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Not sure if IABU towards my friend......

(31 Posts)
LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 20:49:15

My friend and I have DC of the same age (5yo), and they've known each other since birth. Over the past few years we've spent a lot of time with Friend (F) and her DS (FDS) and they are an important part of our lives.

I am a WOHM, F is a SAHM. Up until recently F has taken my DS for regular playdates once a week after school while I'm still at work - she offered to do this as she says that her DS gets very bored with just her and that it's actually easier for her to look after 2 than 1 as they entertain each other. I'm happy with this and DS enjoys his playdate, so the situation worked for us. The boys are in different schools so it's not like they are already together all day.

However, the situation has now changed. My work hours have changed so that I now have 2 afternoons off each week, which is great - I asked for this change and want to spend the additional time with DS. However I only really have the option to make plans for one of these additional days rather than two, as there is the longstanding playdate with F and her DS. I'd like to take him swimming occasionally (he is scared of water) and also make overtures to the occasional friend from school - we've never had a school playdate before as I'm never here to arrange it. It probably wouldn't be that often but I'd like to feel free to do so IYSWIM.

I can't work out if I am being a horribly ungrateful bitch to be thinking about asking F to reduce the playdate frequency to once a fortnight. She always talks about how much her DS enjoys the playdates, how the two boys are best friends, how her DS couldn't cope without seeing his friend often. My DS has always seemed a bit more easy-come-easy-go about the whole friendship tbf, but she says her son absolutely depends on it. My DS does love his friend, don't get me wrong, but I think he'd be fine with fortnightly visits rather than weekly.

So. Am I being unreasonable to F and her DS to think about asking them to reduce playdate frequency for the reason stated above? I feel like I would be massively ungrateful for all the times she's taken DS and entertained him if I reduce the visit frequency at the first point at which it doesn't suit me. DH says I am being silly. Your opinions would be welcomed please!

I'm sorry for using the term 'playdates' by the way, my friend uses it a lot and I've picked it up blush

ShesGotLionsInHerHeart Tue 01-Mar-16 20:51:11

Why don't you have the play date at your house instead? Your son would still be around and it would give your friend a well deserved break!

AddToBasket Tue 01-Mar-16 20:51:28

I would say you need to take her DS on a few playdates and give your friend a break occasionally.

FigMango1 Tue 01-Mar-16 20:51:41

Yanbu at all. I'm sure your friend can understand as a working mum you don't have as much time with him as she does with her child. You're not cutting it out completely just reducing it.

RandomMess Tue 01-Mar-16 20:51:56

Can't you change the date of the week she has your DS around to one when you will still be working confused

QuiteLikely5 Tue 01-Mar-16 20:58:16

I agree that it would be good to return the favour but I also believe that although you are vital to your sons development so are other people and good friends.

I think the arrangement will be benefitting your son socially and emotionally so I say stick with it!!

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 20:59:06

I'll happily take turns with her hosting the playdate - in fact I've already offered! I'd like to reduce the frequency though, that is the bit that I think might upset her.

Unfortunately I can't move the day of the week around without massive faff and it would then inconvenience our childminder. It's annoying because that would solve the issue.

ShesGotLionsInHerHeart Tue 01-Mar-16 21:22:33

I think you should stick with it. Friendships are important and whilst I can see it might be a pain in the arse some weeks, you'd have a hard neck to claim inconvenience after your friend having your son so often.

Surely you can cancel on weeks when you've got something special planned?

arethereanyleftatall Tue 01-Mar-16 21:26:15

Can you all go swimming together?

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 21:32:20

Not sure that swimming together would work - her DS is an awesome swimmer and my DS is really scared of the water, so they aren't matched in terms of skill/confidence at all.

OK, I guess we should let the current arrangement ride for now.

PeggyBlomquist Tue 01-Mar-16 21:38:46

I say to my friend every week 'oh it's easier having two than one and it's company'. What I mean is 'jesus Christ I am so exhausted with this arrangement but you are my friend and I know I save you a lot of much needed money'. I would at least try and scope out if she is trying to make you feel better first.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 01-Mar-16 21:42:13

having a confident swimmer with your son may ease his fears. he may bemore brace in front of a friend and therefore discover that actually it is not that bad.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 01-Mar-16 21:42:37

brave ffs. fat fingers

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 21:43:19

We actually pay for after-school club on the day she has him, Peggy - we have to as it takes her a while to travel between schools. Therefore no money consideration, and she knows this. I have never asked her to have him, she always offers.

I can try to subtly ask the question though, you're right.

WonderingAspie Tue 01-Mar-16 21:59:43

I can't believe you are asking if it's okay to have your own child after school! Fgs, he is your child and you have changed your working hours to spend more time with him! What's the point if he isn't going to be there.

You tell her that your situation has changed and you want to spend some quality time with your child so you need to cut back on the weekly 'playdates'. This is NOT unreasonable.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 22:05:55

I'm worried that it will upset her though, Aspie - she is almost as invested in her DS and mine being friends as her DS is, for reasons that I won't go into but which are valid (and sad). I feel that she's encouraged her DS to be really keen on mine for this reason, and since I don't want him to be sad either...... ARGH.

She's a great friend, that's why this is difficult.

Cococo1 Tue 01-Mar-16 22:07:11

Honestly just do what you want to do.

WonderingAspie Tue 01-Mar-16 22:12:50

I honestly think that level of intensity is not healthy for her DS or yours. What happens when they fall out? Kids fall out all the time. What about if your DS wants to play with someone else? Is she going to get all pissy about it? What about if your DS wants to take a step back from weekly playdates as he gets older or just doesn't fancy it? She is too reliant on your DS. I'd say this is a good thing because you have a legitimate reason for making a break.

He is your child, you shouldn't really be this worried about upsetting her by asking her to have your child less.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 01-Mar-16 22:21:45

Honestly Aspie, I've felt the same. I don't know how to address the situation in a way she won't find hurtful, though. I was hoping it would naturally ease off as they got older but she seems determined to maintain their friendship at the current level and I have no good reasons for refusing.

I guess I could just take a more soft approach of overtly changing nothing but cancelling or rescheduling occasionally. I will certainly continue to offer to take my turn hosting, that seems only fair.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 01-Mar-16 22:32:45

It does need to be a natural - gradual thing -

As she asks and doesn't assume - you can play it by ear each week - take a turn - miss a go - let him play -

Things do change as they start clubs so it's not a big leap really

CaptainCrunch Tue 01-Mar-16 23:00:19

Look at this objectively. You're asking someone permission to spend quality time alone with your own child. You've reduced your working hours to facilitate this. It's utterly ridiculous that you feel obligated to put this person's feelings above teaching your child to swim. Grow a spine and deal with it.

WonderingAspie Tue 01-Mar-16 23:09:25

Honestly, you don't need to take it softly. He is your child! You tell her that due to your change in working hours, you are around on these days and will be doing more activities with him.

You really don't need her permission! If she gets offended, then she sounds like too much hard work and she needs to broaden her horizons and stop being to reliant on one person to facilitate this obsession she has with maintaining a close relationship between your DS's.

SmaDizietSma Tue 01-Mar-16 23:14:34

I think you should host for a while maybe at the weekend if it suits you better.

When you reduced your hours, did you have a choice about which afternoons to have off?

Does your friend know you've cut your hours to spend time with your DS?

If you want to reduce the play dates then do so. Does your DS enjoy them? They may fizzle out as they get older do more clubs.

Muddlewitch Tue 01-Mar-16 23:23:09

Can you not just change play date day to one you will still be working?

Or maybe ask her whether she prefer to do that or change it to fortnightly?

Stillunexpected Tue 01-Mar-16 23:27:51

Why does her son "absolutely depend" on this friendship? Presumably both boys are at school and he must have other friends? I think this situation is going to have to change at some point in the future and it might as well be now.

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