‘My friend stealthily got free childcare from me – I’m so annoyed with her’

A woman was left miffed after she found out her friends intention was to use her for childcare, rather than to go for coffee and catch up – but she hoped there had been crossed wires

woman with two kids
The woman wasn’t happy that her friend had duped her into free childcare (Stock Image)

Usually, if you’re at a loose end and your friend asks you to do them a favour, you’ll be more than happy to oblige – even if it includes looking after their children. But when someone frames it in a sneaky way and you find out you’ll be providing childcare for them, free of charge, without proper consent, you’d probably be rather annoyed.

That’s what happened to one woman, and she took to Mumsnet to explain that she felt duped by her friend when she made out that they were going for a get-together, but instead she ended up looking after their child, and she didn’t know whether it was done on purpose, or was just crossed wires.

The woman was left baffled at the message from her pal (Stock Image)


Getty Images)

She wrote: “One of my friends messaged me yesterday saying her child has asked if we’ll be seeing my same-age child during the holidays (the children are also friends) and should we arrange a get-together for tomorrow. I said yes and suggested a local place we all like where we can get a coffee/hot chocolate and go for a walk. Friend agreed that would be great.

“She messaged again today to check everything is still okay for tomorrow and would it be easier to meet there or meet at my house. I said we could meet at mine if she liked and have lunch here before heading out. Friend said that sounds lovely but she won’t have time for lunch as she’s at work tomorrow afternoon so will just be dropping her child off on her way there.

“Nothing in her previous messages gives any hint that it would be me looking after her child, I genuinely thought we were all going. I don’t know if she’s done it on purpose or if it’s been crossed wires, she is a good friend (coming up 20 years) but she does have form for being more than a bit disorganised so I wouldn’t put it past her to have left it too late to sort childcare for tomorrow and to have resorted to this instead.

“While her child and my same-age child get along, her child is generally less tolerant of my other child. They are very similar in personality so they get along initially but then they start to clash and repeatedly fall out. I know for a fact that friends child being here all afternoon and into the early evening will be a trigger point and that I’m going to be constantly refereeing by mid-afternoon.

“My other child is neurodiverse and will react massively to what they view as unfairness because they just want to join in and don’t always recognise when they’re not wanted so I’ll also have to be managing them/their interactions and intervening accordingly.

“I know I’m not being unreasonable to feel annoyed but how do I ask her if she did this on purpose or if it was a genuine misunderstanding without causing an upset? And if I do go ahead ( if ) how do I tell her that she needs to have words with her child first about tolerating my other child? She knows I already have enough on my plate with my own children never mind accumulating extras.”

Someone suggested that the mum had various options, and it was completely her choice which one she opted for.

They wrote: “Option 1: I wouldn’t ask. I’d say ‘sorry, I thought you’d be there too, having all the children on my own doesn’t work for me so let’s postpone getting together tomorrow and arrange a meeting when we can all catch up properly another day’.

“Option 2: I’d ask. “I thought you were coming too”? Then let it hang… see what she says.

“Option 3: do nothing but seethe that your boundaries have been crossed.”

Another said: “Friend might be doing the sucking but you don’t have to be sucked into doing anything you don’t want to. Fine fences make for good neighbours but you need to build your fences.”

Someone else suggested: “Just say ‘let’s go earlier then, so you can fit it in before going to work as I also have an appointment in the afternoon’. Cheeky mare.”

What would you do in this situation? Let us know in the comments.

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

Facebook Comments Box

Hits: 0