...to not want to look after her 2 kids?

(91 Posts)
PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:24:47

Have known this friend for a few years now and it seems like whenever she is contacting me it is because there is a favour she will ask for.
She has 2 kids and works weekends and her DP is away on weekends quite a lot so most of the time not there to look after kids.
I have every sympathy for her it is must be tough having 2 with no family support. Initially I have done things for her like take her to XYZ because she doesn't drive. I looked after her kids ONCE and after that swore I will never do it again as within those 2-3 hours ALL of the toys were scattered on the floor and her eldest (4 at the time) was trying to get in the fridge and office even when I told him not to. I found it very stressful and spent 2 hours tidying up afterwards as I am not exaggerating, every single toy was out!

I know she has been relying on her other friends a lot for providing childcare while she is working. I saw her recently and from what she said I suspect she is going to ask me to look after them sometime very soon. And not for just a few hours (which I am still reluctant to do given my experience) but for a whole long day! I have a 4 y/o myself and work full time (but not weekends). On one hand I feel like a mean bitch refusing to help her out but on the other hand why do I have to sacrifice my weekend and rest to enable somebody to work?? Surely it is between her and her DP to sort out the childcare! I get the feeling her DP is of the view that her friends are always there to jump in and that that's how it should be. She once asked me to look after the youngest on Sat because her DP wanted to go play football and while the older boy was ok to go with dad the younger one was too small! I did refuse rather angrily on that occasion stating that I would like to have some rest myself!

She had a babysitter looking after them once but that was too expensive apparently...

I do like the kids but that doesn't mean I am happy to have 3 to look after instead of my own 1!

AIBU? WWYD?

Only1scoop Fri 14-Mar-14 09:26:58

Just as you suspected Op....stick to your guns....

PuddleCuddle Fri 14-Mar-14 10:29:06

PostmanPat, there was no argument because all was done over texts. I just said I could look after them past certain hour in the afernoon which is not what she wanted... I have suggested a few other options e.g. contacting the lady who looked after her children before but was too expensive but she wasn't that keen on contacting her. So I just left it at that. This morning she called off our meet up arrangement for later in the day (due to one child being sick but methinks she can't be bothered with the hassle of getting to a meeting place now that I turned out to be unhelpful...)

I cannot get my head around how she and her P fail/can't be bothered to have proper childcare solution and keep relying on her friends... Quite a few of them are childless and one girl in particular is very nice and minded them on quite a few occassions. But even the most patient person will start feeling like a mug after a few saturdays spent working for free...

I suppose theoretically I could do it so that she can return the favour but I think the resentment would be huge. And I am genuinely scared that the older one would not listen to me and just trash the house... therefore I'm not changing my mind.

CountessOfRule Fri 14-Mar-14 10:30:18

After your update it's clear she's a user.

It's also clear to me that she can't afford to work so no wonder she's desperate.

I am anxious about looking after other children. I used to cope with playdates when I "only" had two DC, but I can't entertain toddler and baby and keep them out of the bigger children's way and make tea (even just dishing up tbh) ... particularly if I can't easily predict what the guest will do. DC1 seems to like bold children who ignore rules like "stay out of the grownups' bedroom" or "don't run off on the way home".

I do have a reciprocal arrangement with another mother about the staggered finish times of nursery and school - we take it in turns to watch the children in the playground during the gap, and tag team at toddler group, and share lifts, and so on. But that's reciprocal and short stints.

I've done a full day once before (breakfast, lunch and tea) when the child's sibling was in hospital and the parents were desperately juggling work and hospital and home. That day I did meant sibling was never alone and both parents got to eat and shower. So it was a big thing for them but it was a big thing for me too and I'm not hurrying to repeat it.

Kamer Fri 14-Mar-14 10:36:43

Who on earth asks for a childcare favour that involves dropping children off at 5am shock. YANBU and well done for standing firm. I am always happy to help friends out if I can if it is for a one off or emergency but not regular childcare for work reasons.

PuddleCuddle Fri 14-Mar-14 10:50:29

When she asked me to pop over y'day i thought 'that's very nice, she is actually my friend after all'. When the next text arrived asking for a favour i just said to myself 'you fool. Nothing has changed'.
Im not that desperate to be friends with her but did think having her live so near it would be lovely if we were 'proper' friends... Naive!

Quinteszilla Fri 14-Mar-14 10:57:25

So now you have the proof you need to cut you off. She is only "friends" with you because she thinks you can be useful to her. If you are not, she cant be bothered with your company. Surely you will phase her out now?

PuddleCuddle Fri 14-Mar-14 11:13:09

I dont need to cut her off... She lives nearby and as far as i know is not a nasty person or anything that would warrant that. I guess i will just be wary that getting any closer will probably be seen as green light for asking for favours. That's all.

pluCaChange Fri 14-Mar-14 12:08:25

If she asked by text, you can reply by text, "Sorry, can't do it. Too long, too much."

If she rings, even crying, just have be firm and fair: "Look, it's too much. I'm tired, and it's too much." How is that not a fair thing to say? You can do it.

Any waterworks will be artificial, anyway, or aimed at her partner, not you, so don't take tears personally. If you do, you'll be shedding your own tears before long!

ThePost Fri 14-Mar-14 12:13:19

If she works regular hours, she needs to organise and pay for regular childcare. If the cost of childcare exceeds her wages, she needs to find alternative employment. Basic maths.

pluCaChange Fri 14-Mar-14 12:15:30

Sorry, cross-posted. Well fone for saying no! smile

loveandsmiles Fri 14-Mar-14 13:17:02

Well done you! I have 5DCs and am a SAHM. 'Friends' assume because I have 5DC I absolutely love children - I do, but just my own, and that I have nothing better to do than help out. I would help in an emergency but not so a friend could work. I would love a part-time job but can't afford the childcare and obviously can't expect family / friends to look after 5DC! Hopefully I can resume work when they are older. Your friend made a choice to work but she has an obligation to sort out her childcare otherwise she shouldn't be working. I know it's hard but that's lifesmile

90sthrowback Fri 14-Mar-14 13:41:29

She is a user, not to mention crazy if she thinks that someone will want to have her DC for free on their day off from 5am.

Mimishimi Fri 21-Mar-14 06:24:19

Just curious OP, did she ask you and what did you say? Have had a few of these long 'playdate' requests lately from mums of DS's classmates (and former classmates from last year) as the school holidays (2 weeks) are coming up here in Australia. A couple of the mums looked angry when I tell them we're going away/busy! As if I should just whip out my calendar app immediately to schedule and ask when it would be convenient for them.

Dozer Fri 21-Mar-14 06:34:37

Yanbu, obviously! Sounds like she has problems with her partner (who doesn't sound great) but that's her problem to sort out, unfair of her to use people this way.

MammaTJ Fri 21-Mar-14 06:39:01

I would have text back 'I knew this was coming, you never want me unless there is a favour involved'.

I am pretty direct though, lol!

Dubjackeen Fri 21-Mar-14 07:02:23

No way, well done, and stick to your firm refusal. They need to sort their childcare and it is their problem. 5am, words fail me! That is probably so the dad can sleep in.

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