As the subject line states, I I have a neighbour that is starting to freak me out a bit. We've been neighbours for just over a year with a normal casual relationship (hellos and chats in passing, few exchanges in lawn care tips etc). They are a retired couple. We are a family of 3 with 4 year old and dc2 on the way. A few weeks ago, my neighbour (the wife) brought over a plate of cookies. I was touched and very grateful, and assumed it was because she'd seen me waddling around after my 4 year old. A few days later she brought round a small bowl of jam she'd made. Since then, her gifts have increased in frequency to DAILY. Once she knocked on the door twice in one day, once with a plate of roasted whole beetroot and then again with an entire cake. I appreciate her generosity, if it is just that, but I want her to stop. I don't know how to turn her down without bring rude. All her children are older, gone, married or whatever. Could she just be wanting to look after someone? Lonely? (In which case, I really can't be her new BFF). Help!!
Could she be nesting on your behalf?? it may be that she's following the advice of giving new parents some home cooked food, but has started early and is trying to be helpful? How many weeks pg are you?
Could you maybe bake something yourself, and next time she calls say 'oh I've just made you this, to say thank you for all the things you've brought over' and perhaps make a joke about how you must be nesting now as you can't stop cooking/ baking, and might run out of room for it all?
She sounds lovely and kind, and may well be lonely and trying to strike up a friendship, but I would probably feel like you tbh too. When we moved into our first house our ndn were very friendly inviting us round. We would reciprocate, but it very quickly got out of hand, we couldn't go to the pub without them noticing us passing and coming along and they fell out with us as we had a family barbecue, which we we didn't invite them to! All got very silly and too close.
daisy, exactly, i don't want this getting out of hand. And I'll be honest, I don't want to bake just to reciprocate. My sister has a bunch of cherry tomato plants producing incredible tomatoes, so I filled up a bowl with them when I returned the bowl to the neighbour as a gesture. That's about all I can do. I'm 7 months pregnant with a lively 4 year old at home with me. I'm not wanting to be un-neighbourly, but the lady speaks VERY little english and I'm afraid having her round for a cuppa would be nothing more than us staring at each other's faces. I don't mean to be mean, I just don't want to have this sort of relationship with her. Not because I don't like neighbours, but because you just can't have friendships with people by force.
Invite her in for a cup of tea and a chat. I bet she is missing cooking for her family.
Gently say that you can't eat all the things she is giving you, and at the moment your taste buds are up the creek anyway.
My guess is that she wants to get to know you. How much you want to get to know them depends on your response next.
But, one of my friends has a neighbour who was a bit like this, they found a balance, she is retired and very sweet with my friends kids, and over time has actually become a bit of a surrogate granny, and often helps with babysitting etc, and it has ended up as a positive relationship, so don't dismiss it too quickly.
I might just have to bite the bullet and explain its too much although I do appreciate it. I realize it will be at the rusk of hurting her feelings, but very seriously, I can't have her knocking on my door every day with stuff.
it's a bit weird isnt it, to just keep giving you things.
Normally these things would be reciprocal, I give my neighbor my surplus cooking apples in return her surplus raspberries...that kind of thing. There is a to and fro and an informal support network builds up
Other wise, even if it is not their overt conscious intention, you are in their debt, beholden in some way.
it feels a bit as if they are making sure they have some favours in the bank with you, maybe they are worried about having no one to call on if they need help?
I'm not trying to imply that they are being malicious or calculating in any way