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Maybe, but I feel quite upset...

(22 Posts)
bigyellowtaxi Fri 15-Aug-08 09:03:35

I recently offered to have one of my eldest DDs friends round for the day.
The backgound to this is that my DD has a friend from school, and his mum offered (by email) to have my DD round for one day next weekend, as their oldest DD is away at some dance class thing.
I replied that that would be great or equally would be happy to have him come to our house for the day, to give her some child free time.
My reasoning was that my other 2 DDs will be in the house anyway, so one extra well behaved older child wont make much difference to me, but I thought that to have a child-free day would be appreciated by them.

Then I get the following response (cut and paste from her email)

That would be great, will be nice to have a day off, but before you decide you have to know that we couldnt do the same for you. We are always happy to see (oldest DD) but your other girls are too young at the moment.

I feel a bit upset. I feel that she has assumed I have offered because I want to palm my kids off on her at some point in the future.
My offer to have her son was made without expectation of reciprocation. I'm not someone who tries to get other people to take my kids anyway.
She has in the past offered to have my DDs for a few hours, when my oldest was there for a playdate, but I declined as her son is the friend of only my oldest DD, the others dont know him, and I think my oldest DD should have time with her friends without her siblings. So I dont think I can have come over as someone looking for free childcare.

What do you all think?
Am I being unreasonable?
Have I misinterpreted this in some way, and got upset over nothing? Is there a nicer way of looking at it?
And if you think that IANBU how should I respond to her email, I would like to be polite, but cant think of a nice way of putting things.

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 09:06:58

How about 'in that case, I withdraw my offer. Have a nice life!'

just tell her you are a bit confused by her email, and you weren't expecting anything. Tell her you never give to receive.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Fri 15-Aug-08 09:08:59

i think she just feels bad that she cannot return the favour not that she thought you would exepct it.

my friend is always babbling on about having my two and giving me money when she has it etc because i look after her dd occassionally. she doesnt think i expect it from her she just feels bad.

TheHedgeWitch Fri 15-Aug-08 09:11:03

Message withdrawn

farrowandball Fri 15-Aug-08 09:12:16

i think she just doesnt want to offend you in the future. i think i'd be glad she was clear and considerate.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 15-Aug-08 09:13:40

She probably feels guilty. I feel permanently guilty as ds2 goes to people's houses a lot and I rarely return the favour (severely autistic ds1- I find it really hard to find the time or energy to have other children here and then I have to watch ds1 like a hawk).

Just reply and say 'oh no of course not, I wasn't expecting that etc etc'

ninedragons Fri 15-Aug-08 09:16:06

Email is a very easy medium to mis-interpret. I think she was just being very careful to be clear. Just reply breezily that that is all perfectly ok and you look forward to seeing DD's friend soon.

OrmIrian Fri 15-Aug-08 09:17:24

Agree jimjams - it's guilt. She probably agonised for ages about how to put it and ended up putting it as gracefully as an elephant on a unicycle.

Not malicious in intent.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 15-Aug-08 09:23:33

I'm worse because I say 'oh I must have so and so back, I;ll ring you to arrange a time' and then I just can't. So the next time I say 'I'm really really sorry' etc etc It's something I feel so guilty about!

2point4kids Fri 15-Aug-08 09:28:23

If you said to her that you will have her son and hope she enjoys her child free time, then perhaps she thought to herself afterwards 'oh god, what did i say to bigyellowtaxi... i hope she doesnt think i offered to take all of hers for play date to give her a child free break too as i couldnt manage, i had better clear things up'

nothing to be upset about imo

nowwearefour Fri 15-Aug-08 09:29:16

Yes she prob didnt want any resentment later on so was being thoughtful and trying to be clear now. try not to be offended she was i think trying to be nice. just have her ds and enjoy what a nice day you will be givng her. you are clearly a v thoughtful and giving person- over time she will get to know that for herself.

unknownrebelbang Fri 15-Aug-08 09:29:19

Better for her to be honest and upfront, which avoids any misunderstandings.

How many threads on here are based on a misunderstanding/miscommunication?

She's giving you the option to withdraw your offer (whilst no doubt crossing her fingers in the hope that you won't).

Breezy response along the lines of what jimjams says.

OrmIrian Fri 15-Aug-08 09:29:25

Hmmm...I get into such a state about it that I actually refuse invites for DD because I know I can't reciprocate. DD gets furious with me.

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 09:29:34

Lol @ "She probably agonised for ages about how to put it and ended up putting it as gracefully as an elephant on a unicycle."

yes, quite!

sitdownpleasegeorge Fri 15-Aug-08 09:37:00

It sounds like she is already feeling twinges of guilt that she will get child free time whilst you have her daughter, please don't make her feel even more rotten by taking offence at her e-mail and interpreting it in a way that it may not have been intended.

Agree with jimjams brief response of "oh no of course not, they're too young", you could add "we haven't even considered this sort of thing for them yet".

bigyellowtaxi Fri 15-Aug-08 10:40:12

Thanks to you all for that bit of perspective. Was just upset that she seemed to think I was A)selfish and B) a child dumper.
I like the elephant on a unicycle simile!

Dior Fri 15-Aug-08 10:44:13

Message withdrawn

Overmydeadbody Fri 15-Aug-08 10:52:16

try not to read too much into that email, it's easy to misinterpret. I think she was probably just trying to let you know she couldn't reciprocate as she felt bad about that.

Don't let it upset you. Emails are easy things to misread.

nametaken Fri 15-Aug-08 11:09:45

YANBU - tell her not to judge you by her standards angry

If I were in your position I would have her dc round to play but never ever ever let mine go to hers.

squiffy Fri 15-Aug-08 11:30:24

ooo nametaken, have you got any friends left? hmm

I would reply with

Don't be daft: I'd never expect any mother to take all my kids when DD goes on a playdate - your house would be a disaster zone in not time at all (I should know!). We look forward to having your DD on * and although I will probably envy you for having some child-free time whilst X is at mine, I don't begrudge you for it in a moment!

pagwatch Fri 15-Aug-08 11:39:21

I think if she is being rude by assuming you expect her to reciprocate that is absoloutely nothing compared to how rude your would be to respond as nametaken suggests.

I tend to feel very guilty that DD's playdates have to fit around my DS who has special needs and can't travel well and yet sometimes struggles with strangers in the house.

I have often accepted an invitation for DD whilst at the same time apologising for the fact that a reciprocal visit will be difficult.

I am so glad that people tend to recoginise that i am just anxious not to appear like a sponger and so far have not been horrible to me

plantsitter Fri 15-Aug-08 12:40:53

Yeah, she was being clumsy but nice. Think a 'don't panic' email along the lines of squiffy's is the answer.

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