your terms.
For the money and for the girl.
Don't engage with her mum except on a professional level.

Tell her your will give her a trial period of x weeks and then you decide if you want to continue.
Tell her if it doesn't work out its x weeks notice on both sides.

No one can make you continue and you should do it as long as you feel happy to do so. If mum oversteps the mark, makes references to your ex your "issues" etc you terminate the arrangement.

Itsaburrdiee Sun 12-Jan-14 11:27:34

I don't think you are being precious at all. I am somewhat surprised at the other mum contacting you but she must either not realise you've seen said messages, not care or be desperate for her daughter to learn what you teach.

You may find seeing this mother may help you move on. She obviously does not believe what she and others said on facebook or she would not be in contact with you.

Ultimately you and your children are most important in your decision making. Will it have a longlasting effect seeing this woman or is it a temporary embarrassment? Does the money out weigh having to see her?

PulpsNotFiction Sun 12-Jan-14 11:31:40

Not a chance.

So you're only a 'nutter' when it's convenient for her?

I would decline, but tell her it's because you have no availability as otherwise she may continue to bad mouth you to other parents which in turn could have a detrimental effect on your reputation as a teacher.

Why isn't your ex supporting his DC's financially?

thenicknameiwantedisgone Sun 12-Jan-14 11:36:23

Sorry but I wouldn't do it either. Money is fabulous but if you can survive without it, don't be beholden to this woman who has been a bitch to you.

She would potentially teat you as an employee too, and you'd have to be nice to her because she was a client. Not something I'd like to do. In fact I turned down one client last year as his now partner had spent a couple of years previously trying to bed DH (I'm sure she wouldn't agree with that but it was a commonly held view by people who know her). I just didn't want to be anywhere near them.

If you can survive without the money, then say no.

NoelOfLorst Sun 12-Jan-14 11:36:35

"no, I'd rather not. Thank you"

And move on. Done.

stephenisjustcoming Sun 12-Jan-14 11:37:21

I can see the dilemma. Do you think this mother had the whole story, or was her 'she's a nutter' in response to a crazy, exaggerated version of events recounted by the ex? To be honest, I've probably over-sympathised in the past with friends, about people who've turned out to be perfectly normal. Embarrassingly enough.

If you think the mad ex has put her up to it in order to get info about your current situation, say no. If you think the mother is asking for genuine reasons, and you want to teach the little girl then say yes, take the money and congratulate yourself for being dignified and skilled enough to be having this dilemma in the first place.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Sun 12-Jan-14 11:42:02

Charge her double?

Salmotrutta Sun 12-Jan-14 11:43:24

Whilst it would be lovely to sarcastically say to this woman
"Are you sure you want a "nutter" teaching your daughter hmm" - it probably wouldn't be the best way to handle it grin

The trial period sounds like a good idea smile

Tabliope Sun 12-Jan-14 11:43:33

I'd say so you think it's fine to call me a nutter on a public forum, discuss my business and yet think I'll help you out in this way? No sign of an apology from you so why should I bother? I'd say no even if she apologised. You're far too soft if you're concerned about being mean to a little girl. Maybe this woman will learn the consequences of her actions from this. It's a definite no - no amount of money would be worth it for me. Why would you want the constant weekly reminder, the chance for the mother to get under your skin, the chance of the mother complaining you haven't taught whatever it is to her child properly - after all she hardly sounds reasonble.

You're unreasonable to even consider it.

Salmotrutta Sun 12-Jan-14 11:43:56

Or ^^ charging her double! grin

stephenisjustcoming Sun 12-Jan-14 11:45:38

Actually, thinking about it, this is one of those situations where it's too easy to tell other people to be dignified. Unless the mother was actually very nice (she doesn't sound particularly nice), or finances were unbearably tight, I'd probably say no, and write off the stress.

Suspect it comes down to the people involved, not the principle...

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 12-Jan-14 12:33:57

Agree with those that say to charge her more.

cardibach Sun 12-Jan-14 13:47:31

I'd go with the trial period (you can cancel a private student at any time anyway, but this would get it out in the open that you have reservations) but I would also charge her more - if she genuinely wants you she will be happy to pay, if it is malicious, probably not. In either case, it is more effort for you to teach this child so only fair you get more money!

whereisshe Sun 12-Jan-14 13:58:55

I think it depends on how you process this kind of emotional stress. If you can compartmentalise and keep things on a purely professional basis (in your head, not just out loud) then as you say there are good reasons to do it.

If you can't keep the past separate from the present, and the two different aspects of your interaction with this woman compartmentalised (I can't keep this sort of thing segregated, I don't think it's more "adult" to do so, just a personality thing) then don't do it. You have to make your own happiness I think, and this doesn't sound happiness-inducing for you!

HereIsMee Sun 12-Jan-14 14:02:10

My first thought was to say you are booked up at the moment so you couldn't take her on just yet but then I realised that it wouldn't help you in anyway. How about tell her you need to meet her face to face and tell her how you felt about the comments she made. Tell her you'd be happy to teach her daughter (if that's true) or if not say so. But most of all let her know how it felt and then you can agree or refuse to do it depending on her response.

If you need the money then do what one poster has suggested and double charge her.

drbonnieblossman Sun 12-Jan-14 14:13:12

Tell her (a) you will do it for her DD's benefit, (b) you will do it for own (financial benefit) (c) in so uncertain terms is it for her benefit, given the history, but that you will engage with her in a professional capacity when the need arises re discussion of her DD but nothing else.

That way, you have taken control of the situation, she is in no doubt of your feelings towards her and you haven't shot yourself in the foot money-wise. Principles don't pay bills, after all.

Damnautocorrect Sun 12-Jan-14 14:15:46

I remember your posts.
Tricky tricky one, if you enter it you do it as a normal customer as if it's someone you don't know. Enter no conversation and no friendship.
But It depends how much you need the cash.

hackmum Sun 12-Jan-14 14:19:33

The beauty of being self-employed is that you can turn down clients. This woman called you a nutter. She sounds like she's not a very nice person. Why would you want to have anything to do with her? How do you know she's not going to find an excuse not to pay you, and spread more malicious gossip about you?

I would certainly say no - you don't have to give a reason - but I would also focus on legal avenues to get child support from my ex.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now