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Finding boundaries with other parents

(48 Posts)
pw2010 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:03:31


Im in a very frustrating position with my daughters best friends parents who are separated. My daughter and her friend are very very close and have regular play dates and sleep overs which always seem to leave me feeling like I am the one doing the running around.
All of the play dates rotate around weekends with my daughters friends Dad at his house or at ours.
I have had issues with sharing pick ups and drop offs. Drop offs on the Dads side have happened way past 9.30 pm at times (our kids are only 8) and have had to do a lot of the runs myself both ways.
Im a single parent which means I do have to really do it all myself!

The Mum has never offered a play date - even when there have been times i have struggled with child care and she has been aware of it. She doesn't work and I work for myself full time.

The most recent sleep over organised at ours with the Dad was cancelled via her daughter informing us her Mum wouldn't allow her.
I intervened and asked if there was a problem. The girls were really looking forward to it.
We worked it out and she allowed her daughter to stay.
It's getting really frustrating though as my daughter and I do a lot of stuff together and we invite her friend out with us a lot.
She is hardly ever allowed to come if its away from the our house and this makes me feel like I am being judged badly in some way.
Stuff the Mum has refused to ;
Trick or treating - too dangerous
Fireworks night - too dangerous
A day trip to the sea side (1.5 hours away) - Motorways too dangerous
camping - never even got a response to this.

To top it off - the Mum doesn't drive so I am expected to do all drop off and pick ups (again). I wouldn't mind but she never even offers to jump on a bus and do a run. She just expects me to do it. On top of that she nearly always states the time as she is either going out or coming back late.

I really feel like picking up late or just saying no to a drop back and letting her work it out for once.
I know if sounds mean but Im trying to work out if I was firm but fair about it - Whether I would be maintaining my own healthy boundaries rather than being selfish.
Has anyone has similar experiences?


Unicornshopkeeper Fri 12-Apr-19 19:06:39

I think I'd be tempted to encourage my DDs friendships with other children. They sound like hard work - especially the mum

Teateaandmoretea Fri 12-Apr-19 19:08:14

You are piggy in the middle between mum and dad. I'd cool it tbh, the number of playdates to me sound really ott.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Fri 12-Apr-19 19:11:22

At 8 I think it’s fine that she doesn’t feel comfortable with long trips or camping. And maybe she wants time just with her daughter, especially if she’s sharing care with the dad? I think she’s telling you the play dates are too much for her and maybe drop the intensity? Invite other friends or enjoy some time just the two of you?

Drum2018 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:12:38

The Mum has never offered a play date - even when there have been times i have struggled with child care and she has been aware of it. She doesn't work and I work for myself full time

Your childcare issues are not her problem. It seems they are not as bothered about hosting as you are. The best thing you can do is stop the play dates or if you do continue, then stop the expectation that they should reciprocate.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Fri 12-Apr-19 19:14:15

Also she won’t want her whole weekend to revolve around a drop off time. Especially if she’s on the bus which can take ages, it is likely to mean she can’t go out all day if the time isn’t convenient for her.

Isleepinahedgefund Fri 12-Apr-19 19:14:41

I’d cool it off too. Facilitating a friendship like that has to work both ways, and it clearly isn’t. If you don’t want to cool it off because of the kids, then I think you have to accept things the way they are and suck it up. I’m not saying they’re right, far from it, but you won’t change their behaviour and it’s pointless to try.

Holidayshopping Fri 12-Apr-19 19:15:24

It seems that you are doing all of the instigating. Maybe they don’t really want her to do any of these things?

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Fri 12-Apr-19 19:16:40

She might be depressed, broke and fed up of you organising all the fun stuff she'd like to do with her own kid. She might not be up to looking after your kid.

Are you actually friends with her?

Babooshkar Fri 12-Apr-19 19:18:33

That’s sounds like a lot of play dates for 8yo’s. I wouldn’t be keen for my DC to be going away camping or long journeys without me or close family at age 8.

Why not try to cool it down a bit and spend some time with your daughter / other friends / family and mix it up a bit. It sounds very intense to be honest.

Jeezoh Fri 12-Apr-19 19:20:43

I’d take the signals that you’re getting and back off a bit, it sounds like a very intense situation and a lot of faffing around! If I was sharing care with my ex partner, I’d limit the amount of weekend play dates too!

pw2010 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:20:48

Thanks for your responses.

Maybe Im being a bit uptight.
To be honest its not me that organises most of the play dates. I have tried to cool it down but the invites keep happening.

As far as childcare is concerned. I can count on one hand the times I have actually asked for a favour. I don't do it as a rule.
Sometimes its nice to know that there are people who have your back in an emergency. I don't think there's anything wrong with that?

I appreciate the feedback.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Fri 12-Apr-19 19:25:54

My ds has a friend like you. It’s so draining. We have other friends and family we want to see and if this girl alternates weekends with each parent, maybe they don’t want to spend their precious limited family time with you all the time. It sounds way too much.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Fri 12-Apr-19 19:27:34

OP is this your only child?

Holidayshopping Fri 12-Apr-19 19:28:07

To be honest its not me that organises most of the play dates. I have tried to cool it down but the invites keep happening.

So, the mum has never invited your child for a play date and you haven’t organised most of them-it must therefore be the dad that’s doing the organising?

Is that what he wants, not the mum?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Fri 12-Apr-19 19:30:03

If you aren’t orhabibg most of them, and neither is mum, it must be dad? In which case why are you getting frustrated at mum for not doing more? confused

unlimiteddilutingjuice Fri 12-Apr-19 19:30:12

I think with playdates you should only do the amount you feel comfortable with, without any expectatation of reciprocation.
If your kids get on then keep them going but scale down a bit.

Holidayshopping Fri 12-Apr-19 19:32:11

Is the dad organising stuff for the kids on days when the mum has her?

I can see why the mum doesn’t want any of this! I don’t see why you’re cross with her though.

AgnesNaismith Fri 12-Apr-19 19:36:25

I would not have let my 8yo did do any of the things you listed without me.

WoodenToyKitchen Fri 12-Apr-19 19:38:20

You sound exhausting

pw2010 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:43:35


Thanks so much for everyone's diplomatic feedback!

I haven't explained the nuances which are many to this situation.
I guess all I was trying to share was experiences that may leave you feeling as though the balance isn't there.

Comments such as - You sound exhausting - and - I have a friend like you- are not really helpful but I have to respect that this game of parenting is a complicated thing and everyone has very strong opinions on what they think is right or wrong.

Moomoo1975 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:43:37

You sound a little full on to be honest. 8 is very young for a lot of the activities you mentioned. Maybe the other mum likes to spend family time with her daughter at halloween, new yrs. Etc if that is when the fire works are on.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 12-Apr-19 19:44:05

So the little friend has a lot of sleepovers at yours during Dad’s contact time? I’d be a bit pissed off with that if I was the mum.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 12-Apr-19 19:45:51

So the other parent(s) are organizing things and you're simply falling into their suggestions? Well, then stop. If the dad organizes something and you don't want to pick up/drop off or the times are too late for you, then simply say 'Sorry, I can't do <whatever> at that time'. It will be up to him to come up with another plan. As far a the mum goes, if you feel she isn't doing her 'fair share' of planning or hosting, then stop organizing things when the child is with the mother. If you plan something and they say they can't drop the child or pick her up say "Oh that's too bad, well, we'll have to plan something for another time then".

You're creating your own problems.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Fri 12-Apr-19 19:46:30

Why are they not helpful? We’re trying to show you how you’re coming across to the mum and why she might not be as keen as you.

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