To have asked my friend to do this?(60 Posts)
I was already feeling bad about this, but now having read another thread I feel worse, but I still don't have another solution, so I'm wondering whether this comes under 'really cheeky' or 'a helping hand from a friend'.
Basically I should be able to collect my dd (11) from school before school closes (5pm), if all goes well. Unfortunately on the journey I do, about once a month/6 weeks there is a crash or something so I am delayed. My dd has SN so can't walk home by herself (as well as too far and too dark), so I at that point turn to friends to see if one can collect her and keep her for me for 30 mins/1 hour until I get there. Is this incredibly cheeky? (I try to ask a different one each time, so no-one gets too fed up with it if that helps...).
I have no help from family, we never go out as we don't have babysitters. I've never asked anyone for help before and am rubbish at doing so, and I feel awful about it. They do say they don't mind, but are they just being polite? Would everyone actually mind this and be getting annoyed, or are there some people out there who genuinely don't mind helping out occasionally?
When mine were at school I wouldn’t have minded. In fact I can think of dozens of instances when I helped out friends or vice versa.
What will happen when she goes to senior school? Can you start planning now?
I wouldn't have minded. Why not have some wine in the boot so that you can hand over a bottle in exchange? That might sweeten things!
From your description it doesn’t sound too bad, but do you ever return the favour? “Thanks for collecting DD tonight, would your DC like to come for tea tomorrow?”
So to clarify you have asked your friends to help you out when traffic/circumstances mean you will be late to pick up?? Which is maybe once a month. And you are consciously trying not to use one friend to much?
Aboustley wouldn't be an issue in my friendship group! It's part of friendship helping each other out! I'm sure you would be willing to help them out if you could or in different circumstances. Don't worry about it we all need help sometimes.
Once every few months is fine I think. Agree it would be good to offer to have their dc occasionally to return the favour.
She is at senior school, which is why she can stay until 5pm, but she still can't get herself home yet. I drop off and pick up. To be honest, my friend has never asked, but I certainly would return the favour if she did, and would feel a lot happier when I have to ask! I do share lifts with her to a joint activity that both children do, but we all take turns, so that's not really paying it back... People never seem to ask me, or take me up on offers. I wish they would as then I would feel more comfortable about asking!
I don't see the problem with that. Though I'd rather have one good friend who I could rely on and have discussed it with, than asking different people each time in the hope that someone says yes
I did this regularly and happily for a friend (SH lawyer in the city) but she repaid me by having my son over for dinner or a sleepover.
If people know you are genuinely stuck I don’t think they mind.
I used to have to do this for similar reasons- getting stuck on the motor way, but it was just one mum that I was more friendly with. So when I was working from home, which could be between 1-5 days a week, I would go to the mums house who didn’t drive and had a 30 minute walk to school, and I would pick her children 3 children and take them to school. It was only leaving an extra 15 minutes early in theory. But I’d often get there an hour early (on her request!) the kids would play and have breakfast and we would catch up over coffee and put the world to right.
Our boys are now 14, and in different schools however we have remained friends.
Just ask her up front if you two could work out a reciprocal arrangement for emergencies, the worst that can happen is she says 'no'.
I often helped out.
Take your friend a bunch of flowers or some chocs as a thank you.
For the friend with the daughter perhaps treat the child to the cinema or something. That way they know you appreciate the help.
Is there any possibility of requesting a change of hours at your workplace - e.g. if you have an hour for lunch and finish at 5, could you take a half hour lunch and leave at 4.30? Just a thought.
If it's only once a month max and you're already "spreading the load" then I don't think it's cheeky.
I don't think anyone minds helping out on the odd occasion, the problem is when people expect it on a regular basis and then they aren't even grateful or worse they are rude and aggressive if you can't do it. As long as you say thank you and don't decide to bugger off to the hairdressers leaving your daughter there until 10pm or something, I don't think anyone would consider you a CF.
I have asked upfront the three or four people I would ask in the situation, and they all said it was ok, but I just wonder whether they would have said no if it wasn't. I can definitely offer to do an extra lift share, which would be a good way of repaying, but I don't think she would find a playdate that helpful as her children are older anyway and can be left. Probably massively overthinking it, but I just read threads on here saying how people asking for help are CFs so thought I'd see the consensus. Relieved that people don't think this is unreasonable!
In answers - can't change the hours. Can definitely do flowers/chocs, and will do, thank you. I definitely don't leave her longer than I have to - that would be really unfair!
This sort no thing is completely normal in my circle of friends, and am sure most people's circle.
And it's completely different from the sort of CF who expects / doesn't even ask / gets grumpy when people say no, etc.
It's entirely obvious when someone is a CF - compared with someone in genuine need, who doesn't want to inconvenience people, and who is actually grateful!
Why don't you have a contact list like school does for emergencies.
Ask your friends if they would be happy to help out in these circumstances and if they agree then you don't need to feel bad.
Set up a whatsapp group so you can reach out to everyone at the same time.
This way, everyone knows up front and they won't mind helping out.
If they don't accept your offers you could set up a playdate and give them an afternoon off.
no dont thinik its cf at all number one sign of a cf is they dont know theyre one or they dont care!
If you can help your friends out in return that's great but it's not necessary most people don't mind doing the occasional favour for friends don't get to stressed over it! As a pp said worrying your being a CF is the first sign you aren't!
I think that is perfectly normal behaviour - helping a friend out two or three times a year when they are stuck. I wouldn't accept flowers or wine or chocs for it either - it's just what makes the world go round.
If you were asking the same person on a weekly basis, then the wine is needed
There are some posts on MN that I do wonder about how the posters get through life with all their 'counting how many times' a friend has done this or 'not inviting a child round again because the other parent hasn't matched the number of times they've come round' type ideas. It isn't how things work in any of the groups of people I mix with, or have mixed with over the years - round here, people just do what they can to give someone a hand, when it is needed, if they are able to.
No, I wouldn’t mind at all, not even if you asked quite often. You’re stuck, it’s not like you’ve just decided at the last minute to get your nails done. (I’d happily have her for you then too, but a bit more notice would be nice). I wouldn’t want flowers, chocolate or wine either, nor would I want you to feel you needed to reciprocate. I’d just be happy to be able to help you out. LIfe is hard enough with kids, but there’s very little provision for children with SN, specially once they get to your dd’s age.
Threads like the other one always draw out all of the ‘ She’s a cf, tell her to FO’ crowd. MN really, really, does NOT reflect RL. Don’t let it affect your actual relationships and friendships assuming people ‘must’ be thinking xyz.
I have NO reason to tell you what you want to hear, so please just believe that there are people who are happy to help - truly happy and who don’t need presents nor reciprocal help. We’re just happy to do something we can do, for someone who needs it done.
That's the sort of thing I would have been perfectly happy to do for a friend and I wouldn't have wanted them to feel they had to repay.
I assume, if one of them called you on a weekend or day you were not at work and asked you to help out, you would do.
It becomes cheeky when someone is assuming people will have their dc for free on a regular basis, for hours and hours, collect them late etc etc (all without a proper discussion with the person they want to use as free childcare and just assume it's OK because 'they're going anyway' or whatever) and then never be available to help out in return.
Doesn't sound like that's what you are doing.
You’re definitely NOT being cheeky.
I know you’ve had this reply already but CF usually refers to those who demand, bully or just expect that everyone should help them. There was a recent thread about a nightmare school gate Mum who was basically demanding the OP mind her child for free when she just CBA to parent... THAT is being a CF.
You are in genuine need and can’t possibly know when an accident is going to delay you or even for how long. You are politely asking for help and it is being given because you are friends. If you feel a little bit cheeky over it (I worry I’m being cheeky when my Step Dad drives me to any hospital/doctor’s/dentists appointment for me or the twins, for free without being asked to. He just wants to help.) offer a small gift, like Chocs or wine, to those who help, if you can afford it, offer to treat your DC and theirs to bowling, pizza, or a movie etc one weekend. Even if they don’t take your offer up, the fact that it was there shows your gratitude (though I’m sure a simple, genuine thank you is all they need and I’ve no doubt you already do this, probably profusely as I do lol
Not unfair at all OP, that’s what friends are for.
If you want to repay, why not do the lift share shift for whoever picked your DD up most recently?
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