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To not want favours to turn into regular free childcare

(128 Posts)
shebird Tue 27-Jan-15 21:54:21

One of the mums at school asked me to do a favour and pick up her DDs after school one day and take them back to mine until she finished work. I agree as I am also a working mum and understand all the difficulties this entails. So then she asks again the next week and the following week and so on so I am now in an awkward position of being informal regular childcare. I have since found out that she has also used some other mums until they have got fed up so I guess I was next in the list. This is not the first time I have ended up in this situation, another mum asked me to drop her DD to school intimating that she had to work, when in fact she was going to the gym angry

Don't get me wrong I am happy to help friends out as we all need to get by and more often than not I will also need a favour at some stage. It is after all how us parents without extended family to rely on manage to get by. However, I would never ask a favour under the guise of having to work and then sneak off to the hairdressers or the gym. It is especially grating when you know you could not rely the person in question to return the favour.

Perhaps I am over thinking this but if you have to work then you can't rely on favours as a long term childcare solution. Also it is totally U to take advantage of other working mums good nature by pretending to be in a bind with work while actually swanning off and enjoying yourself. AIBU?

Rivercam Tue 27-Jan-15 21:58:24

I think you will have to be tough and just say 'no' Perhaps have an excuse lined up, ie. Going shoppimg, visiting relatives, going to the dentist etc. Her child is her responsibility, so don't feel guilty at doing this.

hennybeans Tue 27-Jan-15 21:58:32

Not on. I'd do it once to help out, then be 'busy' from then on. Say you're meeting friends directly after school or not feeling well, or have a dentist appt. Hopefully after that she won't ask again.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 27-Jan-15 22:03:36

Time to stop being a doormat op and say no!

Aherdofcows Tue 27-Jan-15 22:03:50

I would send a text saying you have an impromptu work meeting for the next week at the 'normal' time and she if she is able to return the favour..breaks the cycle.

shebird Tue 27-Jan-15 22:06:28

I agree, I really must get tougher and more ready with excuses. I have tried but she just sounds desperate so I give in. Totally fed up with it now so fingers crossed a few more excuses and she will move onto the next mug.

WeldedParentMaterials Tue 27-Jan-15 22:06:58

Just say you and your DC have plans on that day.

MillionToOneChances Tue 27-Jan-15 22:07:01

You don't need an excuse, 'no is a complete answer'!

WeldedParentMaterials Tue 27-Jan-15 22:08:11

Is it by text that she asks, or face to face?

DamnBamboo Tue 27-Jan-15 22:08:13

Does she still ask you weekly to do this or just expect that you will?
If she's asking, then just say 'no'

Don't qualify your answer, just so 'no'

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 27-Jan-15 22:08:39

Next time she asks, you need to say no. Sugar-coat it with something along the lines of 'sorry, we're going straight to the dentist/my mother's/shopping for shoes'. And something else next time. And the next.

Don't feel guilty - she's a user, she'll move onto her next victim.

TattyDevine Tue 27-Jan-15 22:09:06

I'm a SAHM so a sitting duck for this kind of thing. I don't do regular favours unless I get one back. So I do a regular Friday car share with one friend, where I take her DS so she can get to work on time, but in return she collects my DS on a Wednesday when my DD has dance club so I'm not back and forth back and forth etc. Works well because nobody feels put upon and its fair, and saves petrol.

In your situation I think I'd have said "sorry, can't do it this week after week 2, just so it didn't become an unspoken "regular" occurrence. Even if I then did it the following week, I'd then not do it the next week to make sure it was established that it wasn't to be relied on, assuming I didn't want to do it regularly.

Its great to help though if you can - ideally you'd get something back. Is there a regular favour of her you could ask of her in order to save you time or save you money - if so, you could "do a deal" and it feels better then.

TattyDevine Tue 27-Jan-15 22:10:51

If my post above sounds harsh, its amazing how often you do things more than 3 times in a row and suddenly someone's huffing and puffing and all passive aggressive because you have to go to the doctor or something. Works well to establish the ad hoc vibe before it gets to this. Less awkward than having a talk at week 10.

IDontDoIroning Tue 27-Jan-15 22:11:34

Next time she texts you text back - I'm starting up as a childminder one day a week as I have your dd so regularly - it's £x. 00 (extortionate rate) an hour I'll pop the invoice in her bag ! -

you will never hear from her again.

rollonthesummer Tue 27-Jan-15 22:11:42

How does she ask you? Text? Call? At the school gates?

shebird Tue 27-Jan-15 22:13:30

Usually it's by text very week and sometimes on the day, it started out as a last minute desperate request but I've since realised she has always worked these hours.

longestlurkerever Tue 27-Jan-15 22:14:55

yanbu of course and I hope you get shot of her but would people really text back one word "no"?

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 27-Jan-15 22:16:32

"I have tried but she just sounds desperate so I give in. "
In which case you need to pre-empt her. Don't wait until she asks, raise it with her before then. 'Look, I won't be able to pick your DDs up any more, you need to get some proper childcare in place instead.' When she presses you as to why, just keep repeating that it doesn't work for you any more not that it ever did. If you absolutely must, then next time she asks, make it clear to her that this will be the VERY LAST TIME and she needs to make other arrangements from now on.

shebird Tue 27-Jan-15 22:19:39

Not sure I can be blunt enough to just text back 'no', perhaps a few weeks of random excuses will put her off.

DamnBamboo Tue 27-Jan-15 22:20:51

Usually it's by text very week and sometimes on the day, it started out as a last minute desperate request but I've since realised she has always worked these hours

Even easier to just text back no then.

JakeShit Tue 27-Jan-15 22:21:25

It's silly to have let this situation evolve into a situation that you find frustrating. You are the one who keeps agreeing to it? confused.

Next time she asks just say no. It really is that simple. I wouldn't give an excuse.

Something that I have found helps me to say no is to take a proper pause before I reply to someone who has asked me for a favour. It gives me time to really think about whether I won't to do the favour or not.

I have also found that it's easier to say no the more practice you have. wink.

shebird Tue 27-Jan-15 22:22:40

I just don't understand how people think its ok to take the

rollonthesummer Tue 27-Jan-15 22:23:45

Which day is it she asks? I'd have a reply written and saved in my phone so I can just send it when she texts to ask rather than feeling I had to agree.

'Hi-sorry, no. I can't do today-I have an appointment straight after school. x'

'Hiya. I'm taking my mum/dad/dog/goat to an appointment on Tuesdays now, so can't help with having x any more.'

etc etc

Write it here and we'll make sure it's watertight!

DamnBamboo Tue 27-Jan-15 22:24:32

Or just ignore her text completely, responding at 8pm saying 'sorry, just got this, best get yourself some regular childcare in place'!

IHeartChristmasMoomies Tue 27-Jan-15 22:25:04

I would say no I can't. If she questioned I would say because I think you are taking advantage of me, I am not childcare.

Cheeky fucking cow.

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