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AIBU to ask you to help me be polite + assertive without making kids feel bad

(31 Posts)
ImissGrannyW Sat 17-Sep-16 00:04:35

Sorry, this is long...

Two things are happening tomorrow. First is a much loved relative (who DD adores and who I adore and who does loads for DD) is having a garage sale. Someone random (no idea who) has told much loved relative that people who come to these things are light-fingered (or something). Much loved relative (MLR) is panicking, and has asked DD to help by being there and selling stuff (the kind of thing DD LOVES to do - she'll have a great day). But MLR has just gone a bit bonkers (who knows what she's been told), but she's asked me to be there, DH to be there, our dog to be there and has asked DD to rope in her friends to come and help too (what is MLR expecting?????).

DD has a new-ish friendship group (friends with them for about 6 months - a year). She's almost 15, and she's now not really with her primary school friends, but has a new set. I know the kids but have only met one of the parents. I don't know where most of them even live. (I understand from other parents this is pretty typical of this age and stage, but it's so different from primary, where we all lived close by, chatted on the playground, etc).

DD has arranged for 3 of her newish friends to come to this bloody garage sale and help. They're apparently up for it. (they're nice girls). And they will have a fun time, I think, despite MLR's fears.
So I've said I'll pick up the 3 friends and bring them to MLRs and we'll all muck in and deal with the thieves and pillagers who are (apparently) MLRs potential customers. I've asked MLR to put on pizza or something for the girls as a 'thank you' which she is going to do.
Garage sale ends at 3

The second thing happening tomorrow is that all these girls are going to a party. Which I will take them to.

Party ends at 10:30.

I am expecting to pick DD up from party at 10:30. I don't really want to pick up all her friends and drop them home (for 2 reasons - a. I'm not a taxi service and b. DD has an event on Sunday morning which means she has to be up at 7. I want her in bed as early as poss so she can get some sleep. I don't want to add an extra chunk of time where I run these other children home, which robs DD of 1/2 - 1 hour of sleep before she has to perform on Sunday).
I think if it was the primary school friends, if I was doing all the running around earlier in the day, one of the other parents would do the dropping home from the party.
But I don't know these other parents. And the only one I have met, doesn't drive (hence, I've met her because I've dropped her daughter home numerous times)

I don't want to leave these girls stranded. I wouldn't. I would/will take them home. but whilst I'm happy to pick them up (they're doing a favour for DD/MLR) and take them to the party (least I can do after them helping at the garage sale, and it will be fun for them all getting ready together, and they'll all be together anyway) I'm anticipating I'll be taxi service at the end of the night too, and I don't think I should be.

I should say, DH doesn't drive, so any driving in our family is down to me. Maybe I'm anticipating wrongly, but I don't feel it should be on me to get 3 girls (2 of who I barely know. I know the other one - with the mum who doesn't drive - better) home.

I'm happy to pick up DD from the party and bring her home. But I'm already resenting (maybe it's all in my head) bringing home the other children too.

So as not to drip-feed, I do a LOT of driving, both DD + her (old and new) friends, because I only have one child and I do appreciate it's harder when there are multiple children to get everyone where they need to be and back again.

But if I'm right and I get to the party at 10:30 tomorrow night, how do I communicate to the parents that I think this is taking the piss and they should be sharing the driving with me? I won't ever leave teenage girls stranded, so if I DO turn up and these kids are expecting lifts, I will take them home. And I don't want THEM to feel bad. But what should I say to them to express that I don't think their parents are being fair without upsetting them and humiliating DD.

Thank you if you've got this far!

MyKingdomForBrie Sat 17-Sep-16 00:08:45

Just make sure DD tells them you're not dropping them home!

JudasInTheTescoVan Sat 17-Sep-16 06:46:12

Get DD to let her friends know you can't take them home as well and then when you get to the event if anyone asks you just say sorry you can't you need to get straight home.

balletcats Sat 17-Sep-16 06:51:48

Well, how would you feel if you were 15 and had to pass on a message 'mum says she's not taking you home'?

If they are at the garage sale go there and say 'by the way girls, I am afraid I can't drop anyone off tonight. How are you all getting home?'

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Sep-16 06:52:31

So you'll pick your dd up from the party but not her friends, even though they've spent the day helping the MLR and it means an extra 30 minutes driving.

Sorry-you are being totally unreasonable.

teacher54321 Sat 17-Sep-16 07:01:14

I think you are overthinking this a little bit. They're nice kids who are helping your relative out. I would just pick them up and drop them back TBH, my best friend's parents at school were really funny about lifts and people coming round and things being 'fair' and I still remember it 20 years later. It just made us all feel so uncomfortable as they were so clearly resentful about things.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Sep-16 07:07:32

Mumsnet is just wierd about giving lifts. As if somehow an extra person in the car mKes it wear out quicker or uses gallons more petrol..........

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer Sat 17-Sep-16 07:16:19

I agree with PPs, you should just stop them home (if they haven't already arranged anything with their own parents - which they might well have done.) They've been helping out a relative of yours so it would be nice to drop them home too.

If your DD needs to get to bad that urgently could you not just drop her home first or would being alone with her friends be a bit awkward for you all?

claraschu Sat 17-Sep-16 07:21:46

There's nothing wrong with your daughter telling her friends that you are really sorry but you can't give them a lift.

If you want to be extra nice, you could drop your daughter first so she can get more sleeping then take her friends home.

You could email or call one of the other mothers and tell her your problem. Make your tone friendly and regretful, and I can't imagine this would be a problem. We have a class list, which is great, so I can get in touch with other parents easily, but you might not have contact details for the other parents, in which case your daughter could get this info for you.

You can ask the girls if they are counting on you for a ride when you see them in the morning, and just talk it over with them.

I think you are worrying a bit too much, and are over thinking this (you give a lot of detail in your OP).

I have a 15 year daughter and 2 older kids, and by this age, they were making most of their own plans.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Sat 17-Sep-16 07:26:43

So you're happy for them to spend their day helping out YOUR relative, even though you barely know 2 of them... And yet you're using the reason that you barely know 2 of them to justify not giving them a lift home? hmm

I think their parents are not the ones taking the piss.


Gizlotsmum Sat 17-Sep-16 07:34:53

Could you confirm with the parents when you pick up? Explain you can get them to the party but have an early start tomorrow so won't ( unfortunately) be able to bring them home from it this time? Gives them a day to make changes to any plans/ sort alternative lifts

balletcats Sat 17-Sep-16 07:40:29

What sorting garage sale is it that requires six helpers, anyway!?

balletcats Sat 17-Sep-16 07:40:42

*sort of

VagueButExcitlng Sat 17-Sep-16 07:46:21

I would say they are welcome to a lift, but you'll need to pick them up at 9.45 so you are home by 10.30.

That way DD gets to bed on time, you don't leave them stranded, and if they are just being presumptuous then lifts from other parents will probably materialise.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Sep-16 07:59:15

Or just drop them home ffs. It's not exactly a labour of Hercules, is it? hmm

RubbleBubble00 Sat 17-Sep-16 08:10:07

You need to get dd to contact girls now (send a txt) to clarify your not collecting girls at the end of the night. Parents might assume you are as your taking them

Whereismumhiding2 Sat 17-Sep-16 09:47:36

I agree with Vaguebutexciting & the sentiment expressed by Fasterthana

Chill out! If DD has got to get up early, then pick her up a bit earlier than 10:30pm and drop her friends home!

Don't be THAT person. Your DD won't thank you for it.

She will however be very happy with you for being the cool mum who quiietly drives her friends home, without you making a list of demands and any huffing from you of 'I suppose I'll have to take you all home' . (Plus you'll hear all gossip from the party with their natterring in the back!). You've only got 2-3 more years...Then she could pick you & your friends up..!

0hCrepe Sat 17-Sep-16 09:55:39

Sounds like you haven't even been asked to go the lift back yet anyway. Just cross that bridge when you come to it.

humblesims Sat 17-Sep-16 10:05:03

Hmm well I disagree with the majority here and think the garage sale thing is a bit of a red herring and not relevant. You are (effectively) picking up the DCs and taking them to the party and it doesnt seem unreasonable that one of the other parents should/could offer to collect from the party and even give your DC a lift home.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 17-Sep-16 10:12:02

Just drop em home! FGS! What a fuss about nothing.

tiffanysfanny Sat 17-Sep-16 10:18:49

If the people asked to come long to the sale picked up one item each from the garage, you could all go home. No sale needed grin

MissMargie Sat 17-Sep-16 10:27:20

Drop you DD off first - make the other girls be a bit late home. Possibly inform their parents so they know though they won't know when you are leaving exactly anyway.
Next time don't get involved in garage sales on busy days.

dowhatnow Sat 17-Sep-16 10:38:10

I agree the garage sale is a red herring and irrelevant.

The girls are invited to a party. They are getting ready at yours and you are taking them. No one in my kids circle of friends would then expect you to bring home as well. They'd take their turn or just assume they have to pick up their own child. They would be taking the piss else. Has the non driving mum talked to you about arrangements?

If they do assume you will do it, I would suck it up this time for dd's sake, as there is the complication of the garage sale but I sure as hell would ensure that I wasn't doing all the running about next time.

Trifleorbust Sat 17-Sep-16 10:48:43

What makes you think they haven't made their own arrangements to get home?

But you're not going to just leave them there, so I think stop stressing about it and pick up your DD 30 mins earlier than the end of the party. Then if they have no lift arranged, your DD can tell them they can have a lift, but it has to be now. Your DD then gets home at roughly the same time.

If something similar happens in the future, ask for parents' numbers and text to make it clear that you can take them there but not home.

19lottie82 Sat 17-Sep-16 10:54:50

Is it so much of an effort to drop them home? Really? I'm sure their parents will return the favour on the future!

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