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to not want to ask this babysitting favour?

(42 Posts)
Flyonthewindscreen Sun 30-Aug-09 17:04:53

In short, DH and I rarely go out in the evening together due to lack of
babysitting, however we bought concert tickets ages ago thinking by the
time the concert came around we would be able to sort something. Looks
like we can't. Our only family who are vaguely nearby are my ILs (25
minutes away) but they are on holiday and in any case are not keen
babysitters. DH wouldn't countenance paying a sitter.

I would (and have occasionally in the past) asked a local friend to babysit if it was a few hours, kids already in bed job. However to get to this concert we would
have to leave before the DC were asleep and would be back late. I do not think it is fair to ask any of my friends to do this as it would be 7.30-midnight at least and they all have family babysitters so they
don't need me to reciprocate. I would ask if it was an emergency but not just because there's a band me and DH fancy seeing. DH annoyed at me because I refuse to mither my friends, ILs not helping by going on
about how they never had family help but were part of great babysitting
circle. Am IBU to not ask friends? We can sell tickets so won't lose money.

Seuss Sun 30-Aug-09 17:08:51

I wouldn't want to ask either but on the other hand if one of my friends asked me I wouldn't mind, regardless of reciprocation. Would you pay the friend?

hocuspontas Sun 30-Aug-09 17:08:59

Why is he annoyed at you? What about his friends - has he asked them? Get him to cough up for a sitter if he's annoyed

SlartyBartFast Sun 30-Aug-09 17:12:28

can your dc#s go to a friends house?

MaryBS Sun 30-Aug-09 17:14:59

I would ask friends, there are other ways you can say thank you. If you rarely go out, it sounds like you're due for a night out.

Tommy Sun 30-Aug-09 17:19:56

I used to feel this way about baby sitters but, after nearly 8 years, I now just ask people! I would be happy to babysit a friend for a longer evening if it was for a special occasion.

Unlesss your DH wants to do something useful about finding someone, I would start hunting for a friendly local teenager to cultivate as a babysitter and/or just ask a friend

nbee84 Sun 30-Aug-09 17:56:47

How old are your children? Are they at an age where they could go to a friends for a 'sleepover'? You can then have their friends to yours for a sleepover. Sleepovers are great because you don't need to worry what time you get home and you get a bit of a lie-in the next morning.

violethill Sun 30-Aug-09 17:58:17

Why will your DH happily pay for tickets for a concert but not be willing to pay someone to babysit your children?!

I think he needs to sort out his priorities.

GoldenSnitch Sun 30-Aug-09 18:17:10

I have gladly babysat for friends who have no family nearby to help them out knowing full-well that I do have family who are happy to have my son so I will probably not ever need them to babysit in return.

I think good friends would be happy to help you out so you and DH can have a night out on your own.

Ask 'em. They can always say 'No' and if you feel bad, buy 'em a thank you present or leave dinner and a bottle of wine for them...

Flyonthewindscreen Sun 30-Aug-09 18:45:56

Thanks for replies, maybe I will summon courage to ask someone. I just hate asking favours that aren't going to be reciprocal iykwim?

My DC are 5 and 7 and we haven't got into sleepovers yet so this isn't an option.

I'm not sure why DH is annoyed at me re this. I think it is because he has these childhood memories of someone's mum coming over from the babysitting circle and his parents going out a lot and doesn't see why I can't sort that...

lilackaty Sun 30-Aug-09 20:03:47

You could reciprocate though - just because they have family, doesn't mean they wouldn't want you to do it. I have family who babysit but I happily babysit for friends; it's what friends do. And if you're worried about not being able to reciprocate, mention that when you ask them.

Milliways Sun 30-Aug-09 20:10:07

Do you know any trustworthy teenagers? (assumimg your DH would agree to pay).

DD used to stay over sometimes when babysitting if the parents were getting back really late. She would play with the kids then do her homework when they were in bed. She will be missed by her regular families when she starts Uni in October.

I think your DH is going to have to realise that most people pay teens (that they know well) to sit these days.

lisbey Sun 30-Aug-09 20:30:01

I am fortunate to have parents close by who are keen baby-sitters - to the extent that they would be offended if I let anyone else do it.

But, I am very aware of how lucky I am and that many of my friends are not so lucky, so I often volunteer to baby-sit even though I know I won't need them to return the favour. If someones asks, I am flattered and pleased to "repay" the favours my parents do me iyswim.

Just ask.

Tommy Sun 30-Aug-09 21:05:35

it's all evry well having lots of baby sitters with family and everything but sometimes I find that all my baby sitters have been invited to the same party as us so we need to find another one grin

DandyLioness Sun 30-Aug-09 21:13:54

Message withdrawn

mazzystartled Sun 30-Aug-09 21:22:14

Your DH is being a berk.
Most people pay babysitters. If it's a rare treat what's the problem?

I totally understand your not wanting to trouble your friends, often feel the same way. But OTOH I quite like babysitting. Get to sit in someone else's house, choose what to watch on telly and not feel guilty for not doing work/the ironing.

lisbey Sun 30-Aug-09 21:26:40

Why is it your job to sort out the babysitter anyway?

DandyLioness Sun 30-Aug-09 21:32:20

Message withdrawn

Purplepanettone Sun 30-Aug-09 21:43:13

Could you ask the friend and then buy him/her something nice in return?

JohnnyTwoHats Sun 30-Aug-09 21:47:48

I babysat last week so my friends could go to a concert together- I really didn't mind at all, got some peace and quiet once both kids in bed. I don't think you should worry about asking a friend. Perhaps offer for them to stay over then you won't be bothered about getting back late as s/he can just go to bed?

LouMacca Sun 30-Aug-09 22:39:47

I definitely think that its worth asking a friend, they can only say no.

I babysit for 2 mum friends every few months or so. They don't have family living nearby and wouldn't get out with their DHs if I didn't sit.

They don't babysit for me but help in other ways - I don't drive so they will drop me off/pick me up if I am struggling to get somewhere and/or take my DCs to parties, etc.

I actually enjoy babysitting for them. I will take a good book to read or watch a girly DVD that DH and DC wouldn't appreciate!
Its a great arrangement and suits us all.

ravenAK Sun 30-Aug-09 22:52:07

If you can afford it, book Sitters - it'd be about £30, so probably not that ridiculous next to gig tickets & drinks?

Babysitting circles are a thing of the past I think, based on mums not working & a more relaxed attitude to childcare - I know db & I were routinely briefly introduced to 'this is Auntie Gwen, she's babysitting you tonight, now, off to bed'.

If your dh wouldn't countenance paying a sitter, how exactly does he expect you to persuade someone to babysit for you? I think you should throw it back squarely at him - does he know any parents of young dc who'd be willing to swap sitting?

mathanxiety Mon 31-Aug-09 06:42:02

If I were your friends I would wonder why you were trying to get free babysitting and why you wouldn't pay for some local teenager to do it. It's a lot to ask a friend for that much time unless you have some sort of standing agreement or want to start one. DH needs to be sat down and have things on this planet explained to him or given the job of finding a babysitter himself. It's too easy to sit on the sidelines and shoot down other people's ideas and a lot harder to solve the problem himself. Swapping babysitting with friends makes you beholden to the friends and if you can't return the favour, even for perfectly reasonable reasons, you stand to lose or diminish the friendship. Do all your friends have nice children who would be no trouble to watch for a few hours? If not, how do you feel about being obliged to babysit occasionally for them? With a teenager, if you don't like the job they did, you don't have to ask them again, but how would you explain to a friend that your DCs thought she was the wicked witch of the west and they never want to see her again?

seeker Mon 31-Aug-09 06:55:45

Why won't he pay for a babysitter?

sunnydelight Mon 31-Aug-09 09:33:12

Your DH needs to understand that if he wants to go out he needs to pay for a babysitter, I don't understand what his problem is. Why should you have to ask your friends, which you're clearly not comfortable with, to do you a favour? Tell him to sort it out himself, i.e. ask HIS friends, or pay.

If you are seriously strapped financially I have sympathy, otherwise I think he's being a cheapskate. I only ever babysit for friends if they have been let down at the last minute or genuinely can't afford to pay. If anyone told me their DH "couldn't countance paying a babysitter" I'd tell them to get real.

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