how long is too long for a loan? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a friend recently had a baby that she was completely unprepared for--and when i say completely, i mean she found out she was pregnant at 39 weeks and delivered a week later. right after she found out, i lent her some baby books [at her request]. i lent her my best ones, because those were the ones with [in my opinion] the soundest information.

 

after the baby came, i made her a gift basket with bf'ing supplies and snacks and stuff. i also put a couple other loaner things in a separate bag [marked 'more loaner stuff!'], including my very first wrap and my mother's minder bracelet. i had to leave it all with her boyfriend, so i didn't get to see her or talk to her about the stuff.

 

it's been two months. how long is too long to continue to wait for her to return the stuff? i fully understand that having a baby brings insanity into your life, and she had a much crazier time than i did--no time to plan, having to move back in with her parents in that brief time, and all the emotional stuff that goes along with a completely unplanned baby. also, dcf had to get involved because she smoked pot regularly until she found out, and now they're doing unscheduled visits and she has to go to some 'rehab classes' and stuff. because of all this, she has completely retreated from all her friends, is not returning phone calls or emails, or visiting anyone besides occasionally her boyfriend's mom.

 

so i get that she's going through some major stuff. but i'm starting to get a little nervous about it, mainly about the wrap; and there are some questions/things that have come up that i really would have liked those resources for. i haven't emailed her in weeks, because i don't want to hound her. i facebooked her once or twice in the beginning saying 'hope everything's going well!' or whatever, with no reply, and then sent a message saying 'hey could you just let me know you got the gift basket' and got a very brief affirmative response back. should i start to bug her? wait it out a little longer? this got a little rambly but wdyt? thanks :)


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#2 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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I think if you want the books back, you should ask her if she is done with them.  I think with a new baby, returning them is probably the furthest thing from her mind, yk?  Plus, it's easy to forget which thing you were given that were really loans vs. all the new things people give you when you have a baby that are yours to keep.


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#3 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it right now.  Once things calm down for her and she can settle in with her baby without all the added stressors, then ask for the stuff back.

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#4 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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If I was loaned something like a baby wrap, I would assume that it was fine for me to keep it and use it as long as I had the appropriate age baby.  Her babe is 2 months old, so it seems like she's got a while to go.

 

If you need the books back, ask for the books back.

 

If something is so very precious to you that you can't bear the thought of losing it, don't lend it.

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#5 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Well, honestly, if someone had loaned me baby gear, I wouldn't expect to give it back when my babe was still two-months old unless they'd specifically told me that they needed it back soon. Instead, I'd think that what they'd loaned me is stuff that they weren't using with their own kids right now, and that I could use until my babe was past that age. That's how it's always worked in my circle - you loan out your baby stuff and a friend uses it until her child outgrows it, and then it's returned to be saved for another baby or passed on.

 

Also, you haven't emailed her in weeks but you know she's going through some major stuff? Why not give her a call and check how she's doing? You could also mention that you need some of your stuff back when she gets a chance, but I'd definitely give her some time to get her own versions of whatever she's decided she needs.

 

Unless there's something else you haven't mentioned, I wouldn't be worried at this point about getting your stuff back. It's not like her child is two, and she's been giving baby stuff away!

 

Good luck!

 

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#6 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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I don't expect baby stuff to be returned until the baby is a toddler.

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#7 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post


If I was loaned something like a baby wrap, I would assume that it was fine for me to keep it and use it as long as I had the appropriate age baby.  Her babe is 2 months old, so it seems like she's got a while to go.



 



If you need the books back, ask for the books back.



 



If something is so very precious to you that you can't bear the thought of losing it, don't lend it.




 


I agree with this. Unless you specifically noted on the loaner items that it was just until she could manage to arrange her own (and TBH, when my DD was 2 months old, I was only just able to drive & still hadn't gone anywhere with her alone yet), I would assume that it was until she no longer needed the items. And especially the part that you never loan something you aren't willing to give.

 

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#8 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rainyday View Post

 

Also, you haven't emailed her in weeks but you know she's going through some major stuff? Why not give her a call and check how she's doing? You could also mention that you need some of your stuff back when she gets a chance, but I'd definitely give her some time to get her own versions of whatever she's decided she needs.

  



she won't return calls or emails. her facebook wall is post after post of friends and relatives saying 'are you alright? haven't heard from ya....' 'how's the baby? you never call me, miss you' i see her boyfriend occasionally and he just says 'oh she's great, the baby's great, i'll tell her to call you if she needs anything', and i don't hear from her.

 

thanks for the insight everybody :)


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#9 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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I have to agree - in my circle, if someone loaned me a wrap or a book, I'd assume they were done with it and I could keep it as long as needed, unless they specified that I could keep it for a short time only. I'd find it a bit odd if that weren't specified and they called me up when the baby was still only 2 months old, asking where their stuff was.

 

That said, I think you could phrase the request to get your stuff back in a polite way. Why not give her a call, ask how things are going, see if she's using the things you leant, and offer to pick up anything she hasn't found useful, so it isn't taking up valuable space?

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#10 of 27 Old 02-03-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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I'd call to check in and not even mention the loaner stuff. In fact I wouldn't expect the wrap back until the baby outgrows it, and I wouldn't mention any of the other stuff for at least another month. It seems like the craziness of having a newborn really starts to subside around the 12-week mark, so I'd wait until then.

I hope your friend is okay! It sounds like she may be having a really tough time adjusting. Calling her or meeting her for coffee or something might be just what she needs, even if she doesn't realize it. It's so easy to isolate yourself with a new baby if you aren't careful.

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#11 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Honestly? With what you've said about your friend, the stuff would be the least of my worries. Drug use, not even knowing she was pregnant, dcf, not returning anybody's calls or messages and a non-responsive boyfriend would have me worried about the BABY,

 

If you really wnat your things back, drive over and see her, in person.  Ask for the items back, in person.  Ask to see the baby, in person.

 

Consider your stuff a write-off.

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#12 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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I would straight out tell her you need those things back. Was she aware that they were loaners and not keepers when you gave them to her? If you did not make that clear, then she probably does not know. As far as to how long is reasonable to loan things, I would say the duration it is meant to be used plus another short period of time to clean it up and get it back. A wrap would be used for a long long time. 

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#13 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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I wouldn't have loaned stuff like a wrap if I wanted it back within 2 months of the birth. I think she's entitled to keep that until her baby is a toddler. And do you really need your books back now? 

 

I would keep trying to contact her to see how she and the baby are doing, but I wouldn't mention the stuff at all unless it's to ask how it's working out. 


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#14 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Honestly? With what you've said about your friend, the stuff would be the least of my worries. Drug use, not even knowing she was pregnant, dcf, not returning anybody's calls or messages and a non-responsive boyfriend would have me worried about the BABY,

 

If you really wnat your things back, drive over and see her, in person.  Ask for the items back, in person.  Ask to see the baby, in person.

 

Consider your stuff a write-off.


i am obviously much more concerned about her emotional health and the baby's welfare. all my efforts to contact her have been to that end, not about the stuff. my thinking with the wrap [and what i said in my note that i left with the stuff, although not so brief and cold as i'm putting it here] was for her to see if she enjoyed wrapping; if she liked it, she could buy her own. i don't have a zillion wraps where i could let her keep one til toddlerhood, and she knows that. she wanted to try it out and i wanted her to, but if it's works for her, i figure she'll eventually need her own.

 

for what it's worth, she is a great girl with a good head on her shoulders. she quit smoking cigarettes and pot the minute she found out she was pregnant. i never believed people who said they didn't know they were pregnant, but i truly don't think there was any cluelessness or denial going on here.
 


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#15 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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I don't really see where you're coming from.  If someone had loaned me that stuff I would expect that it was ok to keep it for as long as it was useful to me.  She's probably referencing the baby books all the time (I know I was when my first was that age), and the wrap is still useful for a long time to come.  Why would you lend her stuff that's exactly what she needs *right now* and be confused about why she hasn't returned it yet???

 

Are you worried that she hasn't properly acknowledged what you loaned her?  Don't forget her baby is only 2 months old.  She is overwhelmed, crazy busy, dealing with the fact that she had a surprise baby (!!!!), learning to be a mom, etc, etc.  There's no way she's thinking about that stuff right now.  She's trying to survive the day to day.  After I had dd it took till she was older than that to even get the thank you notes sent for all the gifts we received.  Sure it would have been more polite to have responded in a much more timely manner, but, yk, my life was turned upside down by having my first baby.  I did as well as I could, and I'm sure your friend is too.  If she has something of yours that you want or need back right away then call her up and arrange to go pick it up.  If not, then just assume that she appreciates the stuff, and will be better able to let you know that when life gets a little easier to deal with.

 


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#16 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Looks like we posted at the same time.  I see where you're coming from with the wrap, but really, I remember those early months with my first.  Being SOOOO overwhelmed.  I just think the wrap is so not even on her radar at this point in time, yk.  Getting it back to you is so very far down the list compared to surviving each day, being able to take a shower every rare once in a while, etc, etc.  It might be quite some time before her headspace is such that she's thinking "gee, I better get that lovely wrap back to my friend, she must be wondering what's been taking me so long".  I think, since it's worrying you, you need to call them up and say point blank that you need the wrap back now and make arrangements to go get it. 


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Originally Posted by peacelove&camping View Post
my thinking with the wrap [and what i said in my note that i left with the stuff, although not so brief and cold as i'm putting it here] was for her to see if she enjoyed wrapping; if she liked it, she could buy her own. i don't have a zillion wraps where i could let her keep one til toddlerhood, and she knows that. she wanted to try it out and i wanted her to, but if it's works for her, i figure she'll eventually need her own.

 

That makes sense, but she probably has completely forgotten which stuff was given to her, loaned to her, and given just to see if she'd like one for herself, especially since the stuff was given through her boyfriend. (I know there was a note, but she may have not seen it, or just glanced and forgotten what it said, or whatever.) 


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#18 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

I don't really see where you're coming from.  If someone had loaned me that stuff I would expect that it was ok to keep it for as long as it was useful to me.  She's probably referencing the baby books all the time (I know I was when my first was that age), and the wrap is still useful for a long time to come.  Why would you lend her stuff that's exactly what she needs *right now* and be confused about why she hasn't returned it yet???

 

------------------------------------------

 

 

I agree.


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#19 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peacelove&camping View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Honestly? With what you've said about your friend, the stuff would be the least of my worries. Drug use, not even knowing she was pregnant, dcf, not returning anybody's calls or messages and a non-responsive boyfriend would have me worried about the BABY,

 

If you really wnat your things back, drive over and see her, in person.  Ask for the items back, in person.  Ask to see the baby, in person.

 

Consider your stuff a write-off.


i am obviously much more concerned about her emotional health and the baby's welfare. all my efforts to contact her have been to that end, not about the stuff. my thinking with the wrap [and what i said in my note that i left with the stuff, although not so brief and cold as i'm putting it here] was for her to see if she enjoyed wrapping; if she liked it, she could buy her own. i don't have a zillion wraps where i could let her keep one til toddlerhood, and she knows that. she wanted to try it out and i wanted her to, but if it's works for her, i figure she'll eventually need her own.

 

for what it's worth, she is a great girl with a good head on her shoulders. she quit smoking cigarettes and pot the minute she found out she was pregnant. i never believed people who said they didn't know they were pregnant, but i truly don't think there was any cluelessness or denial going on here.
 



Honestly, I think I would cook up a meal that she can easily freeze and store or eat that day and drive it over to her.  You say she quit smoking cigs and pot the second she found out she was pregnant, but that was at 39 weeks pregnant... which means she only quit a week or two before she had the baby and the baby is 2 months old...so basically, she quit 2 1/2 months ago.  And now she's going through an extrememly stressful time (added to the fact that she's quit smoking, which, from what I understand is pretty emotionally and physically stressful in and of itself).  And people are leaving message after message that she isn't responding to?  I think this requires an in person visit and probably more than one visit.  At this point, I wouldn't be worried about your wrap, the minder bracelet, how BFing is going, or if she's going to use AP parenting.  I would be worried about whether or not she is taking care of her baby... is she using drugs... and what kind of REAL help does she need?  Maybe setting up a care calendar with her friends and family would be another good first step.


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Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

I don't expect baby stuff to be returned until the baby is a toddler.

 

Same here. When I lend baby stuff (if I do get it back), I get it back when that baby isn't a baby anymore.

 


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#21 of 27 Old 02-05-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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wow. Everyone seems to be focusing on the mom and whether she is "using drugs." eyesroll.gif Honestly my first thought was the boyfriend/baby's father. It sounds like he is speaking for her. What kind of guy is he? Is it possible that he is deliberately isolating hre from her friends and family? Just my 2 cents on that....

 

As far as the loan goes, I would not epect to get that stuff back any time soon. I would assume that she didn't get or read the note and simply go over to her house and say, "hey, sorry to spring up on you like this, but I need to grab a couple of those books I loaned you...I had a question I need to research. I can drop them back off to you tomorrow if you are still using them." Which at 2 months she probably is. While you're there ask, "have you tried the wrap yet?" If not, maybe you can leave it a little longer or if you discern that she probably won't use it then ask for that back too.

 

I think either way 2 months is very, very early to expect any new mom to be thinking about returning loaned out baby stuff. A brand new first time single mom who had one week to prepare and is now being harassed and "monitored" by CPS on top of everything else, definitely, absolutely for sure way WAY too early for it to be on her radar.


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#22 of 27 Old 02-06-2011, 04:14 AM
 
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If I loan things it is with the realization that I might not get it back. In this case I would wait a few months or as someone suggested take a meal, and once there IF appropriate  ask if she is done with the loaner items.

 

I am guessing the OP loaned items to tide the new mom over till she got her own stuff.

 

Don't loan stuff you would be upset not getting back. Better to just buy the person the same thing as a gift,or give your stuff as a gift.

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#23 of 27 Old 02-06-2011, 04:32 AM
 
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It sounds like the wrap is very sentimental to you. I would call her (if she doesn't answer, call another time), and tell her you want to drop by and get the wrap you lent her. I don't think it will be a big deal to her. I understand that you wanted to help her, but I would get the wrap back so that you don't have to worry (especially if she may drift away as a friend). 

 

The books- I would let her know that she can keep them until she is done reading them, and then she can return them to you. 

 

I've had plenty of people just keep my stuff, so I don't loan out sentimental things anymore. I now loan it thinking, hmm, I might never get this back. I completely understand where you are coming from. You are a good friend!

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#24 of 27 Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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if getting the wrap back is a sentimental issue, and not purely financial (I mean, that you'd have the money to buy another one if you suddenly needed to) then maybe you can call to ask if she has had a chance to use the wrap... that you wanted to stop by to visit some time soon and were thinking that getting her her own wrap (if she liked it) would be a nice thing to bring by.  If she hasn't even used it, then ask to pick it up when you come.  If she loved it, maybe you can find one on craigslist or some other site for a good price and buy it (or see if any other friends want to go in with you) for her. 

 

She probably has NO idea what baby things could be important to another mother.  As a mom who didn't baby wear really (none with DD1, very little with DD2 and DD3) at all, I would never have any more attachment to my mei tai than to any other piece of baby gear...and if I wasn't on message boards, I wouldn't think that anyone else would either :)

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#25 of 27 Old 02-07-2011, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

Honestly my first thought was the boyfriend/baby's father. It sounds like he is speaking for her. What kind of guy is he? Is it possible that he is deliberately isolating hre from her friends and family? Just my 2 cents on that.... 


nah, i don't think he is. he's a good guy, and we're friends with both of them. the sortof-blowoff i get from him almost feels more like he's uncomfortable talking about her, maybe he thinks she *should* be getting out more or something, maybe he feels she's isolating *herself*. it's hard to say. i don't want to bother them with all their stress so i just don't push them.

 

i posted this more to see if i was crazy to think it was a decent length of time. the books i realize now i was kindof dumb to think about taking back. i don't really know, i think i was thinking if she wasn't using them, she'd give them back, and if she was, she would buy her own. that may be true for the wrap, and it was what i intended in loaning it, but for the books it doesn't really make sense. so thanks for that guys :)

 

i did run into her the other day. she was with her folks so i couldn't really say anything like 'dude, you've dropped off the face of the planet, wth' but i did say we should go out for coffee or anything she wants to get her out of the house. she looks great and the baby's getting big :) i didn't ask about the wrap duh.gif but i did notice she wasn't wearing it.... hmmmm....

 

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She probably has NO idea what baby things could be important to another mother.  As a mom who didn't baby wear really (none with DD1, very little with DD2 and DD3) at all, I would never have any more attachment to my mei tai than to any other piece of baby gear...and if I wasn't on message boards, I wouldn't think that anyone else would either :)



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no whey!peace.gif
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#26 of 27 Old 02-16-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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.


“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
- Buddha
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#27 of 27 Old 02-17-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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I can't imagine finding out I was pregnant at 39 weeks and giving birth a week later. That must be so stressful, especially if she had an unhealthy lifestyle throughout. Returning stuff lent to her must be the last thing on her mind... But I understand your POV too. Stuff I lent out and never got back includes my favorite book, a stroller, a baby carrier, and a baby nursery wardrobe. The last time I lent something out, I knew that I might not get it back, and I was fine with that. It was a stroller I lent out to another MDC mama. I never use strollers, but this was a nice stroller. Her baby turned out to love strollers, but she and her husband broke it by folding it wrongly. I figure that it is a shame, but at least the stroller (oh, and there's a carseat with the same mom too! Just remembered that one!) did not take up space in my small apartment, and someone got some pleasure out of them.


I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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