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Should another mum regularly rely on friend's favours for childcare when she works? AIBU

(20 Posts)
junipergin Tue 14-Jun-16 17:06:25

Hi. Just wanted some advice really, another mum who I am sort of friends with (because our children are friends) usually asks me to have her 2 boys about one day in half terms and sometimes more in the holidays. She also relies on another mum. I've known her since our kids were at nursery. I usually say yes because our kids are friends and I don't work. One of her boys in the past has been quite difficult, upsetting the others and being picky over food and activities. She doesn't give me anything for doing it although sometimes has mine, but as I don't work it's just the rare occasion I can't pick mine up, not for the whole day. The other mum she asks told me she often refuses due to them being difficult and said to me that if it's a regular thing she should really find some 'proper' childcare. The reason I don't work is because I have no family to sit mine on a regular basis and probably couldn't afford it as I'm single parent. I'm starting to feel like the 'cheap option'. She does a couple of jobs, gardening and working in a shop. She once even asked me to mind her sick son so she could volunteer at the school (on that occasion I made up an excuse and refused). I've also given her and her kids lifts to parties because she doesn't drive. I don't think it's because they can't afford it as she works 2 jobs and her husband has a good job. Surely they could afford a couple of days holiday club or something rather than 'always' relying on friends. The reason I am getting annoyed is the other day she blanked me when working in a garden near my house (and yes, she did see me) and the same day blanked my bf. I don't know what we've done to annoy her and I just find it a bit off after everything I've done to help her out and I bet she's still expecting me to have them over the summer. What do you think? What would you do?

honeysucklejasmine Tue 14-Jun-16 17:08:51

"Sorry, that doesn't work for me."

228agreenend Tue 14-Jun-16 17:15:08

It's nice to help out now and again, but from your description, I can tell you now are beginning to feel used.

Honey's response is spot on. You don't gave to give a reason. If she asks, just say you've got things planned/dentist/trip out etc. Maybe have her kids for the odd day, if ts convenient and your dc likes to have them around, but don't feel obliged to.

WindPowerRanger Tue 14-Jun-16 17:18:50

Unless it was a particularly hard day for her for some reason you don't know about, it sounds as though you aren't even 'sort of' friends with her. She just uses you for childcare.

That's fine for as long as you want to do it. The minute you don't, then just stop. It doesn't matter why, and you don't have to give a reason.

Make sure you don't let her make you feel guilty about that because she has come to rely on you. It just shows she should have been more communicative and made sure you were happy to carry on, rather than making assumptions.

ButEmilylovedhim Tue 14-Jun-16 17:39:15

I think the more you do for some people, the more they hold you in contempt. The thought process (possibly unconscious, I don't know) must be something like: they help me and I take advantage of them, they do it gladly without complaining and without payment or any kind of reciprocity. Therefore they must be my servant and I am their master and therefore above them and they need no consideration or even common decency eg acknowledgement when we meet. (Can you tell I've thought about this wink)

I would decline next time you are asked even if you are free, just on principle. She will drop you or maybe not take you quite so much for granted next time.

Well, what I would actually do is stop helping her out all together. I hate piss takers. She earns money and gets free childcare because you are there not working because you have no childcare. That's not fair. Is it?

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 14-Jun-16 17:42:01

don't flatter yourself that you and her are friends, try saying no and see where that gets you?

she's getting many days free childcare for two in exchange for a rare school run for one! ...she knows which side her bread is buttered!

jclm Tue 14-Jun-16 17:42:48

I am speechless!

I often need as hoc childcare (I have a disabled son who often has hospital appointments) and so we often need childcare at short notice. It is hard to find this but we have a list of two childminders and three nannies to call upon. Between them they can usually do this, but we pay for this privilege!

Sounds like this mum needs to develop a similar childcare network.

junipergin Tue 14-Jun-16 17:50:24

Thanks for your responses! I think I need to grow a backbone and stop being so nice lol. I don't mind the odd occasion because our dss are friends but I do feel a bit used, especially as I know she could afford childcare rather than juggling them around between 'friends'. I do have 2 dss but I have one ds and one did so my dd can feel left out as they are all boys and doesn't like going to their house. The woman even said to me once 'I don't know what I'd do if you got a job!!!'

Diamogs Tue 14-Jun-16 17:54:05

She is one cheeky sod. Just tell her you can't do it.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 14-Jun-16 17:57:52

I'd make a point of saying no all the time for a few months. Also ask her to have yours some day soon even if you just go for a coffee and haircut. See how she reacts.

junipergin Tue 14-Jun-16 17:58:24

Sorry that was confusing. I have 2 kids. 1 ds and 1 dd. It's my ds that's friends with them!

Hiddenaspie1973 Tue 14-Jun-16 22:47:50

Just say no.
I used breakfast club and holiday club. I wouldn't dream of asking another school mum!

Melfish Tue 14-Jun-16 22:53:37

Say no if not convenient, she is taking the piss! I've had to change and cut my hours, put DD in holiday/after school clubs and DH has had to do unpaid leave to look after DD in the holidays, I don't like to ask others unless there are no other options AND I can reciprocate. If she doesn't want to then she should pay for childcare.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 15-Jun-16 13:14:58

Absolutely say no

You are busy. You have plans. You have another friend round etc

She has using you

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 15-Jun-16 16:15:42

You could always look to register with Ofsted though it's a bit of an extreme step to take simply to be able to say
"Certainly, my rates are £6.50 per hour, please complete this full health and safety questionnaire in advance of dropping off X & Y" grin

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jun-16 16:28:51

You just say NO. 'That doesn't work for me. Can't do that.'

Willow2016 Wed 15-Jun-16 17:59:54

No, you will soon find out just how good a friend she is when you start saying no to being her unpaid child carer.

As above "nope that doesnt work for me" no explainations, no discussion, end of. Just because you dont work doesnt give her the right to expect you have nothing better to do than look after her kids for free.

Tell her to look on her local family services website for potential child minders, nannies and babysitters smile

CountryLovingGirl Wed 15-Jun-16 21:18:35

Blimey! You are being well used there. Say no! She is saving money by using you to do her childcare. Don't let her treat you in this way.
I have used nurseries, childminder and holiday clubs for my 2 - I suggest she does the same!

Facilitator Wed 15-Jun-16 21:36:30

I think the more you do for some people, the more they hold you in contempt. The thought process (possibly unconscious, I don't know) must be something like: they help me and I take advantage of them, they do it gladly without complaining and without payment or any kind of reciprocity

hmm Really? That's quite a broad statement.

This particular person appears to be taking the piss but I disagree that when you call in some help, that then makes you a person relies on that help in the future.

I have had to call on a school-mum friend once or twice in the last year, as CM has had a course one time and hospital appointment on another. I wouldn't dream of calling said friend unless an absolute emergency.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 15-Jun-16 22:03:01

I had a few parents in R and Yr1 who tried to do this with me because they realised I didn't work.

I had to just keep saying "no we have plans then sorry" and eventually they stopped asking.

there are a few I would naturally help out but then they would never be the ones who assume would they.

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