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to have asked for a contribution?

(27 Posts)
CotswoldsMum Mon 01-Oct-12 22:37:56

Sorry this is a bit long, have name changed.

So, a single mum friend of mine leaves her underage son home alone after school until around 6-7pm every night. He is a very responsible kid, but because we live close by and he and my son are very good friends, I often have him at ours after school, sometimes even feeding him dinner. At the weekends, she would then sometimes have my son over on the Saturday for a few hours. All was fine and well.

One evening we were both bemoaning the cost of childcare (her reason for not choosing to pay for it, and my reason why, with 3 children, I am a stay at home mum). She had a number of work events coming up in the near future, including a weekend away which she was in a dilemma over. I said that I could have her son for the late night events in return for her paying for pizza or something for the kids tea. I also said that I could have him over the weekend for a small contribution to cover costs of him taking part in whatever family activities we would do. She seemed fine with this and even gave me a list of upcoming dates.

Anyway, I had him one evening until about 10pm and she paid for the pizza, but since then he has not asked to come over after school AT ALL, and my son hasn't asked either. Bearing in mind, that they usually ask me EVERY DAY after school, I found this odd. Having not even seen him the last couple of weeks, I saw him today and asked why he doesn't come over anymore and he said that his mum said he couldn't because she would have to pay me!?!?!

I was totally caught off guard with that as I have never asked her for a penny when I would have her son after school. I did it because I couldn't stand the thought of him being home alone whilst we were so close by and could have him. Apart from paying for the pizza that one night and contributing something if I were to have him over a long weekend (which I didn't in the end because his dad came to stay (he is abroad). I actually feel quite hurt that, rather than say something to me, she has just forbidden her son from coming over. And am also a bit 'wtf' that she would rather have him alone than let him come to us, when I've never asked for anything for this.

So what I want to know is, AIBU to have asked for pizza for the late night event and a contribution if he stayed over the weekend?

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:43:11


But how old is 'underage'?

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:43:29

Fuck I meant YANBU sorry

drcrab Mon 01-Oct-12 22:44:13

I don't think you were being unreasonable but I think if i were her I'd feel that you wanted me to pay everytime. Reason being I won't know if you considered 3-7pm a long time, or whether 6-10pm a long time. Therefore would you expect me to pay for pizza every night? If so that's alot of money (I'm assuming Dominos rather then a frozen one from supermarket).

missymoomoomee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:45:31

YANBU at all, if you invite him over for tea thats one thing, but if you are doing her a favour why should you be out of pocket?

Mrsjay Mon 01-Oct-12 22:47:36

That is a shame she has taken what you said about babysitting the wrong way yanbu speak to her just say you meant their tea when you watched him and when you were going to have him for the weekend. try and sort it she is maybe a bit over sensitive

Is there any chance it's a misunderstanding?
Her DS has got the wrong end of the stick?
You don't say what age they are, but my DS has a friend who will make up stuff to be allowed to stay in the house on his own when both me and his mum would prefer he is not unsupervised.
He will tell me his mum says its ok, tel her I've said it's ok, that sort of thing.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:48:50

I suppose it depends how you asked her.

CotswoldsMum Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:22

drcrab I only asked for pizza for the late night events she outlined in advance, the after school thing is not pre-arranged, he/my son asks, I say yes. I've never asked for anything for this.

worra he's 9

Hassled Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:24

You just need to talk to her. She's put 2 and 2 together and come up with 7 - just ring her and clarify what you meant. You're happy to have him but equally you can't be out of pocket, etc.

MerylStrop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:53:08

You weren't unreasonable to ask.

But if she's taken it the wrong way I'd go and talk to her about it and set it straight. No point in you taking the huff or nothing will ever get resolved. Not in the best interests of your friendship or her son.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:53:55

9 and he's left alone til 6 or 7pm? sad

fuzzywuzzy Mon 01-Oct-12 22:54:06

how old is he?

I definitely would not leave my child in someone's care without contributing something for their help.

MerylStrop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:56:24

Poor wee lad, must be so lonely for him

Go talk to her.

jimswifein1964 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:56:37

omg, 9 years old? sad

Notcontent Mon 01-Oct-12 22:58:52

Yes, just have a friendly word with her and explain your thinking.
You sound really nice and helpful.
I feel for the little boy - 9 is just a bit young to be coming home to an empty house.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 01-Oct-12 23:00:35

I can only assume she's really really struggling for money and can't afford to pay even the small amount you've asked sad

How old is her ds?

BitOutOfPractice Mon 01-Oct-12 23:01:03

Oh blimey I've just seen he's 9 sad

BackforGood Mon 01-Oct-12 23:04:25

I'm just shock that anyone would think it acceptable to leave a 9 yr old home alone from the end of school until 6 or 7 every night sad.

Pumpkintopf Mon 01-Oct-12 23:08:06

He's far too young to be left alone all that time. I hope you can chat to her and resolve things so he can come and spend time with you again, sounds like you look after him as if he was your own x

CotswoldsMum Mon 01-Oct-12 23:12:43

bitoutofpractice I presume that as a single mum she isn't loaded, but neither he, nor she, ever wants for anything and her son has more stuff, better clothes, holidays etc than my 3 do. And his dad is loaded.

As his dad came to stay for the long weekend, we never discussed how much 'contribution' so all she's had to go on was a pizza.

I guess I feel like, in light of all this, that as I am the stay at home mum, that I am expected to just do this extra care for free (I'm talking the late nights and the weekends). But all that impacts on my family too. And then I feel torn. Maybe I should because we all need help at times (Lord knows we have), but that is why I have him after school. The late nights and possible overnights are another ball game when I already have 3 to organise and my husband works long hours.

Arrggghh, I hate this sort of stuff! I am a coward terrible at having these sorts of conversations. It makes friendships awkward sad I would have hoped that she could have just been straight with me from the outset rather than going this route.

lambinapram Mon 01-Oct-12 23:18:03

Sounds like she was worried you might start asking for a contribution for the school days as well and she didn't want to risk not being able to pay if you asked.

Call her and say your DS has missed having his friend over to play and that you are happy to do it with no charge as she has your son on saturdays and you feel thats fair.

Pumpkintopf Mon 01-Oct-12 23:26:49

Cotswoldsmum, IKWYM, I'm a sahm too and have sometimes felt taken advantage of when my working friends expected me to drop everything and pick up their kids even if my own were in after school clubs, because they were too tight to pay for the after school care. I think you need to find a solution that doesn't leave you feeling like a doormat or out of pocket because that's not fair. Perhaps you could clarify re the weekend stays - all you wanted was to be able to take your family out as you usually would, with her simply paying for her son's participation eg a cinema ticket or whatever. But people can be odd about these things. We were recently asked to take another child to a football match - we said fine but we had booked a meal with another family afterwards and he would need to come with us. So, we took him out for lunch - not even the offer of a contribution! Ah well, not how I'd behave but then I have plenty of my own faults smile . I hope you can sort it for the sake of the little lad.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Oct-12 23:30:10

He should not be left home alone at the age of nine. Not sure how I would deal with this but it's not right.

crackcrackcrak Mon 01-Oct-12 23:32:06

9 is too young to be left alone for long periods. I don't think she should just leave him because childcare is expensive. Yanbu - she is being daft because what sounds like a v modest contribution you asked for is a lot cheaper than registered childcare plus he's close to home do she doesn't have to pick him up etc.
op sounds like a nice person/responsible parent etc

Actually 9 concerns me quite a bit. I know at that age they turn the tv on and or entertain themselves a bit but not sure he could cook him own dinner and or know what to do if there's an accident/fire etc. poor kid

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