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To not want to have someone else's child staying overnight on a regular basis?

(23 Posts)
MsHybridFanGirl Thu 16-Jun-16 09:13:58

Background: ex partner and I no longer together, but I get on with both him and his family. DD's cousins are younger than her and go to the same school.

Cousin's parents both work full time however one has just started a new job working shifts (very early morning) every other week. As the other parent also starts work early I wondered how they would cope with childcare as breakfast club at the school doesn't open till 8am.

The job is in early stages but I think they've been asking another family member to look after their daughter. However, yesterday I was asked (at the school pick up run and totally put on spot) if I could have their child overnight last night and bring her to school today as they were starting work at 5am and 7am respectively.

I said yes, and she stayed. Girls didn't get to sleep until after ten as the little one couldn't sleep and kept my daughter awake. I was up till 1am as DD has chronic health condition only to be woken by child at 6am as she had wet the bed. This is a regular thing also.

She is family I know, but I'm dreading being asked again as I know they will now ask for this on a regular basis. I don't work currently but am going back to work soon and don't need this before a days work.

I need a way to say no to any overnight stays. They previously even expected me to have the child from 7am when they both had early starts without even consulting me first!

I'm so pissed off. With them and myself! Help!

TallulahTheTiger Thu 16-Jun-16 09:18:48

Nope! Not unreasonable at all! From what I've learned from MN so far is you don't need to give long explanations when you are being expected to do favour, just tell them 'sorry that wont work for us and routine' although much easier to say to say when not involved!

Paulat2112 Thu 16-Jun-16 09:20:00

You just need to say no! Be strong and put your foot down or they will just take the mick right out of you! Just say it doesn't work for you. Don't make excuses or say sorry smile

NataliaOsipova Thu 16-Jun-16 09:21:15

I think that's totally fair enough - if they ask again, a friendly but firm " I was happy to help as a one off/emergency, but I'm afraid it's too difficult on a regular basis given my own commitments" would be perfectly reasonable. I think I would feel the same way, to be honest - especially as it sounds like your have a lot on your plate anyway.

MsHybridFanGirl Thu 16-Jun-16 09:22:29

Thanks guys! I need to man up! confusedconfused

MyIronLung Thu 16-Jun-16 09:29:31

I love the mn staple of "sorry that doesn't work for us" but I think it can be quite hard to put into practice. Generally, in my experience, people want an explanation.
I'd probably go for the truth op. Say that you really didn't mind helping out as a one off but it can't be a regular thing because you'll be going back to work soon yourself and your dds condition makes it very hard for you.
Say that it'd be better all round if they could get something more permanent in place now to save future upheaval.

Good luck op! I'd be feeling the same and tying myself up in knots about it .

ohtheholidays Thu 16-Jun-16 09:36:05

I'd say no OP and for all the reasons you've stated here.They're LO stopped your DC from getting to sleep and woke your DC up early added onto the fact that your DC has health problems.That is enough of a reason if you feel like you can't just say no.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Jun-16 09:37:51

Tell them the truth and say no.

Allalonenow Thu 16-Jun-16 09:45:02

You won't be caught out on the hop again when they ask you, no need for complicated explanations, just say you're sorry but you have other commitments.

FetchezLaVache Thu 16-Jun-16 09:51:56

Presumably the parents will be in touch at some point today to say thank you and they're likely to ask if everything went OK. This is when fight every instinct in your body to reply "Oh yes, she was no trouble at all" and instead tell them that actually, it didn't go so well. Tell them what went wrong and then very quickly add "Lucky it was just a one-off and not a regular thing!" If they have the cheek to ask again after that, you've already prepared the ground to explain that due to her health problems, DD needs a good night's sleep on school nights and then "Say that it'd be better all round if they could get something more permanent in place now to save future upheaval" (pace MyIronLung).

GeoffreysGoat Thu 16-Jun-16 09:52:02

Girls didn't get to sleep until after ten as the little one couldn't sleep

There's your answer - their child was unhappy with the arrangement so they need to find a different solution

HisNameWasPrinceAndHeWasFunky Thu 16-Jun-16 10:14:53

You see I think that if you say something perfectly reasonable like "Sorry it was all a bit of a nightmare and she didn't settle for a long time and kept DD awake" they will respond with "Oh it was the first time, she just wasn't used to it. We'll have a word with her and things will quickly settle down".

This is why excuses don't work with cheeky people and why you simply have to avoid details and make strong non rebuttable statements like "It really doesn't work for us. I can't help you with childcare, sorry."

They may well need to face up to the fact that having BOTH parents on early shifts is not going to work out for them as a family.

ClaireLumia Thu 16-Jun-16 10:20:47

Be careful saying that you'll help out in an emergency as they might not bother sorting anything out and just ask you at the last minute and say it's an emergency.

MsHybridFanGirl Thu 16-Jun-16 10:22:20

Some good advice thanks. Not heard from parents yet so when I do will definitely be honest and say that it was a difficult night but as it was a one off was okay.

Since I've been off work (just under two years) the childcare requests from family have gradually increased. I find myself making excuses as to why I can't have their kids instead of putting my foot down and saying "no".

Not doing it again. I always offer one day a week during school holidays to help out and its nice as DD has kids to play with but they are taking the mick now!

myusernamewastaken Thu 16-Jun-16 10:54:05

I have been caught in similar situations and could never say no...i wish these forums had been around when my children were little x

StealthPolarBear Thu 16-Jun-16 11:04:51

Op thank you so much for talking about parents rather than 'mother' as so many of these threads tend to smile

Toddlerteaplease Thu 16-Jun-16 12:38:14

I had this, one of my colleagues asked me if I could have her daughter overnight for 1 weekend a month..i.e 3 nights in a row. The child is my god daughter but I barely know her. I felt terrible about saying no but my house is tiny and not geared up for a child. The pampered cats would hate it. I also work irregular shifts and didn't want to be having to use my limited requests to cover her child care. I have MS and really need my downtime to recover so I can still work full time. Her mum was ok about it as she knew it was a big ask but I still feel guilty every time I see her.

girlywhirly Thu 16-Jun-16 13:47:17

Yanbu to not want this to become a regular arrangement. Their child, their responsibility to sort out childcare and adjust their working patterns to cover. Clearly the child couldn't settle at your home and wet the bed, so would be much better sleeping at her own home. This isn't a reflection on you, some DC just aren't emotionally ready able to settle to sleep at another's home.

Make sure that they know you will be going back to work soon, and won't have the time or energy to look after their child as well as your own, whose needs are compromised by having another child there.

MsHybridFanGirl Thu 16-Jun-16 13:57:27

Thanks guys

Toddler - that was a big ask!! That's the sort of thing these parents would ask hmmhmmdon't feel guilty - looking after someone else's child is a huge responsibility and I only enjoy it occasionally for a limited amount of hours. Haha - wish I could follow my own advice.

Just finished washing my bed sheets plus washing mattress with vinegar and baking soda!

As a matter of interest haven't heard from parents yet - will probably run into them at the school run. They'll know about bed wetting anyway as I've washed nightclothes and need to give to them.

HisNameWasPrinceAndHeWasFunky Thu 16-Jun-16 14:03:59

They'll know about bed wetting anyway as I've washed nightclothes and need to give to them.
Hand them back the washed night clothes and simply say "Gosh that was exhausting - I won't be doing it again".

alanthicke Thu 16-Jun-16 14:09:18

I agree with everything said above but I wouldn't mention anything about your going back to work soon, unless you have an actual firm start date and you are willing to keep doing this until then.

Allalonenow Thu 16-Jun-16 14:59:23

Watch out MsHybrid or next week they will be sending you all their laundry, they sound cheeky enough! grin

FireTruckOhFireTruck Thu 16-Jun-16 15:36:46

Just be upfront and say no next time.

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