To think you should interact more with your child instead of expecting mine to be there all the time!

(25 Posts)
PettyMcBetty Sat 08-Feb-14 16:19:55

Ok have name changed in case I'm spotted. I also think I'm probably being a bit OTT so I'm donning my flameproof suit in preparation! Also this will be long in order not to drip feed!

DD1 is 9 and is really good friends with another girl in her class and has been since they started primary. We have regularly have this girl, we'll call her Katie, at our house and vice versa. Since the beginning of this school year in September this seems to have ramped up a gear and DD1 is being invited to Katie's house every Friday night for a sleep-over.

At first this didn't really register with me and I thought it was very kind of them to have her. I'm quite good friends with Katie's mum and she rang one night during the Christmas holidays and said "look Petty I know it's short notice but can DD1 come over right now as I have lot's of stuff to do and she'll keep Katie occupied".

We had family here so it didn't suit and I told her that, she was very off-hand and couldn't put the phone down quick enough. It was then the penny dropped about what is going on. Katie is an only child and whilst lovely she is very demanding, her mum has told me this on many occasions. Basically my child is there to keep her entertained and out of her mums hair so to speak. Also Katie's mum always asks in front of DD1 so it is hard to refuse and make excuses.

When DD goes there Katie's mum will say she'll drop her off at 1pm following day and always ends up coming back at around 8pm. This is really impacting on the time we spend as a family as myself and DH both work mon - fri, 9-5, also we have another daughter aged 7 and I feel it is really unfair on her as she is missing out on time with her sister. I have started to make excuses and cut down the amount of times DD1 goes there. Tellingly DD1 hasn't complained or questioned this but has mentioned that Katie and her always ask her whether she went to X, Y or Z like I said. This has got me even more angry!

Am I taking this too much to heart or am I right in thinking interact with your own child more and stop impacting on my family time. We haven't got that many years left until they are teens and doing their own thing, so I feel that this time is precious.

TheSumofUs Sat 08-Feb-14 16:27:55

Firstly it's not really anything to do with you the way she parents her own child

However I think it's reasonable for you to want to spend more time with your own daughter

Just say no

Don't given excuse - just say it's not convenient and suggest an alternate play date a few weeks away

And alway give an end time "I'll drop Katie back at 1 pm" or "I'll pick up dd at 2 pm" and then stick to it

If my daughter should have been back at 1 pm but didn't get home until 8pm I'd be extremely annoyed (understatement) and she would not be going there again without set hours and expectations in place - why did you wait? I would have been there at 1.30 pm to see where she was and to take her home

PettyMcBetty Sat 08-Feb-14 16:33:59

No she always rings and puts DD1 on the phone to ask if she can stay longer as they are enjoying playing, putting me on the spot. This has happened 3 times the last 2 times I have said I will pick up at 12pm as we are going somewhere. However Katie and her mum always ask DD if she went to that place, checking up on us. This more than anything has got me really bloody angry, like we aren't allowed family time.

frugalfuzzpig Sat 08-Feb-14 16:34:40

When DD goes there Katie's mum will say she'll drop her off at 1pm following day and always ends up coming back at around 8pm.

That would really piss me off. Unacceptable to be that late, what if you had plans in the afternoon?

Could you compromise on the occasions your DD does (less frequently) stay over, by picking her up yourself at 1?

MeepMeepVrooooom Sat 08-Feb-14 16:34:43

It seems that the main reason you are annoyed has only come about because you realise the woman invites your DD round to make her life a bit easier and it gives her DD some company the same age as her. Does it really matter what the reason is?

Maybe you should arrange to collect your DD instead of waiting for her to be dropped off.

If you don't like the amount of time she is there then just say no I'm sorry we have plans.

I don't think it's a huge deal, you don't have to agree.

MeepMeepVrooooom Sat 08-Feb-14 16:36:09

You don't have to give a reason. Just say no I'm sorry it doesn't suit.

You aren't answerable to another parent about what you do in your time with your family.

frugalfuzzpig Sat 08-Feb-14 16:39:32

I would stop giving them reasons as to why your DD can't go, or why you will be picking her up at a particular time.

"No, DD won't be able to come on that day."

"I will pick DD up at X o'clock."

Both complete sentences wink

I think it IS telling that your DD hasn't grumbled about you trying to cut back. I wonder if Katie or her mum are persuading your DD to phone you and ask for more time "oh go on, phone her, she won't mind..."

Maybe it's time for a frank conversation with your DD about whether she actually wants to spend so much time there. Maybe reassure her that they can still be friends even if they don't have every weekend together, it's not all or nothing.

I'd be worried that she wasn't getting any time to nurture other friendships sad

PettyMcBetty Sat 08-Feb-14 16:39:38

Maybe I'm just a doormat but they always ask why and I feel like I have to tell them. It's the questioning that's getting me angry and I'm getting a whiff of self-entitlement. DD1 is also starting to be very distant and off-hand with her younger sister. This could just be a coincidence but I don't think all the time spent at Katie's is helping.

PettyMcBetty Sat 08-Feb-14 16:42:36

frugal DD has had issues when she has gone to another friends house, either katie bombards her with lots of invitations to do things together or makes her feel guilty.

MeepMeepVrooooom Sat 08-Feb-14 16:42:55

If they ask why in future OP I would honestly just say we want to spend the day with DD. You don't need to say we're doing this or that.

She is being rude to ask so don't feel obliged in justifying it. She is your daughter, no justification necessary.

expatinscotland Sat 08-Feb-14 16:44:06

Why are you being such a mug and allowing someone else to control your family like this?

WTF. Are people really this wet when to comes to their own kids?

You tell her,'No. That doesn't suit.' No excuses and shit. Grow a pair! This is YOUR child. Go over ther and get her not wait for this gal.

expatinscotland Sat 08-Feb-14 16:45:37

Issues? She's NINE. She has issues because YOU are teaching her to be a doormat and allow others to bully and manipulate her. Cut that out.

BumPotato Sat 08-Feb-14 16:47:11

One of my DD's friend's mother makes it quite clear to me she's inviting DD over because she wants her DD out of her hair while she works.

Suits DD, she has fin, therefore it suits me. DD is also 9.

BumPotato Sat 08-Feb-14 16:47:23

Fun

Ragwort Sat 08-Feb-14 16:54:38

I do this blush - well, not quite as frequently but I have an only child and often invite friends round or for sleepovers. I always check with the parents though and hope it is convenient - have had a child here all day today but the parents seemed happy enough to drop him off and pick him up at the time I suggested. My DS is much happier playing with a mate than 'interacting' with me hmm - I would love to sit and play board games with him all day but I can't compete with the playstation. grin.

Really though, if it is not convenient for your family then just say a polite 'no thanks'.

ILoveNoodles Sat 08-Feb-14 16:58:53

Just take control of your own child FFS.

"No she can't come round, I want her at home. I'll let you know when she can next stay over."
Whether it's in front of her or 10 children.
And I'm a pretty agreeable person, but when it comes to our kids me and dp are in charge, end of story.
What's she gonna do not talk to you again. Okay then. It sounds as if she needs you more than you need her.

WilsonFrickett Sat 08-Feb-14 17:03:53

I must admit as the parent of an only child I often invite friends round for DS, especially when I have work on. Although I've never 'extended' the visit like that!

Thing is, I do it because it's genuinely fun for DS and his mates (I hope). I rely on the other parents to say 'no, we have plans' or even 'no, we just want to hang out as a family today'. All that is fine. It is fine to say no, but I would be a bit pee'd off if someone kept saying 'yes' when they really didn't want to. You need to set some boundaries.

WRT the checking up, are you sure it's not just polite conversation?

ILoveNoodles Sat 08-Feb-14 17:05:10

Does your daughter actually want to be there? Or is this mostly engineered by Katies mum, if so, why are you allowing this?
Talk to your daughter,even if she likes it there, you have to place some boundaries down for the sake of YOUR child.

Lizzabadger Sat 08-Feb-14 17:06:06

Be assertive. What's stopping you?

higherhill Sat 08-Feb-14 17:13:49

As meep meep said you don't need to justify yourself to this other parent. Stand up to her and don't allow her to make plans putting you on the spot in front of your daughter, just say say no it's not convenient maybe another time. I f you do it often enough she will get the message eventually, it doesn't sound like your daughter is all that bothered. plenty of time for sleepovers when she's older, I've never understood the need for sleepovers until kids are older anyway, but then I have boys, so maybe it's more of a girl thing? You are right to be ticked off.

rabbitlady Sat 08-Feb-14 17:19:32

your child is not her babysitter. say no.

Olivegirl Sat 08-Feb-14 17:30:19

One of my dds friends was an only child ( both 18 now doing their own thing)
And I did notice my dd would be invited round a lot, and invited to go out with them as a family.. I do remember having a sense of feeling they were a bit controlling and I felt like you as my dd also has a younger sister close in age.
However i do remember being quite firm in saying no thank you if we had our own plans as a family and sometimes I would just get dh to answer the phone and make an excuse as the mum didn't seem to ask questions whenever he answered.winkgrin

The fact of how angry it made me feel sometimes gave me the mindset to be more assertive.
The difficult one is when they get your dd to ring you to ask if she can stay longer ...that always made me fume angry knowing that my feeble excuses are pathetic and a feeling of dd being manipulated by them even though she seemed happy enough... You cant help feel that you want family time with your own family occasionally ,. And yet this family are taking that all away.
Better when their older and do their own thing winehmm

PettyMcBetty Sat 08-Feb-14 17:48:28

olivegirl you have hit the nail on the head! I think because it suited me at first, DD2 has SN and sometimes it's exhausting, this gave me a bit of a break, it kind of became expected. It crept up on me how much it was taking over. As I've said in previous posts I have started refusing and putting in boundaries but just their questioning of it is making me furious, a bit irrationally so if I'm honest.

DH has said that he'll take over drop-offs and pick-ups for a while. Yes I know I need to grow a pair, I'm a classic people pleaser who hates offending people. Need to work on the "NO is a complete sentence" stance.

Lemongrab Sat 08-Feb-14 17:58:35

I was about to write a long post, but actually, ILoveNoodles puts it perfectly! So...what Noodles said.

FourArms Sat 08-Feb-14 18:21:16

I'm guilty of having children round to occupy mine and I do tend to keep them all day if they do come round. Don't have them overnight though and I'd never check up if a parent says no (except out of genuine conversation e.g. Did you have a nice time with your grandad?). Hope I'm not doing this to another family sad

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