Post # 1
Little bit of background-
I have two boys 11&13 (so pretty grown up) I never received much help when they needed to be looked after, so I had to quit my job and I stayed home to care for them.
Now I have other family member with small children who ask me to mind them so they can work ( only when there mum is unavailable which about 2 to3 times a month) They have no desire to be my friend and I feel used. They only call me when they need a babysitter. I have decided that next time I’m going to say NO.
Am I mean?
Post # 3
@Holly77: Doesn’t matter (to me) if you did or didn’t raise your own children.
Fact of the matter is, if someone is ONLY calling you to do these special favors to watch their kids, this isn’t a friendship. They are only using you as free childcare. Decline next time. You’re not a meeanie!
**My sister is going through this exact same thing. Her neighbor is always leaving her kid with my sister. It gets old fast.
Post # 4
Honestly, I’m not seeing the problem here… it’s a family member, they call in advance and don’t just dump the kids on you, only 2-3 times a month, and it’s so the mom can work. Not everyone can afford to live off one income.
Post # 5
Personally I am all for looking after family member’s kids when you can, but not if the only time you see them is when they need child care.
Post # 6
@Holly77: I don’t think you are mean but maybe rather than thinking about how hard it was for you or who she is to you I would think about whether or not the children mean more to you than that.
If it’s not a continual ongoing arrangement and you love those kids and it’s not too hard for you to help out maybe it’s worth doing it for your long term relationship with them – not their mother.
I have an auntie who I invited to my wedding only because my mother paid for her attendance. I just have no memory whatsoever of her trying to get to know me or any of my siblings at any stage.
When she visited it was only about he catching up with my mother. She is a mortgage broker and suddenly became more interested in knowing us when we were at property buying age – but that just came accross as being a bit opportunistic rather than genuine.
I love reading to and playing with my neice and nephew. I probably like them more than their parents sometimes. I don’t want my relationship with them to depend completely on whether or not I feel close to their parents.
Post # 7
@mepayne: I suppose I just hate feeling used.
Post # 8
@Holly77: Nope, you’re not mean.
I think it’s more about them using you than the fact you had to raise your kids by yourself, though… although I do understand why you may not want to babysit now since you’ve put in your fair share.
Post # 9
@Holly77: Are they paying you at all? Thanking you profusely, if they can’t afford money? I know you said they have no interest in being friends, but how do you know that for sure?
Post # 10
If this is the only reason you see each other then, yes, I don’t think you have an obligation to make yourself available to watch their children. I love babysitting, and often take care of my friends’ and family’s children, but if it were someone I barely see wanting free childcare, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it.
Post # 11
@mepayne: They drop the kids off and leave staight away same when they pick them up. I’ve never been paid but thanked as they hurrily leave.
When the boys had parties during the week when my kids are at school I’m not invited. This happend last year twice. I think I still feel a little hurt.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I would feel used, too! Maybe you should talk to them about how you don’t mind watching them, but you feel used since that is the only time they ever contact you.
Post # 13
@Holly77: Maybe they don’t think you’d want to come, because you never initiate anything? I’m not saying you’re in the wrong, but I think it would be better if you talked to them about how their actions are affecting your feelings, rather than just assuming they’re using you.
Post # 14
When you say they don’t want to be your friend…have you tried to hang out with/be better friends with her? Consistently? As in, you initiating?
I was asking a friend of my FI’s to watch our daughter once or twice a week a while back, but neither of us talked any other time…we hang out with her and her family a lot during football season, then not at all…so I stopped asking her b/c I felt awkward that we weren’t really friends…I didn’t know her very well, and she didn’t seem all that interested in getting to know me better at the time.
I would watch anyone’s kids, any time, no matter how close I am to them, but maybe you can talk to her…ask her to hang out sometime so you can get to know her AND her kids better and not feel so used.
Post # 15
Bottom line- it’s not your responsibility to look after someone else’s child!
I have neighbours who use me to babysit their child. The mother is even openly catty towards me in a passive aggressive way! I’ve stopped babysitting now. There is a reason I don’t have kids yet- I don’t want to look after them! I’m of the opinion that you either need to look after the baby yourself or pay for daycare.
You are not mean for that, ESPECIALLY given the fact that they are using you for free child care and don’t even speak to you any other time. They’re the mean ones for taking advantage of your kind nature.
Post # 16
@SharlaK: I agree that’s probably why I feel this way. That is why so far I have never said no. They are cute kids but a handfull.