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to feel like i'm being taken advantage of?

(28 Posts)
usedtobeme Mon 24-Aug-09 16:06:09

I'm a sahm with 3 under 5. My kids are crap sleepers and i often feel like i can't cope when i get up in the morning.

To add to the grief my husband has a shit job with a shit boss and i have to jolly him along even when i feel shit myself.

A few times now i have had friends come to me when they have a 'lack of childcare' emergency. I have felt like i couldn't say no as they know i don't work and because i live in a small village so they would know if i had plans with someone iykwim. The times i have done this have been hellish, two babies screaming both wanting picked up both wanting breast fed (but one not mine so can't do anythng to console him) and it felt like i could easily have had a nervous breakdown.

I would never ask someone in my situation to have my kids all day (9hrs) if i had been let down with childcare when i worked. I just wouldn't.

Now the other day my friend asks me to have her kids for a few hrs on a weekend (only time me and hisband get to spend time together wih kids) because she has to work and her huby wants to go to the football. i feel really let down by her that she thinks its ok to put me in this position. We have babies the same age, she knows mine doesn't sleep and that together they are very very hard work. Fair enough in an emergency but i just feel this is taking the piss.

If she had a gp appointment or had to go to the dentist or something then fine but this is SO dif in imo.

Am i a total cow.

bamboostalks Mon 24-Aug-09 16:08:32

You need to assert yourself. if you can't phone her in pretend tears saying you just cannot cope anymore etc. You sound pretty desperate tbh, they will probably start flowing of their own accord.

AnyFucker Mon 24-Aug-09 16:09:01

no, you are not

tell her to sling 'er 'ook

he dh wants to watch football??

fuck that

and fuck all those other users too

decide from today that unless your good nature is being reciprocated you will stop all these favours

and I would tell 'em the reason why too, don't be a doormat, love

iceagethree Mon 24-Aug-09 16:11:18


not on

you are really, really nice and not in any way a cow

say no NOW and forestall future demands

say "no I can't"

no excuses, you don't have to explain

or say "no I'm going to bed that day while dh has the kids" grin

but SAY NO!

SerendipitousHarlot Mon 24-Aug-09 16:11:40

Of course YANBU! Your so called 'friends' are taking the piss - asking to put upon you like that because her dh wants to go to the football??

Tell her, and tell her now, seriously. I know it's hard, but it needs doing. Once you've plucked up the courage, you will feel really empowered, honest.

dizzymare Mon 24-Aug-09 16:11:49

Don't be walked over.

Look after yourself

Look after your own

Don't be a martyr for others benefit!

screamingabdab Mon 24-Aug-09 16:12:11

You are not a total cow. You are being taken advantage of, and you absolutely have the right to say no.

Next time this arises, just say NO. Do not explain, apologise by all means if that's easier for you, but just tell them it is not convenient.

Good luck

iceagethree Mon 24-Aug-09 16:12:12

did i mention you need to say no


kitesarefun Mon 24-Aug-09 16:12:43

Agree with Anyfucker.

Just say no.

iceagethree Mon 24-Aug-09 16:13:21

gawd i want to say no on your behalf

please report back that you have said no smile

Arcadie Mon 24-Aug-09 16:13:27

No way are You being unreasonable. If she has to work and her hubby wants time out then it's up to HIM to find the childcare - not her. Otherwise he has to look after his own kids.

You have a job. It's bringing up your kids. Yes that means you can be flexible, you can help out on occasions, you possibly have more time to be able to devote to investing in your friends and their kids. But you still have a job. It's your kids. You wouldn't phone up a mate who was a primary school teacher and ask her to look afer yours whilst they were teaching so you could go shopping. You wouldn't phone up a friend who was a nursery nurse and ask them to have yours whilst they were working so you could go to the pictures. There are limits.

(can you tell I'm a SAHM too? maybe I'm just being vociferous because I recognise the "she doesn't work so she OUGHT to help out" mentality)

thesecondcoming Mon 24-Aug-09 16:13:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

generalunrest Mon 24-Aug-09 16:14:46

YANBU, I'm sure there are other things you could say that your friends wont be able to check up on you about, or you could just say no but without offering a reason? It's none of their business in the end why you can't.

Asking you to look after their children for nine hours is taking the piss, like you say, fine for an emergency, but just because her husband was going to football?? No way!

AnyFucker Mon 24-Aug-09 16:14:57

and OP, tell me where you are, so I can have your kids for a few hours

you sound like you need a well-deserved rest/quality time with your dh

cocolepew Mon 24-Aug-09 16:15:05

Say no, if she wants a reason (don't volunteer one first) say "me and MY DH are spending the day together with the Dcs."

Or tell her and her DH to go fuck themselves.


FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 24-Aug-09 16:15:16

There is helping a friend and there is being taken advantage of.


No way.

Unless of course they return the favour...

Tell her no and if you can't face it, text.

MaggieLeo Mon 24-Aug-09 16:15:40

no way! i only have two and I couldn't, wouldn't look after somebody else's children all day.

I'd jokily say "I don't think I can manage the two I have" tinkly laugh. But you know, in that voice that makes it clear you mean it.

You really have been taken advantage of. Maybe not because the friend doesn't respect you, but becaause they think you're invincible, or a 'natural' childcarer hmm or they just haven't thought.

LuvLee Mon 24-Aug-09 16:18:28

It sounds to me that your "friends" ABVU. For your own sake, stand up for yourself and tell these people NO. You sound like you are a good friend, but hun, do yourself a favour...

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 24-Aug-09 16:19:00


I had an extra 4 year old last Thursday (my boys are 3 and 4) cos his mum is a teacher and had to go in for A level results day.

I was completely frazzled by 4.30 when she picked him up.

(But then she had both mine for half a day on the fri while I had my hair done so I'm not complaining!)

I used to be a complete doormat and the hardest thing is to stand up that first time, to people who have been used to you doing what they want. It takes practice and at first you feel you have to give all your reasons. Well don't. You just need to say 'sorry I can't'.

If you give reasons, then you give them an opportunity to challenge your reason.

i' I can't have him sorry I am tired and bfing' 'oh he's no trouble, you can have a rest while he naps'

'I can't have him on a weekend I want to go shopping while dp minds our kids' 'oh thats ok he can just play with your kids while your dp minds them' 'but dp wants to play footy with them' 'oh thats ok the child loves playing football' etc etc etc

So, next time they ask, just say 'no I can't this week sorry' 'but I'm having a childcare emergency' 'no sorry its just not possible thanks'.

No reasons, no explanations, just NO.

Btw I work 3 days and the boys go to nursery. If either of them is ill we decide which one of us will need to stay at home. I have never asked any sahm friends to do pickups, minding etc. The only exception is when ds1 starts school next week and 3 of us working mums are sharing the half day first two weeks between us.

So, as a working mum I say doubly, no YANBU!!

Nancy66 Mon 24-Aug-09 16:19:01

Unfortunately certain folk take advantage of weak people - as soon as you stand up for yourself they back off.

Next time it happens you just say 'no, sorry I can't help you.' Don't offer reasons - because if they're manipulative people they will try and think of a solution so they can still get what they want.

Just a firm, blunt: NO

ohjustgrowup Mon 24-Aug-09 16:19:58

I can't believe this! I had to ask my friend (who has 3 dc) to have my ds for a day when it was snowing and his school was closed. I felt so bad about it, that I took her dc on the next Saturday in return to give her a break. It is a real imposition and I think you are most definitely NBU - and you certainly are not a cow and mustn't even begin to think it.

Egg Mon 24-Aug-09 16:20:37

I have three kids under 4 so know how you feel with the not coping etc, but mine do sleep ok, and my husband has an ok job, and I still feel pretty shite quite a lot!

Anyhow, sometimes I feel guilty as I have never ever looked after anyone else's children. I don't dare offer as I find my own hard enough. A friend moved house recently and although her children were in nursery on moving day, I felt like I ought to offer to look after at least one of them the next day (the older one, who is friends with my DS1) to make it easier for her. But I just couldn't, as I tend to get overwhelmed even with my own still. I am hoping in the next few months to be brave enough to try!

My main point is that you are not a total cow. To ever look after someone else's kids is great and something I don't manage! To do it more than once, and with your own three, who don't sleep well, well then in my book you are a saint!

AnyFucker Mon 24-Aug-09 16:20:48

have you got the message yet, OP ?


usedtobeme Mon 24-Aug-09 16:21:17

Thank you for replies.

We have helped each other out in the passed for things like gp appointments etc but i feel this is different AND we didn't have the babies then.

Its too much for me to cope with. it would be like a 4 yr old 2 that are 2 and 2 that are under a year. Its too much.

I actually thot she must be joking when she said it was because he wants to go to the football, i felt like saying yeah right, there are lots of things i want to do without my kids but i wouldn't have the cheek to ask a friend to have them on top of her own brood so i can.

Oh and i am genuinely busy that day so i am NOT having them.

AnyFucker Mon 24-Aug-09 16:22:19


now remember that for the future !!

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