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to refuse to look after this little boy tomorrow?

(76 Posts)
maledetta Fri 16-Sep-11 20:48:17

I feel like a total cow right now. Basically, my friend has a(male) housemate. Said housemate is separated and has a son.Last week we had a very rare evening out- three of us, all single mums, left our children asleep at her house, with the housemate babysitting- for about 3 hours. He had to be coaxed to babysit, and only agreed to do so when my friend promised- without asking us- that we would babysit his son- in the daytime- once each.

I felt I had to go along with this, but didn't think it fair. So I just hoped the whole thing would just get quietly forgotten.

Unfortunately, the man in question has now found himself caring for his son most of the time (the boy's mum is having some problems). He texted me earlier asking me to look after him all day tomorrow.

Well, I have not been feeling too great mentally. Anxiety, depression, insomnia. Struggling to hold it together. Things have been pretty stressful lately, and I was looking forward to a quiet day pottering around w/ DS tomorrow. DS is 18 months and his son is 7- a lovely boy, but I thought- "God, there goes my peace when DS has his nap, we'll have to get out of the house and Do Some Activities- I don't even know what to do with older kids!"

So I'm afraid I lied and said I'm ill. I would have loved to help this bloke out, but I just don't feel I have any spare capacity. AIBU?

DoMeDon Fri 16-Sep-11 20:51:16

If you haven't got it in you, then you can't give it. I think you were unfair not to tell your friend you were unhappy about the arrangement in the first place. I also think that by being dishonest a seciond time (saying you were ill) you are showing a side to your personality which could do with some work.

minimisschief Fri 16-Sep-11 20:52:57

Well you have no obligation to and it was stupid of your friend to say you would.

however a nice person would repay the favour and give the guy some him time as he let all 3 of you do the same. if all three of you had children then at minimum he was looking after 3 asleep or not.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Fri 16-Sep-11 20:53:26

I would offer to look after him after school or something. If he looked after your kid for 3 hours why should you look after his for a whole day? Offer when time is short.

Oakmaiden Fri 16-Sep-11 20:53:53

I do think that he helped you out and so you could have helped him. It is not unreasonable not to want to, but it would have been a nice thing for you to do. Do you know WHY he needs help today?

And 7 year old are generally not so hard - give them a TV to watch or a DS to play on and they pretty much occupy themselves....

ExpensivePants Fri 16-Sep-11 20:56:11

If he had to be coaxed then obviously he was as keen as you are but felt he had no choice either. Very unfair of you to go along with it and then bail out when it's your turn. Sorry. You should have stopped it when it started.

mousesma Fri 16-Sep-11 20:56:13

It's not really a lie though, you are ill. Illness isn't just physical ailments.

However that being said if you knew about the agreement before you left your son with the housemate then you should have spoke up if you felt you couldn't honour it. If the other hand the first you knew of the agreement is when you arrived at the your friend's house then I think you should just say you can't honour your part.

slavetofilofax Fri 16-Sep-11 20:58:26

I think you could try to help, just in the spirit of people helping eachother out, not because you are obliged to.

If you feel like you can't do it tomorrow, then that's fine. Offer to do another time. Perhaps when his child is asleep like yours was when he babysat for you!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 16-Sep-11 21:04:15

Or you could say that you could not have the child the whole day, but could do perhaps 2 - 5pm or something similar. I also think that you DO owe him a favour but a whole day's babysitting? Sod that!

maledetta Fri 16-Sep-11 21:08:13

Yes, it would have been a lot easier if he'd asked me to do something I'd felt able to do. Like look after him for half a day rather than a whole day- after school would be fine. Or, in fact, just sit there while he's asleep, in the evening. But to look after his son for the whole day takes out my entire day- I'd have to change all my plans, and DS's routine. All he had to do was sit at home that evening, as he was going to do anyway. In the future, if this ever happens again, I will insist my friend gets a paid babysitter, and we can split the cost.

And I'll have to suggest a way to help him out that I can actually manage....

FigsAndWine Fri 16-Sep-11 21:10:14

I think that YABVU, I'm afraid. If you wanted to go out for the evening, it was your responsibility to arrange childcare. If you knew that this guy had to be coerced into babysitting, why was it ok to for you to leave your child with him? And if he was reluctant but looked after your child anyway, then I think you should return the favour and look after his child even though you don't want to. Otherwise why was it ok to dump your child on him? confused

I wouldn't want someone else's child all day, necessarily, but I think you need to offer a reasonable compromise. Otherwise, pay a babysitter in future.

maledetta Fri 16-Sep-11 21:12:09

Also....I should have let my friend know I wasn't happy with the arrangement. Stupid. Being unassertive. Not wanting to be the "difficult" one. And now I've got myself into an awkward situation. (sigh). When will I learn?

doozle Fri 16-Sep-11 21:15:20

If he only texted today to ask you, then it's very short notice and think you've every right to say no.

I would of course though return the favour at some stage and look after the little boy on another day.

DoMeDon Fri 16-Sep-11 21:15:59

Good question. When will you? It all sounds a bit 'poor me' tbh. You were happy to take and now not happy to give back. He is asking too much but you should be willing to take responsibility for your part in it. I hope you do offer to have the son for an evening. I also hope you feel better soon smile

muffinflop Fri 16-Sep-11 21:30:31

Bake some (shop bought boxed) cakes with him and stick a DVD on (let him choose what), or let him on the laptop/wii/etc. 7 year olds really aren't that hard to look after. Am sure your 18 month old would like a picnic in the park too. That'll take up some time. You owe him and I'd rather do it sooner than later and get it over with!

troisgarcons Fri 16-Sep-11 21:36:40

TBH Im amazed no one has picked up on your OP - you left your child in the care of an unknown adult .....yeah right

And there was a favour to be returned ..... (like any normal parent would dish out their kids to a stranger) .... and you are claiming MH ishoos to avoid reciprocal child care. Mind you, as ever, MH ishoos disappear on a night out. You've dumped your kid on a stranger, had your fun and now you are playing the stress card.

frankly I think he'd be insane, literally, to leave a child with you.

ChippingIn Fri 16-Sep-11 21:50:17

troisgargons - very weird post. He's not a stranger, he's her friends housemate. Plenty of people hire babysitters they don't know anyway. Not 'odd' at all.

MH issues are valid - a whole day looking after someone elses child can be too much for some people. It's a lot different to keeping an ear out for a sleeping child for 3 hours.

MH issues disappear on a night out what a nasty thing to think, let alone say.

As for your last comment - you really can be a nasty bit of work can't you hmm

ChippingIn Fri 16-Sep-11 21:53:27

Right - now that's out of the way...

I don't think you are being unreasonable to say no to tomorrow. It's a full day, it's short notice and it's nothing like a reciprocal arrangement. Tell him you'll be happy to do an after school or an evening when his son is asleep.

You aren't lying - you aren't up to having a strange 7yo for the day.

[Although they are actually pretty easy & amuse themselves if they're allowed the tv/ds/laptop some snacks etc and they're actually quite a lot of fun if you take them out to the park smile ]

SinicalSal Fri 16-Sep-11 21:56:13

Troisgracons that's not on.

OP get it over and done with, I say. But a full day on 1 days notice is a big ask, offer to do half a day next week/2 weeks time.

Maryz Fri 16-Sep-11 21:59:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

troisgarcons Fri 16-Sep-11 22:05:20

you really can be a nasty bit of work can't you

I say it as it is. But I forgot that I dont suck up to the MN clique and curry favour.

Do you leave your kids with strangers? I dont. Never did.

Oakmaiden Fri 16-Sep-11 22:07:20

A friend's housemate isn't a stranger.

BatsUpMeNightie Fri 16-Sep-11 22:08:37

Oh come now Oakmaiden - a friend's housemate is very much a stranger! Otherwise the OP would have referred to said stranger as her friend.

SexualHarrassmentPandaPop Fri 16-Sep-11 22:10:03

D'you know what I suffer with depression/anxiety and I think troisgarcons has got a point. Mainly due to the OP saying 'I lied and said I'm ill'. I immediately thought - hang on a minute I thought you WERE ill!

As for whether you should babysit. Well I think if your friend agreed to a whole day without your knowledge then that is her problem but it would be nice to reciprocate as he did enable you to have a night out. I agree with whoever said you should offer to have him after school for a couple of hours one day.

Maryz Fri 16-Sep-11 22:10:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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