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To not want to babysit 24/7?

(20 Posts)
Hanah40 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:37:30

I got back from a Sunday hike mentally refreshed but physically exhausted, and soaked through. I found my partner had been drafted in for ?emergency? babysitting because our next door neighbour and dear friend had had to go to the doctors. He has had an arm injury recently and threw a stitch, which he went and got fixed. Obviously, real emergency, and happy to help.

However we had helped look after his little girl for a bit on Friday and most of the day Saturday. We both work full time and instead of recharging on Sunday afternoon (or even doing the cleaning and ironing, which has fallen by the wayside) I spent it trying to entertain and take care of the needs of a baby. I also did her bedtime routine. He wanted to come over before 9 this morning and have help bathing her. I had to say no. He looked stricken, but it would have been impossible to fit it in (as it was, I was so tired I overslept a little).

I adore his little girl and him, and want to help out as much as I can - we cook for him most nights as well. The problem is that his arm is going to take months to heal and I don?t have the time, energy or inclination to be a mom after a long day at work. I just can?t do it, especially as I?m charge of an imminent product launch which requires occasional work at home, and an increased workload in the office.

I just don?t know what to do. I can?t just leave him in the lurch, but I can?t provide the help he wants either ? I simply can?t cope, and I don?t know what to do. Resentment, guilt and exhaustion are kind of blurring at this point.

It's also more difficult for me emotionally because I had an early miscarriage a few months back.

What should I do????

Numberlock Mon 17-Sep-12 09:39:54

Just to clarify - is your friend a single parent? Is the girl's mother no longer on the scene?

Hanah40 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:41:25

Yes, not at all, she's not involved.

Numberlock Mon 17-Sep-12 09:44:21

It's a difficult situation for both of you then, isn't it, I assume he has no family to help out - parents, siblings etc?

What are the childcare arrangements during the day when he's at work?

EdMcDunnough Mon 17-Sep-12 09:46:12

He needs an awful lot of help from what you describe.

I would think that an organisation like homestart would be better placed to help him out if he is on his own.

You need to talk to him about asking his health visitor for some assistance. It isn't your job.

thecatsminion Mon 17-Sep-12 09:48:13

You sound like a good friend.

Could you sit down with him and find out where he needs help, and then offer do to some things? Like, half a day at the weekend, bedtime a couple of nights a week, whatever you're happy with? That way it helps him figure out when he needs to sort out extra help. There must be someone else - a relative, another friend - who can help out, or he could look at getting a paid helper in?

Also, could he get help from social work? There's a scheme where we stay that chaotic families get help with getting the kids to school etc. I know this obviously isn't the same thing, but it might be worth asking if he can get some sort of short term help.

Hanah40 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:49:21

His parents are involved, and he has a sister, but they live in another town. He has a nursery and a childminder for when he's at work, but they don't do evenings, and they are quite expensive, even with the bit of assistance he gets for being a single dad.

pigletmania Mon 17-Sep-12 09:51:13

Yes I agree put him in contact with Surestart, social services if he needs help, it isent your job. You have your own life to live

mistlethrush Mon 17-Sep-12 09:52:11

Could he get an au pair for 3 months or so? Does he have the room for this?

Numberlock Mon 17-Sep-12 09:52:58

Some good suggestions there - a mixture of additional paid help and a rota for friends/family to help out should get him through this.

Eg his parents come over at the weekends to help out and you do a couple of evenings.

Is he afraid of having the child taken away and this is what's preventing him asking for formal help?

CaptainHetty Mon 17-Sep-12 09:54:24

It's lovely that he feels he can turn to you, you sound a good friend.

But I second what Ed said, perhaps for the level of support he needs, contacting his health visitor and homestart might be a better option.

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Sep-12 09:54:40

I think you need to be really clear about what you can and can't do, draw up a timetable when you're available to help then stick to that. I'd say 'obviously with your injury we realise you need a bit more help with DD, as you know I've got a big project coming up and am needed at work a lot too, so rather than letting you down, I've had a look at my diary and I know I can commit to x, y and z'.

You sound like a great friend but if you don't have boundaries that you're comfortable with you are going to end up resenting him.

Hanah40 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:59:12

Thank you for your suggestions and help guys. I think it's more male pride - one of the reasons he threw a stitch and exacerbated his injury was that he was trying to do everything himself, including continuing to carry / lift his DD and strenuous tasks like hoovering. I'll call up a couple of mutual friends this evening, and text his mum. I'm sure people will be willing to help, he just hates admitting he's struggling (like most single parents I guess).

PowerDresser Mon 17-Sep-12 10:31:55

Are there any other neighbours around?

Hanah40 Mon 17-Sep-12 20:05:48

Hi powerdresser, not ones he's close to, and tbf I wouldn't trust my DD with just anyone either.

My DP managed to mess things up a bit though. He spoke to our friend in a bit of a cack handed way. So now we're trying to repair the emotional damage done and explain that he's not a nuisance and we don't dislike him, we just can't handle all of the physical and emotional support he needs right now. I feel so guilty.

LadyWidmerpool Mon 17-Sep-12 20:16:42

You sound lovely [flowers]

LadyWidmerpool Mon 17-Sep-12 20:17:20

Oops thanks blush

Hanah40 Mon 24-Sep-12 12:32:20

Thank you LadyWidmerpool, i'm not feeling very lovely at the moment. I'm getting (as predicted by you guys) resentful, especially after I spent my entire Saturday looking after the LO and then helped take her to the park (after a passive aggressive "does Aunty Hanah want to go to the park?" in front of the child) and pushed the pram most of the way.

On the way back he even hinted about how his ironing was piling up! I rather rudely retorted that I was sure he could cope with wrinkly clothes for a bit.

I don't even do my partner's ironing, and I usually buy clothes that need minimal iron time, because it's a task I absolutely hate. It was a bit of a last straw, especially after he completely dismissed my tentative suggestion that he get a home help or cleaner for a bit.

I know it's my own fault for not setting boundaries properly, but I honestly don't know how to - I usually don't have to.

Numberlock Mon 24-Sep-12 12:35:07

draw up a timetable when you're available to help then stick to that. I'd say 'obviously with your injury we realise you need a bit more help with DD, as you know I've got a big project coming up and am needed at work a lot too, so rather than letting you down, I've had a look at my diary and I know I can commit to x, y and z'.

I really liked wilson's suggestion above, what do you think about that?

cestlavielife Mon 24-Sep-12 12:48:04

err he needs to pay an ironer/ cleaner ! or have wrinkled sheets. or he can send out his washing to be done at ,ocal laundrete wash and iron service.... .

his choice.

why do you cook for him? i dont get it. ready meals/freezer meals for a few weeks wont hurt. boil pasta, put colander in sink tip pasta in to drain - can be done one handed. add ham/salmon/tuna to pasta - it is a meal...

surely he is as capable as a lone female parent (injuries aside) .

and HE needs to call his mum and friends to help . you are not his mother. you say when you free. let him sort the rest. injured hand not injured voice?

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