I'm being petty....flame away...... - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-04-2010, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I know I'm being petty. And I do feel bad....but I don't think I feel bad enough to do anything about it.

Here's the deal:

My friend has asked me to give her kid a ride to the high school so he can catch the bus to go to the track meet tomorrow. My son is running for the same high school so I will be taking my kid to the school. She can't (or won't) get her kid there. I will have to go out of my way to pick up her son.

I don't want to. I know it's petty. I can leave earlier to get her son. I just don't want to.





Backstory (if it matters):

My good friend from high school (we are now 40 with kids) works full time. I am a stay at home mom. She has a history of asking me to do things for her kids. She asked once when her day care was closed (our kids were all under 6) if I would watch her kids for the holiday so she could work. I had a family portrait scheduled that day for my three kids, hubby and me. My kids at the time were 3, 4 and 6. Her two boys were 1 and 5. I didn't have the confidence or nerve to say no. She knew I had the portrait scheduled. I took her kids to the portrait. She has never offered to pay for any sitting I did back then. After this incident I rudely let her know that I was a busy person and couldn't be her sitter.

About a year or two later, she needed somewhere for her oldest and asked if he could come over and 'hang out with ds'. I know I know.... I sound petty - but our sons aren't friends and she has never reciprocated any 'play date'.....

Anyway, we are friends and we do hang out occassionally. We talk on the phone on a regular basis. I care about her as a friend and enjoy her company. As parents - we are complete opposites. She has consistently made hurtful comments about stay at home moms for YEARS (I plop my kids in front of the TV - I don't do anything - the list is endless). We parent differently. She cusses at her kids and calls them names.

Fast forward to tomorrow and our boys are 15 and 16. I am so sick of her asking me to do crap for her. I have searched my heart. I am upset with myself for being hateful. But I guess bottom line is that I am sick to death of her asking me to fill in for her. To invest the time and energy in her kid when she won't. And it's making me feel like crap.

Okay - there. I vented.

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Old 03-05-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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I completely understand the petiness....... (HUGS)

But you might want to look at things differently. She can't or won't is more likely to hurt the child.

It took my dh until this year why I give kids rides to things even if I couldn't stand the parents or child. He was amazed at how many kids were walking in weather they should have been. One boy, swimming got him a scholorship. For this it sport wasn't a matter of "fun" it meant a whole heck of a lot more!

Our girl scout leader and mom talk about this. Grandma regretts she didn't, especially when she knew she could. The girl scout leader resents her mom didn't and missed scholarship and opportunities because she knew she might not get a ride home of have to walk way to far (5 miles at night can be to far).
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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I don't think you're being petty. I would be really irritated with your "friend" too. But if her son is polite and appreciative I would probably give him a ride. Like Marsupialmom said, it would hurt her kid more than her if you say no. Not that you are responsible for her son, but growing up I was the kid who always needed a ride. My mom didn't drive and my dad refused to drive us anywhere out of laziness. It was so embarassing having to bum rides off friends' parents all the time, especially when they would know that my dad wasn't out-of-town for work and was sitting on his ass at home. But none of the parents ever made me feel bad, and I would have missed out on a lot if it wasn't for their kindness.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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If you had a "legitimate" reason for not giving the kid a ride (weren't going to the meet, had another appt, etc), then I would say absolutely, say no, and don't feel bad for one second.

You know, even if you don't have a "legitimate" reason to say no, you certainly have a right to and I don't think anyone who read your story would begrudge you that.

But I agree with the PPs. If there is a way that you could reframe this and make it more about a young man who needs a hand- he may not get much support at home (after all, he is cussed at by his own mother), and this sports event may mean a lot to him- I think it would be awesome if you could step up.

I believe in karma. Doing stuff like this.. maybe even with a glad heart... will pay you back 10 times over.

P.S. I would love to see your pics from that portrait session when the neighbor kids tagged along. Did you look like this: ?? Or was it more like this: ? tee hee

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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Can't her son ride his bike over to your place so that you can just leave at your normal time? If you're doing him a favour it shouldn't inconvenience you...

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Old 03-05-2010, 04:33 AM
 
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I don't think you're being petty. I also don't think that you're really mad at your friend, but rather mad at yourself for not being able to say no. Because I'm the same way I let people walk all over me, until I'm so boiling mad that I blow up. I think this time, you should do it, but in the future say no every once in a while. A lot of people seriously have NO idea what stay-at-home mothers do all day, or the sacrifices that we make to stay home with our children, not someone else's.

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Old 03-05-2010, 05:25 AM
 
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I agree with PP- you shouldn't need to go out of your way repeatedly to do her a favor. I'd let her know next time that you're more than willing to give her son a ride, but that she'll need to get him to your house and pick him up afterward- let her know that you just don't have time in your schedule to pick him up and drop him off.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ramama View Post
I don't think you're being petty. I also don't think that you're really mad at your friend, but rather mad at yourself for not being able to say no. Because I'm the same way I let people walk all over me, until I'm so boiling mad that I blow up. I think this time, you should do it, but in the future say no every once in a while. A lot of people seriously have NO idea what stay-at-home mothers do all day, or the sacrifices that we make to stay home with our children, not someone else's.
Yes, I do the same thing.

I sympathize. I picked my daughter's friend up after school for a couple of tense years. I'm friends with the mom but I'm highly irritated by the daughter.

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Originally Posted by feminist~mama View Post
I agree with PP- you shouldn't need to go out of your way repeatedly to do her a favor. I'd let her know next time that you're more than willing to give her son a ride, but that she'll need to get him to your house and pick him up afterward- let her know that you just don't have time in your schedule to pick him up and drop him off.
Agreed.

To the OP, I'll just add that these boys are 15 and 16 y.o. It's going to be over FOREVER very soon now. They're almost done. The next three years are going to fly by and then you won't necessarily be carting boys around anymore. They'll be men and on their own. And it might just be bittersweet for you.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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How about talking to your friend about your feelings?

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fiorio View Post
I don't think you're being petty. I would be really irritated with your "friend" too. But if her son is polite and appreciative I would probably give him a ride. Like Marsupialmom said, it would hurt her kid more than her if you say no. Not that you are responsible for her son, but growing up I was the kid who always needed a ride. My mom didn't drive and my dad refused to drive us anywhere out of laziness. It was so embarassing having to bum rides off friends' parents all the time, especially when they would know that my dad wasn't out-of-town for work and was sitting on his ass at home. But none of the parents ever made me feel bad, and I would have missed out on a lot if it wasn't for their kindness.
Yes!

My mom had to work at a job with a strict schedule. I couldn't do many activities in school because I just had no way to get there. I missed out on a lot.

I will forever be thankful to the mom of a friend (not even a close friend) who picked me up every single day for driver's ed. Without her I wouldn't have been able to take it at all. She didn't know my mom and looking back, it was out of her way to get me. But she did it.

Just another perspective.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Good Morning!

Awwwww - you guys are so sweet! Thanks for the helpful words. I am still so conflicted. I hate that I feel this way and that I am constantly dealing with this. I really think I would feel better if my friend was more appreciative and thankful. She really does act very entitled. It's frustrating. But see - then that opens up another entire line of thinking, like why am I doing this if I expect something in return..... YKWIM?

FWIW - she doesn't have a strict schedule. And her husband refuses to do any running around of the kids. I know she is overwhelmed and frustrated - but she is so rude and expectant. She never says thank you and will actually complain to me about those parents who are unwilling to give her kid rides. Her son plays soccer and runs track/cross country.

I would like to talk to my friend - but we have had arguements in the past over this sort of thing. It doesn't go well. Several years ago our kids were training for a cross country event. The season was over but there were still meets coming up that were national and regional meets. Since the coach couldn't continue the training, a group of parents agreed to step in and facilitate the training. I sent out an email and basically said that if your kid was going to continue training after school, you would need to get in on the schedule to come out and stay at the school while the kids trained. This worked out to be about one hour, every 10 days. She refused to do it. She was furious that the parents would not allow her kid to participate unless she was willing to help. The funny thing is, she was willing to pick him up at 5:00 but couldn't get there an hour earlier to do her share on her day. We had words over that. BTW - she works for herself. She has a set schedule from 9 am - 2 pm Mon - Thurs. She is very flexible.

My dh suggested that her ds ride his bike over too - but that would just punish the kid. I'll probably just do it and suck it up again.

I have thought about this a lot. I know that I am feeling put upon and that I resent having my boundaries ignored. I guess I need to work out inside myself if I think my boundaries are reasonable.

But really, I did appreciate hearing the kind words. I actually have a knot in my stomach over this!!!!! Crazy huh!??!

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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For me too, the old incidents would give me a lot of hard feelings over doing things in the future. I was just going to suggest - if you're comfortable enough with her ds - let HIM know that HE can call and ask you for rides to track events he and your ds are going to in the future. It might avoid some of your feelings about her and is something reasonable for a 15 year old to do anyway (find his own way there).

Don't feel bad saying no to things, though. Even if the reasoning is 'I just can't handle this at the time' that's a valid reason not to do something.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Yes!

My mom had to work at a job with a strict schedule. I couldn't do many activities in school because I just had no way to get there. I missed out on a lot.

I will forever be thankful to the mom of a friend (not even a close friend) who picked me up every single day for driver's ed. Without her I wouldn't have been able to take it at all. She didn't know my mom and looking back, it was out of her way to get me. But she did it.

Just another perspective.
This is the perspective that I am working under today. He is great kid and I like him a lot. Very humble kid, who makes straight A's and is quiet and friendly. Also, since our boys have gotten older - they enjoy each others company when they are thrown together by the parents.

Eh - so anyway - I texted her and told her I would pick him up. And she did thank me. To make matters even more sticky - she (and hubby) is very competitive about our boys and makes A LOT of comments about how her son is faster and will beat mine......

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Old 03-05-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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If her ds is cool, tell him if he can get to your house you'll give him rides to meets.

And end this "friendship" she's not even trying to be a friend to you.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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You sound like you are hanging onto a lot of REALLY old stuff. Your kids are 16 and you are remembering a portrait session from when they were under 5 and some other incident "a few years later?" How long do you want to hang onto those feelings? Have they done their job yet and forced you to confront some things? Then let them go and move on.

If you feel used and like she is ungrateful, it's really better to be honest with yourself and her and say how far you are willing to go.

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Old 03-05-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Belia View Post
If you had a "legitimate" reason for not giving the kid a ride (weren't going to the meet, had another appt, etc), then I would say absolutely, say no, and don't feel bad for one second.

You know, even if you don't have a "legitimate" reason to say no, you certainly have a right to and I don't think anyone who read your story would begrudge you that.

But I agree with the PPs. If there is a way that you could reframe this and make it more about a young man who needs a hand- he may not get much support at home (after all, he is cussed at by his own mother), and this sports event may mean a lot to him- I think it would be awesome if you could step up.

I believe in karma. Doing stuff like this.. maybe even with a glad heart... will pay you back 10 times over.
Great advice.

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You sound like you are hanging onto a lot of REALLY old stuff. Your kids are 16 and you are remembering a portrait session from when they were under 5 and some other incident "a few years later?" How long do you want to hang onto those feelings? Have they done their job yet and forced you to confront some things? Then let them go and move on.

If you feel used and like she is ungrateful, it's really better to be honest with yourself and her and say how far you are willing to go.
:

If you do actually talk, then say something along the lines of, "You know I'd be happier to help if you would show appreciation/thanks/gratitude. A sincere thank you or a lunch out would go miles toward making me feel willing to do more stuff in the future."
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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You sound like you are hanging onto a lot of REALLY old stuff. Your kids are 16 and you are remembering a portrait session from when they were under 5 and some other incident "a few years later?" How long do you want to hang onto those feelings? Have they done their job yet and forced you to confront some things? Then let them go and move on.

If you feel used and like she is ungrateful, it's really better to be honest with yourself and her and say how far you are willing to go.
I'm glad you pointed this out.... It has given me more food for thought...

I really mentioned those specific instances because I was trying to convey how unbalanced our 'helping' each other has been in the past. I thought that mentioning how she asked me to babysit her kids knowing that I was having a family portrait made showed how insensitive she can be about other people's lives.

But I do get your point. And I like this:
Quote:
If you feel used and like she is ungrateful, it's really better to be honest with yourself and her and say how far you are willing to go
She did thank me via text today. That's a first.

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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Ask her for $20 in gas money and your time, and see what her response is.

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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If her ds is cool, tell him if he can get to your house you'll give him rides to meets.
He is a cool kid. He can't get to my house though.

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And end this "friendship" she's not even trying to be a friend to you.
That smarts. But it rings true. I do care about her and have been friends a long time. We are a good support system for each other in that we can vent about the hubby and teenagers. We are old high school friends. But really - it is sort of one sided. I mean she'll listen to me vent about something - but she doesn't do a lot for me and the family. I suppose she really is a taker/user..... Hmmmmmm....

You know what else!?!!? My husband says this to me often.

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Ask her for $20 in gas money and your time, and see what her response is.

Liz

oh my - that's great!!!!

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Why do you call this woman a "friend" when you clearly don't really like her?

I can't imagine holding on to perceived slights that happened 15 years ago as justification for not helping a friend.

If you don't want to help her don't but, honestly, it's time to let go and move on.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I also was surprised to see incidents from so long ago being brought up -- I was thinking, "So, once incident happened about 10 years ago, and another incident happened about 8 years ago -- okay...", but as I read on and saw that she regularly makes rude comments about SAHMs, is competitive with your kids, etc., I got a better picture of what she's like.

To me, this driving incident isn't a big deal since you're going there anyway, but I'd definitely have a talk with her about her hurtful words. In my world, friends don't belittle each other or constantly make each other feel bad -- someone who talked to me the way you described wouldn't be my friend anymore if she wasn't willing to take a good look at her behavior.

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Old 03-05-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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The woman (and her dh!) sounds like a piece of work. It sounds like the son is appreciative, however, and I am so glad that he's got someone like you who can help him do these extracurricular activities. He is getting to see what an involved parent does, which will hopefully impact how he parents his future children. I would have a hard time shrugging off her ungrateful attitude and crappy competitive remarks, but perhaps focusing on the positives of what you are doing for this boy can help ease that sting?
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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Without reading other posts...

Doesn't sound like a friend I'd like to keep. It sounds like you have kids in common, and that's it. She regularly puts down stay at home moms?? Do you go around criticizing what she does for a living? TO HER FACE?

I have BTDT. I tried and tried to be friends with a girl from high school (didn't care for her much then) but we were in the hospital having a baby at the same time. I tried to invite her over, meet her out, etc., but she works FT and I SAH. I have had to give up on that relationship because we did not share any ideals or goals, and literally the only thing we had in common was kids and high school.

So back to the original reason for your post, I'd take her kid IF my kid was friends with hers and they were going to the same place. Both conditions would have to be met, sorry.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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If she has the gall to ask you forever for favors, I'd ask her for $.

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Originally Posted by dachshundqueen View Post
Ask her for $20 in gas money and your time, and see what her response is.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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I would ask her to drop off her son at your house before she works.

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