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AIBU?

Taking the mick babysitting older child?

1 reply

DontEatYellowSnow · 01/10/2018 21:18

My neighbour who lives a few doors up calls round with her DD aged 5 and DS aged 9, never announced, just comes round. My DD aged 4 plays well with her DD, while my younger DD aged 22 months just follows them around, tries to join in.

My neighbour says to me ‘I just need to pop to the shops’ or ‘I need to go somewhere etc’ so it will be for a few hours. I don’t mind sometimes, although I would like more notice. I want to help her out as she doesn’t have any grandparents on both sides around to help her out. She works part time sporadic hours, sometimes evenings, so I think she has the day free when they’re at school. I don’t really have loads of help myself, I work opposite my DH, my MIL kindly already does one day a week when my DH and I are both working, and my own mother is disabled, ill frequently and can help with my dad (her carer) very occasionally if she is well.

My neighbour has babysat one evening for three hours in advance, when the kids were in bed so my DH and I went out for a few drinks for the first time in about 4 years! My DD does go up to hers, usually after they’ve been to ours first, and plays with her kids but not the younger DD, as my neighbour says she’s too young, and I can understand that with nappies etc.

The problem is that taking my older DD away, which is great for her but leaves my youngest without her sister and playmate, as my eldest has started school so they don’t see each other as much. My youngest DD has always been clingy so she ends up glued back to me again. When her kids are round mine, off the bat I feel as if I have to cancel what I’m doing, chat for a bit, she leaves then I have to start hosting other people’s kids despite what my plans were for that day. One day early this summer when it all started she dropped them round, had a ‘thing’ I didn’t know how long she would be, as soon as she left they were asking me for food! Then lunch, paddling pool, everyone was taking clothes off, towels, ice lollies the lot and she was gone for hours!

The older boy seems to get controlling too, orders them around, empties bits of toys EVERYWHERE, jumps on beds and bean bags, and generally trashes the place. He has common interests with my DD but seems to stop the two girls wanting to play together and monopolises my DD away from his own sister. Yesterday when my neighbour collected them, we found her DD was crying saying she wanted my DD all to herself. When my neighbour was listening, I suggested that she’s welcome to come some time without her older brother if she likes. My DH is also happy to help and takes them all out to the park if she calls round when I’m at work.

Does this all sound crazy to you? AIBU if I want to say that I don’t really want her older brother to tag along? I want to say something but not sure how to play it. She always says that she helps her mates out and gets them to look after her kids in return and that ‘it’s good to help each other out’, but one weekend I recall they were round mine for 6 hours then she dropped them off at a friends house the very next day.

Her husband is always out doing sports. Every evening. All weekend. Hmm

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MoonlightandMusic · 01/10/2018 22:04

YANBU and, as she's fine with saying she doesn't want your youngest up there, she should be fine with you saying you don't want her oldest coming down as the children no longer play well together and the age gap is just too much.
You could perhaps open the conversation by referencing the previous discussion about just having her DD round and saying that's how you'd like to do it from now on.
That way, you're still being helpful, but on your terms, not hers and, from the sounds of it, will then have three happy children on your hands rather than four unhappy ones.

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