I think it's rude, my friend doesn't - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-12-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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I think this is totally a matter of personalities and the level of closeness. If you could call someone in the middle of the night, why would the same friend not want to help with your kid, also.

 

I think it is important to have the right expectations. I have a friend with 3 little ones (a very SN 4 yo, 2 yo and newborn) and I have sometimes gone to her house to help her. You know, just to keep company to the 2 yo so the mom can help the older child, nurse the baby, etc. The 2 yo has also spent a couple of days at our place. There is a clear understanding that I do not need her to babysit for me (and she could not, really, anyway, as she has her hands full). I am happy to help her as they are close friends and they really need the help. Also, it is not so often that it would really disrupt my life in any big way. She simply cannot take the 2 yo to a whole day appointment in the hospital, already taking the baby and the 4 yo. However, the difference is that my friend is very thankful every time and would never try to push anything on me. Also, they often invite us for dinner, etc., and all gettogethers take place in their home. So it is a weird arrangement but works really well for us due to the type of friendship we have.


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Old 11-12-2010, 04:17 AM
 
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But in the meantime, I'll try to push aside my own fears of being rude, and ask her to watch ds1 when it would be helpful.



And it might be a good idea to do this so that she better understands.  If she's clueless, then you putting her in your shoes might make her more aware that it can be inconvenient or even impossible at times.  I'm not saying to purposely put her in a tight spot, but if you do let her watch your dc, then she may see where she has been putting you all this time. In general, like others have said, if she's really a FRIEND, then it's not rude.  It's good that you're looking at your relationship with her as well.  Good luck!

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Old 11-12-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LessTraveledBy View Post

I think this is totally a matter of personalities and the level of closeness. If you could call someone in the middle of the night, why would the same friend not want to help with your kid, also.


This, totally. I have a friend/neighbor who knows she can call me any time - day or night - and I will do what I can. They have three small children (5 & under), two with special needs, and an elderly/ill mother. And a very hyper dog. She's a SAHM. I work F/T (with very flexible hours), and have older kids (16 & 18). She only asks when other avenues have been exhausted, and always offers to help in any way I may need. I do what I can, even if it means rearranging my schedule, because I know she really needs my help. Even though I know I likely won't have a need when she can reciprocate. But I do know that, in an emergency, she would help me or my kids w/o a second thought. It's what friends do.

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Old 11-12-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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I think the situation you described above is rude. I don't think it is rude if it is for something like a doc appt. or if it is reciprocated. Like if you say I will take your kid on MOnday afternoons and you take mine on Thursdays. THen you ewach have some time to do things like grocery shopping for example, without kids (or at least with one less). But when people have guests and to not take a hint like we are about to each lunch is rude. You also need to start saying no though.


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Old 11-12-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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I don't think it's rude to ask, but I do think that when you said you had company she should have immediately said ok and taken her dc with her. Now if she was going to get her wisdom teeth pulled or seomthing, maybe I can understand her begging you a bit (not that that makes it any easier for you!) but not just for grocery shopping.

 

also I have a friend who has watched my kids several times for me for free when both SO and I had to work and neither of us could call out. In return she knows  I am always willing to watch her kids (and back in the day before I had kids I used to babysit for her all the time, usually paid). I value her friendship tremendously because she is this way. She even took an hour of sick leave once to leave HER job early to watch my kids so I wouldn't get fired. she has called me beofre and asked me to swing by the house to check on her kids if she is running late from work, or to come over and watch the younger kids while she takes the older one somewhere.

 

Neither of us has a problem saying no, either. If it doesn't work for our families at that time that's ok and there are no hard feelings.


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Old 11-12-2010, 08:18 AM
 
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I have a friend that I swap childcare with frequently.  We don't keep a tally sheet to make sure we are equal or anything, but I know if I need to do something kid free (or at least with a reduced number of kids, LOL) that I can call her and she knows she can always call me.  Most recently she kept my two older kids (before the baby arrived) while I painted the bathroom and I kept her two older kids while she unpacked from moving (and I offered to keep her toddler too, but she said she could handle him).  I have another friend who has kept my kids several times but never asked me to keep hers as she has lots of family around who love to baby-sit for her (so I don't ask her often since I can't really return the favor).  The thought of asking for money or paying each other has never crossed our minds.  Obviously I don't see it as rude, but we are always super understanding and give each other easy outs with no hard feelings attached.


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Old 11-12-2010, 08:27 AM
 
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I don't find it rude.

 

But I also have friends who are offended at my offers to pay when they do watch my child.

 

I have no family near and many of my friends do have family near by. So while they watch my child in a pinch they don't call on me as often to do so because they have grandparents and siblings who they call first. I try to make sure to let them know how much I appreciate it. I did recently get a nice gift for a friend who frequently watches my kids and I don't watch her's near as often.

 

But I'm not offended if they say no they can't do it. I assume if it's a problem or bother's them too much they will politely say they can't do it.


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Old 11-12-2010, 08:49 AM
 
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rude?  I dunno.  Weird?  yes.  My kids just go with me if I'm running errands, and if I have an appointment (not very often) Dh watches them or I call my mom to come visit for a couple days.  That said, if a single mom asked for help, I'd feel a lot less weird about it.  Maybe that's strange in and of itself...


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Old 11-12-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

I'm in the minority I guess, but I DO think it's rude to ask a friend to do any kind of major favor for you (something taking longer than a few minutes) without offering some kind of compensation. That could be reciprocation of childcare, could be payment (whether money or goods), could be offering some kind of service in exchange (help with deep cleaning or a meal or something). But then I was raised in a family culture where you simply don't ask for freebies of any kind and I'd never, ever ask someone to watch my kids without offering something of value in return.

 

--K


See I would find this RUDE. however i also see my friends as family. and they are there to help in times of need. i would be extremely insulted if as a friend you talked about some compensation no matter whatever form that compensation is. (However in your case, if i was a true friend i would understand that's how you feel and how hard it is to go beyond your culturation). 

 

your 'gift' to me is first trusting me with your child (THAT is HUGE) and THEN allowing me to contribute to you to make your life easier. that contribution feeling is the high i get for doing errands or favours for friends. that's WHY i do it. 

 

so for instance you want a ride. it would be HUGE for you getting the ride. but you are shy to ask. and here i am giving you the ride would be NO BIG DEAL at all. none whatsoever. so you ask me - because you have to, and i was sure, i would love to. in return i am honored that you felt comfortable to ask me and that in some small way i do contribute to your happiness. that is HUGE to me. 

 

However in DM's case - its not rude to ask, but EXTREMELY rude to insist.

 

DM i had a friend like yours. ultimately we grew apart. i have done sooo much for her. we rarely see each other. i really feel sad about that because my dd calls her dd's 'sisters' but i had had enough. it took one big incident to do it - when i stood my ground and said no, and she kept insisting saying 'well as a friend you should do it' and i said 'as a friend you should never ask me to do that'. she wants to get together with me but i evade the issue. 

 

with friends i dont feel confident about - even if i know they dont mean it (and no my friend wasnt malicious), i dont like leaving my child there. 


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Old 11-12-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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I honestly think it would be weird if a friend offered to pay me to watch her children. I'd only consider payment if it was an ongoing, regularly scheduled event that approached a home daycare kind of situation.  If it was an occasional favour, I wouldn't ask or expect any kind of compensation. Reciprocation would be nice, if I needed or wanted someone to take my kids for awhile. 

 

I think you have to be careful that you aren't being taken advantage of, but if you are, then it's really up to you to stop it. Set boundaries, say no if it isn't convenient, and ask for return favours if you need them.  However, I can't imagine keeping some kind of accounting of favours and services rendered and compensation received. There's something ungenerous about maintaining a balance sheet of favours between family and friends. It's a recipe for creating guilt and resentment all around. 

 

 

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Old 11-12-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post




See I would find this RUDE. however i also see my friends as family. and they are there to help in times of need. i would be extremely insulted if as a friend you talked about some compensation no matter whatever form that compensation is. (However in your case, if i was a true friend i would understand that's how you feel and how hard it is to go beyond your culturation). 


 

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I would never *ask* for compensation, but I would feel it rude if someone asked for childcare/other major favor without *offering* compensation. Hope that makes more sense. I probably wouldn't accept compensation if it was a one-off and nothing too huge, but the fact that they offered to compensate me for my time tells me that they value my time and effort.

 

Edit:

And that applies to family as well (outside of household members). Just the way I was raised, I guess. Certainly my parents would never ask me for anything, not even a ride, without offering to pay for gas and then some, and I wouldn't ask either without making the offer of payment or reciprocation. Generally we decline each other's compensation, it's more a matter of reassuring the other person that you're not trying to take advantage.

 

--K

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Old 11-12-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post

rude?  I dunno.  Weird?  yes.  My kids just go with me if I'm running errands, and if I have an appointment (not very often) Dh watches them or I call my mom to come visit for a couple days.  That said, if a single mom asked for help, I'd feel a lot less weird about it.  Maybe that's strange in and of itself...


Really?  Asking a friend for help is weird?   I'm not a single mom, but DH works.  I often rely on my friends for help and they rely on me.  And that's what makes us such a strong commnuity of families.  I understand that you like to bring your kids everywhere, but don't they get bored sometimes?  My kids would much rather play at the neighbors house for an hour while I run errands, than to be dragged all over the place with me.  And honestly, my kids are often easier to manage when they have buddies over to play.  I often encourage my friends to go get stuff done while I take their kids.  It helps me as much as it helps them.   

 

Again, I wouldn't ever impose on a friend or neighbor when I knew they had company or had a lot going on (even though they'd probaby insist anyway), as is the case of the OP.   But in our social network, asking for help and swapping childcare is a very accepted part of our friendships.

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Old 11-12-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post


 


 

Sorry if I wasn't clear. I would never *ask* for compensation, but I would feel it rude if someone asked for childcare/other major favor without *offering* compensation. Hope that makes more sense. I probably wouldn't accept compensation if it was a one-off and nothing too huge, but the fact that they offered to compensate me for my time tells me that they value my time and effort.

 

Edit:

And that applies to family as well (outside of household members). Just the way I was raised, I guess. Certainly my parents would never ask me for anything, not even a ride, without offering to pay for gas and then some, and I wouldn't ask either without making the offer of payment or reciprocation. Generally we decline each other's compensation, it's more a matter of reassuring the other person that you're not trying to take advantage.

 

--K


hey no need to apologize. what i was trying to say is that its not you asking - but you offering me compensation for watching your child - yup i would find that rude. to me that's not valuing my friendship. even if it is on a regular basis say once a week. i dont expect reciprocation. i am not watching your child for money you know. 

 

if your intention is trying to avoid looking like you are not trying to take advantage - offering some sort of compensation IMHO is going over the top. 

 

i am not trying to point my finger at you. i am at the complete opposite of you that's why i am trying to share my views on this. we are a bunch of single or student or full time working moms. we always tell each other we are there if they EVER need ANYTHING. we always are willing to watch each others kids when the time arises. we all take turns to even take our kids to things like girl scout, etc. the mom who does not have the car gets helped out the most. just becuase we know. we also just offer when we know there might be a problem. 

 

there is a give and take. sometimes when i am in the take, take, take, mode i talk to my friends about how much they do and how bad i feel i cant do anything in return... they genuinely say my time will come. that really what they are doing for me is not a big deal. in fact they are happy to have my dd there so that she has someone to play with. the same applies to us. 

 

if i ever offered any compensation OMG all hell would break lose. instead when $$$s allow sometimes i take their kids for a treat. icecream. or a picnic. or hiking. i have as much fun as the kids do - esp. if there are younger ones than dd. 

 

so there is this unwritten dynamics of watching kids. 


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Old 11-12-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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I don't think it's rude to ask a friend to watch your kiddo for a little bit. However, if she knew you had company? Then yes, that is rude.

 

If you don't want to watch the kids, just tell her you can't and that you're sorry. Don't give an excuse if you're afraid she'll try to push them off onto you anyways.


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Old 11-12-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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I have a friend locally who needed me to watch her kids when she took some classes. She paid because I was keeping my schedule open for her.

 

I've also watched her kids for one time events, and in exchange she asked me what help I needed. Since dd wasn't at a point where she'd be willing to be left for hours, I asked for help with chores.(I still clean my apartment using her methods. :D)

 

 

Reciprocity doesn't have to take the same form.

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Old 11-12-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I don't think it's rude.  I think it is so odd that people actually think it is rude for friends to ask friends favors without offering to pay for it.

 

Friends do things for friends.  Family does things for family. 

 

I would think it rude for them to ask you to babysit on a regular basis, like daily or weekly, without offering compensation.  But a quick, "Hey, I gotta run to the store, could you watch Jr for a minute?" thing seems exactly what friends do for each other.


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Old 11-12-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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If there's other things going on between you that strain the relationship, then it totally makes sense to me that this would bother you. 

 

I'm one who doesn't think it's inherently rude. But if the situation is totally one-sided, it's easy to feel taken advantage of. I also agree that it seems odd to have someone watch your kids for free when it's something you could have taken them to do. I take my two kids AND the baby I baby-sit(a friend's, but I watch her daughter 45-50 hours a week, so she pays me) grocery shopping. That's just life with kids. 

 

I honestly wish I had a friend that could watch my kids now and again for different things. We also don't live near family and we don't have a real baby-sitter, so DH and I never get out, and I have to take DS2 with me everywhere no matter how inconvenient. I've baby-sat for friends before(not where we live now) and didn't expect payment in return. They were my friends! I was helping them because I could do it. 

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Old 11-12-2010, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To the person who mentioned something about keeping score, I totally don't do that with any of my friends, including this one. I just thought that asking was a bit rude, especially knowing that my grandma was here (she lives 2500 miles away, and was here for just a few days) and after I expressed reservations due to it being lunch time. And this wasn't just a one off situation.

In general, I try to be the "more generous" person- I'd rather be the one to watch someone's child more often than they watch mine. Not so I have something to hold over their head, at all! I just (in general) like to be giving. This friend sort of brings out the worst in me I guess! lol. Once I feel comfortable asking her to watch my ds, it won't matter how often- I'll just feel like the option is always there. That would make it feel more fair to me. kwim?

 

Quote:
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Reading this thread made me think of the ask culture vs. guess culture discussion I read a while back and found really enlightening. It sounds to me like you are a guess-culture person so you expect her to get your hints, and you agonize over having to come out and say no. She is an ask-culture person, and if you just say straight out no, she will probably say "oh, OK" and be about her business. smile.gif



 That sounds about right! I'm saving the article so I can read it when I get more time.



 

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I have a friend just like this - she is very blunt, extroverted and will manipulate the situation to her way whenever she can. There is no evil intent behind it she just can't understand how people cant' think the same way - she doesn't think about how other people would feel, she expects you to be blunt and say how you feel.

I am an introvert and find her pushy and rude as i over think how things would make people feel. 

It has taken time but i am beginning to appreciate her for her strengths and not to be offended, although it does take me a while to process her actions and work out her intentions.

 


yep. Same here!
 

 



Quote:
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Quote:

But in the meantime, I'll try to push aside my own fears of being rude, and ask her to watch ds1 when it would be helpful.



And it might be a good idea to do this so that she better understands.  If she's clueless, then you putting her in your shoes might make her more aware that it can be inconvenient or even impossible at times.  I'm not saying to purposely put her in a tight spot, but if you do let her watch your dc, then she may see where she has been putting you all this time. In general, like others have said, if she's really a FRIEND, then it's not rude.  It's good that you're looking at your relationship with her as well.  Good luck!


Good point! That helps me make my decision.
 


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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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She is being rude.

 

Last time I asked a friend to babysit was 2006. I was in labor, my water had broken, and my babysitter had broken her arm or something the day before and was no longer available. The baby was very early so not expected at that time. So, I asked. But I have done plenty to make up for it.

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Old 11-12-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Personally I would limit contact with this person. They seem quite toxic in their behavior. I agree with the PP that said if this was a true friend it certainly wouldn't seem rude at all to ask for a favor, and a true friend wouldn't mind you saying no. 

 

Wow. I wouldn't call someone toxic just based on the information the OP has shared. And it sounds like she didn't say no, she tried to insinuate that it was a bad time. Some people need you to be straightforward.


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Old 11-12-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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If I think about it objectively, I don't really have a problem with a friend asking another friend for help. After all, how would I know she needed help if she didn't tell me she needed it? I like helping people.

For the people that mentioned it, you are right that there is more to it than just asking for babysitting. I just realized that I have another friend who, if she asked me to babysit, I would not find rude at all. But she would totally take the littlest hint that it wouldn't work, and would ask in a way that gave me an "out." And it's just a different relationship- I can't totally put my finger on it. The friend in my op- there's been little things happen constantly through our friendship that just rub me the wrong way (as in, she doesn't take no for an answer very well, she does things that many people would consider rude, etc.) My family thinks she takes advantage of me, but I think she's just clueless. I don't think there's any ill intent there.

 

I need to learn to just say no! Not give hints that it won't work, but straight up say "It won't work out." I swear, I'll become assertive one of these days!

 

But in the meantime, I'll try to push aside my own fears of being rude, and ask her to watch ds1 when it would be helpful.



Some people are just clueless. And if you ask her to babysit and she says no, then I guess you have a pretty good idea of whether you are being taken advantage of, or if she is just clueless. I only have one friend that has ever watched DS. She's done it twice - once we were at my house and my mom called with dreadful news about my grandmother's collapse, and she stayed with DS so I could rush to the hospital. The other time was for my first prenatal visit and DH had to work. But we swap favors all the time. She has only asked me to babysit once, and that was only for an hour. But I have brought her meals when she had morning sickness, and when she watched DS during my MW visit I brought her sweet rolls. She loaned me a stroller the other day when I forgot mine at my mom's house. Our relationship is comfortable and reciprocal. If you don't have that with this woman you need to consider whether or not it is a sound relationship. If it is, why not let your guard down and ask for help? If it isn't, then there is something wrong and it is time to reevaluate why you are friends.


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Old 11-12-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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My friends and I watch each others kids for free... but the payment is the assumption that the favor would be returned.  I watch theirs, they watch mine.

 

However, we wouldn't ask for each other to do it when there are guests unless we NEEDED to, and then extra payment would be offered however not necessarily cash.  We all like food haha.

 

We also don't assume that someone WILL watch our kids.  We still ask and are no more surprised by a no than a yes.

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Old 11-13-2010, 04:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post

To the person who mentioned something about keeping score, I totally don't do that with any of my friends, including this one. I just thought that asking was a bit rude, especially knowing that my grandma was here (she lives 2500 miles away, and was here for just a few days) and after I expressed reservations due to it being lunch time. And this wasn't just a one off situation.

In general, I try to be the "more generous" person- I'd rather be the one to watch someone's child more often than they watch mine. Not so I have something to hold over their head, at all! I just (in general) like to be giving. This friend sort of brings out the worst in me I guess! lol. Once I feel comfortable asking her to watch my ds, it won't matter how often- I'll just feel like the option is always there. That would make it feel more fair to me. kwim?

 


My comments about the balance sheet and accounting were actually responding to other suggestions that it was typical to offer compensation for favours and that it was expected in their circle. If some families and friends operate that way and everyone understands it, then I guess it's fine if it's working for everyone. I can see how problems could arise easily though. 

 

I don't think I made it clear before, but I understand that your friend was being a bit rude by persisting when you had a visitor and you'd explained it wasn't convenient. I think that's a boundary issue and a communication issue between friends. It sounds like you've processed what's happening in your friendship and you've figured out how to manage it, so that's a really good conclusion. 

 

 

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Old 11-13-2010, 05:40 AM
 
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I think it is ok to ask,but it would be RUDE to ask over and over if you always get no for an answer.Take the hint and stop asking.Also,if you ask for free care and get it then  it would be rude if you did not watch that persons child in exchange.

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Old 11-15-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 

One thing I've started doing is not giving excuses, reasons, justifications, etc. when I don't want to do something -- tenacious people will "problem solve" their way around any obstacle (like your friend did -- "Oh, they can just play in your son's room while you guys eat lunch!"). So I just say, "Sorry, now isn't a good time" and repeat until they get that my answer won't change. 


I LOLd at the "tenacious people" comment. Because that's just the root of it isn't it? I have a family member who is one of those "tenacious" people. I took to repeating myself without offering any more solutions. In my case it all boiled down how difficult this person's life was going to be if *I* didn't do what was requested. Yep - you're right. You will have to do XX if I don't agree to YY. That is awfully inconvenient and a pain in the neck. (END of story).
 


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Old 11-17-2010, 11:33 AM
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So you said you were having a hard time putting your finger on it....I think I can help..

 

Your friend would rather inconvenience you than herself.   Rather than run a couple of errands with her kids and be mildly inconvenienced by her kids, she would rather put you out and make you inconvenienced by having to entertain her children while your relatives were over visting.  And that my friend, is rude.  She is rude.

 

My sister called once and wanted to drop her kids off so she could take her dog to the vet.  I was headed out with my three kids to the grocery store.   To her, it made sense for me to take 7 kids to the grocery store or delay my trip so that she wouldn't have to have the hardship of taking her kids to the vet.   She would rather inconvenience me than herself. 

 

 

Quote:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post

If I think about it objectively, I don't really have a problem with a friend asking another friend for help. After all, how would I know she needed help if she didn't tell me she needed it? I like helping people.

For the people that mentioned it, you are right that there is more to it than just asking for babysitting. I just realized that I have another friend who, if she asked me to babysit, I would not find rude at all. But she would totally take the littlest hint that it wouldn't work, and would ask in a way that gave me an "out." And it's just a different relationship- I can't totally put my finger on it. The friend in my op- there's been little things happen constantly through our friendship that just rub me the wrong way (as in, she doesn't take no for an answer very well, she does things that many people would consider rude, etc.) My family thinks she takes advantage of me, but I think she's just clueless. I don't think there's any ill intent there.

 

I need to learn to just say no! Not give hints that it won't work, but straight up say "It won't work out." I swear, I'll become assertive one of these days!

 

But in the meantime, I'll try to push aside my own fears of being rude, and ask her to watch ds1 when it would be helpful.

 



 


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Old 11-17-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamatoablessing View Post

Asking another parent to watch your kids so you can run errands, go to the doctor, etc. is not rude at all.  It is common among my group of friends and neighbors.  We all help each other out whenever we can.  It takes a village and all that stuff, you know?  All moms need a break, even if that break is grocery shopping.  As long as you have friends you trust, that are willing and that encourage reciprocation, I see no problem at all.

 

Now that being said, I would not ask a friend to watch my kids if I knew they had company or visitors.

 

If you don't want to babysit, why don't you just say no?


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