Babysitting Reluctance

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Lilyrayne, May 12, 2004.

  1. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    Hi guys! I'm not a parent, but I have an issue with a friend who is that wants me to babysit. I hope you don't mind my posting in here. I didn't know where else the best place to post about this would be. This is kinda long so bear with me:

    First a little background about my friendship with this girl: We met in high school and have been friends for about 8 or 9 years now. She is very flaky and one of those people with really bad ... I don't know how to explain it. Bad attitude, treats people like crap, etc. Just all screwed up basically, but yet I remained her friend for this long. She's not very bright, and I've sort of "taken care of her" in some ways over the years.

    She was REALLY flaky in the beginning of our friendship, she would do all kinds of childish things like be my best friend one day and then my enemy the next without warning, spreading rumors about me and then my friend again the next when we were in high school. She is the type that if there is something crappy you can do to a friend, she's done it... all but steal my guy.

    I am not sure why I stayed friends with her. I shouldn't have. But after a couple of years I learned not to take her seriously and how to deal with her so that she doesn't hurt me or bug me. I just take her as it is... and it worked well enough that we are still friends to this day, although we would fluctuate in how much we kept in contact. Usually we were in contact a lot whenever she wanted something from me.

    When I got married, we became pretty distant, which didn't bother me a bit... until she became pregnant. Then all of a sudden she comes running to me and is my best friend again, and of course I let her do this because, well, she's my friend and I wanted to help. She found out she was pregnant AFTER the guy that got her pregnant dumped her. I decided to help her out as much as I could because now a child was going to be involved, and at the time I figured I better be involved in her life despite not wanting to for the sake of the child (she is pretty messed up, I was hoping to provide some normalcy for the kid.)...

    After she moved back in with her parents in my hometown, I went through the pregnancy with her and was there for the birth. I had agreed to baby sit if she paid me, but only if it was in the morning before my hubby got home from work, and not every day. But then after the baby was born she decided to stay home, ended up getting BACK together with the father (And this is the type of girl that has been "engaged" to 7 different men and slept around TONS, including at least 4 or 5 guys while pregnant!)... so as of right now she is back together with the father but he's living in texas and they only see each other on weekends, so he's still of no real help, except financially for her.

    She decided she needed some money after all, so she got a job working at a daycare for 3 hours a day 5 days a week, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Her sister ended up starting to babysit for her, but eventually they got into a fight as usual and she tried to get me to baby sit everyday for those 4 hours she would be gone or so.. I told her no because it's at an EXTREMELY inconvenient schedule for me. I have my own life, and I am not about to put a dent in it for someone that isn't even that good a friend to me. She even wants me to do it at HER house. I've done it twice for her in a pinch, but she kept asking and I kept saying no to doing it regularly.

    When I said I would do it while she was pregnant, that was under the condition that she would PAY me, that it would be at MY house so I could go on with my life, and that it would only be before noon, because I have to take care of hubby and everything else after that. And not every day. The way it's turned out, she wants me to do it during my prime part of the day where I get things done, and do things with hubby, the only time I really get with hubby too, with no pay, at HER house. So no, I am not going to do it.

    The problem is I have a hard time saying no because she always puts me through a guilt trip, and when she asked me to do it everyday the first time it took a lot to say no. This morning I get this email from her:

    Hey Bree,would u be able to watch the baby 2 times a week,on Tuesdays and weds.my dad will watch her mondays and my sister will watch her on Thursdays and Fridays.plz let me know by today.so i can let my boss know if i have to quit or not."even tho i cant afford to quit,cuz i cant find anyone to watch the baby,cuz ppl r idiots"cant help a person out..

    As you can see, she pulled the "guilt trip" before I even said no this time. She takes advantage of people in a big way, and she's trying to do it to me again. I've not let her do it much the last few years cuz I learned my lesson. I'm not about to let her do it again, especially after that last email. To me, that seems rather rude.

    I guess what I want is your opinions, as parents and people experienced with this realm of life, if I am doing the wrong thing, or if I am on the right track here. I also need help with knowing what to say. I've decided that after she has tried to take advantage of me yet again, I am not going to babysit at ALL anymore, even if she met my previous requirements. Only in the direst of emergency circumstances. But the problem is I don't know how to say no, because if I say no in any form she will just be a bitch to me as usual.

    I feel bad for her situation, but she did bring it upon herself by being irresponsible and getting pregnant (unplanned) in the first place. I feel harsh, but she needs to learn to deal with the consequences, that other people have lives outside of her and that she is just going to have to deal with life being hard. That is what she gets for living the lifestyle that she did and still does. I've gotten her out of too many pinches and done way too much for her as it is. I know it seems bad to put a limit on friendship... but you can only let yourself be used so much before you have to put your foot down for your own good. I wanna be a good friend, but not at my personal detriment.

    I guess this whole post isn't JUST about the babysitting thing, but our friendship in general. But unfortunately I guess the friendship is peaking out on the babysitting issue, so I don't really know who else to ask about this. Right now I just want to get through saying no to her, I really won't mind if the friendship ends because of it.. I just hate it when people put me through guilt trips. I don't want to be the "bad guy".

    Opinions and advice would be very greatly appreciated.
     
  2. dang...she doesn't sound like the greatest friend does she?

    Well, I know what you mean on not wanting to be the "bad guy" or anything, I have a hard time saying no even when I should esp when people put me on guilt trips. Sounds like you've already told her nicely your explanation and she's still acting like that, right? If not, that's some advice. Also, has she tried finding a sitter besides her family or you? I'm sure there are plenty of people at a high school or college near by that might be interested in sitting, if so, maybe you could tell her to post ads such as in the school's newspaper or flyers. And about the friendship thing, well, I'm probably not the best person to give advice on that because I also have that problem with letting people walk all over me. I've gotten better at it though b/c I have actually started to try to explain my situation as best as possible until they fully understand what they are doing. But I've never had anyone be as bad as this girl is to you. Basically the only advice I can give to you on that is communication is always good. Sorry I couldn't be more help to you. I hope your situation works out, maybe she can grow up a bit and find some other sitter so you can have your time w/ your hubby. B/c you should def not let her interfere w/ your relationship w/ him. Good luck!
     
  3. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    Thanks Dandelion. It's nice to know that someone agrees with my feelings that it's ok to back away.

    As for suggesting to her to find someone else, the thing is, she doesn't wanna have to PAY anyone. What she's looking for is someone to do it for free. She knows that no one is going to want to do it for what she wants to pay, which is like 2 dollars an hour if even that. To pay for someone to baby sit while she works would almost eat up all the money she makes while working, so it'd make it pointless. Good suggestion tho!
     
  4. BobbinBecca

    BobbinBecca Member

    What! This girl may not have book smarts but she is slick... knows how to manipulate. My sister has the arrangement you don't want to have with your friend with my parents, they babysit for her all the time for free and she acts like it's her right. Your friend should be on welfare, or get less pay to bring her child to the same day car center, or both. What you should be helping her to do is become self-sufficient as a long term goal, not enable her manipulative and self-pitying behavior. It sounds like if you make her your enemy one more time it won't last too long, and may be for the better.

    Anyway, my 2 cents and I'd love to be your friend, you sound like an excellent one, she don't respect what she got!

    Becca
     
  5. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    She sounds like a spoiled little brat. One of those people that have to fall on her face before she realizes "Hmm, maybe I should grow up." Daycare is expensive, but not impossible. I was a single mom, living on my own, working full time in a restaurant and paid a babysitter $80/week. I know it would be hard to do, but you cannot help her anymore. It is just enabling her to be dependant on others. She needs to grow up, take care of her own problems for a change. She lives with her parents, how many bills can she have? She can get public assistance, food stamps, etc. And she works in a day care! You have to let her go and let her make some mistakes.
     
  6. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    That's what I wanna do, I am just not sure HOW.
     
  7. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    I know, it's gotta be hard without seeming like a super-bitch. Sit down with her, have a frank conversation with her. She needs to understand that the world is not her for just her. Tell her you are tired of being taken advantage of. Tell her you cannot under any circumstances babysit. It is cutting into your family's time. Help her come up with alternatives so it doesn't seem like you are dropping her.
     
  8. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    I thought about doing that.. but it is impossible to have a serious conversation with her. Can you believe that in 8 or 9 years of friendship, we've had maybe 2 or 3 serious conversations? And they went sour because she avoids them like the plague.

    She's not one to really take any responsibility for herself or what she says... she goes with whatever suits her best in each situation. She would just agree with everything I say or go the other direction and become a mega-bitch herself, acting like it's a federal crime to say anything negative to her. She would act like everything I said was a lie and then go tell everyone more real lies about me... etc..

    I DID try to help her come up with alternatives but she got really mean and shot every one of them down, acting like I was stupid for not already knowing why they wouldn't work and even bringing them up.

    Geez, the more I write about her the more I realize what a crappy friend she really is... I just never paid attention to that before. The easiest and least sticky route would be for me to just cut myself off from her... distancing myself little by little and sorta disappearing and making myself unavailable. I don't wanna like, give up on her... but I think she is truly beyond any help I could give her, other than to distance myself so she's forced to grow up somehow.

    I just feel like I am abandoning her child. I know it's not my responsibility, but, I feel like I am the only hope that child ever has of having some kind of stability and normalcy in her life... my friend's entire family is just like her or worse. I don't know much about the father, other than he's a flake too. I feel like I am abandoning some human responsibility to help someone that I can.. to help the child... but I feel like I have to pick between myself or the kid. I feel selfish if I pick myself but I know it is unhealthy to go through what I would have to in order to help the kid. Maybe i just have to cut my losses in this area.

    Long story short, I have tried to help my friend directly in the ways that have been suggested... Now with the kid in her life, it's probably going to be either I drop the friendship altogether or continue allowing myself to be taken advantage of, because that is all she will be doing now.

    I guess I've made the decision to drop the friendship... and thanks to this thread I've figured out the best way for all involved (just gradually taper off but still offer encouragement for her to grow up if I can)...

    The hard thing is dealing with the guilty feelings because I feel like I am abandoning the child. So far all who've posted agree that I need to break free, and that helps a lot... It feels like the right thing to do... but I feel intensely guilty. I guess I just need more reassurance that I'm doing the right thing despite how guilty I feel for doing it.
     
  9. moominmamma

    moominmamma Member

    Bree, you are so doing the right thing in re-evaluating this friendship.

    It's so hard when you don't want to be the "bad guy" I know cos I seem to spend a lot of time running open house for friends and their children. Most of the time its great but there is one friend who has really taken advantage of this, and I am currently trying to work out how to deal with this tactfully and still keep in touch with his daughter, who my children enjoy playing with.

    I think if you talk to your friend,( keeping in the back of your mind that if she does overreact and lose her cool, you ain't the loser in this situation) and clearly offer a time of your suiting when you will babysit then you have done your best and it's up to her how she takes it.

    I'd also bear in mind that althought you are fretting about hurting her feelings, she doesn't seem to have taken yours into account at all.
     
  10. Butterflygal

    Butterflygal Member

    Bree, I would do the same thing. There are some things you cannot change in this world but at least you can go on knowing that you tried. That makes you a good person for even trying that long to help a person. There is NOTHING wrong with putting urself ahead of others. We need to do that to make sure we are happy and if we're not happy, then we cannot make others happy, right?
     
  11. Applespark

    Applespark Ingredients:*Sugar*

    Yu know it isn't your fault she is in this situation and it wont be your fault if she is fired. She is walking on you and if you continue to let her walk on you and use you she will. If she is really in need she will find someone else if it's that important. But you have to be grounded and just tell her you have a lot to do and deal with and cannot handle her child right now for her..it would be too much for you. And you have otehr obligations. That's all there is to it. I know it sounds mean but thats the way it is. And as a mother if I really need a babysitter I can find one. And yu know sometimes you ahve to pay a babysitter..people are worth being payed for their time. She does not work for free why should you.
     
  12. serenity

    serenity Member

    Bree it sounds like your a great person to try to help her out but some people are beyound help. I'm 21 just maried (4 months) with a 3 month old, my mom babysitts for me whill im at work but i dont take advantage of it she only keeps her when she can if not i find altntive means. tell you so called "friend" that she has family get them to help or ask the dad for more money for a babysitter that you are nolonget avalble to be her persnal slave aka babysitter.
     
  13. Sunburst

    Sunburst Fairy

    Pff! I'de have a restraining order on her...
     
  14. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    LOL, well I've been avoiding her for the last week or so and it's been working pretty good, until I accidentally signed in messenger where she could see me. Less than 5 minutes into the conversation, she's guilted me into taking her and the kid to the kid's Dr. appointment tomorrow. :eek: Why did I say yes? I have no clue. I knew better. Next time I'll try harder.

    I'll get the hang of this at some point.

    Today REALLY showed me even more so that I need to stop being friends with her cuz she really isn't my friend in the first place.. I mean geez we don't talk for over a week and not only that she said "I didn't notice you were gone" etc... Blah...
     
  15. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    Aww, sweetie, you are too good for your own good! It's a shame how people think the world owes them. And these people always seem to find super-nice people to take advantage of. Keep us posted how things go.
     
  16. MamaTheLama

    MamaTheLama Too much coffee

    hmm

    Poor kid.

    Of course you know what freaked me out the most about this post?
    That anyone seemingly that unstable is working with other people's kids in a daycare every day.
    Good childcare is a bitch to find.
     
  17. FunkyPhreshMama

    FunkyPhreshMama Visitor

    i wold offer to take her to social services, if she doesnt make enuff to pay for daycare they may give her asistance and then she woldnt have to continuously ask everyone to babysit, DSS will pay for a huge chunk of the daycare bill and she can take the baby to the best daycare in town if she wants too...............
     
  18. Lilyrayne

    Lilyrayne Chrisppie

    Hmmm well, from what I've SEEN she's good with children... She does hit her dogs occasionally but I don't know if that means she hits children... She just annoys me all around.

    You're right about "poor kid" tho...
     

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