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How to tell overly friendly neighbour to stop bringing over food and baked goods?

(53 Posts)
24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 21:17:40

As the subject line states, I I have a neighbour that is starting to freak me out a bit. We've been neighbours for just over a year with a normal casual relationship (hellos and chats in passing, few exchanges in lawn care tips etc). They are a retired couple. We are a family of 3 with 4 year old and dc2 on the way. A few weeks ago, my neighbour (the wife) brought over a plate of cookies. I was touched and very grateful, and assumed it was because she'd seen me waddling around after my 4 year old. A few days later she brought round a small bowl of jam she'd made. Since then, her gifts have increased in frequency to DAILY. Once she knocked on the door twice in one day, once with a plate of roasted whole beetroot and then again with an entire cake. I appreciate her generosity, if it is just that, but I want her to stop. I don't know how to turn her down without bring rude. All her children are older, gone, married or whatever. Could she just be wanting to look after someone? Lonely? (In which case, I really can't be her new BFF). Help!!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 26-Aug-15 21:24:17

People giving you gifts of food is a problem? Really?

GloriaHotcakes Wed 26-Aug-15 21:26:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 26-Aug-15 21:30:21

Could it be that you've moved to the north by mistake?

Pipbin Wed 26-Aug-15 21:34:57

Could it be that you've moved to the north by mistake?


She most likely enjoys baking but doesn't have anything to do with the things she bakes. Can you or DH take the things into work?

Jo4040 Wed 26-Aug-15 21:40:33

Aww bless her. It's a bit of a pain but its cheering her up obviously. You should invite her in for a bru and a slice of her cake
You only live once! cakebrew

daisydalrymple Wed 26-Aug-15 21:43:19

Could she be nesting on your behalf?? it may be that she's following the advice of giving new parents some home cooked food, but has started early and is trying to be helpful? How many weeks pg are you?

Could you maybe bake something yourself, and next time she calls say 'oh I've just made you this, to say thank you for all the things you've brought over' and perhaps make a joke about how you must be nesting now as you can't stop cooking/ baking, and might run out of room for it all?

She sounds lovely and kind, and may well be lonely and trying to strike up a friendship, but I would probably feel like you tbh too. When we moved into our first house our ndn were very friendly inviting us round. We would reciprocate, but it very quickly got out of hand, we couldn't go to the pub without them noticing us passing and coming along and they fell out with us as we had a family barbecue, which we we didn't invite them to! All got very silly and too close.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 21:45:26

Jilted Yes! When its everyday yes it is.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 26-Aug-15 21:49:25

Ask her nicely to slow down as you can't possibly eat it all?

daisydalrymple Wed 26-Aug-15 21:50:40

Mention your dreadful heartburn and indigestion??

Pipbin Wed 26-Aug-15 21:51:38

Could you claim pregnancy related nausea and therefore you can't possibly?

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 21:53:25

daisy, exactly, i don't want this getting out of hand. And I'll be honest, I don't want to bake just to reciprocate. My sister has a bunch of cherry tomato plants producing incredible tomatoes, so I filled up a bowl with them when I returned the bowl to the neighbour as a gesture. That's about all I can do. I'm 7 months pregnant with a lively 4 year old at home with me. I'm not wanting to be un-neighbourly, but the lady speaks VERY little english and I'm afraid having her round for a cuppa would be nothing more than us staring at each other's faces. I don't mean to be mean, I just don't want to have this sort of relationship with her. Not because I don't like neighbours, but because you just can't have friendships with people by force.

steppemum Wed 26-Aug-15 21:54:59

Invite her in for a cup of tea and a chat. I bet she is missing cooking for her family.

Gently say that you can't eat all the things she is giving you, and at the moment your taste buds are up the creek anyway.

My guess is that she wants to get to know you. How much you want to get to know them depends on your response next.

But, one of my friends has a neighbour who was a bit like this, they found a balance, she is retired and very sweet with my friends kids, and over time has actually become a bit of a surrogate granny, and often helps with babysitting etc, and it has ended up as a positive relationship, so don't dismiss it too quickly.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 21:55:43

I'm not even sure I could fake explain to her that I have heartburn or nausea without her thinking I mean her food is making me sick. She doesn't speak english.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 21:59:30

I might just have to bite the bullet and explain its too much although I do appreciate it. I realize it will be at the rusk of hurting her feelings, but very seriously, I can't have her knocking on my door every day with stuff.

suzannefollowmyvan Wed 26-Aug-15 22:02:13

it's a bit weird isnt it, to just keep giving you things.

Normally these things would be reciprocal, I give my neighbor my surplus cooking apples in return her surplus raspberries...that kind of thing.
There is a to and fro and an informal support network builds up

Other wise, even if it is not their overt conscious intention, you are in their debt, beholden in some way.

it feels a bit as if they are making sure they have some favours in the bank with you, maybe they are worried about having no one to call on if they need help?

I'm not trying to imply that they are being malicious or calculating in any way

Jo4040 Wed 26-Aug-15 22:02:54

Aww. I really can see where your coming from. Tricky one really. The tomatoes in the bowl was a nice idea.

GloriaHotcakes Wed 26-Aug-15 22:04:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 22:04:47

My dh has a similar theory. Its a very pessimistic way of looking at it though I have to say, bit I'm not saying it's not possible.

Jo4040 Wed 26-Aug-15 22:05:05

Your going to wake up on the night a d she's going to be stood over your bed in her nightee watching you. Holding out a bowl of Trifle. grin

<horror music> Hu Hu Hu Hu

steppemum Wed 26-Aug-15 22:05:59

Oh x-post with the English thing. That is hard.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 22:06:51

Gloriahotcakes, thanks, her husband does speak english, but he's not the one bringing stuff around all the time.

24hourM0MMY Wed 26-Aug-15 22:09:30


Jo4040 Thu 27-Aug-15 07:41:04

How was your night? wink

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 27-Aug-15 07:45:44

How was your night? grin

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