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To want to find a way to pull out of childcare agreement with friend?

(15 Posts)
KenLeeeeeee Mon 08-Oct-12 12:40:44

A few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation between a friend/neighbour at school about how she was struggling to sort out after-nursery care for her daughter on the following Monday. I piped up with saying I was happy to pick her up and help out that day, we swapped numbers and all was fine.

Somehow, either me or friend got the wrong end of the stick. I don't know entirely how, but what I thought was an arrangement for me to collect her DD as a one-off favour has turned into me picking her up EVERY Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes because of friend's work hours overrunning pick-up time. In return for this, friend picks up my DC1, 2 and 3 with her older kids from school.

Still with me?

My DC3 is in the same nursery class as Friend's DD but on Mondays and Wednesdays, she's in 'til 3:15 rather than finishing at lunchtime. I did this so that I could have two days a week with just DC4 at home, meaning that I could take care of errands, go shopping, maybe even meet up with friends for lunch (!) on those days. This arrangement re: friends's DD has put a total spanner in the works and I'm kicking myself for not speaking up straightaway and pointing out that my offer was because I thought it was just that one Monday she was stuck, not every week.

So, would I be a complete cowbag to try and find a way to weasel out of doing this every week? I suspect that IABU to want to, because there's no actual reason I can't pick up her DD on both days every week, it's purely and simply because I had rather been looking forward to having two days a week of just one child at home instead of four!

I've tried speaking to nursery and swapping my DC3's hours around so I can have my "days off" (for want of a better phrase) on say Tuesdays and Thursdays, but they have no room to manoeuvre at the moment because they are very oversubscribed as it is.

I still get 9am - 11:50am just with the baby on Mondays and Wednesdays, so AIB-greedy to want more? My friend relies on my help because she's working while I'm looking after her DD (she has other friends that cover the other days each week), whereas I'm a SAHM.

I don't know if it makes any difference, but we became friends because we live in the same street and have children in the same classes at the same school. We're not 'go out for lunch/drinks together' type friends iyswim.

Well done if you got to the end without falling asleep and declaring me a terrible bore!

As I said, I strongly suspect that IABU to wish I hadn't agreed to this, or rather that I'd spoken up to start with and pointed out that I thought she only needed help as a one-off! What do I doooooo?! confused

KnockKnockPenny Mon 08-Oct-12 12:43:40

She needs a childminder. Can you suggest this to her?

KnockKnockPenny Mon 08-Oct-12 12:44:38

It really annoys me that working parents assume that SAHM parents will pick up their slack with childcare sad

Teeb Mon 08-Oct-12 12:45:12

Agree she needs to actually sort out her childcare, rather than just bodging it and passing her child about a bit.

How long are you looking after her DD for? Has she offered any payment?

fourfingerkitkat Mon 08-Oct-12 12:46:01

Yanbu. You were trying to be helpful and things got a bit misunderstood. You entitled to want to spend time with DC4 all by yourself for God's sake ! You should have a word...hope she takes it ok. It's a shame it kind of backfired on you when all you were trying to do was help out a friend !

ZacharyQuack Mon 08-Oct-12 12:47:24

You don't have to weasel out of it. Just tell her "look I'm sorry but I can't pick up your child on Wednesdays anymore. My DC has a long day on Wednesday and I don't get to nursery until 3:15"

If you wanted to continue to help her out in return for her picking up your older children from school you could say that you could help on a different day if she can juggle work/other friends.

But really she needs a childminder.

cestlavielife Mon 08-Oct-12 12:48:28

but you have an exchange - "In return for this, friend picks up my DC1, 2 and 3 with her older kids from school." so you need to get out of that one too.

deleted203 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:48:50

YANBU. It's a pity that you didn't speak up straightaway but I think you can say that actually you are finding that this isn't working for you. That having your own DD in nursery and then caring for hers instead is just ridiculous.

nannyl Mon 08-Oct-12 12:48:59


there is a big difference between doing a one off favour and doing something every week

just tell her that actually having tried it it isnt going to work every week and she needs to find alternative childcare, but perhaps in an emergancy (ie childminder sick) you could help out occasionaly

AppleCrumbleAndFish Mon 08-Oct-12 12:50:53

YANBU. Can you not just explain that you were just volunteering for the first day and there has been some confusion as she seems to think you were willing to do it indefinitely.
I've been asked for a similar favour by three different people. It didn't work for any of them. I work part time because it enabled me to fit around my children, not everyone's children. In two out of the three instances I was asked without any offer of payment or reciprocal agreement. Bloody cheek IMO.

KenLeeeeeee Mon 08-Oct-12 12:51:07

Thanks all. I did think about suggesting a childminder, but I'm such a massive wuss about any form of confrontation, I haven't dared. She's a lovely, lovely lady and her outlook is very much "it takes a village to raise a child". She looks after another of her friends's kids between the end of school and about 6pm every day, so it's a real childcare sharing network, if you get the picture.

Teeb - I pick her DD up at 11:50am and she collects her at 3:45ish after she's picked up her older kids and my DC1, 2 and 3 from the school.

KenLeeeeeee Mon 08-Oct-12 12:53:47

Yeah, cestlavielife there is a reciprocal element to the arrangement with her picking up my kids, which I obviously wouldn't expect her to keep up if I stopped looking after her DD.

Right then.. so the consensus is that I need to stop being a wuss and speak to her! I have to say, I'm relieved that it doesn't make me a big unreasonable cowbag to wish for my peaceful days again!

RobotLover68 Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:14

You're not being selfish - when my dc3 went to school I was really looking forward to the time I was going to spend with dc4 until he went to school - I got seriously ill and poor dc4 got the short straw and was pushed from pillar to post (unavoidable) I still look back on that year with regret even though it wasn't my fault and he doesn't remember!

YANBU - you need to tell her it isn't working, it was a misunderstanding and give her a bit of time to sort alternative arrangements

Teeb Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:37

She's being unreasonable. I bet you're expected to feed her daughter in that time too?

I think the best thing you can do is be clear that you won't be able to do it anymore. There's no reason why you can't be polite when you do that, but I find it's best not to give a particular reason/excuse because these people will try to 'solve' that and then expect it to continue. Go for something simple and direct like 'I'm afraid it doesn't work for me, hope you can make other arrangements.' and leave it at that.

squeaver Mon 08-Oct-12 12:59:32

So you're providing 8 hours of childcare a week (don't know where you are but around here that equates to £80 a week with a nanny) and, in return, she's doing the school run for you (every day? or just on these two days?)?

She doesn't need t know what you're doing with your time to stop you from carrying on with the arrangement, just tell her you can't do it doesn't work for you any more, and actually it never did.

I wonder, if you asked around, how many other people she's tried to make "arrangements" with.

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