AIBU to be really cross and a bit worried!

(49 Posts)
ilovechocolate80 Sun 01-May-16 14:35:17

My 11 year old son has just started walking home from school on his own (I still collect his 8 year old sister). I've now started leaving him home alone now and again while I pop to the shop. I never leave my 8 year old with him because I would feel bad.

Agreed to look after my friends 9 and 6 year old girls. Had to pop out to the shop so let my 11 year old stay at home to tell them I would be back in a few minute when their grandparents dropped them off. Came back to discover that grandparents had just let these girls with my 11 year old. Worse still, a lady I have sold a garden slide came to collect it and my son and these girls answered the door telling her "mummy isn't home". Thankfully she was still waiting when I got back, so she took the slide and off she said. Didn't say anything.

AIBU to feel really upset about this and a bit worried? What of this stranger phones Social Services on me for what she saw: An 11 year old, 9 and 6 year old home alone? She saw it was a quick shopping trip and I had a child with me. But I don't know what the law is and what she would think. I so cross and actually a bit worried! Not least when I've never left my 11 year old in charge of my daughter. I take her with me!

JustABigBearAlan Sun 01-May-16 14:38:39

Don't panic. You weren't gone long, and years ago this was totally normal. I really doubt anyone would report you.

CaptainCrunch Sun 01-May-16 14:41:53

You're being melodramatic. There's no actual law against leaving children home alone. Social services would have zero interest in the very unlikely event anyone reported you.

ilovechocolate80 Sun 01-May-16 14:49:35

Im just so cross because that decision was taken out of my hands when the grandparents dropped those girls off with my son. There is no way I would of consented to him looking after them. They aren't his responsibility and I don't even leave MY child with him. I feel like I've been made to look like a neglectful parent because they were too lazy to sat there and wait for 5 minutes!

UpWithPup Sun 01-May-16 14:53:21

But no one told the grandparents you weren't happy. Your message was you'd be back in a few minutes. That could easily be interpreted as it's fine to leave them because you'll be back soon.

Doinmummy Sun 01-May-16 14:54:47

If I knew the girls were being dropped off I wouldn't have gone out, but no harm has been done. This wouldn't even register on SS radar.

WorraLiberty Sun 01-May-16 14:56:32

Hold on a minute.

If you were expecting the grandparents to drop the kids off, you should have either put off the trip to the shop until they arrived, or rang your friend to tell her what was happening.

It's not the grandparents fault that you decided to go out when you were expecting children to be dropped off.

I would be annoyed at myself for not waiting/phoning friend and annoyed at my child for opening the door to a stranger, but not annoyed at the grandparents who probably felt awkward and didn't know what to do for the best.

Having said that, I agree that you're being a bit melodramatic and no-one's going to report you to SS.

Just don't worry about it.

MiddleClassProblem Sun 01-May-16 14:57:17

So they came to drop them off and you were already out? Sorry but confused by op.

ilovechocolate80 Sun 01-May-16 15:00:19

Surely when the kids are 6 and 9, you would check. Hopefully this women will have just thought nothing of it, older kids mum quickly popped to the shop, but I'm cross that I've been put in that position.

Be honest, if you were her, what would you have thought?

GraysAnalogy Sun 01-May-16 15:00:32

I'm not sure why you didn't just wait to go to the shop

ThisWasCrownjewel Sun 01-May-16 15:02:23

As they were grandparents (perhaps in their 50s or older), chances are they would consider it entirely normal for a 11-yr old to watch a 9- and a 6-yr old for ten minutes, as it was so common up until a few years ago - from the age of about 10, I used to be at home in charge of my 8-yr old DB every day in the school holidays while my mum was at work, albeit a 10-minute walk from home, and we knew to knock on a neighbour's door if there was ever an emergency.

CaptainCrunch Sun 01-May-16 15:02:56

I would think you'd just nipped out. Why are you so determined to make a big deal of this?

Doinmummy Sun 01-May-16 15:03:35

Did you know what time the girls were being dropped off? If so it's your fault for going out.

MiddleClassProblem Sun 01-May-16 15:03:45

If they had places to be, what were they meant to do? They prob thought "well if they think he's OK to be in charge of the house on his own, 5 mins with these two might be ok"

ThisWasCrownjewel Sun 01-May-16 15:05:35

I should add that I'm in my early 30s so I'm talking about 20yrs ago, my mum is now a grandparent and would think nothing of leaving older kids at home while she popped out, or toddlers in the car while she quickly ran into the shop for a loaf.

Doinmummy Sun 01-May-16 15:06:08

I'm not sure why you're in such a lather about it confused

ilovechocolate80 Sun 01-May-16 15:07:10

They just gave me a rough time and I told my friend I had to pop out and that my son would tell them I'd be back. I assumed they would hang on. Wrong to assume I suppose. As for the slide lady, she didn't text me so I had no idea she would turn up on the rare occasion I'm not there. I'm pregnant and didn't want to drag three girls to get heavy shopping on foot. sad. Glad thr consensus is that I'm worrying over nothing though.

Skittlesss Sun 01-May-16 15:09:33

I find it really weird that you arranged for the children to be dropped off and for the lady to pick the slide up, then went to the shop during those times!

ilovechocolate80 Sun 01-May-16 15:10:10

I just don't know what the law is with kids being left and I'm paranoid about it. Actually hearing so many of you telling me I'm getting in a fuss over nothing has really calmed down. Thank you mumsnetters!smile

Skittlesss Sun 01-May-16 15:10:25

Sorry cross post, makes sense now!! Don't worry about it. You're really over thinking it!

BertrandRussell Sun 01-May-16 15:10:27

I would have sent the 11 year old to the shop and waited in for the other to to be dropped off at your house. Simple.

WorraLiberty Sun 01-May-16 15:11:18

Be honest, if you were her, what would you have thought?

I would have thought you'd left you kids home alone while you went to the shop.

I would have thought your kids shouldn't be answering the door to strangers.

I would have thought they'd forgotten to never tell anyone that Mum is out, and to pretend she's in the bath or something instead.

But I wouldn't ever have thought about phoning SS confused

MiddleClassProblem Sun 01-May-16 15:11:58

You were out long enough for two lots of people to come and go not over lapping...

Was it a real emergency must get urgent shop?

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 01-May-16 15:12:10

I would have thought you'd popped out, and thought nothing more of it to be totally honest. You are being quite hysterical.

Hippocraticloaf Sun 01-May-16 15:12:28

Were you expecting your eleven year old son to pass on the message that you will be back soon and would they (the grandparents) wait for you to get back home as you (his mother) didn't want him to be responsible for two girls aged 6 and 9? seems a bit unreasonable to leave him in charge of all of that plus the possibility of having to deal with a stranger collecting a garden slide in your absence... hmm
Strange timing on your part I think

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