self-invites = stress to the host? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you do when the parent of your child's friend self-invites their child over for a play date or sleep over -- rather than you offering to host one? 


Just had this happen.  The Mom offered to have us over for dinner the following weekend (guilt trip) in return for us having their kid over so they can go out to dinner.  This weekend was supposed to be a family weekend and now I feel like an a$$ for trying to get out of hosting a play date and /or sleepover.  I feel guilty because I would like to help the parents out but at the same time I am having trouble processing such a bold request at the last minute.  Maybe the Mom feels comfy enough with me to do this?

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#2 of 6 Old 11-01-2013, 08:24 PM
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"I'm sorry, but this weekend doesn't work for us. Hopefully you can find another sitter so you don't have to reschedule dinner,"

I find it perfectly acceptable to UNinvite in this situation. No need to justify unless they press (also impolite, but considering the situation in the first place...).

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#3 of 6 Old 11-02-2013, 07:03 AM
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Yup--I would just label this as it is.  "So sorry you can't find anyone to watch little Joey!  We would be happy to have him [fill in the blank with a date/time that would work].  And we'd love to have dinner at your house, but we would be happy to just trade babysitting--wouldn't that be easier?  Can you pick up Timmy from school this Wednesday?"


I don't like it when people try to "pay" me back for watching their child.  If I am willing to take the child, I don't need any "payment."  They can watch my kid in return, if I'm comfortable with them.  If not, then that's fine too.  I think that when people think in terms of payment, it makes it easier for them to lie to themselves and think they're NOT taking advantage of you...they're paying you back with dinner!

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#4 of 6 Old 11-02-2013, 07:22 AM
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That's how I get almost all of my childcare. And I don't mind at all when someone says "sorry ant we have plans" or something. People ask me and we ask them. It's no big deal to be busy when someone asks you for a favor.

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#5 of 6 Old 11-02-2013, 07:47 AM
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It sounds more like she is offering to swap having to cook for babysitting rather than self inviting and I would either accept, suggest swapping babysitting instead, or say it won't work this weekend. I think suggesting swapping kids or tedious tasks is acceptable as is saying no.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-02-2013, 08:17 AM
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If it's not convenient for you I would just say that weekend doesn't work for you. I have asked friends to watch my daughter and offered them their pick that I could either pay them or watch their kids some other time. If I asked for a time that didn't work they could say no. No big deal. 

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