Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

I'm afraid that won't be possible, and just plain NO aren't working. LONG

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I am in a situation and trying to tread lightly and not hurt feelings, but I think only a blunt and almost rude NO is going to get me out of it.


My daughters Brownie leader, whom I have only met one month ago and do not consider a friend by any means, has asked me to watch her child every Sunday from 6 a.m. till Monday morning while she works.   

Monday morning I would be responsible for getting her daughter off to school, along with my other two girls since her mother won't get home till after she leaves.  She will be having breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks at my home, and will have to shower and do homework here as well.

Mom is a paramedic, and works 24 hour shifts.  Thid third shift she's working is all overtime, since two shifts already gave her 48 hours on the clock.

Her current babysitter is tired of watching her daughter, (for free, which I heard through the grapevine at the school) so she asked me to do it.  For free.  No money was ever discussed while we talked about the arrangements.  I kept waiting for her to bring it up, but she never did.  If she offered even 20.00 I might have considered it, but to assume that I would do it for free when I don't even know her really ticked me off.

I don't want to watch her daughter.  Sunday is the only day all of us are home together, unless I'm working the occasional Sunday, and I try to make it nice for all of us.  We usually watch a movie together or do something else, and I don't want another person here that is not family or close friend.

Another reason is that Sunday is the only day we really get to sleep in, and I don't want to give that up for an acquaintence. For a good friend like my neighbors I'd do it no questions asked, but for a stranger no way.

My hubby works long hours, and Sunday is his day to "veg", and he won't feel comfortable with a strange kid here either.

The mother called me today wondering if I "was still" (assuming incorrectly that I was) going to watch her daughter on Sundays, and I told her no, that we wouldn't be able to.  She then tried to get me to watch her from 6 a.m. till 3 p.m. every other Sunday, and to tell my hubby that he'd only have to watch her till 3 if I had to work that day.  I told her I'd talk it over with hubby.

The pushiness is getting to me.  She's already hit me up to be co-leader of the Brownie troop once a month, and the cookie mom for the troop since nobody else has volunteered.  I don't mind helping out at all, but I feel like this lady will suck the life out of me if I let her have another inch/hour of my time.

Help with responses to the babysitting please.

No is just not working. 

The mother that asked me to babysit also has a mother that lives nearby but is "unavailable" to babysit her grandaughter.  I didn't ask particular reasons why, but I'm assuming they're not on good terms.


Lather, rinse, repeat.  This is insane. 

Are you willing to do it for compensation and if you were paid?  If so, I would tell her that you will be willing to do it for however much you are, but you will not do it for free.  No ifs, ands, or buts. 

why isnt No working? Did you ever directly tell her "No?" more than once? From your post, I dont get the impression that you did, so I dont really see where it's being directly refuted by her. 

The first time she asked (before she called) did you tell her directly that you dont want to do it/it wont be possible? Or did you leave it up in the air/not give any kind of direct answer?

The second time, you said you'd talk to your hubby, again, this isnt really a direct "No."  It's leaving it open for opportunity.

Granted, she's pushy, and clearly cant take a hint (your apparent hesitation), but you've really just got to be a bit more assertive about your "No." in this case, I think.
My advice? Dont wait for her to call.  Call her back and just say "BTL, I wanted to let you know that I've discussed it with my husband, and we will not be able to watch your daughter for any amount of time on sunday.  No, I'm sorry, it wont be possible. Sorry, wish I could help, but I cant.  Nope, sorry." etc. etc.  DO NOT give a reason.  Just tell her it wont be possible.  Even if she asks directly why not (she sounds like the type to do this), just avoid the question by repeating the mantras above. 

Good luck! Let us know how it goes. 

I think in this case you need to repeat your "no" more forcefully: "Julie, I'm sorry, but as I said, this won't be possible.  I've discussed this with my husband, and we are not going to be available.  We really need not to be asked anymore."

We really need not be asked anymore is the tough part.

I know her schedule is tough, but a paramedic is what she's chosen to be.

To expect people to watch your child for free is a little beyond entitlement if you ask me.  Especially since the shifts
she's working are overtime pay shifts.  Expecting other people to watch your kid for free is just entitlement in itself and I will not condone/tolerate it.  2.00 an hour is not an unacepptable rate for a child that's self-sufficient.  I was not offered anything at all.

I am just going to tell her that "No, we will not be available to watch your child at those hours" next time she calls and see what happens.


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