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School run - always asked but never reciprocated

(263 Posts)
Fro611 Sun 27-Jan-19 08:58:31

I have a friend (I've known her since our kids started at the school a year ago) who is asking me "casually" almost every day to drop her 4 year old son off at home after school (where the Nanny is waiting). She works fulltime but has permission to leave each day to do the school run. She started off occasionally asking if I could pick him up due to a "meeting she couldn't move" or because she had to drive to another town for a meeting - and it was only once, maybe twice a week. But lately she is asking me pretty much every day and for reasons like "Can you pick him up so I can finish early" or just asking me to pick him up without even giving a reason.

It's difficult as I am friendly with the mum - but I feel like she is pushing the friendship by asking almost every day just because it's convenient for her not to have to do it. Over the past 2 weeks I've started making up excuses to get out of it. It's only a ten minute detour for me to drive past her house. But I also feel that at only 4 years old she should be picking her son up regularly if she can and it's not my responsibility to pickup her kid every day.

It also annoys me because on the days she does pick her own son up from school she NEVER offers to drop my son home - not even once.

Am I being unreasonable in not helping her out every day? I would have thought she would have realized by my response (and excuse making) over the past 2 weeks that it's become too much and backed off - but if anything it's made her ask even more (I think she feels if I don't do it one day then I have to do it the next to make up for it).

Aside from this issue we get along quite well and it's really irritating me that she is totally oblivious that it's becoming too much. She even waits for me at the school gate each day to make sure she can "casually" ask me to do pickup and if I miss her (if I have dropped and left early) she texts me within ten minutes of drop off time asking me to do pickup.

I really really hate confrontation. Do I just keep making up excuses and hope she gets it? Or should I say something blunt and risk making things awkward between us?

georgedawes Sun 27-Jan-19 09:01:40

I'd start asking her to do pick ups for you.

blueskiesandforests Sun 27-Jan-19 09:03:18

She has a nanny? Ask her why the nanny doesn't do pick up.

But if you want her to do pick up reciprocally you'll have to ask "ok I'll pick your Alfie up today if you pick my Oliver up tomorrow" as she's clearly not twigged that it is an inconvenience and probably thinks that as you're going anyway you won't be inconvenienced.

Highfever Sun 27-Jan-19 09:05:50

What's the car seat situation?

DameSquashalot Sun 27-Jan-19 09:08:57

Agree blue skies. What can't the nanny pick up?

ArcadianBlues Sun 27-Jan-19 09:10:26

You need to have an honest conversation with her about how you you do not want to do this regularly. Would you want to do it if it were on a formal basis, I.e she paid you for say one or two hours child care a week to cover the time you are looking after her son? Also why doesn't her nanny pick up?

BiscuitDrama Sun 27-Jan-19 09:12:06

I’d just start being a bit busier so that she finds someone else to ask.

RangeRider Sun 27-Jan-19 09:14:38

Ask her to pick your DC up and when she says she can't then you have the perfect brush-off for all future requests 'sorry, but you weren't prepared to reciprocate so I'm not willing to help out anymore. Suggest you get the nanny to do pick up if you don't want to' Sorted.

SuchAToDo Sun 27-Jan-19 09:17:02

Just say you are going somewhere straight after school with your son and won't be able to pick up her son as you are not going that way...and then when she protests say maybe another school mum can pick him up for her or her nanny ...don't give in to her or you will never break free from this school run nightmare she has trapped you in

Fro611 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:18:23

You're right - it isn't a huge inconvenience for me as I am going anyway and it's only a short detour.

But it's more frustrating that it doesn't even occur to her to offer to return the favor. To be honest even if she did offer I doubt I'd take it up unless I had a good reason - I like picking my son up from school. They are only 4 (turning 5) years old and it seems a bit young to miss pickup regularly if you can make it. So it's not that I want her to pick my son up - it's that I feel like she's taking advantage and quite frankly being a bit rude by asking me to pick hers up every day.

She has had the nanny pickup in the past but she needs to take a cab as she doesn't drive - she openly admits that she prefers not to use the nanny as she "doesn't want to have to spend money on the cab fare".

JonSlow Sun 27-Jan-19 09:20:40

Say to her - how can we make this 50/50. So she does one week and you do the next.

Peepingsnowdrops Sun 27-Jan-19 09:21:14

I would have something straight after school.

She should be paying you at the very least. Don't be taken advantage of.

Biologifemini Sun 27-Jan-19 09:22:22

Don’t answer the messages. Just ignore.
I can go a full day at work having missed the latest WhatsApp message.

Fro611 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:25:12

Highfever - the car seat situation is that I have a spare seat - but if I don't have the spare in the car she gives me hers in the school carpark (which I drop with the nanny) - and if she misses me she sometimes leaves her carseat with the school reception (and then texts me to ask me to do pickup). There was one time she didn't leave the seat and I didn't have a spare and she actually asked me to just use the normal seat belt and "drive carefully". I said no!!

SuchAToDo - this is what I've been doing for the past 2 weeks hoping she twigs - but it seems to have motivated her to ask even more - like I "owe her" for saying no one day.

anon400 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:31:41

Surely just say no sorry it’s not convenient. When I pick up from school I want to be free to do other activities that I may decide at that moment - go to the park, go shopping, go for an ince cream, have another child home for tea ( often agreed at school leaving time) anything really. I would resent a commitment to drop off someone else’s child regularly unless it was a one off as a favour. And no I wouldn’t want her to pick up my child in return. Enjoy the freedom you have of picking up your child. Sounds like she needs to sort after school club or alternative child care, or get a nanny that drives.

Fro611 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:32:42

It's not like she can't pick her own son up - she has permission from work to do it every day.

When it was only occasionally because she had a meeting or because something came up at work I was fine with helping out. But now she asks using excuses like "I want to leave work early at the end of the day" or just gives no excuse at all. And asks every single day. And I'm becoming resentful.

I felt glad I was able to help her out when she was in a bind - but now I feel like she's using it for ease.

Mrsbclinton Sun 27-Jan-19 09:33:00

She is taking the piss, using you as a free after school drop off service.

Im sorry to say but your friend sounds like a user.

SaturdayNext Sun 27-Jan-19 09:33:09

Can you invent a need to do something else immediately after school every day, e.g. a relative you have to visit?

honestlynotagain Sun 27-Jan-19 09:33:53

People like this are so annoying. Shove the car seat back in her fucking face. What a twat.

HAMGina Sun 27-Jan-19 09:35:18

She's only friendly with you for the free school run - you do know that don't you?

EmUntitled Sun 27-Jan-19 09:36:33

She is not being unreasonable to ask. It isnt out of your way, you are going anyway, and it saves her a job. She could be more grateful, but I don't see why it bothers you.

She is not being unreasonable not to reciprocate as you have never asked her to and you dont even want her to. Have you tried asking and see what she says, that would give you an idea of how she views this favour.

However if you don't want to do it, it would be reasonable for you to just say "sorry I wont be able to drop off X from now on", or "i will only be able to drop off once a week from now on".

HAMGina Sun 27-Jan-19 09:37:25

* it seems to have motivated her to ask even more - like I "owe her" for saying no one day*

But this part of the CF playbook - what starts off as a favour becomes an entitlement.

Just block her number for three months or so.

Sewrainbow Sun 27-Jan-19 09:38:32

Yanbu - if she isn't responding to the hints you have to be blunt. If the texts persist, one word answers back "no".

What is there to be scared of with confrontational? If she asks why won't you do it, give the reasons you've said here; it's a special time for your dc, she has a nanny, her childcare is not your responsibility, you want to do or her things after school etc

Don't listen to guilt trips

catkind Sun 27-Jan-19 09:38:57

Perhaps instead of excuses you could just say in a nice way "Nah, you should do it. Means so much to them if they can see mum or dad at the door doesn't it?"

Or if it's the cheekiness that's bothering you, maybe you could ask for petrol money. I know that's not what it's about but for a regular arrangement she should be contributing (and tbh should be paying you) and it might make her think.

We do actually have an arrangement where we often pick up a friend of DS's, which I'm happy with as it's not one step out of our way and DS likes having the kid around. It's more like DS and friend walking together and me and DD happen to go the same way. But asking you to drive her kid and a much younger child doesn't feel the same.

Returning2thesceneofthecrime Sun 27-Jan-19 09:39:15

Next time you hear her voice at the end of the line, pre-empt her and say ‘I was just about to call you! Any chance you can pick DS up today as I have an appointment/a headache/a manicure/whatever?’ Do exactly the same every time she calls you. She’ll stop calling, I guarantee!

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