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Summer hols and helping with friends child

(16 Posts)
cantseemyfeet Sat 19-Jul-08 02:43:29

I am in dillema and dont know what to do!
I have really good friend who is at work through most of the summer holidays, she has a partner who works full time also and she has a 5 year old DD who needs looking sfter while they are at work.

For last 2 Holidays (Easter and May) she has juggled childcare between me and another friend. It is only for 4 hours a day and I didnt mind to start with as she is a mate and I was happy to help out.


Popping round to see her today she has again asked me to have her DD all week for 4 hours a day while she works. I was so not expecting it, so had no reason to say no.

I am on my own with 3 kids as it is and I really want to get house sorted AND spend proper time with kids these holidays but feel like, because I am stay at home mum, I am target for working mum to use me as child minder.

I really dont mind helping out when they are stuck but am dreading next 6 weeks because I know they will expect the same next week,and the next.
I really, really dont want to fall out with her as she is very good friend but how do I say "sod off, I have my own kids to cope with and entertain, without you landing on me" without hurting feelings?

Any helpful hints??

PurpleOne Sat 19-Jul-08 03:06:53

IMVHO,if you dont want to do it, then tell her your busy or off on hols.

Make sure your busy or ready with an excuse.
Does she pay you???

If not, I'd use all those reasons above and more.
Make yourself unavailable.

gillybean2 Sat 19-Jul-08 08:38:59

It's so easy to get yourself caught in this trap and just to go along with it because you don't want to appear petty or unable to help and because you feel your friend really needs your help.

I would suggest you speak to her and explain that, while you don't mind helping her out every so often, a whole week is a little too much and is there any chance she can find someone else to help her on a couple of the days. If not then you will do it this time but you can't do every week of the hols for her and you're letting her know now so she has time to make other arrangements. Make it clear now that you have marked particular weeks of the holiday to do specific things with your children so won't be able to help her out every week and you'd also like to be able to do some spontaneous things with teh children which are hard to do when you have to plan around her.

Also I suggest you ask her is there any chance she can have your 3 for a few hours when she gets back as you need to get your house sorted and it would be so much easier if you had some peace and some space to do it. try and fix her down to at least 2 of next weeks days when she gets back from work.

If she says no or won't do it more than a couple of times then you can see that she is not reciprocating and it will make it easier for you to say no to her in future.

Don't feel bad about saying no either. Remember her and her husband are likely to get getting at least 4 weeks hol each so between them that is 8 weeks hol, more than enough to cope with some summer holiday childcare cover themselves!


QuintessentialShadows Sat 19-Jul-08 08:42:03

Most schools run play schemes in the holidays, such as sports camps, etc. Could she not sign her child up on one of those? For sure you cant take her child for the entire holidays, you have your own family to take care of.

gillybean2 Sat 19-Jul-08 09:02:21

Do most schools do this and free of charge? Not in my experience, though I guess it depends where you live. None of the schools out here do and the one I send my ds to (some 30 miles from where we live but close to where I work) charges £25 a day for their holiday club. I wouldn't be able to afford it if I didn't get help with childcare costs through WTC.

posieflump Sat 19-Jul-08 09:03:57

yes you have to pay
but if tey both work, don't have family nearby, they should expect to pay for childcarein the holidas hmm

prettyfly1 Sat 19-Jul-08 11:41:49

i am a lone mum who works full time and i have the childcare thing all the time. its not fair that she is taking advantage - does she pay you. suggest that she take the kids to one of the many holiday play schemes available through the course of the summer hols - often very cheap and good value or tell her that you are going away yourself.

piratecat Sat 19-Jul-08 11:46:28

are you not supposed to be a registered childminder to be paid?

be careful, if you are on benefits.
if they both work they should be paying someone to do it, it is wel out of order to expect you to have the their dc for all those days. she is taking the piss.

cantseemyfeet Sun 20-Jul-08 01:14:01

Hi again,

No she dosent pay me, she offered to give me something but I said no mainly because she is a friend. It isnt about the money it is just so annoying that she feels its ok to ask me time and time again when she knows I am struggling with 3 as it is (my youngest is only 11 months).

As for the camps, I told her that I could have her DD this week but I had made plans to take my kids for days out next week (in the hope she would get the hint) She has now arranged to put her DD in activity camp next week so I just know that she will be asking again the week after.

I really, really dont want to fall out with her and I know she will be offended if I say I really cant have her DD but in all fairness, she should of sorted proper childcare when she took on job. I dont mind helping any of my freinds out, they are all great and I know they are there when I need them but I wouldnt dream of asking a friend to constantly have my kids through the holidays ESPECIALLY if they were on their own with little ones.

I only ever leave my kids with my mam, I know it sounds strange but I wouldnt feel right asking her to have my kids while I did housework, the older one is fine but the 2 little ones are handfulls and I dont like leaving them with friends.

I am planning on telling her I am decorating the week after, the boys room desperatly needs doing so I am praying she wont have the brass neck to ask again.

Its ridiculous that I feel I have to make excuses like this but she really dosent seem to realise that she is putting on me by asking all the time.

windygalestoday Sun 20-Jul-08 01:34:35

i think you should get poorly and the doctor say you are to have no extra stress,she might back off thinking you will ask her to have your kids then grin this happens a lot here too and my dh gets cross he says he works long hours so i can be with our children not so everyone else can have a free babysitterangry

SofiaAmes Sun 20-Jul-08 03:07:41

Why on earth don't you tell her the truth? It seems a bit silly to make up a whole load of excuses as it only invites her to ask you again. Just tell her that you are struggling with your own kids and it's just too much for you to have hers as well. Say it nicely and don't make her feel bad for not having noticed herself and you will still have a friend. And make sure you add that in an emergency you would be happy to have her dd, but not on a regular basis. If the truth offends her then she isn't a true friend.

gillybean2 Sun 20-Jul-08 11:11:22

I think she will keep asking until you are honest with her. And yes I too know how hard it is to be honest and feel you are letting down a friend, but you have to think of you and your children first here. It's clearly stressing you out having to worry about this. She will keep asking you because it means extra money for her if she can persuade you. My sister does this (asks other's to have her kids rather than holiday club them). She looks at it that the cost has to come out of her salary and she can't afford it, rather than thinking the cost should come out of her husband and her's joint income. She asks my mum all the time even though my mum is almost 70 and gets very tired looking after them.

And yes I get this problem a lot too with people assuming you can do it for them with little hassle. Because you're single some people think that, as you don't have the bother of an other half who might object or who has to be consulted or who might complain about the extra noise, it's easy for you to look afte rtheir kids for only a few hours. Plus as you have 3 already 1 more won't notice really now will it...

When I had a bf my friend rarely asked me to have her two, now I am single again she asks all the time. But fair play she has my ds a lot for me too so it's a fair arrangement for me.

Just tell her you're really sorry but you don't feel you can have her daughter for any more days this holiday as you are really struggling with your own 3 and have things you wish to do (such as outings and decorating) and that you hope she understands and will make other arrangements. Oh and when is she taking some time off work, she's not working the whole holiday now is she...

And while I appreciate you don't want to ask her to have your children and they are very young, maybe she could at least have the older one for a few hours couldn't she?

If you suggested that you needed a break too and there was a possibility you might expect her to return the favour I'm sure she'd have a real re-think. Maybe phrase it as 'Not sure if my mum can have the children for me on [day], might need help myself with childcare if you're going to be around...!'

It can be hard to pluck up teh courage to say it, but once you do it will be such a huge relief for you and take a big weight of your mind. SO don't put it off, tell her this week. You're doing her a favour being honest as it will cause a rift in your friendship and she might be left with a problem if she doesn't book up child care now.

cornsilk Sun 20-Jul-08 11:28:47

I think you need to say no to her. She shouldn't be putting you in this situation, it's not fair. If you don't you will start to feel resentful anyway. Her and her ds should be able to get help with childcare, look on money saving expert, some childminders accept this voucher scheme thingy which cuts the cost in half. Also if she's paying for childcare it will increase her tax credits anyway.

cantseemyfeet Mon 21-Jul-08 00:28:54

Thanks for all the replies guys,

Yes I do know I need to grow a backbone and tell her straight which is what I am going to do when she drops off tomoro.

I told my BF about friend asking me to have DD and she went mad! She said she had only told her the other day that Im knackered with them all and struggling because they arnt good sleepers, she cant believe she still went ahead and asked me(bless BF for caring though). She has said the sameas everyone else here, just get her told.

So I am going to be an adult and tell her nicely that I will do this week as a favour but she will have to sort something else out afterwards.

I am so weak when it comes to saying NO (which probably explains why I have 3 children). I will be strong though and focus on hellish holidays with my own hooligans

gillybean2 Mon 21-Jul-08 19:37:27

So you spoke to her today I take it...?

dreamteamgirl Mon 21-Jul-08 22:15:25

TBH I cant believe she left it so late to sort it out!! I am already stressing about school holidays and DS doesnt start school till NEXT Spetember.
Hope it went ok with her today

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