AIBUably mad for considering doing this LP Friend?(28 Posts)
My friend is a lone parent too 4 boys (12, 9, 8 and 1). The eldest boys dad is in prison so he has no contact, the middle twos dad sees them about once or twice a month for a couple of hours if lucky, and the youngests dad doesn't want to know him. Friend also has custody of her two half brothers aged 8 and 3, on her dads side. So she has no family help (her mum moved away just before her DBs moved in and bar once fortnightly contact with her dad for the brothers, she has no help from her dads family either).
F really struggles taking all 6 DC out at the same time due to money and also not feeling she can manage the behaviour of the oldest who has ASD and is partially deaf as well as the other 5, so tends to only take her DS4 and her DB2 out when the older 4 are at school. With it being the holidays she hasn't managed to go anywhere with any of the DC - she's being doing her shopping online.
Today I went over with my 14 month old DD. I needed to pop to the supermarket for a few bits. Fs DSs 2 and 3 begged to come with me, I also asked if her DB1 wanted to come too. When DB1 said he wanted to come, DS1 also wanted to join us. F was worried I wouldn't be able to cope with them all particularly with DS1s condition, as well as my own DD.
But I took them anyway as I was certain F needed a break having spent 3 weeks in the house with all 6 children.
And I really enjoyed taking them out. I asked the DS1 to look out for his younger brother DS2 (the easiest and most laid back of all 4 of Fs DC), and he seemed to enjoy the responsibility, he'd stay behind him to make sure he kept him in sight at all times. The younger 2 boys were boisterous but not badly behaved; they'd run ahead of me and would shout out a commentary like a football match but they did as they were told and waited when I told them too. I took them all to the park and bought them ice cream after we'd been to the shop and they still behaved really well. The 12 year old played with my DD on the swings and the other 3 stayed nearby where I could see them. I was really pleased and surprised by their behaviour in a good way. I'm tired, but not angry or annoyed by their behaviour. The 12 year old even sent me a thank you text after I'd got home saying he'd enjoyed himself.
I'm now considering taking DSs 1, 2 and 3 out further afield next week. DB1 and 2 will be having their fortnightly contact with their dad (he visits them at Fs house), so it seems fairer to take the older 3 boys out
DS4 is clingy of his mum so don't think it'd be fair to take him from his mum. I want to take them to a video game shop and buy them games, take them to a larger park which has several different playgrounds weather permitting obviously I'd then either have a picnic with them in the park or take them to a cheap little cafe I love going to. Obviously I'd pay for it including the train fare (10 mins on train) to get there, and wouldn't expect my friend to pay anything unless she wanted to - I can afford it.
My friend thinks I'm crazy, and is asking me to seriously think about whether I want to take all 3 of them out and whether I'd cope. My DD is a laid back soul and will happily go along with anything as long as she gets fed and changed regularly. So it'd just be making sure the 3 boys were ok.
AIBU to consider taking the boys out alone?
It might get a bit crazy. But you are kind. And a good friend
She knows her children well. But she may also see that it may be difficult for you to deal with the situation if they start fighting with each other, get upset or disobey you.
You need to go by what she says, she is their mum, she knows them best and may be as interested in not giving you a bad time as in keeping them safe.
It's a great idea. It'll give your friend a break , expose your DD to wa wider group of people and give the boys a treat.
What's the worst that can happen? They behave badly and you don't do it again ? Or you find an infinity working with young people.
The boys have a lot to gain too.
The world needs more friends like you x
You sound like an amazing friend!
I used to spend a lot of time with my godsons as their mum is disabled and couldn't manage them both after she kicked their violent druggy dad out. I loved it, the boys loved it and she appreciated the peace.
I would suggest the buying games is ott but the rest sounds fab!
It would be a nice thing to do
And as you are outside the immediate family you/they will be able to change the roles and dynamic they have got into at home
I think you are a kind and thoughtful friend.
I agree with the poster who said they are probably better behaved with you.
Have she thought about contacting family services, they can help her with day trips. Little breaks away etc.
Hope you have a great day out. Let is know how it goes.
Sounds v kind of you to take them out but I wouldn't buy them games or even do anything that costs money.
Do it! The world needs more friends like you.
If you think you will be fine then I don't think your crazy. I offered to look after 3 of my friends kids along with my own young baby. Her mum ended up with kiddies as she was supposed to have them originally but I'm sure that the time with them would have been fine. Kids are usually better with other people than they are their own parents
I agree you don't need go but stuff for them
But you are very kind - I wouldbt go too far though. It is a huge responsibility.
Hats off to your friend also for all she had on her plate
I agree it sounds like a lovely thing to do. They will probably behave better for you than your friend and listen to you and you're probably less tired/ overwhelmed generally than your friend so although she might think it's too much hopefully it wouldn't be so bad. If the boys see it as a treat that might happen again they'll be less likely to act up. It will give your friend a well deserved break too so sounds like a great idea.
10 minutes by train isn't far, it's about 30miles. There's trains every 20minutes so can be back home in 30mins at most if they're driving me mad. It's only about £3 each on the train, and I had planned for us to make sandwiches etc for the picnic so won't cost lots. Will take them to the games shop but not buy anything, I know the older two will likely have some money left over from their birthdays to spend anyway. I will still buy lunch if weathers bad, as the cafe do a childrens meal and drink thing for £2.20 per child and I could stretch to an extra adult meal for the 12 year old.
They really were well behaved with me, and I think because they want to spend time with me again they'll behave again (they know I won't do it again if they misbehave)
Yes do it for sure.
Could you see if she wants to go with you?
You sound like a genuinely lovely person. The world needs more people like you.
Chitofftheshovel I want to do it on the day her brothers have their contact with their dad, she has to stay in the house with them when that happens as the father isn't allowed unsupervised access.
Aw your lovely you are.
That's just so bloody kind and thoughtful of you.
I think mums underestimate how much children are actually better behaved for other adults and also we do tend to think our kids (not all of them) are little buggers.
Ah, I see. Sounds like a really shitty situation for her. Could you suggest to her that a contact centre for her dad and DB's might work better so that she also gets a bit of time?
Sounds like it'll be good but i'd leave out the buting games. If you are gonna end up doing it regularly, you don't want them thinking you're buying their affection or come to expect presents, or for DB's to feel left out
HazeImcgee Good point about the brothers feeling left out, I won't buy the games thanks
chitofftheshovel will suggest a contact centre when I next speak to my friend, she does need more of break than she's getting
You sound like a lovely friend 💐
It takes a team of 3-5 family members to offer to have my 4 kids who are 11,10,6,2 😂😂 they aren't naughty or anything I think people just find it daunting having them all.
Picnics and parks are good entertainment when you have a mob although buying them games may back fire as they could expect it next time.
Can you not try and talk your friend into joining you one day? That way she might get a bit more confident taking them all out with you there to help her? maybe show her it's not actually that bad ☺
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.