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To feel used (free childcare)

(42 Posts)
maybeyoushoulddrive Fri 26-Oct-12 11:36:12

Have just ended up agreeing to have yet another child at half term while her parents go to work. Her Mum rang to arrange 'a play' for the girls, what were my plans for the holiday etc etc. I suggested Wednesday. She said great could she come to yours as she has to work all week? So not a play at all but childcare! Grrr! I'll have her 8:30 - 5:30. I'm already having another girl on Monday...

AIBU to feel like I am being used? I don't work due to ill health. The only positive from this is that I don't have to worry about arranging childcare for my dd for holidays/INSET days etc. There are many negatives, not least struggling to pay bills etc. I feel quite resentful that they see it that as I'll be here I can be used as free childcare... My fear is that I can't guarantee how I'll feel on Wednesday. Dd is used to Mummy's bad days and is happy to curl up with me and read/watch tv. This other girl is high maintainance - she will demand interaction etc.

Must grow a backbone and be ready with reasons to say no, but she side swiped me! BTW I am always happy to help in an emergency and have on many occasions - I'm not completely scrooge like.

Sorry have ranted and waffled! But honestly two whole days of looking after other people's children, I know dd will be pleased to see them, but even she is flagging after a few hours with them.

Mintyy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:37:19

Yes, I'm sorry, she is using you. Be wise to it for next holidays!

yellowsubmarine53 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:41:08

It does sound like you're being used/taken for granted and you don't sound at all scrooge like.

The key thing is that you don't have to have a reason to say no, you can just say 'no, that's not convenient'. If the other person persists, you use the 'broken record' technique of just repeating this and they'll back off.

Generally, childcare works as a swap, does it not? You could say that you're looking forward to your dd going to her house all day (a weekend if she works full-time), and should you agree a time now?

Inertia Fri 26-Oct-12 11:42:22

Perhaps have a standard answer ready along the lines of "Not sure how I'll feel because of my illness, but I can ring you on the day to see whether you're still free as long as I'm well enough".

Yes you are being used.

soundevenfruity Fri 26-Oct-12 11:43:41

You can always say no, midway through the arrangement. People are not going to like you because you say yes. And the best piece of advice for me was "No IS an answer" - it doesn't need any elaboration on your part.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 26-Oct-12 11:44:13

Why dont you ring back and say that on having thought about it more you won't be able to have her because if your health issues, and you're letting her know now rather than cancelling at the last minute

If you don't want to do it or you don't think you'll be up to it then don't, people can only use you if you let them smile

OnTheBottomWithAWomansWeekly Fri 26-Oct-12 11:45:54

Ring back now and say that you are feeling unwell and to ensure that your condition doesn't flare up you can only agree to a play date of 2 hours (and state the hours that suit you).

She'll have till next Wed to sort something else, cheeky cah!

izzywizzyisbizzy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:47:17

TBF, I dont think she is using you, I'd be happy enough, as my DCs like having people over, different people different views, if you don't want to do it, you only have to say no.

ToothbrushThief Fri 26-Oct-12 11:47:58

I'd agree, ring back and say you can do until lunchtime. All day is taking the pee!

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Oct-12 11:48:00

You are being used. I would call this mum back and say sorry,you've just realised you have a doctors appointment in the morning but if her DD would like to come over to play, you'll be happy to have her in the afternoon. Then say, I really can't commit to do a full day's childcare because of my illness, I hope you understand I can only really manage a couple of hours at a time.

TheLateMrPamuk Fri 26-Oct-12 11:48:38

I know how you feel op. I'm constantly looking after my nieces while sil works she drops them off after school and for full days in school holidays. She told me last week I had opick them up as she was running late her school is a twenty minute walk from my house.
She rarely says Thankyou and disbeliefs that my husband has a disability which leaves him in agony most days sad.
I also feed them at least twice a week without any offers of help from her.

Now my own dsis is starting she keeps asking for babysitting favours over the weekends or if she wants to go shopping this includes her leaving her newborn with me and toddler.

A Couple of weeks ago I was looking after and feeding 10 dc one day.

yellowsubmarine53 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:49:25

I agree with ringing now and either cancelling or limiting it to a specific time slot. This will give the other mum several days to make alternative plans and stop you feeling the weight of additional childcare to come hanging over you.

maybeyoushoulddrive Fri 26-Oct-12 11:49:29

Thank you, nice not to get flamed!

I am weak and a pushover - I must remember ' no is a complete sentence' - that's brilliantsmile Hmm, I'll have a think about cancelling now... I just feel bad because I know it must be very hard to sort out who's having the children in the holidays, although half term happens every term, they've known it was coming I guess.

DublinMammy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:49:52

Definitely ring back now and say sorry, on reflection you just can't have her for the whole day (tell her your health won't allow it) but would be happy to help with a couple of hours/ however long you would normally expect a playdate with her to last.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Oct-12 11:50:03

(BTW - if you are offering half a day, off the afternoon not morning, a morning can be "ok, I'll leave work early and pick my DC up" then get "stuck at work" and some people can really think they can stretch a 'morning' until 2pm. If you say PM after lunch, the mum has to find some other arrangement for the morning and is less likely to take the piss on the day)

halcyondays Fri 26-Oct-12 11:50:15

It's not to late to say no. She is being cheeky by suggesting a play,when she means all day childcare.

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Oct-12 11:50:25

The '8:30 - 5:30' tells me she's using the OP

Otherwise why not 10 - 4 or something else?

Mintyy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:51:51

Don't go worrying about how someone else arranges half term childcare. Its not like she's your best friend or sister or someone to whom you owe a favour, is it?

Eggrules Fri 26-Oct-12 11:52:05

It depends on how I was asked. I think a 'play' should be for a few hours and not all day. How do you feel about a reciprocal arrangement? If people feel comfortable asking you for a favour, I think you should be OK about suggesting an equal favour in return. Have they offered to have your DD?

It isn't too late to say no imho, especially of you aren't up to it. I would call back parent #2 and say that you aren't up to looking after an extra child all day and say that they need to make alternative arrangements. If you are up to a few hours play then arrange that for another time.

DublinMammy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:52:07

OP, it's not your responsibility to sort out her childcare arrangements, it's HER job and yes, half-term comes round every term!!! Don't feel bad.

halcyondays Fri 26-Oct-12 11:52:40

Don't feel bad about it, its not your responsibilty to provide free childcare, if she grumbles, say that when she suggested "a play" you had in mind a couple of hours, not a full day, which is very different. As you say, they knew half term was coming.

defineme Fri 26-Oct-12 11:53:39

I only do this if we both do it for each other and all my friends use this system. So I'll ring a friend and ask her to do A Friday night babysit and she'll say great because she needs someone for the following Saturday. Or a friend might ring and say could you do this day in the holidays and I'll do 2 school pick ups for you.
With your illness I really think you need to mention this and say she'll have to be picked up by lunch or something?I would also say could your dd come to yours on the Saturday.
I do feel for parents arranging childcare, but nurseries and schools do holiday clubs so there are alternatives(which I use btw-can't do that amny reciprical arrangements!).

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Oct-12 11:55:24

OP - don't feel sorry for this mum, half term starts today and she's only just making arrangements - most parents will have been sounding out childminders/grandparents/other friends from September. If she had been making proper efforts to find someone else, she would have called and said "Look, I'm really stuck I've tried XYZ but don't have any childcare, can you help me please??" instead she pretending she was arranging a playdate, not asking for free childcare.

You aren't working due to illness, so your family misses out on your income but you do'nt have to pay childcare, whyshould she get it for free without even making it clear from the outset she's asking for a favour.

TheLateMrPamuk - start being busy. It'll stop your SIL taking you for granted if you can't always do it. (Lie if you have to) Also, start calling in these favours, start with "You know how I had your DCs on XYZ days, well I need to call in the favour, can you have my DCs on Saturday/Sunday for the day? Great, i'll drop them over at 9am." if she says no, say, ok, but then SAY NO TO ALL OTHER CHILDCARE REQUESTS

whois Fri 26-Oct-12 11:55:40

Yeah ring back and say you can't have her for the whole day, mention your health, but do it ASAP so she can sort out alternative arrangements.

WilsonFrickett Fri 26-Oct-12 12:01:33

The fact she said 'a play' then landed you with a whole day is severely, severely not good (as DS would say). Cheeky caaaah. I won't pretend I've never been stuck for childcare, but then the conversation goes 'I'm stuck for childcare, can you help me, I will reciprocate and also bring wine'. Not 'Can WilsonJR pop over for a play? Oh btw, it will last 8 hours.'


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