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rant alert.................psycho in a small rage, either tell me to get a grip, or agree that I am ok to be annoyed (altho I realise you will all say 'get a grip' anyway[wink]).....

(60 Posts)
psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:30:15

I do the school run for a friend.

she is a single mum who also works (well, she did, she lost her job in the hols), and so I offered to do her morning school run for her since DS2 was in reception (he is now yr2), and she often helps with mine in the afternoons if she is able.

now, apart from when I had my car accident and could not do it thro not driving, it has worked out fairly well. a few issues, but not major ones and also not ones that make me want to rant.

however, since june things have not been great, and things were bugginh me a little....altho I wonder if it was everything getting tough for her.

there have been times when the children did not get to me until 10mins after I needed to leave (they live at the top of my road but in a side cul-de-sac which makes it hard for me to collect them as I have a people carrier and it is sometimes hard to turn round with all the cars parked down there). if I sent my children up to see if they were coming, sometimes the mum had only just got up or they were ill (fair enough, it happens), but she never ever rang me to explain, and if I ring her, everytime it goes straight to answerphone).

a couple of times the school rang me to say that the little one was poorly but they could not get hold of the mum at all and please could I go collect......now, that is not fair on the little girl, when she is poorly she wants her mum.

anyway, the mum went away on holiday abroad and her mum had them, so that she could have a well earned break.......lovely as she needed it as I know how hard it is being on your own from when my DH works away, and even then, I still don;t have it as hard as I do not have the money worries that she has. well, when she got back, I thought that maybe she had changed a little....that all the previous 'blips' were just down to her struggling with 3 on her own.

seems not, going on how she has been in the week since they went back.......the first two days they did not go in until very late, as altho I knocked before they went back to ensure she needed me, and also knocked those mornings too, she did not answer the door.....seems she over slept each dayhmm.

I managed to get hold of her on the wednesday to find that she was having issues getting the children to bed before midnight, and so she was taking them once they all woke up.

thursday fine, as was friday, altho both days I had to wait for her to go to the shop for food for their lunches........now, flame informs me that it is quite normal to make lunch boxes in the morning when I was ranting at her last week about it.....that I am just very anal about making them the night before (I don;t know why people don;t make them the night before thohmm, sooooo much easier!!! but I accept that in this I ABUwink).

and today.......

I had to do my elder girls school run and help my friend who normally takes them.....she could not so I took hers and mine.

this we knew since saturday, so I have spent since saturday trying to get hold of her to tell her that I could not do todays. she has not been in, she has not answered her phones, I have left messages to tell her, and even poked a note thro the door telling her to let me know that she had had the messages (so I could relax and go without worrying about the children turning up at my house and panic as we were not there!).

and nothing.......

I could not in all honesty leave kiddies without a lift unless I knew that she knew, so tried still more this morning.....nothing again, so I went out my way to come back and knock.......and there she is, in her dressing gown as she over slept again, surprised to see me as early (I did so well I was 10mins early so she would have been surprised anyway).

I asked her if she had got my messages about the school run issues......no! she ignores her phones in case it is people harrassing her for money, and the note was finally located in amongst other letter she had placed on the stairs. she just ignored that too.

now, I am not sure if I am just too organised and she is normal, or if she is struggling and I am not sympathetic enough, or if I am just getting irate for no other reason that I can and do (regularly at timemsblush).

arghhhhhhh

sorry for the length, but I do feel better (ishwink)

Lauriefairycake Mon 08-Sep-08 09:35:20

it sounds like she is really struggling sad

However, it is not your problem and you went totally overboard (cos you're a nice person) into making sure she knew you weren't around today.

Just do as much as you can without feeling resentful - it sounds like you're starting to (which is perfectly fine) so stop taking them. It's really hard to stop when she is obviously having a hard time but there's no point in you going nuts or conversely feeling terribly guilty when you do or don't help.

Buda Mon 08-Sep-08 09:37:57

She sounds like a nightmare!

Those poor kids!

I think you will have to be tough with her and say that if the kids are not with you by a certain time that you will assume they are not coming and leave. I would say that it is hard to contact her and that she doesn't contact you so that you are unsure what is happening and that although you are happy to keep taking them the new rule is that if they are not at yours you will assume they are not coming.

Kewcumber Mon 08-Sep-08 09:38:16

Glad you feel better for the rant wink but I'm not clear. Are you ranting because she's making you late or because she is being unfair on her kids even if she has problmes?

If she is making you late I'm afriad I would put my foot down. Children are at you're by XXam or you leave wihout them. Until you do this she will continue to be late - why not it hardly has an affect on her.

You need to arrange a method of communicating with her if she doesn't answer her phone (no idea what).

If she's not making your children late then I'm afraid YABU...

DanJARMouse Mon 08-Sep-08 09:40:29

It does seem as if she is struggling, but it is beyond you know phsyco.

I would ditch the school run if she cant even do simple things like get the kids up and sorted for you to take them.

Maybe not having you to rely on in the mornings will make her think twice.

I would also suggest you get her to contact CAB for advice re money if she is ignoring all calls and letters

compo Mon 08-Sep-08 09:41:13

I agree with the others.
If you can't get hold of her post a note through her door saying 'unless the kids are here by xxxx time I will have left'
you sound an amzing friend but seriously your children being on time is more important

chocciedooby Mon 08-Sep-08 09:42:53

You sound like a really helpful and reliable neighbour to me.
I can understand your frustration as her sleep in's are affecting the school run for you and your own children.
I feel for her kids as she doesn't seem to be organised at all but it does sound like she could have money issues and she could possibly be suffering from depression.
Getting up late, staying in her dressing gown, not having food for the kids lunches, not answering the phone in case people are chasing for money, not opening the post as maybe she knows they are bills and more bills that maybe she can't pay.
It's a tricky situation and I don't know how close you are to this woman but maybe she needs to talk to someone about any financial difficulties and get some help.
It really can't be easy for her with 3 kids.
I don't know what else to say but maybe other MN's will be able to offer better advice.

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:44:20

thankyou for reading and replying......I wondered if I would bore people into self-destruct mode with the lengthblush.

yes, she is making my children late, and yes, I feel that she is being unfair on her own children.

leaving 10mins late means that I get to the school 20mins late (domino effect on the time versus traffic getting heavier IYGWIM).

the thing is, I feel it really unfair on her kiddies missing school just because I am cross and their mum is struggling. why should they be the ones punished......

having said that, me being really super organised this morning meant me getting back to her 10mins before normal leaving time and we were all really early!

needsupport Mon 08-Sep-08 09:46:31

god how bloody annoying.you have the patience of a saint
<bows to psycho>

chapstickchick Mon 08-Sep-08 09:48:03

i agree, is your friendship the sort where u can say ,'look i know its bloody hard in the morning ive got 5 and i have to do it but your having a knock on effect on me so unless the kids are redy when im going i cant take them?'

or could you say over the next few days- be non commital you cant take her dcs you have various appointments etc and then just let it drag ...when she says are you bck on for a lift? say well i can but i must leave at xxxx time!

this makes me mad too my 2 eldest are at secondary i home school the youngest (hes 7) and dh works nights so he can drive kids to school but the amount of times kids have asked for a lift then not turned up or been chasing the car hmm

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:48:24

choccie, yes, I do wonder if she is depressed too. she now has no job to keep her organised, and clearly money is an issue. I did suggest to her about school lunches last friday, and she said that they would qualify she had lost the forms to aks tho and thinks now that she is too late.

can they be got from the school does anyone know, as I could get her one then and go round with it.......my way of helping maybe and and also maybe to see if there is anything esle I can (altho I am not sure I want to TBH, my irritation right now is highblush)

Kewcumber Mon 08-Sep-08 09:49:03

"I feel it really unfair on her kiddies missing school just because I am cross and their mum is struggling. why should they be the ones punished"

but ultimately this is not your responsibility it is hers. If she cannot take responsibilty for them then no amount of making your own childrne late is going to help.

Offer her help separately, explain you understand she's having a tough time but this situation has to stop.

TOUGH LOVE, Psycho!

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:50:51

chapstick.....we are not that close friendship wise.

I have often asked her round for a coffee and chat, and she has come a couple of times, but she is very private and does not open up that much.

MadameCastafiore Mon 08-Sep-08 09:51:20

You need to stop being her safety net for this and make getting her kids to school her responsibility so the authorities can tackle her attitude when her kids schooling becomes a problem.

You sound bloody nice though I would have had a tantrum and stopped ages ago!

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:52:55

kew, yes I know it is her responsibility.........so why do I feel so bloody guilty???

frankbestfriend Mon 08-Sep-08 09:53:13

I agree that this woman is having a hard time, but if I were you I would prioritise getting my own dcs to school on time.

Although it is unfair on her children, they are not really your responsibility, and short of going round there to get them up and ready yourself there is very little you can do.

Tell her if they are not at your house by a set time you will leave for school without them <hard faced bitch emoticon>

And fwiw, I can't understand parents who make packed lunches/iron uniforms in the morning either. There are so many things you can do to ensure stress free mornings-setting out clothes the night before etc. Perhaps you could pass on some tips.

Although dh laughs at my anal ways when I am sorting out dds pants and bobbles at 10pmblush

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:55:26

grin at someone else who is like me with the super-organising the night before!!!

frankbestfriend Mon 08-Sep-08 09:58:32

And I just have the one dc psycho, with 5dc I think I would go into organisation overdrive and my head would explodegrin

<secretly covets 5dc to organise for>

TigerFeet Mon 08-Sep-08 10:01:13

You feel guilty because you feel bad that she is obviously depressed and you don't want to make her life any worse

You could be helping her though - for as long as you wait for her children she doesn't have to make an effort - ime having to make an effort can help that downward spiral. A kick up the bum, cruel to be kind etc etc could be what she needs.

Why not offer tips to organise herself better but insist that if her kids aren't at your house by <insert time> then you'll have to leave without them as your children can't be late. You could always lie and say the school has had a word about tardiness and you both need to buck your ideas up.

TigerFeet Mon 08-Sep-08 10:02:58

whoops]

ime having to make an effort can help stop that downward spiral

blush

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 10:05:24

I think I am definately going to have to give her an ealier time for being ready. that in itself might help to start with.

and then, do the 'tough love' angle and just go if they are not with me.

oh, and tell her that she really needs to sort out something with her phones, as considering she is ignoring them and the messages now, it does not bode well for if one of her kiddies are ill again.....which could happen!

UniversallyChallenged Mon 08-Sep-08 10:13:19

BTW - lunches done the night before - ME too! Maybe it's because we have to be that organised having so many to do!!

I have had similar problems and it has made me hate shared school runs. If the children arent at mine at a certain time I keave, and NEVER now feel guilty.

You are doing the favour, and you seem the kind to still be there if she needs a shoulder. But she has to do her bit too

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 10:16:14

i think you should back off and give her space tbh.
help as much as you feel comfortable doing without getting resentful, but getting wound up by the situ isnt doing anyone any favours is it?
if she stands on her own two feet re getting her dc to school on time for a while it will no doubt eventually occur to her that she needs to sort mornings out better... but you cant make her do that, she has to realise for herself.
i think you can only really share schoolrun arrangements with people who have same ideas about organisation adn timekeeping tbh... anything else is just a recipe for stress. all round.
she does sound like shes struggling... i think just being there for her to turn to (for practical help) is better than beating her door down and phoning a phone shes too hassled to answer.

sadandscared Mon 08-Sep-08 10:20:16

Pyscho - You have definately gone above and beyond so you have no reason to feel guilty. You do because you're a nice person.
She does sound depressed to me. With all those finacial worries and avoiding answering the phone (she may also be avoiding talking to family and friends in case they 'find out'). It sounds as though she doesn't have anyone close she feels she can talk to if you are the only person she can rely on to help with the children too. Losing your job on top of everything else would add to the depression too. (can I reiterate at this point that I'm not trying to load any of this on to you!!). Maybe if you asked her how she is coping/feeling she would turn to you and accept help/advice. Maybe not. Maybe you don't want to get involved (and I wouldn't blame you or judge you for it). As it stands the school have no idea of her problems as you are effectively covering for her. Maybe if you weren't there they would notice and she would be forced into accepting professional help. Maybe before you stopped doing the school run you could have a quiet word with the school so they are aware in advance of the problem and can deal with it quicky and gently?

psychomum5 Mon 08-Sep-08 10:21:05

<<takes offence at nappies thinking I could beat a door down!!>>

but I do take on board what you are saying. I just find it hard thinking how best to tell her.....

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