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To think my married friends might cough up for a babysitter occasionally

(168 Posts)
Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 10:58:38

I am a single parent and have my DS 99% of the time, apart from in the school holidays when he goes away with XP for up to 3 nights.

This means I don't go out much in the evenings and if I do want to go out I generally have to pay a babysitter. I don't begrudge this, although it does mean I don't have much of a social life because money is tight.

What really rankles is that on the rare occasion when DS is away, my married friends never seem willing to get a babysitter themselves if their DHs aren't around.

So the conversation usually goes:

Me; "Hi DF, I've got a night off later this week, do you fancy going out?"
DF: "No sorry I can't - DH is out that night."

So, if I want to see them we have to find a time when they can go out for free and I have to find a babysitter!

I find this annoying and hurtful on so many levels - mainly because I think they must not want to see me that much, but also because I think they are mostly much more able to afford a babysitter than me as they have two incomes coming in.

So AIBU or do I have crap friends?

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Mon 11-Feb-13 11:00:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Mon 11-Feb-13 11:01:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Saski Mon 11-Feb-13 11:02:01

Have you explained this to them?

Maybe these friends can't afford it either. If you're paying for a sitter to go out at their prompting and they can't reciprocate, then I think that's a bit shite, yes.

But you have to say something.

WowOoo Mon 11-Feb-13 11:02:19

Can't you find a night where the dhusbands are available for babysitting and your ds is away?
Wouldn't that work?

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:03:10

If you read my post you'll see that I do, and don't begrudge it. I just expect my friends to do the same on the rare occasion when I can go out for free.

MortifiedAdams Mon 11-Feb-13 11:03:19

Maybe they dont want to leave their dcs with a babysitter?

On nights when they are able to go.out and you have DS at home, invite them round for wine and takeaway instead of going out.

BlackAffronted Mon 11-Feb-13 11:03:21

I have no babysitter, paid or otherwise. You cant just magic them up! Plus 90% I wouldnt be able to afford one. Plus, I would only leave my children with trusted people.

Having 2 incomes doesn't necessarily mean they have plenty if money, they might have lots of outgoings. Me and Dp haven't been out since Ds was born 11 months ago and part if the reason is the cost if a babysitter.

Yabu to expect them to fit in around your Ds being away, it might not be the best time for them.

roundtable Mon 11-Feb-13 11:05:06

I think you probably don't know their financial situation, they may have a lot of debt etc. They might just not be happy with leaving their child with a babysitter.

Why don't you tell them how your feeling? If they're your friends I don't see why they would be upset if you to explained your reasons for needing to go out on that particular evening and not being the one to always get the babysitter. smile

roundtable Mon 11-Feb-13 11:06:07

Oops cross posted with lots of people!

LtEveDallas Mon 11-Feb-13 11:06:12

It may not be that they don't want to 'cough up' for a babysitter.

DD is 7, nearly 8, and has NEVER been left with a babysitter. She only stays with family. If none of my family are available (and quite often they aren't - the closest member of my family lives 64 miles away) then we don't go out.

Personal choice. You don't have crap friend, you just don't have friends that feel the same way you do about socialising - and neither is wrong.

snickers251 Mon 11-Feb-13 11:06:51

Two incomes means nothing!!

My married friends who both work full time are living on the breadline and can barely afford to go out let alone pay for a babysitter.

And yet I have a single parent friend who can afford a babysitter ...

Both rely on benefits yet have a totally different situation and so I'm sorry but yabu!

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 11:06:58

YABU. I'm married, we don't pay babysitters because it costs £50 plus taxi fare (another £20) for the babysitter even before we've had our first drink... DH works away a lot, so I understand how stuck you must feel. Me and my friends tend to meet up WITH the children at each other's houses during the school holidays, and we have a 'wine and food' rota, at each other's houses. There's only four of us, and we meet once a month...

Yes, if you're married it does mean you are freer to go out when the DH is at home, that is NOT SELFISH, that's just the way it is.

YABU because you assume that a married family is richer than you, they may have more money coming in, that doesn't mean that they have more spare cash to spend on 'frivolities' (like babysitting). It is U, as U as me saying that a single parent is 'lucky' becase they often get to go out every other weekend because the NRP has the children... you can't compare you life with someone else's and blame THEM for your limitations.

I think you're expecting too much from your friends, I would try and find a way of seeing each other that doesn't cost either of you quite so much.

PureQuintessence Mon 11-Feb-13 11:09:18

I am married. We hardly ever get a babysitter to go out for us, it means a massive extra expense to the evening. Would not really be keen to get a babysitter to go out on my own. Sorry, just cant justify the expense.

WowOoo Mon 11-Feb-13 11:09:42

It would be more fair if they did this.

Perhaps it's nothing personal about you. Maybe they don't want to go out as much as you do? I don't know.

Ragwort Mon 11-Feb-13 11:13:00

Personally I always hated paying for a babysitter, maybe that makes me sound like a cheapskate but to pay £20 ++ for a teenager to loaf around my house eating my biscuits & drinking coffee (or swigging from open wine bottles) and doing not much else really irritates me grin I used to do a lot of babysitting when I was younger so I know what I used to be like blush.

To put an extra £20 odd on top of a night out is just an expense I would rather do without it, if I had a spare £20 I would prefer to give it to charity/put it in savings/go out for lunch etc etc.

At LtEve says, going out socialising is not everybody's priority in life. If my DH is home I will go out to the cinema/for a meal etc but I wouldn't pay a babysitter for the 'privilege' of going out.

DonderandBlitzen Mon 11-Feb-13 11:13:26

Could you make arrangements for your XP to have your ds on a night when your friend's dh is around to look after the kids?

Ragwort Mon 11-Feb-13 11:15:00

£50 for a babysitter shock - think I will start offering my services grin.

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:15:54

WowOoo - yes that sometimes works out, it's the repsonse "No, I can't possibly go out with you" that really gets my goat. It's not that they CAN'T go out, it's that they don't want to.

And this is from people who can clearly afford to pay a sitter - they shop at Waitrose, live in bigger houses than me etc. I think they just can't be bothered to be honest - it's a hassle to find a babysitter.

To be honest it's less about the money and more that I feel my friends don't acknowledge the difficulties of my situation.

I have never discussed this with any of them as I don't want to make an issue of it and make them even less likely to want to go out with me sad

megandraper Mon 11-Feb-13 11:15:59

Could you suggest going over to your friend's house when you have a night free? If her kids are in bed and her DH is out, you can get a takeaway/have a drink and a chat - and it's cheaper than going out too.

Saski Mon 11-Feb-13 11:16:17

A good friend would recognize that it's cheaper for the OP to go out when her kids are away, and would try to make it work out for everyone. It doesn't neccessarily mean paying a sitter, it might mean her friends prevailing upon their own husbands to shift plans around to accommodate the OP, who says she pays for a sitter on occasion (when her friends don't have to).

I do have a friend in this boat, her divorce is impending, and I am conscious of the fact that her income has been reduced dramatically & I wouldn't turn her down if she wanted to go out when her husband has the kids. I would ask my husband to plan in advance, or I'd get a sitter.

Softlysoftly Mon 11-Feb-13 11:16:40

Even if we could afford it I won't leave the DCs with anyone but Dh or family. Have you asked if they'd be comfortable with a babysitter?

ENormaSnob Mon 11-Feb-13 11:16:48

I wouldn't pay for a sitter for a random night out if dh already had arrangements.

Unless it was a big important do, then I would go out at a different time.

We have 2 incomes but are really feeling the pinch atm and this just wouldn't be a priority tbh.

VenusRising Mon 11-Feb-13 11:17:12

Babysitting is not always about money.
Maybe pop over to theirs when you want to have an evening, and order a pizza?

Maybe bring your DS over to theirs for a lazy afternoon, or them to yours.

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