to not help friend out with childcare anymore?(13 Posts)
Basic background - I have been friends with this person since we were 16 and we both had our DCs at the same time.
She is separated from her H and has joint custody so one week on one week off.
She is not loaded but not completely skint at the same time, her H is loaded but she has so far not pushed for any extra money (from their £800k house) and is renting a small flat.
She is always asking for help with childcare on her week with the girls, she works full time but can't use after school care as she has not paid her last bill and refuses to as she thinks her H should as his family pay the school fees.
I was always happy to help when I could however due to the joys of facebook I now know that she is using her annual leave on the weeks she doesn't have the DCs to go away on holiday with her new BF, they are cheap hols through work so I am not bothered about the money thing, but it is more the fact she is using her leave to do this then can't take time off in the school holidays or her weeks with them to look after them.
WIBU to stop offering to help out of principle or should I just offer anyway as I know the girls have a nice time with us and are not sent randomly to friends they know less and it is not my business what she does with her leave.
BTW she does not expect the help and is always appreciative!
Maybe just say to her that you are pleased she is getting a break & then what time she is taking off to look after her dd as you are pretty busy.
I think you would be a bit U to stop helping out of principle, but I wouldn't feel obliged to help, as she seems to have other options open to her.
If it were me, I'd help when it suited me but just say if it wasn't convenient for any reason.
One thing that confused me though- you say she doesn't expect help, but is always asking for it. Seems a bit contradictory.
I was thinking I should say something as knowing her so well I am not sure she actually connects the fact she takes her leave when she doesn't have them to being able to look after them more herself! I know it sounds daft but she really is like that (it may be completed thought out of course)
I did fear maybe I was being taken for a mug!
She asks a few of us if we can help and is never funny about it if we can't but the fact that she asks when she could actually use her leave etc to do it herself is what irritates me. Sorry probably didn't word it very well.
Back in a bit as rushing off to a meeting - I really appreciate your replies but don't want you to think I am ignoring!
I'd still help her out as and when you can. It doesn't sound like she is taking you for granted as such but, at the same time, don't feel guilty about saying no on days it doesn't suit you. Since you know she can cover this herself if she wanted to and isn't reliant on you to keep her job or anything, don't feel bad about sometimes saying no if you don't fancy it or have other plans. Don't just say no on principle though.
Here's where i probably get controversial. But, Sounds like a friend of mine. Thinks being a single parent entitles her to time off from the children.
Don't get me wrong, I know being a parent is hard work and I appreciate people don't usually have children intending to be a single parent. But just as I have had to give up going out every weekend, weekends away with just dh, holidays abroad, until i had to give up work i had to use annual leave to cover shortfalls in childcare. I don't see why a single parent still feels they are entitled to have that time just because there is one of them.
I know that time away from the children helps restore a person. But that is no different for one person as it is a couple.
I would be extremely miffed to learn that a friend of mine was asking me to look after their children but could use annual leave to do it themselves. It's different if they really are stuck, or have asked because say their bf wants to treat them to a weekend away. But to knowingly use holiday for their own selfish wants above their children is simply not on to me. Regardless of how well appreciated the arrangement was, i would feel like I was being taken for a mug.
I also appreciate my sentiments could be taken as a touch of the green eyed monster. Possibly true. But I'm one of those people who chose to have children and made the lifestyle changes necessary to facilitate that.
Sokmonsta I think you have articulated how I feel about the situation really well.
I do not have any time out for myself (other than when we get a babysitter in the evenings etc) and don't have a week off from my DCs at all. DH works long hours and many evenings/weekends also. I have to use all my annual leave for school holidays then pay for day camps or ask friends/family for the odd day I cannot cover at all with my leave.
I am in no way jealous of her as I would not swap my lovely DH/family life to be a single parent who gets holidays away from the DCs.
I am glad I am not being unreasonable thinking it is not on but do understand that it may not be the right thing to refuse on principle!
She gets more time "off" then you do as she only has them alternate weeks.
She is taking you for a mug.
Does she help you out at all?
You are right - she does get more time off than me but I guess I have always felt a bit sorry for her up until now.
No she never helps me out as I wouldn't ask her TBH and she always lets me down on social things (my wedding and my 30th birthday meal for one). When I type it it makes her sound awful.
You know when you have some friends that are just there as you have known them forever but you just accept how they and try not to get upset about it are whereas there are other friends you rely on and trust completely and would be mortified if they let you down - or is that just me???
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