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AIBU to say no to “support bubble”?

(99 Posts)
rheafern Mon 19-Oct-20 23:00:56

We are very close to a family who lives nearby. They are lovely people, we all get on really well. Countless dinners, walks and laughs over the years. As soon as the new restrictions were announced, the mum, my friend, asked if we could be in a support bubble with them. I said, yes, let’s do it. The problem is that as soon as I started thinking and discussing it with DH, it became clear to us that we couldn’t actually. She said that, as a single parent, she could form a support bubble with another family. The problem is that she’s not in a single-adult household, as she has a lodger (lovely and supportive by the way!). I also thought that because she’s already in a bubble with her ex, with the children staying with him a couple of days a week, she couldn’t really form a second bubble with another household. So two reasons in my understanding. I was quite embarrassed to have to point out what I saw as obvious reasons to her, so obvious to me that I’d be implying she knew she’d be cheating... So I wasn’t clear in my messages from the beginning. I first mentioned the issue about her ex to see if the bubble idea would burst without me having to go into more detail. But she said that when you share custody, that doesn’t count as a bubble. Then I raised the single-adult household issue. To this she said her understanding of the rules were different to mine. Then she suggested that I was making excuses and didn’t want to join her bubble (to her daughter who told mine). That really pissed me off as there was nothing to do with not wanting that. I explained to her I just wanted to make sure I was following the rules. She then went a bit cold, cancelled an outdoors meeting we were having later... I’m feeling guilty that the way I dealt with it made her feel rejected but I’m also quite angry that someone I’ve been so close to would interpret things as she’s a victim when there are other people suffering much more and obviously at risk if we don’t stick to the rules. But have I got the rules on single-adult households wrong? Should I apologise or leave it?

OP’s posts: |
ilovesooty Mon 19-Oct-20 23:05:07

She's not a single person household and doesn't qualify to bubble with anyone. You're in the right. If she can't accept that it's her problem but perhaps she felt you went back on what you originally said.

stackemhigh Mon 19-Oct-20 23:07:12

YANBU, it's really good that you spoke up when you weren't comfortable. Why does she want to be in another support bubble when she's in one with her ex? And is her lodger in a support bubble with someone too?

Ratbagcatbag Mon 19-Oct-20 23:11:53

In terms of the split parenting you're wrong. She's allowed a bubble separate to her ex even when they share care.

I don't know the rules around lodgers, it would make sense that that would mean she's not a single adult household. But bloody hell. Lifes going to be really tough with just the lodger as her "support" (unless you drip feed it's her best mate). So maybe you could have worded it better. And let's be fair, the wishy washy changing rules make it not completely clear what's happening on which day. I can completely see why she's hurt by your response. I hope she finds someone to bubble with to support her.

Gettinggrumpier Mon 19-Oct-20 23:15:06

As iLovesooty said, she is not in a single adult household. Her lodger can't be excluded when determining if she can be in a support bubble.

Children moving between divorced/separated parents' households is a different issue.

You are not at fault for changing your mind when you realised it would be a breach of the current COVID rules. It is your friend who should be apologising to you instead of making you feel bad.

Hamsandwich2 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:16:38

A lodger isn’t a her friend, which is the point in a support bubble. They didn’t count out every eventuality when they made the guidelines but I would still count her as a single adult.

Ex doesn’t count.

You are being unreasonable and should either be or not be her bubble. I bet she’s feeling hurt and worried.

ilovesooty Mon 19-Oct-20 23:18:02

Even if a lodger isn't her friend he lives in the same house so she isn't a single person household.

MaxNormal Mon 19-Oct-20 23:19:57

Well as long as you're following the vague and ever-changing rules to what you think is the letter, that's the important thing, not friendship and people's need for support and companionship.

Ratbagcatbag Mon 19-Oct-20 23:25:23

I'm actually feeling really sad for your friend. She must be worried about how it's going to be throughout winter and has received a load of texts from you seeming like excuses as to not want to bubble. And as you were her obvious and first choice she's seemingly really hurt by that.
But as a previous poster says, so long as you follow the vague letter of the law blindly then crack on. What's years of friendship.

bethany39 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:27:14

It does sound a bit like you're just making excuses, and I would wonder that if I were here tbh. Surely you didn't really think all single parents who share custody have to be in a bubble with their ex?

You're right about the lodger though.

choosername1234 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:29:37

MaxNormal

Well as long as you're following the vague and ever-changing rules to what you think is the letter, that's the important thing, not friendship and people's need for support and companionship.


This sums up so much about Covid on MN at the moment

ilovesooty Mon 19-Oct-20 23:30:47

It doesn't seem very pleasant to guilt trip the OP because she feels she should adhere to the rules.

Frazzled2207 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:35:05

I think the ex is non-issue issue but I don’t think it’s very clear at all whether the lodger should “count” as a member of her household, it is a business arrangement after all. If it was me I think I’d bubble with her- must be very tough being a single parent through all this.

Clareflairmare Mon 19-Oct-20 23:42:11

Ratbagcatbag

In terms of the split parenting you're wrong. She's allowed a bubble separate to her ex even when they share care.

I don't know the rules around lodgers, it would make sense that that would mean she's not a single adult household. But bloody hell. Lifes going to be really tough with just the lodger as her "support" (unless you drip feed it's her best mate). So maybe you could have worded it better. And let's be fair, the wishy washy changing rules make it not completely clear what's happening on which day. I can completely see why she's hurt by your response. I hope she finds someone to bubble with to support her.

This was my response

rainkeepsfallingdown Mon 19-Oct-20 23:43:48

The rules are really hard to understand, so I think it's unfair to give the OP a hard time for later re-reading the rules and drawing a line. The friend lives with a lodger, so she is not a single adult household.

TBH I think the friend is in the wrong for putting the OP in this position. As the person wanting to form a bubble, she should have read the rules more carefully and realised she couldn't do it.

milveycrohn Mon 19-Oct-20 23:44:01

In My view, the lodger would not count as a support bubble, as a lodger is not your friend. It is a business arrangement, whereby the lodger could give notice to leave at any time, and would hardly count as support..
However, technically, it would appear to be against the rules, as no provision was made for these circumstances.

tunnocksreturns2019 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:44:20

Ha yes, a ‘support’ bubble with an ex doesn’t sound very supportive unless it was an exceptionally amicable breakup!

I’m widowed and being in a bubble has made the world of difference to me even though we have been too busy with work and kids to meet up lots.

I’m not sure you’re managing to see this from her point of view. She was probably lonely before covid, and the restrictions make a lonely life crushingly so.

Ideasplease322 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:46:34

I am I a bubble. I live alone and work from ho,e, her fore I know I am not bringing a huge risk into my sisters house.

This lady lives with another adult, who I assume has contacts of his own. She also moves her children between her house and her exes house. So lots more contact there as well.

It’s all about risk. She must understand she is asking you to significant increase your exposure.

Support bubbles are about helping single people or households with only one adult in the home. She lives in a two adult household.

It doesn’t matter is he is a lodger, he is another adult in the home.

saraclara Mon 19-Oct-20 23:47:51

Hamsandwich2

A lodger isn’t a her friend, which is the point in a support bubble. They didn’t count out every eventuality when they made the guidelines but I would still count her as a single adult.

Ex doesn’t count.

You are being unreasonable and should either be or not be her bubble. I bet she’s feeling hurt and worried.

You're wrong. I had a temporary lodger through lockdown. When the govt decided that single adult households could bubble with one other, my lodger found somewhere else to live so that I could bubble with my daughter and her young baby.
If he'd still been living with me I wouldn't have been eligible to bubble with her.

Ideasplease322 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:49:02

The friend could form a support bubble with a single adult household though.

She just has to accept she isn’t a single adult household.

Brighterthansunflowers Mon 19-Oct-20 23:49:47

YANBU

She doesn’t have to be in a bubble with her ex just because they share custody, if she was in a single adult household she could still bubble up with someone else

But you’re right in saying she isn’t in a single adult household so can’t form a bubble anyway.

stevalnamechanger Mon 19-Oct-20 23:50:19

Christ . You'd be fun at a party .

These rules are total nonsense . Sorry . If she needs your support as a friend do it .

I never want to hear the term bubbles again it's so stupid .

stevalnamechanger Mon 19-Oct-20 23:51:34

And yes I'm furious about the whole thing because apparently I can go to work and see hundreds of people on a daily basis yet ( however I've voted to remain at home ) but it's against the law for me to see my Grandmother who probably doesn't have time on her side .

I will not be observing these rules . Flame me !

stackemhigh Mon 19-Oct-20 23:54:41

🤦🏻‍♀️

Noti23 Mon 19-Oct-20 23:55:06

You will definitely get arrested because she has a lodger. Lodgers offer spectacular emotional and personal support.

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