Neighbour issues AIBU(739 Posts)
Need some advice please,
I have a neighbour, she’s elderly but very capable of living alone doing her own shopping etc. Shops are a short walk away, taxis freely available-I have lived near her for 6 months.
Don’t want to out myself but let’s say I’m a beauty therapist, and she calls once a weeks asking me to do her nails, fair enough only takes 30 minutes but I rarely have that 30 minutes free. She also has asked me to take her shopping when I go, I take my 2 children too on one of my days off and I also take her but it’s getting extremely stressful, she is not happy just going to Asda let’s say she wants to go to home bargains, Morrison’s and ALDI, with 2 kids in tow they get extremely bored and I get extremely stressed out and waste a day off running around after her.
Now I work 5 days a week only have 2 off and have housework 2dc (2&8) and a dog. I struggle to keep on top of everything and keep everyone happy but lately am feeling extremely overwhelmed.
For example one day last week she had an appointment in town asked me to collect her at lets say 12-30 I explained I don’t finish work until 4pm, she then made a point of walking instead of taxi and saying she’s exhausted.
4 or 5 times she’s called me to collect her from Train station to collect her at 6.30 or sometimes even 7.30 as she’s been out shopping to a city for the day but can’t walk home.
She has also started to make me feel guilty for planning other things on my day off. Say this weekend I planned to visit my dad and spend the day with him and she was quite taken aback that I wouldn’t be spending that day running her around, I also planned to take my children swimming yesterday which she was also unhappy I wasn’t taking her shopping. My eldest is sick of trailing round supermarkets when we’re supposed to spending quality time together-I am really feeling at the end of my tether with this.
I have been on anti depressants (mirtazapine) and came off them before Xmas and am debating going back on them, have an app with doctor tomorrow as I honestly feel I cannot keep this up.
I don’t want to upset her but I can’t keep going on like this.
Can I also say she has 2 children age 40 ish who visit but never take her in to town or shopping.
AIBU and what can I do?
No way OP, YANBU. She's taking the absolute piss! She sounds just like my MIL. These people will just use and abuse anyone who doesn't say no to them. You're going to have to put your foot down I'm afraid. I did with MIL. DH won't, but that's his problem.
I can kind of understand why her children rarely take her out . . . .
You poor thing! I think you're going above and beyond what anyone should expect from a neighbour! I would suggest that you speak to her children and let them know that you cannot continue to be at this lady's beck and call. I think you also need to be firmer with her with regards to when you're available and what you can do to help. If you're going shopping and it's no bother for her to come along, she can get a lift to the supermarket you decide to go shopping at for as long as you decide. I'm afraid I think you're going to have to be tough before this responsibility which is not yours to bear affects your health even more.
I am the kind of person who will always help another if I can but this is way too much. This lady is lucky to have a neighbour as nice as you, don't let her or her children take advantage of you!
Don't pander to that pisstaking thundercuntywanker! You don't owe her any more favours and need to place your kids and yourself first.
You're being manipulated by a canny old lady. My mum was an expert at such tricks.
I suggest you start having more appointments already made, so you only have time for Asda and say so up front. And be much more busy with trips out planned.
If she rings in the evening, tell her that you've had a couple of glasses or wine and so can't drive.
Don't feel guilty,
No no no. This is awful. I'm sorry you're not feeling great. I have no doubt this stress is making you feel worse
For your own health you have to stop this. You're not her slave. Why is she ringing you up all the time?! How did this come about?
is there any way you can talk to the children and raise your concerns?
Learn to say no. Literally. Get some sentences from MN that you can say to her when she asks.
And believe in yourself. Believe that you really do not have to do this for this woman. She is being incredibly selfish. Your duty is to your kids not her.
it does not mean you are being horrible, it means you are looking after your family.
If and only if at some point you have the strength to do somehting for your neighbour then you can do it in the future. But she sounds very very demanding.
Her: Can you take me to Asda later?
You: Sorry Edith no I can't. Must rush, bye.
End of story . And the next time and the next.
I would stand your ground OP. You can't put yourself at detriment for someone who honestly sounds like she's using you and is perhaps quite self entitled. Maybe the reason her children aren't doing it is because of exactly what you're describing. Just keep making your own plans.
I also assume she's not paying for her nails or fuel. Maybe start asking for money for your beauty and chaffeur services. I'm sure it would soon stop!
Oh and if she's been out all day shopping in a city - she's more than capable of making her own way home.
Also why should your children suffer?! They want to go swimming. That seems normal for kids. But they can't cos their unrelated neighbour wants you as a slave
Just say, "sorry I don't have time, as you can imagine I live a very busy life. Can your children not take you?"
And repeat! She obviously managed fine before you moved in!
I'm all for helping out neighbours, but that is a total pisstake OP. She never offers you any money toward nails/fuel? No thank you cards or flowers or anything? It's just bloody rude. She may not mean to be, but it is.
I would kindly explain that you cannot commit to these shopping trips weekly as you have plans with the children for clubs and activities. If she asks again, I would say a firm no, sorry, I am not shopping today. You could be also be honest and say you don't get time with the children and they are fed up of being dragged around the shops on their day off.
I would be loathe to never check on an elderly neighbour and would always offer to pick up a pint of milk or go to the odd doctors appointment but you are basically being her free maid service! Can you suggest her children help out?
Either say, or send a note saying how you’ve been happy to help but it’s impacting on your family time/life and you can no longer help her. If YOU are happy to do the odd thing for her say, but otherwise leave it at that.
Just say every time that it's not possible. Don't over explain.
Say "no". If you don't want a blunt "No, sorry, I'm doing something else", try "yes, I drop you in town but you'll have to make your own way back as I have other things to do". "No, I'm sorry I've had a glass of wine, I can't drive tonight" is useful too. Maybe you can throw in "Perhaps you could ask your DC to take you when they next visit?"
It is difficult. On the one hand she sounds perfectly capable, on the other hand she may be lonely, and she may have be doing the thing I find myself doing, or crystallising the cost of infrequent spending in my mind at what it was when I was doing it regularly, so that a £20 taxi fare, even I could afford it easily, sounds horrendously expensive, and difficult to justify just for myself. But these are not your problems. It's nice if you can help, but limit yourself to help that you can give in a generous spirit, not in a spirit of resentment.
Absolutely agree - you don’t need an excuse or explanation but you have a very valid one.
You want to spend more time with your family as you only have a small amount of time off. You have parents and children who need your time. And you have you who needs a rest! You can’t do nails, you can’t take her round every single shop.
If she was really desperate to get to the shop, she would accept whichever you’re going to, not want to go round all of them.
It’ll be hard at first as she’s used to you doing her bidding but you can reset the rules and expectations.
You just need to say no.
OP I think you're lovely to have been so helpful but you are being taken for a ride. You say "elderly" but is this an 80 year old or a 65 year old? Neither should be taking advantage of you, but an 80 year old might want a bit more help which her 40 year old children should be providing.
Is she IT literate? My parents were in their 80s, though both in good health. Then she can use Ocado or similar. Our local store offers free local delivery though you have to choose the goods in store.
I agree with PPs - make your family arrangements and stick to them and tell her you have prior commitments or it isn't convenient. Ditto collecting her from train stations. And if she is really being abusive and tries to book you in advance (I'll need to go to the shops on Feb 15th/be collected at 1900 on feb 28th from X station/you can't possibly be committed then) then just grit your teeth and say "I have no idea but I suggest you find an alternative."
Tell her you are dedicating more time to spending with you children so you no longer have time to take her out. Suggest she asks one if her children. Then block her.
It's great to be neighbourly but this is impacting your family and health and that comes first.
Say no! You don't even have to explain yourself to her.
No she doesn’t offer fuel money, she does however get the children treats if she’s ever out like sweeties.
I really struggle to say no I know I should but I have really been struggling and am getting more and more anxious when it’s coming to my days off she knows.
Millie- she is 70 ish however has a very active lookout, she goes abroad long haul at least twice a year. She acts around 50 ish and does not in any way act 70 ish.
Millie I actually started doing my shopping online as I dreading going shopping recently as it was all too much, offered to add her shopping to mine, wasn’t quite good enough she wanted to go to stores.
Agree with all (unanimous) posters.
You owe it to your kids to stop doing her nails for free every week, surely it’s in time which you would otherwise have a chargeable customer for, at £20 a week thats £1000 a year you’re missing out on.
Don't let her make you go back on your pills, you are just going to have to tell her that you are no longer able to help her, you could give her ageuk phone number and suggest she calls them. I would also block her number. She is not your responsibility and i think she probably knows this.
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.