Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


to expect working mums to sort out their childcare

290 replies

nametaken · 06/11/2007 18:56

Is it just me or do any other SAHMs get really annoyed when they get the 3 o clock phone call saying "oh can you pick XXXX up from school her nan/CM/school club can't because blah blah blah.

I mean, they choose to work - I'm a SAHM because I have 3DC and it would be a nightmare trying to organise childcare and I wouldn't want to inconvenience anyone.

I finally fell out with my friend today after one imposition too many. How nice of her to have me to pick up the slack week in week out and then when she finally feels guilty about all the unpaid childcare she asked me to do she swans off and treats her DD and my eldest DD to a cinema visit and meal!!!!!!! Something I would love to do but haven't got time to organise cause I'm too busy doing the drudge boring work.

Working mums - please don't think for a minute I've got anything against you - it's just a rant against the 3rd working mum in 3 weeks to need a favour from me.

I always used to do this because I thought "oh, well if I ever need something I can always ask them" BUT !!!!! I don't ever need anything.

Be honest, does anyone really think that SAHMs should be helping out working mums when their childcare falls through or am I just being evil.

OP posts:

tiredemma · 06/11/2007 19:00

I have wonderful friends who I can call on to help me with my children- SAHMs and other working mums.

I would be lost without them and am grateful for their help.


Twinkie1 · 06/11/2007 19:01

Depends what sort of friend you are.


NorthernLurker · 06/11/2007 19:01

I don't think you are being evil but it is precisely because I don't want this sort of situation with my friends that I hurl a huge amount of cash at the childcare issue and frankly would have to be hospitalised before I would ask a sahm for help.


QueenBhannae · 06/11/2007 19:02

I think you should help out your friends regardless of their working status.
She did a nice thing by treating your dd and you sound like you resent her for it?
Why not ask her if she can look after your others while you take them out next time?


BecauseImWorthIt · 06/11/2007 19:02

Difficult one - I can see both sides!

I think if they have got 'proper' chilcare sorted out, e.g. CM/nursery/nanny and they let them down, then it is very hard - when you're at work full time you can't always drop everything.

I was always very grateful when my dss forged close enough friendships with other boys, and I also made friends with their mothers, because it meant there was someone I felt I could ask a favour from if it ever happened. In reality it happened on only a few, rare occasions, thankfully.

On the other hand, I think there are some working mums who for whatever reason don't organise formal/'proper' childcare, and when it falls apart are always surprised - I would find it really irritating if it was the latter constantly calling me.

I don't think you're being unreasonable if you've been dumped on as many times as it sounds as if you have - but if it is only occasionally, then yes you are, a bit!


lljkk · 06/11/2007 19:03

I think it's fair enough for you to mind if friends keep imposing on you and assuming your time is not valuable, too -- but YABU to phrase the thread title as you did. Working mums are important to keep the economy running, too, not fair to seem to slag them off as a generic group (speaking as a SAHM who also doesn't work because I can't do the juggle... but luckily I don't have friends to impose on me, either).

Just say "No" in future. Problem sorted.


BecauseImWorthIt · 06/11/2007 19:03

Oh, and meant to say, if I did ask for a favour I was always careful to offer/be available to help out in any way that I could - and with the mum rather than treat her child/ren!


OneTrickMummy · 06/11/2007 19:04

So she did do something for you (take your dd out) but you aren't satisfied?

Ask her to do you a favour at the weekend - take your dc to the park or something.


BroccoliSpears · 06/11/2007 19:04

I'm one of the only SAHMs in my circle of friends and I never feel that I'm asked favours any more than anyone else is. The only thing I can think of is that I'm the In Case Of Emergency person for a few of my friends at their childrens' nurserys as I'm more likely to be available in an emergency than someone who works - but obviously anyone would help a friend in an emergency. Has never happened (touch wood). I actually felt quite honoured that they asked me!


persephonesnape · 06/11/2007 19:05

hmm, my childcare doesn't normally fall through. if it does i have the kind of job where i can throw myself on the mercy of my boss to go and get my children (which may explain why my job is less than average pay..) mind you, i don't 'choose to work,' i work because i'm the only source of income in our family.

You could always say no. i think you're being a bit unreasonable about your (ex) friend treating your dd to the cinema and a meal. thats a thank you. it would be nice to graciously acknowledge your friends thanks for a favour.


ScottishMummy · 06/11/2007 19:06

are you generalising here about all SAHM or are you specifically referring to your friend request for your help?

please do not make sweeping generalisations. as i do not generalise about SAHM. it is not helpful, not accurate, not representative.

if you and friend have issues - well discuss htem like the adult women you are, without assuning everyone is the same

i worK FT
I Do not rely on any one else (certainly not SAHM)


cluelessnchaos · 06/11/2007 19:06

I work part time and I rely on certain friends to help me with childcare, I help them in return BUT I have others take the piss by costantly asking me to have their kids because the know I am reliable, and whenever I ask them in return they are too busy or will call me that day and let me down, I think it is less to do with sahm versus wohm than reliable friends and flaky friends. I know how angry you are now, I felt exactly the same yesterday.


inthegutter · 06/11/2007 19:06

Well, being totally honest, as a WOHM I'd say don't agree to do anything if you're not happy with it. But bear in mind that WOHM spend huge amounts of energy not to mention money organising childcare, and on the rare occasions that something goes tits up (eg childminder ill) we're immensely grateful to any other mum who can help out. While I was at home on maternity leave I never minded helping out fellow mums in a time of crisis, on the grounds that I was having the easier time at home and therefore I just wanted to be helpful where i could. If you're talking about being taken advantage of by mums who just can't be bothered to organise and pay for proper childcare systems, then I think you have every right to be annoyed though


tigana · 06/11/2007 19:07

"they choose to work" - isn't actually true in many cases.

Working parents do sort out their childcare, but sometimes things don't go to plan either with childcare or with work, or even with traffic on the journey between work and childcare provider.

If it was the same mum asking you to do this all the time, that would be mor eliek taking advantage, but 3 different mums in 3 weeks is 'just' coincidence isn't it?


Lulumama · 06/11/2007 19:11

choose to work - not always..... many women have to go back to work, and some feel pretty bad about it

Childminders, grandma's and other friends can get ill, cars break down, things happen, so a favour is needed.

and if that favour is repaid with a nice treat for your child, i cannot see what the issue is

if you are going to do the school run, then she is not really imposing on you, if you are going anyway.

just because you never need a hand, doesn't mean you have discovered some amazing secret that we all need to be let in on! you are just lucky

in answer to your question about SAHMs helping WOHMs, if one of my friends needed a favour, and i could do it, then i would regardless of their employment status


themildmanneredjanitor · 06/11/2007 19:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SueBarohoHo · 06/11/2007 19:12

I think one of the joys of being a SAHM is that I'm available if anyone is in a crisis. I really mean that, it's great to be in a position to help people out if they need it.

Life doesn't always run to script, does it?


kindersurprise · 06/11/2007 19:13

I work parttime (from home) so have helped out a friend occasionally if there is a problem with childcare. Her daughter has nits again (2nd time in a month that she has been sent home from kindergarten). My friend works full time and cannot get away so I am looking after her DD tomorrow until her mum gets here (she lives about 2 hours away).

I do not mind as it is not often and my friend is truly grateful.

If your friend is in a similar situation then you are being unreasonable to refuse to help out.

I might see it differently if she asked every week and it was because she had not got decent childcare organised.


blueshoes · 06/11/2007 19:14

nametaken, as a working mum, I would prefer not to rely on a SAHM as a fallback - precisely for the reasons you mentioned. It would tend to be one-way because the working mum will need the SAHM more than the other way, with ensuing resentment in the long term. But I will be happy to swap/tag with another working mum, because the relationship is inherently more balanced and we understand what it is like to juggle work, school and childcare.

Like NorthernLurker, I would prefer to throw money at the issue (like afterschool clubs) or insist on paying on a per trip basis (if it is a SAHM lending a hand, whether or not she accepts).

I understand why you feel put out. Your friend should not impose on you like that.


ScottishMummy · 06/11/2007 19:15

SueBarohoHo - you sound like a really balanced good friend, and yep things don't go to script. a criss is by definition unexpected and upsetting requiring reorganisation

it is falsely divisive for working Vs SAHM to rattle on perpetrating the ole stereotypes


pointydog · 06/11/2007 19:16

you haven't time to organise a trip to the cinema? Really?


Lulumama · 06/11/2007 19:17

if you feel imposed upon, that is something yuo need to work out with the women you feel are imposing on you

asking you to pick their DCs up every other day is a bit muhc, but once a week or twice a month is not, IMO

also you say you have no time to take your DD to the pictures, well, make the time, rather than feeling angry with your friend for taking her. sorry if i sound snippy, but you seem to be angry over nothing and feeling resentful of something that seems ok


RubySlippers · 06/11/2007 19:17

i don;t understand why you are upset?
she treated your DD to a lovely day out

Also, you clearly feel taken advantage of, but i bet my bottom dollar that you have never had a conversation with her about this! I bet you could have sorted it out, without falling out

FWIW, as a full time WOHM, even the best laid plans can fall apart - i have to tackle the M25 a lot - sometimes i just get stuck!


SenoraPostrophe · 06/11/2007 19:18

suebaroo can be my friend. at some of the rest of you. obviously don't let anyone take the piss, but little favours here and there are what friendship is all about.


paulaplumpbottom · 06/11/2007 19:19

I have had the same problems as you. Not friends but family members. I finally had to explain that just because I don't have a job doesn't mean I don't work. I didn't mind every once in a while but three times a week is too much.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?