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To not want to babysit this elderly lady?

(392 Posts)
hoopyloopy2 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:30:38

I have just booked a once in a lifetime trip to see an old friend in Australia. Having heard about it, someone I know (not a close friend) has asked me if I would mind her booking her elderly mother (80s) on same flight so i can keep an eye on her on the trip (the mum has been thinking of visiting family there but apparently reluctant to travel alone). I really don't want to - this trip is a big treat for me, costing me a lot of money, and with two DCs at home, the flight was going to be some long-awaited me-time. AIBU if I say I can't help? And if not, what on earth do I say without looking like an uncharitable old cow?!

SirGOLDBoobs Thu 20-Sep-12 22:33:23

You're being very derogatory to use the term "babysit". You're going on holiday - surely that is me-time enough?

I think you're being both unreasonable and selfish, tbh.

EldritchCleavage Thu 20-Sep-12 22:34:39

Well why not find out her level of need before saying no? If she just wants company because she's not confident, why not? If she would need a lot of help, you could legitimately and reasonably say no because you don't feel confident taking that on.

nancy75 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:36:08

Do you know her mother at all? Would you be expected to sit next to her on the plane or just help her out during connecting flights?
On first reading it sounds mean to say no, but having done the flight to oz I have to admit I don't think I would want to sit and make small talk for 30 hours

exoticfruits Thu 20-Sep-12 22:36:47

Do you know the woman? It may be no more than just making sure she has a bit of support if she needs it.

horsebiscuit Thu 20-Sep-12 22:36:57

Why don't you say that you'll go with her her through the airport but would like to sit apart on the plane? Then you won't sound like an uncharitable old cow. Sounds like quite a sweet thing to do TBH, I wouldn't have minded being asked.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Thu 20-Sep-12 22:37:18

I would do it, I would feelquite honoured to be asked to accompany an elderly person to see thier relatives on the other side of the world for what would most probably be last time. What exactly would it entail other than ensuring she got and off the plain. If she needs alot of support and it is not feasable for her to make such a journey then I would express those concerns, other wise is there no way you would be willing. If not just say no.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 20-Sep-12 22:39:36

I try to think about how I would/will feel in this case. This is an 80 year old who presumably won't get another chance. Maybe when you're 80 karma will arrange a treat for you if you help out.

arthurfowlersallotment Thu 20-Sep-12 22:39:54

Yep, it's an awfully long flight and as you say, it's not a close friend.

I don't think you're being mean. I wouldn't want to do it either. Long haul flights are shite enough. Though babysit is a bit of an unfortunate description as she is a grown woman.

You could say that you're a nervous passenger and wouldn't be any help to the lady..

Noqontrol Thu 20-Sep-12 22:40:10

I'd do it. Its only the flight. It would probably make such a difference to that lady. Its the right thing to do. Spread a little happiness and good will. It makes the world a nicer place.

Trills Thu 20-Sep-12 22:41:02

It depends on what the woman in question is like.

If she would insist on talking to you then I can see why you wouldn't want to do it. I don't want to chat to strangers either.

NatashaBee Thu 20-Sep-12 22:41:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twooter Thu 20-Sep-12 22:42:09

I feel for you! I can't see how you can nicely get out of it, except for saying that you don't want the responsibility if anything goes wrong, because after all, it is a special and expensive holiday.

I think it's actually really unfair of them to ask. An hours train journey, fair enough, but over24hrs is taking the piss, unless it is a close friend or relative.

Shakey1500 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:43:27

YABU. It would be a really nice/helpful thing to do for someone. She could be a complete hoot.

hoopyloopy2 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:44:00

Thanks all. The term babysit wasn't meant to be derogatory, more to indicate the level of requirement ie I don't think it is a big care issue, more one of confidence. I will do some more thinking, some fair points made here. I think I just have been surprised by the request as I have never met the lady. Her daughter is a lovely person but, as I say, not a close friend - if so, I wouldn't consider saying anything but yes.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Thu 20-Sep-12 22:44:04

but why lie though arthur, why not just say no sorry Im not able to commit to helping out. people are too quick to worry what others think, if you think others will think you are an "uncharitable cow" then maybe that is because you know it is how it will look or it is how it is. either be honest or if you want to be and appear kind do it. Otherwise why not be honest and say the true reasons.

ekidna Thu 20-Sep-12 22:44:06

agree with goldboobs "babysit" --what a shitty expression whatever your own holiday once in a lifetime needs

twooter Thu 20-Sep-12 22:44:06

Just read the other posts and feeling mean now. It's reminiscent of the FB taxi driver thing that's doing the rounds.

SavoyCabbage Thu 20-Sep-12 22:45:04

I would do it too. Those massive airports can be quite overwhelming. That will be the part she will need help with. Finding a toilet in Dubai. You can hold her bag. That sort of thing. You won't need to sit next to her on the flight as obviously the lovely staff can make sure she is ok.

reddaisy Thu 20-Sep-12 22:45:42

YANBU. I wouldn't want to do this either.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 20-Sep-12 22:47:10

I ended up with an elderly woman sat next to me on one flight. She was going around the world visiting her sons (who were everywhere). I had the pleasure of helping her lots and she was utterly lovely. She read my palm and told me I would have a baby (I did, eventually). When the turbulence got bad, she got very scared and I told her that she had told me I was having a baby so she knew we would be OK as I wasn't even pregnant then smile I opened her meal for her because for some reason they wrap halal food like it is nuclear waste.

I was happy to help, she was lovely and I like to think that her sons would have done the same for my mother. I know you want a rest but you will get one in Oz and she might not have another chance.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Sep-12 22:47:20

I don't think that you have to sit with her - it is just a confidence thing- someone to turn to if she is unsure. Even when DH and I went we sat across the aisle from each other so we could both have leg room.

lovebunny Thu 20-Sep-12 22:47:29

just tell the truth - 'i'm really looking forward to the time on my own'.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 20-Sep-12 22:49:28

Erm, there is actually a fair chance that this lady won't want to make so many hours of small-talk with a stranger anyway, and would be delighted to be seated separately? She's human too, will be feeling both grateful and obliged (if the OP agrees) and will be stressing about it too.

mariew1974 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:50:03

giving her a hand and maybe company on the way is a nice thing to do, but what is she going to do on the way back?

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