...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?

Nanny0gg Thu 06-Feb-14 15:26:50

YANBU and I would say No.

Elderberri Thu 06-Feb-14 15:27:07

YANBU - I only ever mind in an emergency.. She does not want to pay for child care.

Tbh I dislike minding other peoples kids, it scary.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Thu 06-Feb-14 15:28:36

I think I would always help out a friend if I possibly could. Childcare is so expensive. No family support is very hard. Absent DP even harder. Of course every toy was out - that's what 4 year olds do- particularly when left to play. But would do as one off rather tha regular thing - your time is equally important.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Thu 06-Feb-14 15:29:24

YANBU btw, just slightly uncharitable.

PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:30:45

I forgot to add, we don't have any family support either, all childcare is done between me, DP and our childminder. We don't go out because we don't have relatives to look after DS in the evening (and yes, childminder unsocial hours are too expensive!).

saffstel Thu 06-Feb-14 15:31:16

Yanbu, I hate looking after other peoples, it's only for when they are really in a fix

Pigletin Thu 06-Feb-14 15:33:20

So she hasn't even asked you yet and you are stressing about it?

If you don't want to do it, then say no. It's that simple.

BeeBawBabbity Thu 06-Feb-14 15:33:54

I wouldn't do it either. She has a partner, they need to arrange it between themselves, find childcare, or live off one wage.

Would she be willing to cover the costs of taking ghem out fir the day? Or go to hers and ket her tidy up the mess?
If you only hear from her when she wants something she isnt a friend she is a user. I will happily help out a friend in a fix but I know it works both ways.

AbiRoad Thu 06-Feb-14 15:34:18

How about agreeing to do it in return for her babysitting for you a couple of nights when her DH is around?

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 06-Feb-14 15:37:00

How about she gets her lazy prick of a partner to look after his own children instead of taking this piss out of all the women she knows?

Preciousbane Thu 06-Feb-14 15:37:01

YANBU just say no.

When you say her partner is away at weekends a lot if this purely for social stuff?

PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:38:39

I'm not really stressing just want to be clear in my head about what to do when she asks.

facedontfit Thu 06-Feb-14 15:39:14

One word answer "No!"

MannishBoy Thu 06-Feb-14 15:40:54

Just say no.
DW and I both work full time and have absolutely no family within an hour's drive. We sorted childcare out ourselves, we don't expect anyone else to be around for us, just because we can't / won't get organised.

Childcare is expensive, it's also necessary. Life is hard, sometimes.

Pigletin Thu 06-Feb-14 15:42:44

I personally wouldn't be bothered and wouldn't mind helping her if she is not taking the piss and asking every weekend. But if you are uncomfortable, then tell her you can't do it.

PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:43:03

JoinYourPlayfellows I very much have the same opinion, he might not be a lazy prick for all I know but if 1. she works weekends and 2. he is not around to look after kids on weekends it is up to them to come up with a more permanent childcare solution instead of relying on everyone around to plug the holes for free...

PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:45:39

Precious, he is away because he has taken on a job which means he cannot be relied on for childcare (irregular hours away from home and sometimes need to go at short notice). How convenient for him (he's pursuing dream career as she is doing all at home and roping all and everyone in for help)...

Viviennemary Thu 06-Feb-14 15:45:45

I don't particularly like minding other people's kids myself. But I have done it as a favour knowing I would be helped out too if the need arose. But if they are as difficult as the ones your are talking about I probably wouldn't do it unless it was a real emergency. Certainly not childcare for working parents.

DontmindifIdo Thu 06-Feb-14 15:45:49

Just say no. They are a couple, if her DH wants to go off on jollies, then part of the cost for that is paying for childcare. It's not his DW's job to sort the childcare for him and it's not your job to do it.

Just say you don't like having other children over without their parent there to keep an eye on them, or that you like to keep it just to family at the weekends.

You are not obliged to do anything you don't want to, friend or not. I only sit for family, and even then if they've exhausted their other options, especially as I have my own two (both under 3) to look after.

siblingrevelry Thu 06-Feb-14 15:52:58

I have a friend a bit like this-the expectation is that because I'm a SAHM I can look after her kids in the hols or teacher training days.

We make many financial sacrifices for me to be at home, to spend time with my children, so it annoys me when people think I should step in and help out people who work, like I'm the lucky one and should be grateful and therefore help out others in the choices they've made.

I wouldn't expect them to help me out financially because they earn money, so why do some folks feel that non working people should be willing to help out with childcare as they might "be at home anyway"? Having other children means I can't do the things I'd line with my own, which is the point of being a SAHM.

I'd be a bit honest and maybe embellish it "I'm really sorry, I know it helps you out but I find it too much of a struggle with having three kids at once-I find I'm too overly worried about something happening to them so I find if too difficult looking after other people's children".

I hate looking after other people's kids. Even the most mild mannered kids find a new home and being with pals a novelty so they all go a bit crazy and trash the place. And don't get me started on fussy eater guests...

Preciousbane Thu 06-Feb-14 15:56:00

Well even though it is work related they just have to sort out their own childcare. She is going to have to pay for childcare.

My DH is off abroad quite a bit but there is no pattern at all so I could only ever work in a job with set hours.

PuddleCuddle Thu 06-Feb-14 15:58:03

She is not working mon-fri but it has never ever occurred to me to ask her to look after mine when childminder ill/closed etc. Never and that's because I don't think it is fair. And I only have 1...

Mellowandfruitful Thu 06-Feb-14 16:03:37

I would do this to help out a friend in difficulty (as I have done and as people have done for me) but not if I suspected that I was being used as a free childcare substitute for people who don't want to pay up / make the effort themselves. Since the latter sounds like your situation, just say no - every time she asks, clarify the date and then say you are busy. 'Is that Sat 15th? Can't do that I'm afraid, we're on a trip / meeting friends / spending the day with family'. every time.

There is a school of thought that says tell her honestly you don't want to be taken advantage of. IME people like this always turn that around and decide you are mean and unhelpful. There's no telling them. So personally I don't get into why, but just decline every time.

Mellowandfruitful Thu 06-Feb-14 16:04:07

I would do this to help out a friend in difficulty (as I have done and as people have done for me) but not if I suspected that I was being used as a free childcare substitute for people who don't want to pay up / make the effort themselves. Since the latter sounds like your situation, just say no - every time she asks, clarify the date and then say you are busy. 'Is that Sat 15th? Can't do that I'm afraid, we're on a trip / meeting friends / spending the day with family'. every time.

There is a school of thought that says tell her honestly you don't want to be taken advantage of. IME people like this always turn that around and decide you are mean and unhelpful. There's no telling them. So personally I don't get into why, but just decline every time.

DontmindifIdo Thu 06-Feb-14 16:15:18

the other thought I had was if you wanted to you could say "oh I'm glad you called, DH was going to take me out on Friday night but we cna't get a babysitter, how about you sit for mine on Friday night and I'll have yours on Saturday?" or something like that. I'll only do free childcare now if I've already locked in that it's something I expect to get back in return. I've been "busy" when someone I know who takes the piss has asked, I've said yes when another friend has asked because I know she'll sit for mine a few weeks later.

missymayhemsmum Thu 06-Feb-14 23:42:11

Well if it doesn't suit you say no, but does your 4yo enjoy having the other kids to play with?
If it's a combo that works for the kids I'd try and negotiate her being your backup plan/ babysitter too so it feels fair and equal, and just accept that having 3 kids in the house is more riotous than 1, but probably good for your only.
She's being a bit cheeky, tho. If I asked a friend to babysit so I could work I'd expect to offer to share the proceeds!

fluterby Thu 06-Feb-14 23:50:28

No she's using you. She needs to sort out a job and childcare so that she can manage. It's not ok to use friends to save yourself money on childcare. I only help two or three friends but they'd neveŕ ask for more than an hour or two unless it were a real emergency. And they'd never ask regularly to cover their work hours.

Mellowandfruitful Fri 07-Feb-14 00:01:20

Dontmind good in theory but I suspect that the friend would agree to the exchange, but say Fri isn't possible and they will do it 'later' - and that day will never come.

FootieOnTheTelly Fri 07-Feb-14 00:03:51

This wouldn't be a dilemma for me grin I don't like looking after other people's kids and I would simply decline. I wouldn't give any convoluted reason - I would just say I don't want to do it.

pigletmania Fri 07-Feb-14 00:06:26

No is a whole sentence. Don't do it!

Lioninthesun Fri 07-Feb-14 00:18:14

I'm a single mum and I have a friend like this too - she kept on telling me I should become a nursery when our DC were really small. She then moved on to suggesting I do her childcare when she went back to work, at a reduced rate obs. When it became clear I was going to do no such thing, she put her DS into nursery but guess who gets ALL of the last minute "Oh DH has booked a dentist apt 2 hrs before I get home from work..." calls [anger] . She now has another DS, so I have 2 toddlers and a crawler when I get lumbered. I am moving house this week and have already babysat for them and been booked in for 3 other appts over the next month! It never works both ways. I think she has had DD about 3 times in 2.5yrs...
Say No. I wish I had been stronger sooner. I always feel like saying "just plan AROUND your kids, not do whatever the fuck you like and expect someone else to turn up and have them!" If I have to do this, why don't they?

Are you nervous about saying 'No' OP? Do you need the vipers to come up with some ready-prepared excuses?

eg. No. DC has nits/worms/sundry other lurgies. I have to fumigate.

hoppinghare Fri 07-Feb-14 00:32:16

I'd say no. Have a reason ready for why you are unavailable. I have never ever asked a friend to mind my children. I have only asked my mother about 3 times and my eldest is 4.

NoodleOodle Fri 07-Feb-14 00:38:25

I only ever babysat for small children when it was an emergency as it is quite a responsibility. Her having a weekend job isn't an emergency, she knows she has the job so she ought to have her childcare in place. Therefore, I agree with all the other say 'no' answers.

expatinscotland Fri 07-Feb-14 00:43:36

Say NO. Her DP needs to sort it out, no more jollies for a few years. 'No. We do things as a family on weekends.' The end.

bellabelly Fri 07-Feb-14 00:46:39

I would happily babysit for a friend in need. Thats what friends do - help each other out as necessary. With 4 DCs of our own, one or two more really doesn't make much difference and our house is already strewn with fucking toys so that aspect wouldn't bother me at all. But if it was someone who is not really a friend and who wouldn't be likely to repay the favour if I was ever in need, then I'd be reluctant. Is she a friend or just a user, in your opinion?

perfectstorm Fri 07-Feb-14 00:56:42

I have a brilliant friend who is stellar at collecting DS from school and keeping him all afternoon for me when need be, and who has been amazing in terms of impromptu childcare more times than I can recall. But... I have her DD and DS when need be, too, and I make sure I offer for eg parents' evenings for her school, as well as her feel able to ask me. They're lovely kids and it's no bother (I do have to say though that more than one kid that age, and the toys always do end up all over the floor - that's an inevitability) because it's reciprocal. And my son loves her to pieces, which means I never need to worry when he's in her care, so I try to ensure her kids are as happy here themselves.

This woman doesn't sound like a friend, tbh. She sounds exploitative. I'm sorry she has childcare issues, but she needs to either sort her employment situation or find a minder - not lumber other people when she doesn't offer mutuality.

greenfolder Fri 07-Feb-14 06:47:00

Just close her down "weekends are family time for us,sorry" and change the subject.

pigletmania Fri 07-Feb-14 09:14:54

Bella there is a difference with it being the odd occasion, and a regular occurrence every weekend. I somehow don't think you would do it every weekend, sacrificing your free time when you have been working all week!

KitZacJak Fri 07-Feb-14 09:36:24

YANBU - she needs to have proper childcare set up with her husband, grandparent or baby sitter. She should be asking friends as a last resort ie. if the baby sitter is ill, not just because her husband happens to be out.

JRmumma Fri 07-Feb-14 09:54:06

How often are you talking about OP? Have you only been asked once so far? Do you know that she is asking friends on a rotation basis? Is it the case that she would rather not ask and her DP just leaves her in the lurch? Or does she need regular childcare but just not want to pay for it?

All of these questions would be factors in whether i would do it. No, i wouldn't do it regularly as, like you say, if she needs regular need for childcare then she should be paying for it. Plus working all week and then effectively working on the weekend too (for free!) isn't a situation id like to find myself in.

I'm feeling that you are worried about finding yourself as the regular childcare provider and getting to the point where she relies on you and then you would find it difficult to wriggle out of that. So in that case you should probably just say no, as you have commitments at the weekend that make it difficult for you to have 2 more children in tow.

Lucylouby Fri 07-Feb-14 10:11:43

I have a couple of friends who I don't mind having their children for them at the weekend. The same friends who will offer to have my children if I have something come up or don't mind if I Ask them to look after my three children. But if they were working and using me as free childcare and I wasn't getting any favours back, then there is no chance I'd help. There are people who do this as a job and they get paid. It is hard work looking after young children. The majority have to pay for childcare so she is taking the mick IMO.

"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."
If anything, it makes it worse that her DP is away working - "irregular hours away from home and sometimes need to go at short notice" for his "dream career". They either need to make formal arrangements for childcare when she is working, or they need to change their jobs. As it is, the mother repeatedly asking friends for favours, is just not a long-term solution. "She had a babysitter looking after them once but that was too expensive apparently..." - again, they need to sit down and factor in the cost of childcare to their lives.

Tulip26 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:34:48

This is actually illegal as they aren't family members. If you were looking after them at their house it'd be legal. You're liable if they get injured, don't do it. This is why childminders have to be registered.

Pigletin Fri 07-Feb-14 10:45:35

This is actually illegal as they aren't family members.

that's a bit over the top, isn't it?

Tulip26 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:50:52

No, it's the law. OP is liable if they hurt themselves.
Sorry to link to netmums * balk * but it proves my point.
www.netmums.com/back-to-work/childcare-swaps-the-rules

YANBU, just say no. For years as a SAHM people assumed that I would be delighted to look after their children when they were on holiday / training days / off sick. In a genuine emergency I would help out but users who would happily take but never reciprocate got a "no"

Pigletin Fri 07-Feb-14 10:54:00

Out of interest, I looked up the requirements for getting registered when you provide childcare for a friend/relative. These are the actual requirements:

http://www.daycaretrust.org.uk/pages/i-provide-childcare-for-my-relativefriends-children.html

^You are required by law to be registered and inspected by Ofsted in England or CSSIW in Wales if:
- you intend to regularly look after her child in your home;
- and her child is aged under 8;
- and the care is for more than 2 hours per day; and you will be receiving payment from her for it.^

I don't see anything illegal in this particular situation...--people should really think before they speak/write.--

Mim78 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:56:45

I think they need to sort out paid childcare as it is such a regular thing.

asking friends should be for one off/ emergencies. Sounds like the lack of regular routine is affecting the kids behaviour too.

So yanbu.

For what it's worth I hate llooking after other people's too. I am not a natural with kids and findnd it v different to caring for my own.

ZenNudist Fri 07-Feb-14 11:00:51

I'm happy to do occasional few hours to help out a friend if its one of my dc's friends. A whole day, no. I'd expect the favour to be one off, for good reason & reciprocated.

whatever5 Fri 07-Feb-14 11:08:06

It doesn't sound as if you are used to coping with children. If you would find it too much, you should just say no. I don't think she is unreasonable to ask on the odd occasion though. It's not as if you look after them all the time. You have only done it once.

PuddleCuddle Fri 07-Feb-14 11:20:05

JRmumma, she asked me quite a few times and after having agreed to do it once I felt like 90% of comms between us were there because she knew I am there to do favour for her when she needs it. It just feels that way. I babysat in my house that one time and since then have been finding excuses to refuse especially after the piss taking text asking to mind the youngest because her P wants to enjoy himself and play football!
I did look after them on a few occasions afterwards but made every effort it�s not at home, e.g. dropped her off to wherever she needed to go and took them to a park for hour or so. Or took us all to a soft play centre near to a place she needed to go and thus only had to look after them for hour while she was out.
I know for a fact that she is having one friend or another looking after kids every weekend while she works. And we are not talking about 2-3 hours here but full 8-10 hour days! Like I said she had a babysitter once who charged her a reduced fee but she was complaining that was still more than she earned in a day� I understand totally how frustrating that is but hello, if that�s the case you need to talk to your DP and find a way! She knows that her DP cannot be relied on to be around on weekends due to his job schedule so yes, she/they know this is going to be an issue in the future. And I feel they should plan around it as I don�t know how her other friends agree to do it but I would be mightily pissed off if I had to babysit 2 kids (no matter how lovely) on a semi-regular basis and for free�
I guess I am annoyed at the fact that while she asks for favours she is not that forthcoming with giving something back, e.g. inviting me&DS over to play or go to a park or some simple things like that. It just feels unequal to me and I can�t shake off this feeling of being used. I don�t think her DP likes me that much (after I once confronted him re his views that because he works out of home all to do with home is woman�s responsibility) and to be honest I don�t like him that much either. I know the relationship is between me and her and shouldn�t be affected by her DP�s attitudes but unfortunately it is because I think he is the type of person who would take a piss and use you if he could so by proxy she is tainted by that as well�

Gladvent Fri 07-Feb-14 11:25:02

I don't mind helping out a friend who needs to work/rest/relax/whatever if they have a DP who needs to be at work.

But I do mind enabling a friend's partner to be a selfish fuckwit.

Not sure which it is in this case but remember the MN line 'no is a complete sentence'.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Fri 07-Feb-14 11:37:59

Problem is, if you don't enable the selfish fuckwit, friend is the one picking up the tab. I would help anyone with childcare, at anytime, if I possibly could without ever expecting reciprocity; precisely because I know what a fucker the cost of childcare is/how hard it is to manage irregular arrangements.

Reciprocal childcare/ermergencies/one of favours is one thing. Being used for free childcare (unless you've offered) is another.

The other factor is how you can cope. Making a sweeping generalisation, I find that my friends who have more than one DC take another couple in their stride, whereas those with just one find it very hard work. To some extent, the reason they have chosen to have just one DC is that that is what they are able to cope with.

Don't feel guilty saying no.

bigbadbarry Fri 07-Feb-14 13:05:07

I think the key is that it needs to be reciprocal. My DH is away a lot and I have a lovely group of friends who help out with school runs etc if one of mine is poorly or whatever (note: this is occasional emergency care not regular weekly childcare!). Some even had all three DDs for 3 nights (so I could attend a family funeral). But I make damn sure my house is stuffed full of their children when DH is here and I always offer for parents evenings and so forth.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 07-Feb-14 13:15:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

helenthemadex Fri 07-Feb-14 17:30:57

I will happily help friends out but this is reciprocated I know that they would help me out as well, this person is a user and is abusing peoples good nature sooner or later they will get fed up, if you say yes she will move on to you and expect you to do more, say no

expatinscotland Sat 08-Feb-14 10:32:43

You say that 90% of the communication between you is about her asking favours? This is not a friendship. Just continue saying no.

pictish Sat 08-Feb-14 10:45:19

My desire to look after other people's children, even for a few hours is zero, so I sympathise with you. If a good friend was truly stuck once or twice, of course I would gladly lend a hand, and would put in the effort to make sure they had a brilliant time with us, but as a regular or frequent thing? No... not on your nelly! And for a whole 8-10 hour days? hollow laughter

I would say no, and keep saying no...to the point where she would regard asking me as a waste of time and give up viewing me as an option.

I am a good friend in lots of ways, but not as child care. I have three of my own to wrestle with thanks.

IDontDoIroning Sat 08-Feb-14 10:52:55

It's one thing helping/ or asking someone to help you out as a one off in an emergency but another thing planning you and your partners work commitments based on friends giving you free child care.

All those posters saying they would help out - really would you ? As a long term regular commitment really ?

I could understand if it was a really close family member or dear close friend in extreme circumstances but for a less than close friend who could get child care or change her or her partners work patterns but chooses not, and doesn't offer you anything in return ie a days child care or an evening babysitting. No !

Yes child care is expensive and not everyone has dp or dpil to do free child care but her life is her responsibility not yours.

If you are a working parent or a sahp you make arrangements in your life/work to meet the costs of your family (house bills car clothes food etc) and balance your work /money leisure time and family time to best meet the needs of your own family. It's usual for both parents to manage their work and free time as a balance. Sometimes something has to give and one or both make compromises.

Why should you then sacrifice your free family time so that someone else and their partner can earn money or so that they can work and their partner can have their free time and so that they don't have to make the choices and work life balances that you have.

OP you have chosen to work in the week so your weekends are your time with your family to do what you want to do even if it's spending the day under a duvet watching DVDs it's your life and your and your dc time together.

OP say no and don't feel guilty. If she gets some other mugs to do it for her then that's their look out you.

expatinscotland Sat 08-Feb-14 15:23:02

It isn't't even so the partner can work but to allow him to 'go away' and enjoy the football. Fuck that.

bakingtins Sat 08-Feb-14 15:45:12

I was thinking of posting something similar, been asked by a friend to do a whole day once a month for her 2 yr old (with other friends and rellies doing a day the other weeks) We've done a lot of reciprocal childcare for an hour or two in the past but she has now moved away, travelling back to near me for work, so there is zero chance of her reciprocating. I said I don't mind doing it once or twice but not as an ongoing arrangement. I don't think it's reasonable to use friends as a regular substitute for childcare so you can work.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

Say no.
Stick to it.

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.

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

Good for you for sticking to your guns, OP.

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

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

well done for saying no

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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