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Childcare - who's responsibility?

(34 Posts)
Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 21:54:01

In brief: my cousin and his girlfriend have a child starting the same school as mine (they started on Tuesday.) His parents often look after him when they are working (she works part time, he is full time) but they on a month away that has been planned for some time (almost 12 months.) I am a SAHM but am now, as of this week, doing more freelance work. Previously, my work fitted around DS who did two days a week at nursery.
I was asked at 4pm on Wednesday if I would have their son for Thursday and Friday this week, in a very 'while you're picking your DS up...' kind of way rather than that they had been caught short, sent at almost 4pm the day before. I explained I was working but could help out on Thursday but not the rest of the time. I did that, and it was fine but was also then asked if i could mind him Monday too. I said no as I was working. Today I got a text at 2pm asking me to pick their chid anyway as one of them was running late. My DH said (the text and then call was while I was having a Skype meeting) after that we can't be back up and pointed out they knew we / I / he (we both work from home) was busy. Also, its not like this is unexpected (as if it was, I would be happy to help.)
They are not, it appears, not speaking to us.

MimiSunshine Fri 09-Sep-16 21:59:21

No and don't pick their child up unless previously agreed by you. They'll rely on you not wanting to leave their child 'alone' at school.

The school will keep the child until they turn up and whatever you do make sure the school know you aren't a person they can call in such circumstances as you can be sure they'll tell the school that you are.

Sounds harsh but they are already pushing on your boundaries so won't stop until forced to

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:01:30

Thank you Mimi. I think the same but it feels weird as it has got confrontational. I am picking up my DS after all but...

cexuwaleozbu Fri 09-Sep-16 22:01:56

Yanbu - you are not responsible for childcare of any child who is not your own, unless you choose to be. It is OK to say no. They are hoping to use you. It is OK to refuse to be used.

only thing is that they will obviously now not be there for you when you need a favour (if they ever would have been) so I hope your childcare arrangements are watertight.

rollonthesummer Fri 09-Sep-16 22:03:07

Don't reply to their texts until much later-say-'oops, sorry, I didn't see this. Couldn't have helped anyway as was working' type texts.

If they're not speaking to you-it would be a bonus. Who else will they ask?!

Surely they thought about childcare before the child started school?!

rollonthesummer Fri 09-Sep-16 22:05:16

I also think it's fair enough to say-I'm working from home. I can just about do that with my own child around-I can't do it with an extra child.

Why do their childcare needs trump yours!

blowmybarnacles Fri 09-Sep-16 22:07:20

Once in a while when running late is ok (the school will keep them but not nice for the child 1st week of school) Regular thing - no, not fair, disrespectful of you too.

AnthonyPandy Fri 09-Sep-16 22:08:52

* His parents often look after him when they are working (she works part time, he is full time) but they on a month away that has been planned for some time (almost 12 months.)*

What does this mean? The parents are away for a month?

Planty18 Fri 09-Sep-16 22:10:09

Just because you work at home, you are still working. They are being unreasonable.

MimiSunshine Fri 09-Sep-16 22:10:40

Try not to engage with the confrontation, act like you haven't really noticed it.
If they're off with you don't rise to it, you said you could only do Thursday, they clearly didn't ever plan on getting to school on time on Friday hence the last minute phone call to say they were running late.

Just say 'no sorry I'm / we're working' don't include 'from home' a lot of people hear that as 'pissing around and occasionally checking emails'

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:11:16

His parents, the DS's grandparents, are away for a month. Hence, they have had to sort out childcare while they are away (as normally they would have stepped in.) They are not normally away for ages, this is a one off

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:13:21

Thanks for the replies. I didn't think I was being out of order but I hate confrontation and also realise that I am managing to pick my own child up but don't want to also get obliged to having to pick up theirs

BackforGood Fri 09-Sep-16 22:15:33

So, when you are working, does your dc go to out of school club / childminder / etc., or are you actually taking a break from your work, walking up to the school, bringing your child back and having them in the house?

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:17:36

I collect him, my DS, then bring him back home and, if necessary, he can watch TV or whatever while I am finishing (or I can finish later.)

BackforGood Fri 09-Sep-16 22:19:09

x posted

As you know it is for a limited period, and you are there anyway, I'd just collect them with your dc then. One home they can occupy each other while you get back to work.
You'll have 7 long years whilst they are at school together, you'll soon learn the world turns far more smoothly if people help each other out. Your dc will be able to go home with theirs when you are working in the future (or ill, or following an accident or injury or operation, or car break down or 1001 other reasons it is sometimes difficult.

No, it's not your 'responsibility', but it seems daft to not get those favours stored up while you can, to me.

phoenix1973 Fri 09-Sep-16 22:21:46

Their child, their childcare responsibility
If they want cast iron care, they should pay for it like lots of us have to.
You don't have to answer to them, just do your thing.
This is the trouble with wfh, people assume you can do all errands.

Drbint Fri 09-Sep-16 22:21:53

No, it's not your 'responsibility', but it seems daft to not get those favours stored up while you can, to me.

People who take the piss like this don't see it as favours. It's just piss-taking that gets increasingly worse, as shown by the very late notice and stropping when OP doesn't drop everything to do their bidding.

cloudyday99 Fri 09-Sep-16 22:24:24

As it's only likely to be for a month I'd help out. I always grabbed opportunities to help out when I could as it's good to be owed favours

MimiSunshine Fri 09-Sep-16 22:27:30

They don't seem like people would return favours though, seen as they haven't really politely asked for one themselves. They just expected OP to do it, yes it's nice to be nice but it's foolish to be a mug

MidniteScribbler Fri 09-Sep-16 22:28:09

So the child has only been at school for four days, and you've been asked to pickup and look after him on three of those days at last minute notice? Nah, they're taking the piss, and if you keep doing this, it will turn in to a permanent arrangement.

It sounds like they are just being lazy. Surely if you are working and won't be able to do pickup, you'd have been planning their after school arrangments long before now?

Gardenbirds123 Fri 09-Sep-16 22:29:11

They've asked in a slightly disrespectful manner but if it's only 4 weeks id also be inclined to help out
Perhaps next time say something like defo can't do mon or tues but could do weds if that helps

Sprinklestar Fri 09-Sep-16 22:29:18

I think I'd have been more willing to help if they'd actually discussed it face to face and offered some kind of reciprocal deal. The underhand way they've gone about it would leave a sour taste for me.

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:31:00

BackForGood I didn;t want to waffle too much on the OP but I am starting to feel as if they ask for favours more often than not (or when they don't; have a better offer, which they would probably disagree with.) I have also walked their dog A LOT, my DH took time off to help them move, and I have looked after their DS a good few times. Hence, it's not just this instance

chanie44 Fri 09-Sep-16 22:33:13

I think you should have helped out, but your cousin should have spoken with you beforehand, not tried to pull a fast one and not if you are working.

In my family, we all have to muck in and help each other out. Sometimes, it is inconvenient for me, but the favour is repaid.

Jemimapyjamas Fri 09-Sep-16 22:38:49

Chanie44 I agree with that, about helping out, but it doesn't feel as if favours will be repaid, it feels more like they have assumed i would be fine as back up and are now pissed off

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