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School yard mum and school runs

(226 Posts)
rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 18:53:00

I have no idea what my question even is, but i don't know if I am just bad tempered or what. So here is the story:

About 6 weeks ago one of the
mums from the playground had a baby. She had no one as a birthing partner and asked me last minute, I went to the hospital and was there while she gave birth. Lovely experience and was so pleased I went. Took her some bits she needed whilst in hospital and took her 2 other DCs for the night when she got home so she could settle.

Since then I have had daily texts. I have done the school run every day for her. Then I get a text asking to do the pick up. So I agree. Then another asking if I could possibly have them for tea because she is just so tired. Hmmm, wellll okay then. Then weekends would I take both kids and the newborn whilst she rests. This has been for the last 4 of 6 weeks.

I work full time, albeit my boss gives me great flexibility and I make my own appts so it has been do-able, but I feel like now is the time to stop. In summer me and the kids walk to school, and when i mentioned this today she was genuinely offended and said 'oh what will i do now? can you still take them?'

I live a 25 minute walk from school but in the opposite direction she does. The after school pick ups are becoming a nightmare when i deal with 5 kida instead of my 3 and weekends are chaos when I am taking a newborn with us. Plus we can't go in the car because of how many kids I'm taking.

I really want to help her but all this plus work means I'm absolutely shattered, no way can i do an extra half hour round trip to walk her kids to school, and I can't carry on the nightly after school thing or every weekend with all 3 of her kids.

So WIBU to just tell her I can't? or am i a shitty friend and should just grin and bare it?

MissBax Wed 10-May-17 18:55:44

YANBU to tell her no. It's not your responsibility and that's the bottom line.
However, I would definitely speak to her about her coping ability as it sounds like it could be PND - asking someone else to watch her newborn sounds quite worrying to me. Can you broach the subject with her?

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 10-May-17 18:55:50

I'd have buried my phone in the garden half way through week 2.

Why on earth are you doing this?

PotteringAlong Wed 10-May-17 18:56:07

No, you're not being a crap friend at all. She is trying it on big style.

WhooooAmI24601 Wed 10-May-17 18:56:11

YANBU to have some time to yourself with your own DC. As awful as this sounds, they're her DC and she's got to get used to doing things for them and get herself into a proper routine. If you choose to have 3 children you have to be willing to handle 3 children (though doesn't she have a DP for the support you're currently giving?).

I'm all for helping friends out; I work full time and also often help out friends as I work at the school their DCs attend so can do drop-offs and pick-ups and weekend playdates happily. But on such a regular basis she either needs a nanny or she needs more friends to share the load. YANBU to say 'no, that's not going to work for me' sometimes.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 10-May-17 18:56:19

I'd have buried my phone in the garden half way through week 2.

Why on earth are you doing this?

BlahBlahBlahEtc Wed 10-May-17 18:57:05

She's really taking the piss. I get it, newborns are hard but it's her child, she has others too so it's not like she went into it blind or anything! She needs to learn to cope. I don't know why she expects you to put yourself SO much. Tell her no, it'll never end otherwise.

rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 18:57:48

I don't feel I know her well enough, I had probably had 4 conversations in the playground when she asked me to be her birthing partner.

I absolutely feel like it, but the dad has buggered off and I just feel bad for her if I'm honest.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Wed 10-May-17 18:58:41

Did you post about being the birthing partner?
Offer to help her plan a schedule that helps her manage her day maybe?
She sounds like a word with her hv is needed if she isn't coping.

rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 18:58:41

Sorry missed a post, all 3 kids have different dads, all 3 have left her.

rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 18:59:37

And I did post about it yes, about whether I should go because of childcare and not knowing her well then ended up going

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Wed 10-May-17 19:02:29

You can feel sympathy for her without being taken for a ride in this way. Can you offer a level of contact you would be happy with, or do you think that would just end up with her pushing the boundaries again? If she is likely to take advantage again, maybe need to keep at arm's length...

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 10-May-17 19:02:35

I think by 6 weeks, unless there's a good medical reason, she should be able to manage the school runs, even if unshowered and with a tracksuit on. Perhaps explain that you need to spend more time with your kids and at work and can you help her work out a routine/talk to health visitor (if a possible pnd issue). Where is the children's dad?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 10-May-17 19:03:35

Ah x-post. Do none of them have any contact with their children?

rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 19:03:35

I am perfectly happy to have her kids for tea 1 or 2 nights a week, maybe one weekend a month but I feel like this wouldn't be enough for her tbh.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Wed 10-May-17 19:04:50

Ok, so then you need to save yourself, sad though this might make you sad

rainbowsandglitterandshit Wed 10-May-17 19:06:30

No contact with any of them, no. I think I feel like I need to help because I was a single mum at 15 and had no one. But she isn't 15 and she made her own choices.

HildaOg Wed 10-May-17 19:07:55

She's taking the piss. At this stage there's no reason for her not to take her own kids to and from school and you certainly shouldn't be taking all of them to give her a rest, where's your rest?

Put a stop to it now because she is becoming reliant on your free babysitting service, is expecting it and the demands are only going to increase as her entitlement expands.

Walking your kids to school is the perfect time to distance yourself. Then start saying no that's not possible for me/doesn't suit/can't do it.... Repeat as often as necessary. Google the broken record technique.

As for the guilt, stop caring about the feelings about someone who doesn't care for yours.

Bantanddec Wed 10-May-17 19:09:40

You need to take a step back, it's lovely you've helped her but now she is taking advantage of your good nature.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 10-May-17 19:12:07

I think you have to just be clear and specific about what you can do and suggest she needs to find some extra help from somewhere, extended family, ex's extended family etc. If not (and she's sending the newborn off with you regularly at the moment) I would have thought she needs to raise with the HV to help find other resources to help.

RebootYourEngine Wed 10-May-17 19:12:38

I dont even know why you would still want to have them as regular as once or twice a week or once a month at weekends. She is taking the piss.

I would either tell her straight that you cant do it anymore or start making up appointments or sicknesses or have someone else pick your kids up for playdates.

DearMrDilkington Wed 10-May-17 19:13:51

Are you having them for dinner every day after school?!

RebootYourEngine Wed 10-May-17 19:14:03

I would also send her a bill for your babysitting services. That might put her off grin

MargotLovedTom1 Wed 10-May-17 19:14:23

shock just say you're knackered and it's too much. Agree she seems wholly reliant on you, and I know she has a lot to cope with but she has to get on with it. Her way of managing right now is to make someone else's life an whole lot harder.

AgentOprah Wed 10-May-17 19:15:13

I would say "I can pick them up from school on a Wednesday and have them round for tea, but sorry I can't offer more than that due to my own family commitments". You can still call and offer to take them all some Saturdays if you're available (and want to!).

Maybe point her in the direction of HomeStart too? They could arrange a volunteer to visit her for a couple of hours every week.

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