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Issue with school mum and cleaner

(347 Posts)
hopefullyhelpfully Mon 07-Jan-19 12:22:15

I've been struggling to find a good cleaner for a while now, so a school mum friend (occasional drinks and coffees, children in same friendship group, same team in PTA quiz etc) gave me contact details for her cleaner and said I could see if she had any availability. She did, and she's been cleaning for 4 months now and is amazing! She works the time she's paid for, notices and does little extras, irons and is generally marvellous.
At Christmas she had the week off but I paid her (have always paid holiday pay to cleaners) and have her some chocolate- and a small outfit for daughter's new baby- nothing extravagant.
She recently announced that she'd be reducing her cleaning hours as she's going to be looking after her daughter's baby when her daughter goes back to work. She's given notice to school mum friend and not to me, and friend is furious. Friend called me and said that as she'd recommended the cleaner, and she'd been working for her a lot longer then I needed to tell her that we didn't need her any more! Apparently I must have found out about her planned reduction in hours which is why I paid holiday pay and gave presents etc, and I have essentially been sneaky. Tbh I genuinely didn't know as I'm not often there when she comes and I thought everyone paid extra at Christmas and holidays! It's also worth pointing out that my children are older, we're all out of the house when she cleans, we're generally tidy and I'm not especially demanding, none of which is the case for my friend.
Now I was perfectly prepared to ignore her- lovely cleaner has agency over her own life and this is all a bit mad. However she's been telling all our mutual friends that I've "stolen" the cleaner by paying her more (we pay the same) and that losing her is exacerbating her stress and PND (youngest is 5 and she's never mentioned PND in the 11 years I've known her.) There's a lot of other stuff but it boils down to, "heartless full time working parent bribes critical help and support away from vulnerable friend to facilitate her career." I'm the only working mum out of the group so she's got a lot of time to develop the narrative and I'm not there to counter it.
Now to the AIBU- this is impacting DS as he's close friends with her son and the children of her friends. He's not being invited to Friday play dates as we all usually have a glass of wine when picking up and apparently, "it'll be uncomfortable."
I can't have DS impacted, so I'm planning on doing as she asks, firing cleaner and trying to salvage this. However DH says it's unreasonable and unfair to the cleaner. Who's unreasonable?

Allthewaves Mon 07-Jan-19 12:26:49

Wow. Friend is totally unreasonable but I can see why she is pissed off that cleaner has kept you on as a client and not her. It's a difficult one. If you sack cleaner there's no guarantee she will go back to the other parent and it proves the other parent correct.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 07-Jan-19 12:27:22

DO NOT fire the cleaner! This woman is an absolute nightmare, you dont want your son hanging around them in either case as she is clearly a little bit unhinged!

Honestly, just give the whole lot of them a wide berth - the drama will move onto someone else (especially if your the only working one).

Claredogmum Mon 07-Jan-19 12:32:12

If the cleaner is reducing her hours she'll be picking the clients she wants to keep on. She wants to keep you and bin your 'friend'. Her choice. Your clearly nicer to work for. Don't get rid of the cleaner.

SeaGreenSeaGlass Mon 07-Jan-19 12:32:31

If you fire the cleaner, will she relocate your slot to the "friend"? Doubtful. And the damage to your friendship group has already been done.
I think the best thing you can do is to tell the truth to anyone who asks, and move on. The upset friend won't backtrack so the damage has been done. The boys can hopefully decide to play together at school if it's what they want.

hopefullyhelpfully Mon 07-Jan-19 12:32:53

She is demanding, and I know that she uses cleaner as informal childcare when she's round- so she'll go for a run when youngest is napping, leaving cleaner (who's still expecting to carry on cleaning) in charge. She'll struggle to find anyone as good and accommodating, hence the massive tantrum. Running is good for her mental health, hence the narrative that she's vulnerable.
I KNOW it's mad and unreasonable but I can't see DS sad as his friends head off to play dates together.

SeaGreenSeaGlass Mon 07-Jan-19 12:32:57


SeaGreenSeaGlass Mon 07-Jan-19 12:34:06

But even if you tell the cleaner that you no longer want her, do you really think your upset friend will backtrack and go back to the old normal?

Claredogmum Mon 07-Jan-19 12:34:05

Bet the cleaner has been looking to bin her for ages. Taking the piss!

SassitudeandSparkle Mon 07-Jan-19 12:34:44

I doubt the cleaner will take your friend's job over yours and it seems a daft reason to cancel tbh. Just invite the other friends at a different time.

user1493413286 Mon 07-Jan-19 12:35:42

If you do decide to keep to what your friend says then I’d talk to the cleaner first. Even if you fire her she may not want to go back to cleaning for your “friend” and then be left short.
It’s a really tricky situation and I don’t think it’s fair on you but I’d probably do it for the best of my child.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 07-Jan-19 12:36:18

The cleaner won’t allocate your spot to her if you fire her.

Your friendship won’t get better because she’ll blame you for that too.

And then you’ll be put a friend and a cleaner.

I can understand why you want to make things better but there is no way to salvage this.

Canibuildasnowman Mon 07-Jan-19 12:37:05

Jesus. Yeah, don't fire the cleaner. Re-iterate that you didn't know anything and say same to other mums. If she keeps banging on about it they'll know she's got a screw loose and keep out of it. We had similar, cleaner stayed with us because we're tidier I think! But luckily friend didn't blame us... cleaner is a free agent.

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee Mon 07-Jan-19 12:38:04

Leaving the cleaner to look after a child is completely unreasonable! I'm sure she's safe and capable, but totally outwith the job remit!!!

Don't sack your cleaner, she sounds great!

Canibuildasnowman Mon 07-Jan-19 12:38:04

I bet she's embarrassed as she feels it reflects badly on her perhaps, but then no one would know if she wasn't running around crying about it I suppose!!

TabbyMumz Mon 07-Jan-19 12:38:39

Do not sack your cleaner. Your friend is a bully and a drama llama.

SeaGreenSeaGlass Mon 07-Jan-19 12:39:01

For all you we know, the new baby is a red herring and the cleaner only dropped one client 😂

sallievp Mon 07-Jan-19 12:41:54

DO NOT fire the Cleaner!!!!
You sound lovely
Your friend sounds horrible.
I know you feel bad about your son but this is not the way to resolve things.
What a CF she is!
I hope she's a MNer so she can read this and what everyone thinks about it!

ISmellBabies Mon 07-Jan-19 12:43:19

What will you do when you've fired her and your kid is still not invited anymore? It's too late. Your friend is deranged, you might as well not lose a decent cleaner as well.

Arthur2shedsJackson Mon 07-Jan-19 12:44:51

Could you not recruit the cleaner to be upfront with ‘friend’ about why she has made the choices she has? Maybe that she finds an empty house easier to deal with and she prefers not to have the responsibility of childcare? And also - without putting words in to her mouth - that the Christmas gifts had absolutely nothing to do with her choice.
That would absolve you of hi-jacking the cleaner.

LordPickle Mon 07-Jan-19 12:46:29

This is fucking bonkers. Can't you just show up on Friday and call her out? Explain in front of all your friends that she is being ridiculous and you are not to blame. Surely you should clear the air with everyone and try to salvage your friendships and not let this woman push you and your DS out.

Also do not fire your cleaner.

MoreCheeseDear Mon 07-Jan-19 12:46:38

The friendship is over anyway. Keep your lovely cleaner.

Confusedbeetle Mon 07-Jan-19 12:46:56

You have lost this friendship. Do not punish the cleaner

Travis1 Mon 07-Jan-19 12:47:20

Don't fire the cleaner. Do not be ridiculous. Sounds like the cleaner was probably looking to bin her for a while.

Gatehouse77 Mon 07-Jan-19 12:47:37

I would not fire your cleaner.

Our children's friends will change over time and, personally, I wouldn't make lifestyle decisions based on potentially fluid friendships. It's could be an opportunity for you to talk to your DS about how some people will let non-related things affect other areas of their lives.

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