...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?

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 12:08:25

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!

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.

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 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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

shewhowines Fri 14-Mar-14 09:24:41

well done for saying no

shock how did you turn her down? Did she argue? She's got some nerve.

YouTheCat Fri 14-Mar-14 09:13:00

Good for you for sticking to your guns, OP.

fingerlicking Fri 14-Mar-14 08:55:20

YANBU - friends help in an emergency. They are not regular childcare. She should not take a job at a weekend without organising regular childcare, rather than relying upon the generosity of a selection of friends.

I have a friend who took a job on as a cleaner 3 days a week, 4 hours a day. When asked what she would do with her twins during school holidays (age 6), she said they would go on 'play dates' with their friends.

To me that is taking the piss.

DroothyNeebor Fri 14-Mar-14 08:29:03

Say no.
Stick to it.

PuddleCuddle Fri 14-Mar-14 08:15:01

Back to update... I got the inevitable ask for favour yesterday. It's funny because she saw I was at home (lives near by) and invited to pop over. As it happened I couldn't and then 10 mins later got the text asking if I could look after her 2 this sat... So pretty obvious why she was inviting me to pop over, to find out what I'm doing on sat and then ask...

She said sorry for asking but apparently she was desperate as exhausted all other options and no-one else was available to do it (why does that not surprise me?). But all I can think of is that all the drama and desperation is not necessary because she has been working weekends for a while now and the need for childcare is obvious, it's not like there's an emergency or unexpected change of circumstances...

Another funny thing is that we were supposed to meet up today in the afternoon so that kids can play but she has now cancelled that... I wonder if she'd done it had I agreed to do childminding on sat?... Oh, and btw, childminding on sat would be from 5AM... just the time i want to get up on sat after having had 5 days of waking up at 5.50am and going to work... Arrrrgh.

FloppyRagdoll Sat 08-Feb-14 19:30:12

YANBU. I used to look after an acquaintance's daughter once a week from 2pm till 6pm. Actually, it was more than "looking after": we live in a foreign country. The child had been born in the US and so had US citizenship; and acquaintance wanted me and my family (one of my DCs was the same age) to give her lots of English language input. The deal was that acquaintance would babysit for us in exchange. My looking after her daughter enabled her to work an afternoon as a pharmacist. (She had other arrangements for the other sessions she worked - none of them involved paying anyone for child care.)

In practice, this arrangement ran for a year. (I didn't have the daughter every single week, as sometimes she wouldn't want to come; the amount of notice given was minimal, though, so I had no chance to arrange anything else for those afternoons.) During that year, the acquaintance managed to babysit for us twice. Once, she arrived so late that we were late for the theatre date we had arranged. On the second occasion, we had gone to a friend's place for dinner. The deal was we would be back by 11pm. (She was supposed to come at 7, but in fact arrived at 7:30.) At 10pm we got a call demanding that we come home straight away, as her husband had called her to say that her DD was fretting. On three other occasions, she had agreed to babysit, but either cancelled at very short notice or, on one occasion, called us about half an hour before she had been due to arrive to say she couldn't come after all.

The arrangement came to an end when we moved house - she took huge offence at our decision to move 20 miles out of town (she also lived out of town, about 10 miles in the other direction), even though we told her as soon as we had arranged the move - she had about three months' notice. The last day I looked after her daughter, she said that she was not at all happy that the arrangement couldn't continue; that I had really let her down; but that she would of course honour her obligations to babysit for us, even though it would be hugely inconvenient to her. Not once did she ever babysit for us after that.

I am still scraping the word "mug" off my forehead...

Damnautocorrect Sat 08-Feb-14 18:19:17

I'd do it as an emergency but if she's working she needs proper childcare in the same way a week worker would.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 08-Feb-14 15:52:34

If she asks you, just say no you can't.
She has a cheek asking anyway. I'm sure many would want free childcare to enable them to work, but that's not how life is.
Tell her you are sorry, but your weekends are for you and your dc as you work full time during the week.
If you are honest with her and direct, she won't ask again.

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