Author Topic: I know I said I'd help....but not this much  (Read 13574 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2013, 05:59:20 AM »
When you (meaning anyone) say "in a pinch", a lot of people take that to mean "any time you ask me".  Except for the fact that I don't have kids, this is almost exactly what I went through when I was babysitting my little cousin.  It was worse because we let it drag out for so long.  The reason we did that was because we just didn't know that we could say no to family.  My uncle ranted at me over Facebook that he and both my grandmothers watched my brother and I when we were younger, and now it was time to return the favor.  He conveniently forgot that it was my grandmother who watched me most of the time while he was off doing things with his friends and complaining that "the kids" (us) kept getting into his stuff...and that my grandmother was drunk half the time, and my mother called a halt to that for the next several years when she found out.  They both conveniently forgot that one, and when my mother brought it up my grandmother exploded.

Grandmother: That's in the past!
Mom: Well, I remember it!  >:(
Grandmother: *real nasty* You would!!!

I was sitting across the room, and I heard my grandmother on the phone like she was right there in the room with us.  (Please note that this is just my family, and is not an example of how everybody would behave!)

My brother didn't want to watch her by himself because it was stressful for him the few times he did it, so it was either both of us or just me.  Two or three days a week.  Every week for 7 months.  Unpaid until my mother stuck her nose in, then it was anywhere from $10 to $20 for the two of us to split for an 8-to-10 hour day.  I finally called a halt to things when my uncle quit his job and would be home to watch her, and they took it personally. 

If you're not up to doing it, for whatever reason...heck, even if you are up to it and just don't want to, you're allowed to put an end to it.  Give them a cut-off date...like, for example, a week from now...and tell them that you're no longer able to babysit (phrase it however you like) after that point.  And stick to it.  This will give them a bit of time to find someone else, and their reaction to this will help you determine where to go from there.

Itza

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2013, 05:59:37 AM »
Next time she calls you: "Friend, I know I said I'd be happy to help out if you were in a pinch, but I meant occasionally; I never expected it to be a regular thing. I will help out this time, but after that I'm afraid you're going to have to find another backup as I can't keep doing this. It's cutting into my own family time."

If she's mad, let her be. Her childcare arrangements are not your problem. And I agree with a PP who said, do not offer to help her find someone else, as then suddenly she will think it's your responsibility if nobody materializes.

Good advice from Raintree.

OP, the bolded... I have to wonder, is she calling you every time she needs you to ask or is she expecting you to turn up and be there?


Sorry, scratch that. I just re-read the OP. I was wondering if it had got to the point where she was actually expecting you to be there and has stopped asking you.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:01:45 AM by Itza »




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iridaceae

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 06:01:18 AM »
If you have caller ID stop answering the phone when it's her unless you're going to say yes.

cicero

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2013, 07:33:04 AM »
Next time she calls you: "Friend, I know I said I'd be happy to help out if you were in a pinch, but I meant occasionally; I never expected it to be a regular thing. I will help out this time, but after that I'm afraid you're going to have to find another backup as I can't keep doing this. It's cutting into my own family time."

If she's mad, let her be. Her childcare arrangements are not your problem. And I agree with a PP who said, do not offer to help her find someone else, as then suddenly she will think it's your responsibility if nobody materializes.


this absolutely.

and another reason to not offer her suggestions on other babysitters:




Here is another little twist - she is a paranoid mama-bear type who will not trust anyone she hasn't known for a long time.  I hinted around to her that she should check some ads out for just such a solution - a teenager who is looking for some extra money and her response was that she would never be able to trust them.  If they weren't pedophiiles they would be stealing stuff, not doing things the way she would like etc etc.
can you imagine how she will react if things go wrong with the baby sitter that *you* recommended? it will be your fault...

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guihong

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2013, 07:50:25 AM »
If another poster, who was faced with coordinating a huge wedding, herding kids, at an unknown location, and outside to boot can say NO, so can you.  I don't recommend "I'll help in emergencies", it's a flat no, no can do. 

You want your child to grow up knowing she is allowed to say no, not "Oh dear, what will others think?"



Coley

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2013, 09:06:00 AM »
Another POD to Raintree. OP, if you're approaching this from the standpoint that you need an excuse to say no, then you might be approaching this incorrectly. You don't need an excuse. Level with your friend and say no. People will stop taking advantage of you when you stop letting them take advantage of you.

peaches

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2013, 09:17:41 AM »
Since you seem to have some difficulty just saying no to requests that mushroom into expectations I really think it would be best for you to just say no. Tell her that as of a given date--and I'd say it should be no more than two weeks out at the most--you are sorry but you will no longer be available to do any sitting for her. If you wanted to add an explanation, and I think you should not, then simply let it be, "My family must come first."


I so agree with this!!

With people who consistently take advantage, it's better to shut down the activity.

Reasoning with them or trying to set a limit won't work.

I prefer "I'm not able to help you with childcare anymore. I have my own family's needs to think of." But just tonight? "That won't be possible."

VorFemme

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2013, 09:27:45 AM »
There's a lot of good advice here, and I agree with it. Get out fast before you're buried in the avalanche of "but I neeeeeedddd you!"

BTW VorFemme, did you ever get the back pay you were owed?


Yes - my brother made sure to write the next check.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:29:58 AM by VorFemme »
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*inviteseller

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2013, 09:55:09 AM »
When others needs (demands) start interfering with your family life, it is time to put your foot down.  Her paranoia about thieves and molesters are her own to deal with.  Her DH and her are the parents so the responsibility for child care falls squarely on their shoulders, not yours.  Is she even paying you?  I POD all the other posters who have said give her a firm end date and not waver.  I wouldn't even offer to do it a few times a week for her, because she would probably just start sneaking in more and more times.  If she cuts you off as a friend, I am not too sure that would be a big loss.  Most parents I know have had child care issues somewhere along the line, but they did what they had to do to make it work, not just use someone because they, as I suspect,  just don't want to pay or make adjustments to their life.

Winterlight

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2013, 10:06:39 AM »
I will quote CrazyDaffodilLady- "A friend once remarked that if you routinely do someone a favor, it doesn’t take long before they consider it to be your job . . . and they’re the boss."

She is not your boss. She does not own your time. This is her problem to solve and it is not incumbent upon you to enable her refusal to deal with it.

Just say no!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 10:09:11 AM by Winterlight »
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GrammarNerd

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2013, 10:20:08 AM »
There was a thread on here a while ago where the OP had a friend with a son the same age as her own, and he had two little sibs.  The older child spent so much time with the OP, and she was starting to become a surrogate parent, even to the point of monitoring his health condition.  Friend rarely reciprocated hosting and rarely paid the OP back for money that was spent on her child.  Then the other mom/supposed friend wanted the OP to watch the two younger children.  OP said no.  Friend pretended she didn't hear and ramped up the efforts.  Then the friend started playing the 'poor me' card, and it became apparent that the friend had never looked into alternate child care arrangements; she assumed she could dump her kids on the OP.  When the OP said no, the friend got worse.  I'll try to look for the thread.

OP, get out now while you can.  Perhaps you should go a little bit 'frustrated and at the breaking point' on her.  When she calls yet another time: "I'm sorry, Friend, I can't do it."  You can try to get away with a few reasons like you need a break, you have things to do, or tonight won't work out.  Even ask her what happened to her 'regular babysitter' (even though you know full well she doesn't have one). But if she keeps pressing, then I vote to let her have it, politely of course.  Sometimes that's the only way that you can get through to people is to let your frustration show. "Why can't I do it?  Because I was supposed to help out in a pinch, for an emergency, and this is no longer an emergency.  It's become a regular thing. It's like I'm one of your regular child care providers, and I didn't sign up for that!  I work full time and I have my own family.  I have to take care of them.  I can't see my own family or do my own housework because it seems like I'm always at YOUR house, taking care of YOUR family.  If I wanted another part time job, I'd get one.  And frankly, I offered to help out, to be a friend, but now this has gone on so long, with no end in sight, that I just feel taken advantage of, and I'm stressed out.  Honestly, I don't even feel like your friend anymore; I feel like you think I'm your servant or unpaid employee.  I'm sure you don't mean to come across this way, but that's what it has turned into."

Honestly, she'll probably get huffy and won't speak to you for a while.  But she's in for a rude awakening if she thinks this is how reasonable people find childcare.  You could try not answering the phone, but it sounds like she'd probably just come to your door and ask why you're not answering your phone.  So you'll probably just have to be blunt.

GlassHalfFull

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2013, 10:32:33 AM »
I wouldn't wait for her to call, but instead be proactive and call her, and in a friendly way just say, "Hey friend, I wanted to let you know that all of this sitting isn't working for me, so thought you'd appreciate the heads up that I'm no longer available."  If you want to, you could add an "as of...next week/tomorrow/whatever."  Or not, and just nip it in the bud.  If she responds "But I can't find someone else!" say "I'm sorry, but this has turned into a regular thing that I don't have time for."  Or, if it strikes you, say, "Well, if you want this to continue be being a regular job we'll need to work out payment arrangements."


Good luck!

rose red

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2013, 11:03:22 AM »
There was a time when I worked for a small company and constantly worried and worked and made sure everything is right.  Than a friend said to me "Do your job and go home.  It's not your company.  All those extras are the boss' concern."

I still worked overtime in true emergencies, just like you want to be there for your friend in true emergencies.  But it's time for you to go home, it's not your family.  Just like a business, when you decide to have children, it's your responsibility to figure out child care, and not expect/allow someone else to work and worry for free.

TootsNYC

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2013, 11:15:13 AM »
" . . . I really feel that it's not fair to my husband for me to be spending so much time with someone else's family instead of enjoying the precious time I get with him.  I'm sure you understand!"


You DO have a reason! You have other obligations. "Time at home" is NOT "time being wasted."

It's time talking with and building a relationship with your spouse. It's time taking care of your own home, or working on projects, or detoxing/destressing/relaxing in a place that's safe, where you don't worry about other people.


Deetee

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2013, 12:18:12 PM »
Another way to think of it.

You don't "need" an excuse to say "No"

She needs to prove a true emergency* to say yes.

*emergency is not "I haven't found paid childcare yet because I am scared of other people looking after my child"

Or, as others have said, who do you want to prioritize: Her family or yours?

(The only reason I see to put up with this is if she has been insanely helpful to you in the past. There is nothing wrong with helping people out a lot, but it needs to be reciprocal in some fashion)