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I'm getting fed up of feeding my friend and her kids

(69 Posts)
namechangedforthisone Wed 20-Aug-08 20:19:52

Last year a friend of mine split with her partner and she hasnt seen a penny from him since. He left her with some debts and she went through a rough time while sorting out benefits etc.

During this time I invited her round for tea about twice a week as she was struggling with managing her money and feeding her boys. This was fine and she soon found her feet.

Anyway, about 3 months ago she started droping around with her boys at tea time on occasion and I would feed them all them. This has become a bit of a regular occurence this last 6 weeks.........last week she popped up twice and on one occasion we had eaten early and she didnt even cross the threshold just gave me a phone number for something I needed which she could have easily txt me.

Anyway today she phoned about 2pm and asked what i was doing and i told her i was making a big chilli and the convo moved on. 5.25 she turns up with her boys and they head staright to the kitchen. Id just dished up mine and my kids and she asked if she could have a taste....anyway I felt obliged to get her portion and her boys and she was all sit down and eat your i'll get us a bit.....cue her scooping out 3 huge portions and plonking them down. That chilli was going to be another 2 meals for us and now I have enough for 1 portion left. Really getting annoyed by her now and not sure what to do.

I think she is having money problems but thren she always has fags and hair dye......aargghhhhhh

expatinscotland Wed 20-Aug-08 20:24:10

I would not answer the door if/when she comes round again.

Lock the door, draw the curtains.

Until she gets the picture.

If she comes in and asks for a taste, tell her no, you can't afford it.

Or text her and tell her you can't offer her tea anymore as you can no longer afford it.

cockles Wed 20-Aug-08 20:27:04

How about inviting her specifically once a week , in advance, so she knows at least one meal is covered, and making it rather clear she's not welcome at other times (no reason why you can't say No, there isn't enough for you, we need it for tomorrow or whatever)

Aitch Wed 20-Aug-08 20:28:31

gawd. nightmare. how very awkward...

i think you'll have to say something, but what? maybe just 'oh i'm so embarrassed to say this but we're getting a bit hit by this credit crunch and are belt-tightening like crazy... so it might be best if you don't pop round at tea-time any more cos i'm not in a position to offer'

not that you should be embarrassed, of course, it just sounds like a habit. i'm being charitable there, cos it does have a wee whiff of pisstake as well...

warthog Wed 20-Aug-08 20:29:20

just say 'i'm sorry but there isn't enough for you today'. or pitch up at hers tomorrow at 5:25.

expatinscotland Wed 20-Aug-08 20:30:07

i like aitch's approach.

but seriously, if it was supposed to be x no. of meals for you and she's starting to make a dent in that, well, you need to let her know that you just can't be expected to do it anymore.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 20-Aug-08 20:30:35

Present her with a bill at the end of the meal, she may get the hint then.

Seriously when I was living on my own I spent many mealtimes with a friend and her family and ended up giving them money weekly to help pay for my food, I ate well and helped towards their food bill.

twoluvlykids Wed 20-Aug-08 20:32:12

I think aitch has the right idea. put yourself & dc's first, if she's got money for fags etc, i'd be well pissed off too!!

Imnotok Wed 20-Aug-08 20:32:45

My sister does this all the time with her ds ,then he dosen't eat it grrrrrrrrrr.

DisplacementActivity Wed 20-Aug-08 20:33:16

Message withdrawn

Aitch Wed 20-Aug-08 20:33:34

hah! that's even WORSE! grin

Aitch Wed 20-Aug-08 20:34:05

to imnottok, obv. not DA. wink

DisplacementActivity Wed 20-Aug-08 20:35:08

Message withdrawn

namechangedforthisone Wed 20-Aug-08 20:37:21

thanks - i like the approach aitch

i've been hoping it will go away but I'm by myself as well and cant keep stretching meals to include.

I'm sure she is struggling to feed her boys though.........would it be patronising to offer to help with her meal planning, budgetting etc??

Lazarou Wed 20-Aug-08 20:37:53

We had a friend like this. He ended up kipping at ours practically every night and he would always turn up at tea time. He's a really nice bloke and he has helped us out with certain things but he was round all the time. Even when we went to a safari park we ended up paying for him to get in!
One night I made it quite clear he was pissing me off. I was just very short with him and he got the message. He only comes round occasionally now.

shootfromthehip Wed 20-Aug-08 20:53:54

How rude. How very, very rude. I've had a similar problem with one friend constantly suggesting to her kids that she comes to mine so that I feel really bad about saying 'no'. When they turn up they are constantly asking for food and drinks, and I have provided more than my fair share of lunches and dinners, having NEVER had either meal at hers. However the bank of 'shootfromthehip' has recently closed and so I have started saying 'no' rather than being a doormat.

It did however take a spectacular act of rudeness to provoke this - she invited herself to mine after a day out and when I innocently said I had to go to the shop for the tea she then told me what her DC wanted for dinner and put it in my basket. I thought that she would split the bill and so I bought several bottles of wine and desert. You don't need to be psychic to work out that she did not offer to pay anything and left me open-mouthed at the till.

This incident, in combination with never turning up to my house with so much as a biscuit (ducks from flying accusations of unrealistic expectations), which I have previously ignored as friend too is on low income, I've had enough.

DO NOT BE A DOORMAT. Tell her that you are broke and can't afford to feed her and her kids. Tut.

Twiglett Wed 20-Aug-08 20:57:05

I'd phone her up tonight say something along the lines of "I'm really embarrassed to mention this, but it's becoming a difficult to feed you and your boys so often. The chilli I made today was supposed to feed us for 3 meals. I'm sure you understand but hope you understand"

then end it with an arrangement to meet next week

Hecate Wed 20-Aug-08 21:04:35

Or you could do what my sister did when a kid said to her "I'm hungry, what have you got."

She said "This isn't a bloody cafe, if you're hungry, sod off home."

Straight to the point, not open to misinterpretation and rather effective, I think.

shootfromthehip Wed 20-Aug-08 21:10:13

Hecate, I differ to your sister's genius.

charliecat Wed 20-Aug-08 21:10:34

I have this too. When my car cost nearly 500 quid at the start of the holidays I just started saying no.
The thing is though, the kids say oh we havent had anything since breakfast/lunch, isnt it lunch time, id really like a "insert some sort of food here".
Ive HAD to be hard as nails.
When asked for something outright ive said No because otherwise we will have nothing for lunch tommorow.
Which, is true, and I wouldnt mind as much if her kids didnt turn up with sweets at my door, with none for my kids. And that in 10 years of friendship my kids have had tea there once.
In comparison to AT LEAST once, if not 3x a week here.
Oh and we are just as poor as each other.
Rant Rantangry

expatinscotland Wed 20-Aug-08 21:11:58

please put your foot down, cc.

£500 is a shitload of money, especially with winter coming so shortly.

Hecate Wed 20-Aug-08 21:13:35

Yes. She could also be considered a hard old cow, I suppose grin

shootfromthehip Wed 20-Aug-08 21:17:15

She is a Sage. I am humbled. Seriously though I am not on the breadline but I knew I couldn't afford 5 kids, that is why I only has 2 grin. Can anyone actually afford 5?

quinne Wed 20-Aug-08 21:17:29

You could say to her that as you are both on your own, why not make a regular arrangement that you go to each other's houses for dinner once a week, taking turns. Because its really great to see her etc, so let's make it a regular thing every Wednesday.
If she turns up any other day, say "would you like to swop today for my turn next Wednesday"?
That way at least you limit the double cooking to once a fortnight and you are making it clear that the arrangement should be reciprocal.

At least this way she should not be insulted and you will not lose a friend.

I had to do something similar this summer. A local mother was takign advantage by sending her son to my house for breakfast, lunch and dinner last summer, so just before the holidays this year I made the point of arranging with him that he could come for lunch every Friday and asking him to tell his mummy not to cook for him that day as he'd be eating here, if that was ok with her? It works, and now she makes him lunch (she was too lazy when she thought I'd do it for her).

shootfromthehip Wed 20-Aug-08 21:19:50

OMG the world is full of cheeky monkeys

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