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Is this woman using me

(23 Posts)
heatblast Wed 27-Aug-08 09:31:40

My ds's best friend at school has been to our house a number of times during the holidays and I have taken him out with us a couple of times as well.
The trouble is that my ds has not been invited back to his at all during the holidays and even when they are at school he never gets an invite.

I have just shrugged it aside really as my ds appears to enjoy having him here and its company for him with him being an only.
His mom rang me last night and asked me if I would have him for a couple of days this week while she went to work and I said okay.
My dh and members of my family think she is taking the mickey now and its a cheek of her to ask this especially as she has not asked my ds back to hers not once.
I just agreed because I know my ds enjoys his company is there any harm in that what w do other mumsnetters think would you take a stance on this sort of thing if your dc was not getting any invites back.

RubySlippers Wed 27-Aug-08 09:33:40

i think you are starting to get unhappy with the arrangement

i think she is using you - to not have a single return invite back is a bit shoddy

twinsetandpearls Wed 27-Aug-08 09:33:44

She may be taking a slight advantage but if your ds enjoys his company and you are fine with that I would not worry peronally. I never invite dd friends to stay and expect an invite back.

Pawslikepaddington Wed 27-Aug-08 09:35:58

We used to have this the other way round-dd was invited to her friend's house but her mum would never let her come to ours. I got a huge complex about it as I thought she thought I was unable to take care of her child, or that my house was filthy or something. It just turned out she would never let her child play at other children's houses. Some parent's have some strange parameters - maybe she's worried she can't cope with two boys on her own (I have such fears when people come to play at ours), or maybe her house is a tip/filthy and she's too embarrassed to have you round. I am very slow to invite people round as I'm always worried we'll be in a mess or I won't have dusted the skirting boards, but I usually suggest that we go out somewhere - does she do this? smile

RubySlippers Wed 27-Aug-08 09:36:03

but isn't providing 2 days of unpaid childcare a bit of a step up from providing a couple of hours of entertainment and a plate of sarnies?

grouchomarx Wed 27-Aug-08 09:36:07

If your ds is happy about it and it is not putting you under too much pressure I probably wouldn't worry about it. There may be reasons why ds hasn't been invited back to his house, problems at home perhaps?

If she regularly tried to use you as a babysitter and it was putting you out then maybe you would have to say no a few times.

If you think all is ok at his house then I would call in the favour at some time, handy to have a babysitter that your child gets on with!

Seuss Wed 27-Aug-08 09:36:54

If your ds enjoys his company and you don't find it a hardship having him then I don't see there's any harm in it. It does sound like she is taking advantage a bit but maybe she doesn't have anyone else to help? If you have him for a couple of days this week and she still doesn't invite your ds over then I think I would get a bit sniffy and pull-back on the invites...

heatblast Wed 27-Aug-08 09:37:56

My dh thinks she is the sort that will latch onto me as a possible baby sitting service whenever she needs it.
She is a single mother who I think maybe sometimes finds things hard going.

grouchomarx Wed 27-Aug-08 09:40:35

just read your last post heatblast. In that case, I think you definitely shouldn't worry about it - it's great that you can help her out!

Seuss Wed 27-Aug-08 09:41:16

I think perhaps you could be supportive and helpful but make it clear it is a two-way street. Maybe call in the favour sometime like groucho suggested?

RubySlippers Wed 27-Aug-08 09:42:33

i still think any relationship should be reciprocal

fab that you are there to support her and am sure she is grateful BUT as Seuss says, it is a 2-way street

heatblast Wed 27-Aug-08 09:47:25

She is much younger than me by a good 14 years and had her ds at a very young age.
My mom thinks that people see my willing nature and think I am okay to ask favours.

Seuss Wed 27-Aug-08 09:51:20

I had a friend who used to take advantage and it was ok to start with but after a while I really started to resent it, which is why I think it would be a shame for your relationship with the other mum to go the same way.

grouchomarx Wed 27-Aug-08 09:51:57

agree it should be reciprocal rubyslippers - but I don't think it can always be quantified, iyswim. It seems as though ds is very happy with the arrangement and so far she has only asked for 2 days babysitting (the other stuff was invites). I have a friend who is always looking after/feeding her children's friends. I think people sometimes do take advantage of her.... but I think it has come about purely because they have the happiest, friendliest household on the estate and I'm sure there is a lot of benefit for her children in feeling that they and their friends are always made so welcome.

grouchomarx Wed 27-Aug-08 09:53:30

heatblast, tell your mum that you are happy that people recognise your kind and approachable nature!

Seuss Wed 27-Aug-08 10:07:05

Agree, tell everyone you are happy with the situation if you are.

QuintessentialShadow Wed 27-Aug-08 10:13:08

I think you should be straight with her. Tell her you are happy to have her son over, he is a real joy to be with, and he gets along really well with her son. BUT, your son is very keen to visit her son for a playdate, so maybe he could come to play after school one day?

Being a young single mum is no excuse for taking advantage. But she may think that things are so great at yours, that the boys would not possibly enjoy it at hers. She may also feel a lot better about the situation if she feels she can return the favour.

GooseyLoosey Wed 27-Aug-08 10:24:23

Second what QS said. I would say when she drops her ds off that you have something you need to do next week and would she mind having your son for a few hours. You are quite flexible about when.

Ripeberry Wed 27-Aug-08 10:24:30

There are always users. My friend lives in France and her neighbour regularly pops her son over their fence into my friends garden, without as a by your leave.
They just use her as free childcare, but it's very difficult for her as she can't speak the language very well.
OK its just for half and hour at a time but its still damn cheeky!

Ripeberry Wed 27-Aug-08 10:28:01

A neighbour two doors down from us, just sends all her kids out into the street for a couple of hours when she wants a nap.
They range from 11yrs to 5yrs old and the youngest always ends up at our house which i don't mind, but during the week he can be over everyday, and the mum does not even work.
Wish i could get a nap during the daytime.

tots2ten Wed 27-Aug-08 10:58:30

my ds1 only goes to one friends house, i get on very well with his mum, his friend also comes here. but there are a few houses that i wont let my ds1 go to, (the mum lets them play outside) but his friends are welcome here, ds1 is only 4. and it is only now that i leave dd1 and dd2 outside to play and they are 10 and 8.

Lazycow Wed 27-Aug-08 11:03:31

She probably is using yopu for childcare a bit and you need to be clear about what you will accept.

I persoanlly however would be fine to a child over all the time if he got on well with ds but that is because I would have loved another child and I know ds would love it too.

However asking you to look after her ds while she works without offering a reciprocal arrangement is not really on. A few hours of entertainment is most definitely not the same as two full days of childcare to cover work.

wotulookinat Wed 27-Aug-08 11:08:36

I would be a bit miffed at being asked so blatantly to provide free childcare while she goes to work.

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