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In judging my friend's spending/lifestyle?

(308 Posts)
Shagmundfreud Sun 28-Oct-12 20:56:48

Don't want to judge but find myself doing it all the time with this friend.

Friend works 2 days a week, her DH does shifts. On the days when her DH's shifts clash with her work days, I look after her 2 year old from 7.30am to 6.15pm and her older children for an hour before school, and pick them up from after school club. I've been looking after her d/c on this random basis for about 16 months. She also uses a nursery for her 2 year old a couple of days a week (one of her work days and one of her non work days). So some months I'll proved 2 days child care, some months 4 or 5.

When we first started this arrangement she'd pay me at the end of the month, but after a few months she told me she was struggling a bit with money and asked if I could wait to be paid.I told her to pay me when she could - I trusted her. And she did pay me - six months later after she'd received a payment for missiles PPI.

Since then she's gone back to not paying me. Now owes me money dating back to July. Last week she told me she hasn't paid her rent and is 2.5k down and really struggling. She has said nothing about the money she owes me and has not apologised about the situation. I assume she won't be able to pay me any time soon, which is a problem as I was relying on the money to pay for Christmas.

I find myself judging her constantly - her spending. I notices that she buys those crappy over-priced Graze boxes, organic meat and veg, gets her hair cut and coloured once a month, has her dc in nursery one day a week when she's not working, has an iPhone 5, as does her DH, who's also recently bought her and himself an iPad. Every time I am confronted with some snippet of information about her spending I feel a surge of fury going through me. Yuck.

Her and her DH separated a few years ago and got back together after conceiving DC3. I know that she hasn't made his moving back in 'official' and is still claiming HB and council tax relief. I wish I didn't know this. sad

What complicates things further is knowing her DH has a serious life-limiting condition that will eventually mean he can no longer work. It also makes him very difficult to live with. He is paranoid, has OCD, communication problems. I feel very sorry for them both and struggle with also feeling angry and judgemental about friend's dishonesty and poor choices.

I wish I could cleanse my brain of my nasty judgemental thoughts but I can't.

BabylonPI Sun 28-Oct-12 20:59:57

Sorry but YANBU and I can't see a single reason why you haven't yet reported her anonymously to benefit fraud.
Makes me so angry when there are so many struggling to make ends meet legitimately.

Shutupanddrive Sun 28-Oct-12 21:00:20

YANBU, stop being a doormat

Bluebell99 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:00:20

I think you need to stop looking after her kids for free. She is taking the piss out of you big time. Say you can no longer do it as you need to earn money.

GhostShip Sun 28-Oct-12 21:01:26


Tell her you either get paid, or you stop the service.

at once!

GhostShip Sun 28-Oct-12 21:02:07

shagmeund I was taken aback when I read your name! You always seem really assertive on here. Don't let her take the piss x

GrendelsMum Sun 28-Oct-12 21:03:25

Mmm - I can see your problem. She needs your support as a friend, but she's pushing you out of the friend category into 'person she owes money to and is therefore screwing over'.

In order for you to support her as a friend long term, could you break off the financial link between you? i.e. stop childminding her child, and take on paying children instead.

marriedinwhite Sun 28-Oct-12 21:03:31

I think it's very simple and I don't think you are being unreasonable. If I were you I would given her a month's notice, point out how much she owes me and make a repayment schedule for her, with the help of the CAB if necessary. I would then look for some new mindees and make sure I had a proper contract with the principal carer.

ENormaSnob Sun 28-Oct-12 21:04:05

She is massively taking the piss out of you.

DontmindifIdo Sun 28-Oct-12 21:04:33

You will never be paid, she's got you doing childcare for free. Time to stop.

Say you can't do it anymore and by the way you owe me £X. You won't get it, but you know at least you tried.

deleted203 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:05:16

YANBU - I would present her with a bill the next time you see her (dating back to July) and tell her firmly that you are concerned that she has owed you this money for so long and that you now need it settling. I would tell her that until it is paid you will be unable to have her children again and that if you do have them in the future then she needs to pay you for the day's work when she picks them up.

Shagmundfreud Sun 28-Oct-12 21:06:18

Babylon - I feel sorry for her. I know what she's doing is wrong. If she had a criminal record she would find it very hard to work in her profession, and then she'd be reliant on the tax payer for much longer. I think she's got herself into a state financially because of 2 things: poor planning and her DH being financially abusive. I can't bear to add to her troubles.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:07:29

Stop the childcare, a childminder or nursery wouldn't take this and neither should you

rubyslippers Sun 28-Oct-12 21:07:39

Of course she's taking the pee

What a horrid situation

Sit down and explain you cannot and won't do it for free - no money since July is shocking

What would you tell a friend in this situation?

cumfy Sun 28-Oct-12 21:08:32

It's not really a question of "judging"; she (or they) have clearly got the money -- just not paying you.

Sounds like theft to me.
I think it might be time for a long chat.

LeChatRouge Sun 28-Oct-12 21:09:07


You know the only solution is to stop minding them dont you? You are going to have to put yourself and your family first and be brave and tell her.

You know the saying, you can't change people, you can only change the way you react to them.

Send her a text now (you'll feel so much better aterwards) and arrange a time to meet her this week somewhere neutral without the kids. Just say you can't do this childminding for free anymore. She'll know this is coming deep down, it won't be a shock.

Whatever she says, stick to your guns.

iloveshortshorts Sun 28-Oct-12 21:09:43

yabu sorry she does 'owe' you money but you shouldnt be looking after her children if you are not registered childminder.

i do understand though about you noticing her spending habits whilst she owes you money a friend owed me money and never attempted to pay me back always saying she was broke but managed to buy a new lap top.

i just knew she couldnt ever ask me for a favour again as the answer would be no.

lucyellenmum Sun 28-Oct-12 21:10:48

Stop providing her with free childcare and report her for benefits fraud. This really boils my piss

GhostShip Sun 28-Oct-12 21:11:30

yabu sorry she does 'owe' you money but you shouldnt be looking after her children if you are not registered childminder

Why not? Is it illegal?

iloveshortshorts Sun 28-Oct-12 21:11:45

gosh that took me ages to write that post blush

every one got there before me!

CailinDana Sun 28-Oct-12 21:12:09

You are not responsible for her problems. She is treating you like shit. Yes she has difficulties but that doesn't give her free reign to take advantage of friends and fraudulently claim benefits.

I would give her one month's notice to pay at which point you will cut off your service. End the friendship, she is not a friend.

MrsDeVere Sun 28-Oct-12 21:12:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shagmundfreud Sun 28-Oct-12 21:13:07

She won't be able to pay me. I can't bring myself to pressure her when I know she simply CAN'T.

But I will tell her that our friendship will be damaged if I continue to provide childcare and she continues not to pay me while defrauding the state and being careless with her money.

Fuck. Where is my backbone?

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 28-Oct-12 21:13:49

She has money, she just does not want to pay you.

Can you produce a paper invoice for hours given child care since July? Tell her you need paying before the end of the month, as if you wont be paid, you need to look for a job.

I think you just need to tell her you cannot do this for free any more, and suggest if she struggles financially, swap the days her dd is in the nursery to a day where she is working rather than using you for free. Tell her you are upset and feel taken advantage of. You need to be paid for the services you offer.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 28-Oct-12 21:14:13

She CAN. She just let you think she cant, because it suits her.

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