Author Topic: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"? - Update p3  (Read 6583 times)

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CocoCamm

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2013, 04:46:14 PM »
Consider carefully the wording you use. I wouldn’t decline by saying anything using the word “comfortable” e.g. ”I’m not comfortable caring for 3 kids that young.” He doesn’t care if you’re comfortable – he’s in a tough hole and willing to grab onto anything that can get him out, he can live with a bit of discomfort. What you really mean is you don’t have the qualifications/skills to do it. So tell him that. Let him know that you can’t offer proper care.

That's kind of an uncharitable assumption to make about the OP's friend.  He's asked her once, she said she was busy, and he has yet to ask again.  Nothing that the OP wrote suggests to me that her friend doesn't care about her comfort.

I agree that it's better to say you're not qualified/able/willing, but let's not demonize the friend who at this point has only asked the OP to babysit once.

Not to mention that even if the guy doesn't care about the OP one would imagine he at least cares about his kids and wouldn't want to stick them with someone who doesn't really want to watch them.

TootsNYC

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2013, 05:00:40 PM »
Consider carefully the wording you use. I wouldn’t decline by saying anything using the word “comfortable” e.g. ”I’m not comfortable caring for 3 kids that young.” He doesn’t care if you’re comfortable – he’s in a tough hole and willing to grab onto anything that can get him out, he can live with a bit of discomfort. What you really mean is you don’t have the qualifications/skills to do it. So tell him that. Let him know that you can’t offer proper care.

He'll decide he doesn't care about that, either--and really, it's his prerogative to determine what "proper care" and acceptable "qualifications/skills" as well.

So say, "No, I don't want to babysit, sorry."
  And if you can say, "I can help with X sometimes, maybe," that's a softener.

Maybe X is "ask at work to see if anyone has suggestions" or something like that.

flickan

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2013, 06:05:03 PM »
I agree with all those who say be honest.  I also think it's acceptable to explain that you're not a kid person.  Not a kid person doesn't mean, "I don't like children".  If you want to clarify you can say, "I'm not comfortable being responsible for other people's kids."  People should understand this.  It's easy to enjoy the company of children when you aren't running around after them.  I had to learn to convey this from a young age so I wouldn't get stuck babysitting.  I didn't mind looking after my younger cousin and the well-behaved girl across the street.  But as a teenager sometimes I would get handed a baby at a family event with the expectation that I was supposed to do something with the baby.  Look after I suppose?  I don't even know how to hold a baby, let alone look after one.  I had to learn to speak up and say, "No thank you, I'm not good at this / I'm very sorry but I don't know what I'm doing / She's lovely but I don't feel safe holding her."

There's nothing wrong with not wanting to babysit.  You are not obligated to provide childcare for anyone.


nolechica

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2013, 11:59:17 PM »
There are ratios in daycares for a reason.  Three kids under three is a lot for anyone.  I'd be honest with him about what you are capable of or willing to do.

bopper

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2013, 08:57:03 AM »
Figure out what you are willing to do, if anything.

Weekday by yourself? no.
Weekday night with your hubby home? Yes, occasionally.
Weekend day with hubby? Yes, occasionally.

Maybe have your DH say to friend "Friend, we can help out in an emergency with child care of course, just like you would do with us.  But we really can't do any type of regular babysitting.  We would love to get together at the park on weekends with everybody though.

Roe

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2013, 10:02:12 AM »
I love children and enjoy babysitting but I would never babysit 3 children that young.  That's a huge responsibility.

I had to tell a friend, who wanted me to babysit two of her toddlers daily M-F for 8 hrs, that it would not be possible.  That's just too big of a responsibility for me.  (and I love kids!) 

So just be honest, otherwise, he will ask again.

CakeBeret

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"?
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2013, 04:25:09 PM »
I looked up the rates at the drop-in daycare that we use for DS, and surprisingly, for 2 kids it's incredibly reasonable.

I saw Friend today and basically said "I'm sorry I couldn't help out watching the kids, but I wanted to let you know about Cool Daycare." I told him their rates, how convenient their drop-in system is, and how much fun my DS has there. Friend seemed happy and said that he would look into that.

Chances are good that he'll use Cool Daycare next time he needs childcare. And, if he asks again I would be comfortable saying "I'm not sure I can handle all three of them alone, have you tried Cool Daycare?"

Thanks everyone!
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Petticoats

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Re: Babysitting: be honest, or be "unavailable"? - Update p3
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2013, 01:42:19 PM »
Great update! I'm glad you found a solution, CakeBeret.