Author Topic: I know I said I'd help....but not this much  (Read 13556 times)

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Morticia

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2013, 04:26:35 PM »
We believe in you, OP! You had the shiny spine with your ride moocher. Now you can do it with the childcare moocher, too!
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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kudeebee

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2013, 04:41:04 PM »

With respect to the taking away from family time - don't get me wrong - I don't cancel plans to help her out or rush home from work and stay home to be on call.  Even I'm not that much of a doormat ( and trust me I know I need to go to Doormats Anonymous ) 

I have said no to her before.

Where I am stumbling the most is the later in the evening request ( 9:00 - 9:30 ) when my kids are in bed, DH is heading shortly if he's not there already since he gets up for work very early and I am finally just sitting down after a long day ( I am sure most moms of younger children know what I'm talking about ).  That's when I feel trapped like a rat since it isn't really cutting into family time when everyone else is sleeping ( or about to ) and she tells me I can just sleep on her couch so "I can get my rest too".  I just feel like I'm at a loss for being able to say no - my mind just goes blank and I say my default yes.

This might be a little PA but I think I'll make a point of being "out" more past my bedtime - I won't like it but some things just have to be done... ;)

You need to put yourself first.  Why should you have to give up a good night's sleep when it isn't an emergency?  And why should you have to give up some quiet time for yourself?

Next time she calls have your answer ready--write it down on a card if you need to and read it. 
Friend:  "I need you to come over and stay with kids."
You:  "That won't be possible tonight.  Hope you can find someone.  Got to go, dh needs something." Then hang up the phone.  If it rings again, do not answer!

Do this every time she calls.  When she finally asks why you can't help, be honest and tell her you can only help out in a true emergency and not more than once a month.  If you have already helped her once, keep saying no.  You need to be in control of this for your well-being and that of your family.

In fact, if you have caller id, you do not have to answer the phone at all.  After all you do need to use the bathroom, take a shower, be doing the laundry, talking with dh, checking on the kids, etc.  You do not have to answer the phone unless you want to.

gen xer

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #77 on: February 21, 2013, 07:51:23 PM »
GenXer, if you say 'no, that won't work for me" is she the type of friend to ask "why?"

Yes!!!   My biggest combination weakness is being put on the spot and having a hard time saying no.

Amara

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #78 on: February 21, 2013, 07:55:11 PM »
Quote
Where I am stumbling the most is the later in the evening request ( 9:00 - 9:30 )

How often does this happen, OP? Is it a consequence of one of her work shifts?

gen xer

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2013, 07:58:25 PM »
We believe in you, OP! You had the shiny spine with your ride moocher. Now you can do it with the childcare moocher, too!

Thanks for the vote of confidence :)  It is kind of the same thing as the ride moocher and I am much happier now that I don't have that hanging over me - I still give her the occasional ride but nothing like it was before.

I appreciate everyone's encouragement and advice...it has made me feel like much less of a selfish ogre.

Roe

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2013, 09:29:09 PM »
GenXer, if you say 'no, that won't work for me" is she the type of friend to ask "why?"

Yes!!!   My biggest combination weakness is being put on the spot and having a hard time saying no.

I was afraid of that.  A true friend would accept 'no' and leave it at that.  Someone who tries to take what they can from you will push and push. They count on the fact that you are too polite to say no.  They don't care if you don't feel like doing it so long as you do as they want.

It's up to you whether or not you want to put up with this. 

When she asks "why?" all you have to do is say "because it doesn't work for me" and then "I've gotta run. Bye."  You truly don't have to justify yourself at all.  She can't make you. 


VorFemme

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2013, 10:14:15 PM »
Several years ago, we had a childless couple living next to us (actually, two) - but I didn't ask the 70-something couple on the right to babysit and I only asked the late thirties to mid-forties couple (never asked their ages) to baby sit the four year old once.

I had the older child at the ER after taking her in for an appointment in the morning - she kept getting worse.  I took her in about 6 pm or so - we came home after an exciting evening involving a head  X-ray, her throwing up in the elevator, and then getting IV antibiotics at the ER for a while......and a guy next to her with an allergic reaction to poison ivy and a second guy spinning in circles on the floor & screaming in pain between politely answering questions about where it hurt, when it started, and so forth.

If you had a six foot tall drill instructor standing over you at midnight, you'd be polite answering questions, too.  It was a very odd "picture" - I kept wondering why nothing like that surreal scene ever showed up on a tv screen......I guess no one ever had an ER show set in a military hospital, except for M*A*S*H and they didn't have drill instructors in Korea.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

PastryGoddess

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #82 on: February 21, 2013, 10:28:36 PM »
GenXer, if you say 'no, that won't work for me" is she the type of friend to ask "why?"

Yes!!!   My biggest combination weakness is being put on the spot and having a hard time saying no.

You need to keep it short and sweet when you answer her so you don't fumble or give her an opportunity for rebuttal.  Other posters have some great ideas for getting her off the phone.

cheyne

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #83 on: February 21, 2013, 11:12:02 PM »
POD to Kudeebee, write your response down on a card and read it off.  Do not raise your voice or hurry too much-but don't give her time to rebut you.  Get off the phone within 20-30 seconds (time it once and see how long that really is) and do not answer if it rings again.

You owe yourself some "down time" once your family is safely in bed for the night.  She also owes her family a stable routine and assured childcare, not this last minute up in the air garbage.

PastryGoddess

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2013, 12:17:49 AM »
POD to Kudeebee, write your response down on a card and read it off.  Do not raise your voice or hurry too much-but don't give her time to rebut you.  Get off the phone within 20-30 seconds (time it once and see how long that really is) and do not answer if it rings again.

You owe yourself some "down time" once your family is safely in bed for the night.  She also owes her family a stable routine and assured childcare, not this last minute up in the air garbage.


Make multiple cards and put them next to every phone in the house  ;D

Raintree

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2013, 04:48:45 AM »
She thinks that dozing off on her couch is the same as "getting some rest"? Well it's not. It's like those people who want to leave for a road trip super early in the morning (6 AM) and when you protest that you are working late the night before, they say, "Oh but you can sleep in the car." It's NOT the same thing. And in your case, it's not the point. You want and need to be in your own space at night for your down time. I like the idea of saying, "That won't work for me." Don't let her bully you into giving a reason. It's like a salesperson. They are trained to find out your objection so they can counter it, ie, "Well I can't really afford it...." "Well, if you calculate what you're paying overall, and break it down like this, it really only works out the same as a cup of coffee a day.." Similarly, "It's too late for me, and I want to relax." "You can relax on my couch!" "But I have to catch up on some paperwork." "You could bring your paperwork here!" Don't get trapped into THAT conversation.

anonymousmac

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2013, 09:28:17 AM »
Here's another vote for calling her up right now and letting her know ahead of time that you're not going to be able to babysit for a while.  "I just wanted to let you know that [my schedule has changed / etc.] and I won't be able to babysit your kids.  I wanted to make sure that you had time to find other arrangements."

If you're like me, it's going to be really hard to just say "No, sorry" when your friend is on the phone right now and desperately needs to leave for work and has no one to call on, and you know that the only reason you're saying no is that you don't want to.  It's even hard to ignore the ringing phone when you know that she knows that you're probably home at that time of night.

In the long run, it will be much easier to avoid that crisis in the first place.  If you tell her ahead of time, then if she does call it will be much easier to say "Sorry, like I told you, I can't" or just not answer, and you can be confident that you've done what you can and that it's entirely fair to let her be responsible for figuring something out.


bopper

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2013, 09:37:50 AM »
Another thought:

Your friend has an ideal that she thinks important: only having close friends/family watch her child.
But somehow you are now responsible for upholding that ideal.  Why?


Practical thoughts:

Don't answer the phone if you think it is her.

If she asks you to watch her kid, then "I can't, I am working on our taxes."  "I can't, junior isn't feeling well." "I can't, DH asked me to help him with a project."

If she asks if you can do it anyway, ask her "Are you asking me to prioritize your family over mine?  I can't do that friend, and I have been meaning to ask you what your long term solution was for child care because this situation isn't working for me. I thought it was once in a while but it has turned into an unpaid job."

Poppea

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2013, 10:23:26 AM »
Here's a thought:  If she's really really desperate for help one night, you can tell her to bring her kids over to your house and you'll put her kids on your (family room couch sleeping bag whatever).  I guarantee she won't go for it because it would be disruptive to the kids, make her husband go to your house and then have to put the kids to bed again. As opposed to disrupting your evening by making you sleep someplace different, having to get up and then going home and changing.

The are two types of people that ask favors.  Those who try to minimize the impact of the favor on the helper, and those that try to maximize the benefit to themselves.  Your friend is the latter. 

She is only trying to get her needs met, without attempting to mitigate the impact of her needs on others. 

I would feel differently if her child needed to go to the hospital and she needed (just this once) someone to sit with her other child.  (Though the one time this happened to me, I called my neighbor and dropped off my child).If you can't say no without her pressing you to explain and then trying to pressure you to do it, then she is not respecting you at all.

BTW - my time when my kids are asleep is spend cleaning up my house, setting up for breakfast the next day, paying bills, want working on my personal projects -if I'm not spending time with my husband.   All of these things are important if my family life is to go smoothly.  Would I go over to a friend's house to help out in a pinch.  Absolutely!!  Once a week?  No way.

Your friend is trying to turn you into staff, and you already have a full work load.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 10:30:08 AM by Anthera »

GlassHalfFull

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Re: I know I said I'd help....but not this much
« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2013, 11:40:30 AM »
I'd stay away from offering any explanation, and if she asks "Why not?" just laugh and say "I know you couldn't be thinking of convincing me that my reasons aren't relevant enough!  Now I'll let you get going to find that sitter.  Good night!"

As a few others have said, stay away from getting into that war of "Buts", as in "But you could....."

This friend needs to understand that an emergency is not her getting asked if she can work a shift and saying yes before she checks to make sure she has a sitter.  You did not have a say on her family planning, financial planning, and deciding to take this job, so you also do not have any responsibility for any associated issues with those things, either.

Good luck!