A place for stay at home mums and dads to discuss life as a full-time parent.
A place for stay at home mums and dads to discuss life as a full-time parent.
SAHM = free childcare help me say no!
thepinkp · 03/09/2019 13:57
So here's the problem, I have two children both now school age and I am also a Stay at home mum. I do work (ad-hoc) around the kids 8/10 hrs a week from home remotely for a corporate (I've done this for 5+ yrs) it all ticks by well. My problem is I seem to be other parents go-to option for free child care / school picks / drop offs because I'm always around. Don't get me wrong I have been far too accommodating and appreciate this is all my own doing however I have made the decision that this school year I won't be relied on to take in other kids on day day often 15 minutes before school starts/ends. Over the summer we see very little of school friends.. fine by me I like going on adventures with the kids alone. The only time I did hear from anyone was when they needed childcare.. interestingly in the past week just before the new school term starts I have noticed an influx of messages from said parents asking how I am etc - sadly I don't think this is because they actually care that much, just touching base before the new year starts to re-establish that connection so to speak for their own gain.
I'm adamant I will not be used in this way anymore, the thing is I am far too giving and always end up with an extra one at least once a week. Not such a huge deal but I do feel like I'm being used! So, how would you say politely but firmly this is not happening anymore?
TheBrockmans · 03/09/2019 14:10
I have a similar flexible job and I think people forget that you even work. You could sometimes say that you need to get home and for it to be quiet as you have work conference call/ urgent report to finish. Countering a request with an alternative request also helps 'oh that might work if you could have mini pinkp on inset day', this is good if the dc are friends. Alternatively just say no.
I think it is useful to divide them into two groups, parents of friends of your dc and random other parents. Parents of friends of your dc who will enjoy spending time with them can be encouraged to trade childcare - I.e. I am happy to pick Jonny up on Thursdays if you could collect Harry on Wednesday when Amelia has choir so I can do an extra hour for work.
LazyDaisey · 03/09/2019 14:15
No can do this year. Don’t offer details, just say your work circumstances have changed and “I might be needing to be call in a few of those babysitting favours I’ve got banked with you this year” said with a laugh.
If they insist they’re stuck, ask them when they’re able to have yours back? Like that weekend for a few hours?
Ivestoppedreadingthenews · 03/09/2019 14:23
Just say no everytime with a flimsy excuse. Don’t reply to further messages if they try to persuade you. Write a list of flimsy excuses on your phone so you can bash one out quickly.
TamarindCove · 03/09/2019 14:29
I’m in the same position except I don’t work. I don’t generally mind helping people out, proper friends that is.
It’s the ones who have openly judged me for not working (ooh I couldn’t not work! don’t you mind not contributing financially I’d feel awful?) yet then ask me to look after their child that wind me up.
I just say sorry it’s not convenient and leave it at that.
Brexitstash · 03/09/2019 14:31
Just say no. I'm starting maternity leave before the Christmas holidays and expecting the same.
Ivestoppedreadingthenews · 03/09/2019 14:33
Taramind- yes blanket ban on anyone who is very keen to point out how wonderfully self sufficient they are, whilst seemingly not actually being able to make reliable arrangements for their child.
MrsScrubbingbrush · 03/09/2019 14:42
Tamarind- you could kill two birds with one stone.
Tell them you've taken onboard their comments about contributing financially and in future you're charging £10 per hour for all play dates/childcare 😄
7salmonswimming · 03/09/2019 14:48
Think about why you find it hard to say no. Is it because you don’t want to be rude? Because you don’t want people to think you’re deliberately not helping them out when you could?
You DON’T want to help them out when you can. That’s totally acceptable (more than, when you’re being used) and doesn’t need justification. It also doesn’t need explanation.
So one of the following would be true, firm and would work: “I’m sorry, if afraid I can’t help you”, or “unfortunately I’m busy that afternoon”, “sure - shall we set up a reciprocal arrangement for one day each week?”, “you know, I did a lot of pick-ups for other people last year and I found my own to do list slipping, so I’m stepping back this year”, “we’re making a few changes at home this year, so I’m sorry but I won’t be available to help you as much this year”.
This problem always arises with people who over share, and blur boundaries (that’s you). In your mind you’re helping our friends and people in your child’s community. In their minds, you’re someone they can park their kids with while they juggle work and home and family and friends. Your motives are kindly. Theirs are practical or based on utility, they put in the minimal chat and friendliness to get what they need from you. Step back from these people. It’s not a relationship of equals.
Aderyn19 · 03/09/2019 14:51
Don't get into the paid thing. It's more hassle than it's worth and you don't actually want to do the childcare. Just say you are working from home. Or that you have plans do it isn't convenient. If you are brave, be honest and say you have enough on your plate and aren't doing childcare.
It's tough out there for working parents, but you have to remember that you are making financial and career sacrifices in order to sah - those other parents have no right to benefit from that. These people won't be paying you a share of their pensions.
As an aside, you see it on MN quite a bit when wohp are stuck for childcare,vthe suggestion is to ask a sahm for help - I really wish this would stop. We are happy to help out our actual friends but we don't owe it to the community to be their back up. Other people's kids are hard work!
ChipsAndKetchup · 03/09/2019 14:53
Don't feel compelled to come up with excuses. Just say 'i'm afraid that's not convenient'. Every single time.
These people are not your friends they are benefitting from your kindness.
itsabongthing · 03/09/2019 14:59
I’ve been on both sides of this. I don’t work in the holidays and have at times felt like you that people only get in touch when they are stuck and need childcare.
But I have also been horribly stuck in term time and the pressure of feeling torn between work and kids has meant that I’ve sometimes had to ask people even though I feel uncomfortable, because I’m desperate and out of options. I have to trust that people don’t mind me asking too much and will answer honestly.
I really think it is your responsibility to answer honestly and say no if you don’t want to do it.
PuppyMonkey · 03/09/2019 15:03
I think they've just become accustomed to you always being on standby, so you'll need to reinvent the rules and not be available - however much you feel guilted into helping out.
If they're texting, just don't look at the texts. If they're ringing, just end the calls. If they see you in the playground, just say you have something on and can't help.
Be strong OP, you can do this.
ILiveInSalemsLot · 03/09/2019 15:11
Just respond with ‘sorry I can’t. Hope you get it sorted!’
That hopefully closes the conversation down.
vanillaicedtea · 03/09/2019 15:12
Keep it simple. "I'm working from home more this year so I won't have the time then". Then follow it up with "... but maybe x and y could have a play date at yours at the weekend instead?"
Make it known to them you also have work commitments. Encourage your child and theirs to still have interactions out of school. Encourage them to also have the kids.
Then you can do favours for the ones who have your kids if you like. The ones who never have yours over can go fuck though
FetchezLaVache · 03/09/2019 15:23
Just say you're going to be too busy this year - if anyone presses you, I expect @LazyDaisey's idea of suggesting that you are about to start calling in those shitloads of favours you've done them over the years will soon have them heading for the hills.
ThorosOfMyr · 03/09/2019 15:24
Oh yes OP I am with you on this. My eldest DD has now moved onto secondary but I had a few mums in her old class who always pulled this shit on me. Not always the whole can you have them after school but asking me to drop their kid home (only slightly out of my way but busy London traffic) several times a week. Usually asked on the day, or an hour or so before pick up. Then often, when I dropped one particular child, one of their parents would be working from home anyway! Made my blood boil! But it is hard to say no without looking really petty. In the end I sucked it up the last term as I knew it had an end date. DD2's class doesn't have anyone CF parents luckily. So I commiserate with you as its a tough one. Agree you just say no that doesn't suit me with no further explanations.
Aderyn19 · 03/09/2019 15:28
That's beyond cheeky Thoros. I don't know how some people have the nerve.
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 03/09/2019 15:29
Dont cave OP, even if you didnt work from home people need to sort out their own bloody childcare.
Sorry wont be possible.....nothing else needs to be said.
SciFiScream · 03/09/2019 15:34
Don't use the word sorry. Why are you apologising to them? Find a way to avoid the extra work without saying sorry. You have nothing to be sorry about.
That doesn't work for me
I can't help
I have other plans
Please don't apologise, be polite but no need to say sorry!
Drabarni · 03/09/2019 15:35
Sorry doesn't work for me anymore, too busy.
or, i found that if I did it for one everyone seemed to call me, so to be fair it's a no.
Then recommend some after school clubs for them cf's.
Drabarni · 03/09/2019 15:40
As an aside, you see it on MN quite a bit when wohp are stuck for childcare,vthe suggestion is to ask a sahm for help
Yep, then you see the same people on threads bashing sahm for being lazy it's actually happened, I called her out.
neverornow · 03/09/2019 15:41
Just say "No, sorry I can't help you out this year, you will have to make other arrangements" when they start asking.
Don't give a reason or explanation, you don't owe them anything.
9ofpentangles · 03/09/2019 15:42
- Ignore their texts so they would be forced to send another requesting what they really want
2. Some of the excuses above are a good follow-up
3. You could say your hours are changing so no longer practical
4. Your kids are maxed out on after school stuff so there's no time
5. You have an elderly sick relative to pop in to see
TamarindCove · 03/09/2019 15:45
😂 I like your thinking, can’t believe it never occurred to me!
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