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Free childcare, what should I do?

(41 Posts)
Thesuniscoming Mon 10-Jun-19 06:14:18

Both dd and another girl in her class are going to secondary school in September. It is half an hour to 45 minutes away depending on traffic.

I don't know the mother very well, I know her well enough to speak to in passing but thats all, she has now accepted a job in London (1 hour each way commuting at least)

She wants me to commit to collecting her dd on certain days from the new school, and she will 'help when she can' as she doesn't know what her timings will be, or if she can be back in time for her dd.

I really don't want to do this, I feel it will be me that ends up doing all the lifts, looking after her dd when she is running late, and I have my own job (more local than hers, and I took a pay cut accordingly) I don't want to take on another child most evenings, she obviously has no intention of paying for actual childcare and is hoping to get by on favours I guess.

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
user1483387154 Mon 10-Jun-19 06:18:01

Sorry that doesn't work for me!

reefedsail Mon 10-Jun-19 06:21:40

Just say you don't know what extra-curriculars your DD will be doing at school, or what the schedule for home-based extra-curriculars will be for next year yet, so no, you cannot commit to anything at all.

Which surely is true? She can be expecting that neither DD will ever do anything after school and therefor always be free to travel home together?

WhiteDust Mon 10-Jun-19 06:38:02

We don't always come straight home after school/work so I can't help, I'm sorry.

Attache Mon 10-Jun-19 13:20:36

Is there any level on which you'd like to explore this? Because with it being a bit of a schlep, sharing a few lifts could help you both if you go in assertively with a clear expectation of equal swaps.

If you don't want to then fair enough, say a quick and firm no.

I don't know anyone who pays for after school childcare so I've be surprised if she wants you to babysit her daughter for hours. Are there public transport options for the girls?

ChewbaccaHutchinsCool Mon 10-Jun-19 13:26:14

Bullshit she'll ever help! She's got a helluva cheek expecting you to provide free, ad hoc childcare at her beck and call. WTAF? She's got a neck like a giraffe.

Message back what WhiteDust wrote, word for word.

PopWentTheWeasel Mon 10-Jun-19 13:27:43

What would I do? sign my daughter up for swimming classes straight after school. "Could you collect Jenny on a Wednesday and I'll collect Sophie on a Friday?" - fine "Could you do all my pick-ups and I'll offer to help when I can so it looks like I'm not taking liberties?" - not fine.

Drum2018 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:34:57

I'd just say no. You don't have to give any explanation or mention extra curricular activities etc, as she will try to pin you down to certain days regardless. If you want to give a reason, tell her you have never been interested in childminding so she'd need to look into alternative childcare. That way you are pointing out the you know she's a CF looking for free childcare. And do it asap so it's not hanging over you.

simplekindoflife Mon 10-Jun-19 13:37:51

I wouldn't commit to that, it's too much to ask especially of an acquaintance.

What if the girls fall out? What about when your DD is ill or you're ill or when she has after-school clubs or wants other friends round... so many variables! And you would be the one left figuring it out and walking on eggshells when you couldn't help out.

I would consider committing to 1 day a week but that would be it. I think that's very fair and very reasonable. It might come in handy for you if she could help occasionally too. But equally you would be fair to say no to any arrangement.

Thesuniscoming Mon 10-Jun-19 13:42:15

Thankyou very much for your replies, I am reading them avidly.

Yes the school is a trek, but I have older dc there too, so have many things to balance not just my youngest dd. Other dds do tons of music and sports things after school. Times to collect varies, so I can't even say with any degree of confidence any one day.

In addition, her job is very demanding, she is not going to be able to work from home as often as she supposes/ or is leading me to believe, so yes I believe I will end up doing most of the lifts I am afraid. The only day I did look after dd for her in the holidays, she was over two hours late because of the trains and didn't even pick up to 9.15pm!

I could drop her dd off, but they live in the middle of nowhere, no siblings or close neighbours, she is more likely to ask me 'to hold on to her dd' rather than asking me to drop her at home. Then I will be providing dinner, as I wouldn't dream of feeding my own children and not hers obviously. I can just see this leading into a really difficult situation.

I have just texted her to say I don't think I can commit, as you suggested, she just text me back with all the days she can do lifts, she didn't even acknowledge me saying I couldn't do it!! shock

OP’s posts: |
7salmonswimming Mon 10-Jun-19 13:46:47

“Oh, I’m afraid I couldn’t commit to that. I have no idea how things are going to pan out for us come September. It’s best you make solid childcare arrangements for [your DD] outside of us”.

Remember, people who are cheeky enough to make such requests won’t see a frank reply as rude. They’ll just see it as frank. Don’t torture yourself unnecessarily for someone who very likely is completely oblivious!

7salmonswimming Mon 10-Jun-19 13:48:46

Oh, then reply with “We’ll sort ourselves out. Complex schedule with multiple DDs. Thanks for the offer”

Fantasisa Mon 10-Jun-19 13:49:04

Primary friendships scatter to the wind when children move into secondary so be careful about agreeing to anything.

MarthasGinYard Mon 10-Jun-19 13:51:37

'I'm all over the place after school with the dc, clubs etc so I can't help, apologies'

AnathemaPulsifer Mon 10-Jun-19 14:02:59

The only day I did look after dd for her in the holidays, she was over two hours late because of the trains and didn't even pick up to 9.15pm!


She's shown you what it would be like. Just say no!

Attache Mon 10-Jun-19 14:06:24

She's negotiating down. Reply something like 7salmon or Martha's replies. I predict she will respond by asking you to do Eg Tuesdays and Wednesdays just for the first few weeks until her DD settles in. Just keep repeating.

Thesuniscoming Mon 10-Jun-19 14:06:38

Our dds aren't really friends, and never have been. They are not friends of ours at all, and are in different classes. I don't even really know her very well, so I am really surprised she has asked me and is really trying to pin me down. I feel abit hounded, as this is her third text in as many days.

Girls will be there for 8 years it is a long time to be stuck in this situation!!

I am just replying with a combination of your posts, and will not reply to her anymore after that. I am trying not to be annoyed, as I work pt, and have a lot on my plate at home at the moment.

I would obviously help her in an emergency of course, but I really don't want to get into any fixed arrangements.

OP’s posts: |
Thesuniscoming Mon 10-Jun-19 14:08:01

attache Thats exactly what she did!! I feel like she isn't going to give up!!

OP’s posts: |
Attache Mon 10-Jun-19 14:08:56

I would obviously help her in an emergency of course, but I really don't want to get into any fixed arrangements

Fair enough as long as you don't tell her this, or there will be an "emergency" come Sept.

ChewbaccaHutchinsCool Mon 10-Jun-19 14:09:53

Of course she's hounding you, she wants to make her life easier at your expense! Hello? You have to be VERY clear and firm with such people, NO apologies, excuses, NO only in emergency offers or flakey wishy washy responses.

'No. I am not available for childcare. You need to make other arrangements. We have other plans.'


ChewbaccaHutchinsCool Mon 10-Jun-19 14:12:19

Or 'No. This doesn't work for our family. I am not available to commit to any lifts or lift swaps or arrangements because of the complex needs of my family. You need to make other plans.'

Thesuniscoming Mon 10-Jun-19 14:16:01

attache Yes you are so right. Good advice thank you. I will screen my calls in Sep, as no doubt there will be lots of new 'emergencies' that arise!

chew I am quite easy going and have lots of dc here for playdates, but I hate being used!! And I feel in this case, I am most definitely being lined up for unpaid childminder. I think I need to much firmer, but don't want to offend.

This is not the first time I am sorry to say I had the CFs of all CFs on my case for three years once, and she would call the house, mobile and even my husband to pin me down to dates. So clearly I have much to do in the way of being more assertive. At least I can spot a cf now, it is progress.

OP’s posts: |
Cuppa12345 Mon 10-Jun-19 14:18:06

Chewbaccas is too rude, you want to remain on OK with terms with other parents for the sake of the next 8 years. White has it right.

CathyorClaire Mon 10-Jun-19 14:21:53

Sounds to me like she's working down a list of possibles, drawing blanks and getting desperate.

Do not do this, OP. It's unlikely she'll ever reciprocate and if she ever does finally offer there may well be a last minute 'emergency' meaning she can't do it after all.

Just tell her what you said in your last post. You're not in a position to get into fixed arrangements or indeed any at all.

RomanyQueen Mon 10-Jun-19 14:24:27

Don't bother about offending, she most definitely isn't.
What a cf, don't even offer emergencies or she'll be having one everyday.

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