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I need advice from ATS parents!

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posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:34 AM
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I've been babysitting for some friends for about 8 months now. I only agreed to babysit for them because they couldn't find anyone else on short notice and also couldn't afford a day care. So... being the nice person that I am, I said I would. ( I get the feeling that their last sitter quit for the very reasons I am about to tell you)

At first I think I was WAYYY to lenient about what days and times I was available. The situations would play out like this. I watched him Monday and Tuesday, supposed to have him Wednesday but then I would get a text saying that he wasn't coming, but could he come Thursday. I would say yes, that's fine even if I didn't really want to or could. Another would go like this... I watched him Monday, but Tuesday I would get a text that would read " I am just too tired to bring him, can you come pick him up?" or... could I bring him at 11 or 2 or some other time and of course I would say "Sure!" that's fine. Well, obviously after a while that got old. I have three of my own kids, and seeing as it's summer they didn't want to spend all their time at home because mom has to babysit.

So, I made them pick the three days they needed me and to keep it that way. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, that went well for awhile, but she kept on with the "can you come get him, I'm too tired", and the "can I bring him later crap" and even not telling me he wasn't coming at all until noon that day, after I waited around.

On Monday I waited around for him to show up, I got a text from her at 10 telling me that she didn't know what time she would be bringing him. So I texted back and told her to let me know if he was coming or not because I had somethings I could be doing. She is known for telling me she will bring him at 1pm and then at 1pm not show up and text me that she is just going to keep him instead. So here I am waiting around half a day for him, and then he not show up anyway...

Should I make them bring him at a set time, on the set days period, no exceptions? For example, 9am or not at all. Since school is about to start and I am going to have to drive one of my kids, I think I have a right to make those types of rules. BUT, I really don't want to make these people mad at me, as I like the extra couple of bucks I make, and even that is a whole other situation in itself.

Should I make a set time? Should I make them pay me for all three days in advance whether he comes or not? OR should I just tell them to buzz off? Please help!




posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:39 AM
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Of course you should make them bring him at a set time.. It sounds to me like they are taking advantage of you..



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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Hello Doormat---may I wipe my feet?

Tell them to buzz off--they sound like lazy jerks..sorry but IMO it's not worth the hassle or the money. I hate people like that..the world must revolve around them!



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


Hi,

Do they pay you? If they do, tell them you want a set time. If they don't, then stuff them and tell them to get a new sitter. Seriously - they are taking the p*** big time.

I have two daughters. My choice to have them, my responsibility to look after them. Obviously, this also involves relying on others (to an extent). The point is though that is their responsibility to get the child to you and their responsibility to ensure the child is on time ( i realise this isn't always possible, due to heavy traffic, etc) or to at least ring and say "hi, we are running slightly late".

Honestly, they are so out of order i cannot believe you are still sitting for them! On the other hand, you sound like a totally lovely person. You don't live near me do you? Could do with a sitter this weekend...........


ETA:

Scratch that, noticed you are in the Appalachians............unless you fancy swimming to Britain first?

edit on 8-8-2012 by Flavian because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


Your friends are very fortunate to have you. You are a marvelous friend!

Here is what I think you should do. Draw up a very detailed written contract; the days and times you can sit for them; and that they must be on time; if they are not...you mat not be there that day. Have both husbands present as witnesses; and all will sign and have copies. Drive the point home they must stick to it; and not try to take excess advantage of you because of the friendship.

I feel a lot of compassion for the child involved; children need and want a steady routine; they feel more safe, loved and secure that way.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:53 AM
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Sounds like you are just one, in a long line of people they have *preyed* upon, and used up.

You've earned your Karma brownie points. Time to cut them loose, so they can deal with their own Karma. By you continuing to be a door mat for them, you are standing in the way of them learning some lessons in parental responsibility.

Do them, and yourself a favor. Tell them YOUR VALUABLE TIME, is no longer available. You owe them no other explanation.

Good Luck Sweetie....

Des



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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Well, it is a difficult situation it sounds like. Does the mother have a health condition you know about? Does she drink or do drugs? I would agree with some of the other posters that you need to set time limits and boundaries...You are a mother and cannot live around her schedule. You need to stop being so nice; in a nice way of course
Good Luck!
edit on 8-8-2012 by Starwise because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


Nothing wrong with being a nice person. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

I agree with the other members you need to put your foot down.

One thing that stands out in your post is when you said your own children are suffering.

You should tell your friend what days and times you're available to babysit if the schedule doesn't meet her needs then she will just have to find somebody else to watch her child.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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OP..the main question you should be asking yourself is how much of a difference you are making in that childs life.

Sounds like this kid has some parents who are a bit of the deadbeat kind, and writing out a contract might not change them.

Having a good ol' heart to heart with them might make them respect your scheduling more, and prompt them to be more consistent, but if it doesn't..is it something you can live with?

Obviously your kids enjoy having this child there, and he/she enjoys the company of other children. Their child does not choose how the parents behave, so perhaps it is best not to punish the child for the mistakes of the parents, and let some things go, for the sake of that child having a few happy days in the company of other children.

You can't change adults, though you may make them see more clearly what is expected of them. What is important in this equation is the children. Yours and theirs, and how important it is to them to have play days together, while they still can, because kids do grow up fast.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by LittleVoice731
I've been babysitting for some friends for about 8 months now.


A true friend would not take advantage of you and would think about you and your life sometimes.

You need to set some rules perhaps.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Thank so much to everyone who has already replied! I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of things to think about. I am too nice most of the time, and I find it hard to be "mean" when the situation calls for it. That is a whole other thread in itself, lol!



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by LittleVoice731
Thank so much to everyone who has already replied! I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of things to think about. I am too nice most of the time, and I find it hard to be "mean" when the situation calls for it. That is a whole other thread in itself, lol!


It would not be mean at all to set priorities.You have children and a life of your own. Your friend should understand that.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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Since school is ALMOST starting, I have a different solution.

Don't do anything this year. Finish out summer break as if nothing has happened.

After school starts, and if they need your services again, tell them flat out you need to make a few changes to the routine. The changes being the things bothering you about the situation. That way, you finish out summer break, and have the time to note (yes, use paper or your computer to note them) all the changes you'd like.

This way, you are not causing a scene, you are simply buying more time to get your thoughts in order, you avoid a direct confrontation, and have the best possible outcome for both parties involved.

Less than three weeks to note down all the changes you want? Sure you can do that.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


It sounds like you are putting more effort into the situation than they are. Stop babysitting for them altogether or demand the money in advance. If it were me, I would stop altogether, let children services end up on her doorstep...this "I'm too tired crap" doesn't fly when it comes to talking care of your children...you find the strength. Honestly, sounds like momma is on drugs.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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We really don't know all the details to this arrangement, and I sort of feel bad about giving advice without knowing what the other parents expected or why they are even sending their child to you in the first place?

Are they trying to help you out with cash, because it doesn't seem like the child needs care, and is it just a diversion for the child to have some play time with other kids?

If they are doing you a favor so you can have a few extra dollars, and providing company that your children enjoy, who is the real winner here ?

I think giving them specific times that are suitable, and also letting them know you can't pick up the child is reasonable. If they choose to not have you babysit because of certain reasons, that is their choice to make.




edit on 8-8-2012 by WhisperingWinds because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


Wow, you sound a bit like me. It's hard to be assertive when you want to truly help and not burn bridges or hurt feelings.

My wife and I use her parents for day care and we are kind of like those parents. My wife sometimes doesn't tell them until right before when we need them and often cancel and decide to keep her (I admit that I also do this and feel bad every time). I try to explain to her that telling her mom that she can take the day off 10 minutes before we would have normally brought her doesn't really help her too much... she could have made plans, you know?

Anyway, I've discussed this with my wife and she agreed to make a concrete schedule and to still compensate her mom even if we cancel.

I think that's what you might have some success with.

- Ask for a concrete schedule
- Tell them that if they are late, you won't be available because you will make plans
- Also, make it clear that if they cancel, you still expect compensation

What they seem to be treating you like is an on-call employee. They may not even realize it (being a parent sometimes shifts your empathetic priorities). Once you explain to them how inconvenient it is for you to plan your entire day around something that gets cancelled, they may just say "Oh crap, I'm so sorry. You are right, we didn't even realize".

Seriously, people aren't normally willfully inconsiderate; they just need to be shown what their actions are doing to other people.

Good luck!



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by LittleVoice731
 


Should I make a set time? Should I make them pay me for all three days in advance whether he comes or not? OR should I just tell them to buzz off? Please help!

I raised two children with both parents working, so I speak from experience. My advice to you is put your foot down to them. You are a proven asset, you have put in the hours to prove that to them. Trust should not be an issue. Tell them you have a life too, and they will, from now on, make an appointment ahead of time if they need your services. And if a solid appointment is made, you get paid, whether you have to perform or not.
I once has a babysitter lay down this very law for me, and it opened my eyes to the fact we were talking advantage of her.
Summon up your inner power, go over there, and have a little chat with them.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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Just to give an update. The little guy was picked up tonight, and I laid down my new ground rules. Needless to say when his mother got wind, she decided that she didn't need me anymore and is going to have her disabled mother keep him instead. All because I wanted a set time for drop off, or rather I wasn't going to lay down and be walked on anymore....

The worst part is that the child's dad knows that she takes advantage of people, and knew she was doing it to me. Uggg, I hate people sometimes.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by LittleVoice731
Just to give an update. The little guy was picked up tonight, and I laid down my new ground rules. Needless to say when his mother got wind, she decided that she didn't need me anymore and is going to have her disabled mother keep him instead. All because I wanted a set time for drop off, or rather I wasn't going to lay down and be walked on anymore....

The worst part is that the child's dad knows that she takes advantage of people, and knew she was doing it to me. Uggg, I hate people sometimes.


Good for you for laying down the ground rules. That is what any respectable person would do, and she is the one with issues obviously, which is unfortunate for the child.

You did the right thing, no matter how it turned out, because you have your self respect, and you taught your children a valuable lesson about drawing a line for what is acceptable, in friendships and in business.



posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by WhisperingWinds
 


Thanks! Doing this thread made me feel a lot better about my choice, and that I really needed to do it. I have never been good at standing my ground, and I never want people to be mad at me, but I so relived by the turn of events. Like a weight was lifted. I should put my foot down more often!




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