How to nicely say no? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 38 Old 03-28-2007, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a SAHM. I have always been, so I don't know anything else. I am not sure how to approach this subject with a WAHM.

I have a friend that is working 2 nights a week. It is totally her choice, they do NOT need the money. She just wants some time for herself and her own spending money.

We both have two year olds. She has said out right that it would be helpful if I would take her two year old to our local moms morning out for her on the one morning so she could get some rest, and take her to storytime with us on the other morning, so she can sleep in.

Once the summer starts, she asked if I could take her older daughter to the pool, because she hates the heat and would be so tired after working thos e two nights.

Now, I do feel I should help people out. But this seems like too much to ask. I have to watch her kid so she can make money. I mean, if I wanted a job I would get one that actually paid. If she was working because they NEEDED money to pay bills, I think I would be more inclined to babysit more often. But I sort of feel like I am getting the short end of it here....Even if we were talking about older kids...but taking hers means I have a 12 year old, two 7 year olds, a 5 year old, two 2 year olds, and a 9 month old.

How do I make my time seem just as important when I don't "work"?
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#2 of 38 Old 03-28-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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hmmm... I'm not a sahm, but I'd be as blunt as possible (without being rude, of course). Your time is important and you shouldn't feel like you have to justify that to another mom, just my opinion. Maybe phrase it like "I've got A,B & C going on right now and I just don't feel that I can take on anymore commitments, but I'm always here in case of emergency......"

When I was faced with going back to work a few years ago, I approached a sahm neighbor about possible daycare solutions, but I phrased it like "hey, I know you know a lot of sahms in the area and I like the way you are with your girls, so I'd trust your judgement. Do you know of any moms who offer care?" She said she'd ask around and came back a few days later and said that she'd be open to 1 or 2 days a week and she knew another mom who had time 1 day a week. It didn't work out with my schedule, but I really appreciated her being totally honest with me about what she and her friends were willing to do. She didn't beat around the bush and I didn't feel like I was pressuring her for anything, yk? It would have been so much worse if she'd agreed to something and then been resentful. I would have felt terrible!
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#3 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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I think the best way is to keep it short and sweet

"Sorry, but that won't work out for me."

TBH I think she has a lot of nerve asking. Is your time someone worth less than hers. There are a lot of reasons why someone might be tired.

Really I'm all for supporting other moms but her request is just rubbing me the wrong way.
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#4 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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Wait, has she offered even to trade days with you and take your kids? If not I'm not really sure I would care if she thought I was rude. :
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#5 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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. If she was working because they NEEDED money to pay bills, I think I would be more inclined to babysit more often.
What difference would that make? If you can't do it, you can't do it. It shouldn't be related to your belief about whether she does or doesn't "need" to work.

Just say no if it is too much for you.
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#6 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by woobysma View Post
"I've got A,B & C going on right now and I just don't feel that I can take on anymore commitments, but I'm always here in case of emergency......"

!

That was my original response, but she seems to think an emergency is that she can't find anyone else to watch them when she wants to sleep.

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Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
I think the best way is to keep it short and sweet

"Sorry, but that won't work out for me."

TBH I think she has a lot of nerve asking. Is your time someone worth less than hers. There are a lot of reasons why someone might be tired.

Really I'm all for supporting other moms but her request is just rubbing me the wrong way.
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Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Wait, has she offered even to trade days with you and take your kids? If not I'm not really sure I would care if she thought I was rude. :

No, no trading days. And yeah, I am pretty tired a lot as well!!

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Originally Posted by charmander View Post
What difference would that make? If you can't do it, you can't do it. It shouldn't be related to your belief about whether she does or doesn't "need" to work.

Just say no if it is too much for you.
The difference is that if a friend needed to work to pay the bills, I would help out in a heartbeat. But to put myself in that position (to take on more kids) so someone can buy themselves nicer clothes or go out to eat more....that is where I feel a little put out.


I emailed her and said after talking to my husband, we just can't take on anymore kids right now. I said it nicely, in a joking kind of way. If she is insulted, than oh well I guess. I agree with a PP that the request itself is sort of rude, but I thought maybe I was over-reacting to it.

Thanks for some backbone ladies!!
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#7 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caroline248 View Post
If she is insulted, than oh well I guess. I agree with a PP that the request itself is sort of rude, but I thought maybe I was over-reacting to it.

Thanks for some backbone ladies!!
Good for you!

I just looked at your siggy! OMG! How could anybody ask you to TAKE ON MORE!!!

How rude! Pinch, sure, but on a regular basis... ugh, no.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#8 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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I have a friend who tries to do this to me too. AND the few times she has offered to pay me it has been such a tiny amount it's more insulting than no payment. (She makes $18 an hour 40-50 hours a week and was trying to pay me $75/week for both kids 8+ hours a day... UM NO)

I just kept telling her no... I guess she got the hint because she doesn't ask anymore.

My mom got this a lot too. I once asked her how she managed to say no to everyone. She said that if she was asked to sit for someone's kid, she would say "My going rate is $20 an hour for a child out of diapers." Funny, she never had anyone take her up on it

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#9 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 02:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caroline248 View Post
That was my original response, but she seems to think an emergency is that she can't find anyone else to watch them when she wants to sleep.
well, in that case, I'd just go with "no, no and.... no" (the nerve of this woman is way over the top, imo s)
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#10 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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Wow, does she realize that would be 7 kids total?? That's like running a small daycare (granted 5 of them are yours, but still). I think you were right in saying no, if that's what your instincts tell you to do. I also think (b/c some people can get pretty pushy) that if she asks you again, you should give her a rate at which you'll watch her kids. "Well, I'd be willing to watch them for $x for this many hours. If that's fine w/ you, I'll draw up some papers on it." I also think that if she chooses to take you up on that, to get it in writing.

FWIW~ I do think it's pretty nervy of her to ask (she should know how difficult it is caring for children, she has 2 herself!!!) And I too understand the notion of, if she HAD to work, I'd help her out.

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#11 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by charmander View Post
What difference would that make? If you can't do it, you can't do it. It shouldn't be related to your belief about whether she does or doesn't "need" to work.

Just say no if it is too much for you.
I agree. Just say no.

You should not have to justify anything to anyone.
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#12 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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I think the way it was handled is the best. I agree Caroline, you have enough of your own kids to watch and how couldnt you use some rest a few mornings a week too! :

In all fairness, its no one's business if she needs the money or not or what she said why she is doing it. But whatever her choices are, she dosent have a right to assume that your lifestyle should fit into her choices.

If it was a 4 year old and you have a four year old, I can see an occasional once in a while to tag along. But to have to look after 2 two year olds and a busy baby at story hour etc is funny at best.

I guess my feeling is, if she is really doing this to supplement her spending money, not for the family expenses, she can part with some of it on the correct childcare and what it costs.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#13 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 12:39 PM
 
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My immediate family wasn't large growing up, but there were large families in my extended family. I did notice that people tend to think they can just tag along with a big family. Like one more doesn't matter. We have people who aren't even related to us invite theirselves to our family reunions!

Good job; I think you handled it the right way!
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#14 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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Mom always says "if people have the nerve to ask, I'm going to have the nerve to say no!"
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#15 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for everyone's replies. Pretty much what I was thinking, but I feel more validated in my thoughts now!

I just keep thinking if I wanted to provide daycare, I would do it, and get paid for it. I shouldn't be put out that much because someone else needs a break from being "just" a mom (her words).
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#16 of 38 Old 03-29-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
My immediate family wasn't large growing up, but there were large families in my extended family. I did notice that people tend to think they can just tag along with a big family. Like one more doesn't matter. We have people who aren't even related to us invite theirselves to our family reunions!

Good job; I think you handled it the right way!

This sort of reminds me of my ILs. DH is one of 9 children and there are a lot of assumptions made about large families. One that FIL despises is that because he has a large family, he must love children. He does, his!! He said over the decades he was asked several times to be scout master, youth leader etc. He always said he was too busy w his family. He is an awesome father and awesome Grandfather but to his children/grandchildren!!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#17 of 38 Old 03-30-2007, 03:14 AM
 
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Yup, I've gotten a few requests also. I have a reputation for being sort of creative and love kid's crafts so the assumption is my house would be a fun place for the kids to hang out. I don't mind when a neighbour occasionally hangs out and participates in our craft, but not one person has offered to compensate me for any of the craft supplies or the time that I take away from my own child to help theirs. I don't mind once in a while, but really I do the crafts as a teaching and bonding tool for me and MY children. I'm not running a daycare. Anyways, my point was, that I tell them the truth. I don't schedule my days and I'm rather unpredictable. Do you mind if I drag your kids to hang out with my Mom for the day? Do they want to help with my laundry? I don't do crafts 24/7. For the working Moms who've asked assuming that their time is worth more than mine, I just smile and reply: you could drop them off but with my 3 kids i'm not sure if I would have the time to look after yours. Usually, they just take the hint and there are no hurt feelings
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#18 of 38 Old 03-30-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I think you are perfectly within your right to decline to enable behavior in others that you don't approve of.

Several years ago, a relatively new-ish friend of mine asked to borrow a few dollars to do her laundry. I lent it without a thought. Over time, as I got to know her better, I found that she made a lot more money than me, had much lower recurring expenses, and was only always in financial trouble because she had no discipline. I believe that self-discipline is a very important thing. And, I don't think one should allow one's own weakness and laziness and indulgence to harm one's friends. It became clear over time that the more I helped her, the more she was irresponsible because she knew she could count on me to help her. Help took on many forms, not just money. It started to become a strain on my relationship with DH that this friend was so needy and dependent. It wasn't good for either of us.

I found that the money I was lending to her was funding her ability to take a cab to the bus stop in the morning instead of walking a few blocks. This is similar to the OP not wanting her help to enable her neighbor to have fancier clothes.

I wonder if a person is lacking in dignity to ask others to make sacrifices for their pleasure or convenience.

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#19 of 38 Old 03-30-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Mom always says "if people have the nerve to ask, I'm going to have the nerve to say no!"
I love that!

If someone were to ask me, I'd say okay, my rate is $10 an hour.
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#20 of 38 Old 03-30-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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*

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#21 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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Sounds like she was trying to take advantage of you. Glad you said no!
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#22 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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Something similar happened to me a while ago. The friendship ended over it--but looking back, I realized that this was not the ONLY cause for the loss of the friendship (we also are neighbors)--it's because she did not respect my decision to say 'no' to what she wanted.
It really depressed me for a while, and made me feel adrift for a while because she was really my only friend in our area, but the story ends happily because in time I met other moms who were willing to be much more give and take then just all take. Recently a new mom friend volunteered to watch my kids for five hours while we had some renovations done in our home! The old friend would have never done that for me (well, maybe if I would have asked, but she would have never volunteered her services and I would have felt guilty asking).
My point here is that if this threatens the friendship, then let the friendship go. I really struggled with being alone with no one to talk to for a long time, but when new friendships formed, I had learned my lesson about what to look for in a friend and what qualities they should have so that this kind of thing didn't happen again.
Sorry if this post is totally off the mark, it just seemed from your initial description that there might be some underlying issues with the whole relationship---either that, or I am reading too much into it and I apologize.
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#23 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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I do see a similar thing as well. I have noticed that with other friends/fellow mamas in my circle. There is one in particular who I am not necessarily friends with, but I noticed with others who are friends with her, after a year or so, they are not friends with her anymore. It seems this person has a pattern similar to what was pp. She has about a 1/2 dozen people who she "dosent talk to anymore" as she put it. Which seems tough to do by the time you are in your mid 30s. I guess the issue is- things have to be done on her watch, schedule, etc and dont make her mad. From what I got from her last fallout had to do with the other mama's son. I guess his nap schedule didnt jive w her and her plans and that was it.

I do know that from experience seeing others doing what was the OP, it never works out well and a lot of times just the other mama asking could be the kiss of death for the friendship since it puts the person being asked in a rock or a hard spot like was done.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#24 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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I also would just say no. Will you let us know what happens?

:Mama to 2 :
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#25 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Daisie125 View Post
My mom got this a lot too. I once asked her how she managed to say no to everyone. She said that if she was asked to sit for someone's kid, she would say "My going rate is $20 an hour for a child out of diapers." Funny, she never had anyone take her up on it
That's my response to requests from other people to have me sew for them. I'll have to file it away for future use if anyone thinks I'd be a good option for child care.
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#26 of 38 Old 04-01-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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I'm going to use that someday!!!!

:Mama to 2 :
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#27 of 38 Old 04-02-2007, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I said no. I just said very simply that once in awhile I would lvoe to help out, but I couldn't commit on a regular basis. I just reminded her that I have 5 kids and I have a lot to do with them, blah blah.....

She was a little surprised I think. She is the type of person that is used to relying on other people to make her life easier, and she really thinks the whole world revolves around her. Sorry, but everyone knows the world revolves around ME!!
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#28 of 38 Old 04-02-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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Well, I said no. I just said very simply that once in awhile I would lvoe to help out, but I couldn't commit on a regular basis. I just reminded her that I have 5 kids and I have a lot to do with them, blah blah.....

She was a little surprised I think. She is the type of person that is used to relying on other people to make her life easier, and she really thinks the whole world revolves around her.Sorry, but everyone knows the world revolves around ME!!
Caroline248

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#29 of 38 Old 04-03-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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She was a little surprised I think. She is the type of person that is used to relying on other people to make her life easier, and she really thinks the whole world revolves around her.
BINGO!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#30 of 38 Old 04-03-2007, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Caroline248

Oh, no need for formality..you may rise!!


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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
BINGO!

Yeah, I just have to keep reminding myself that!


Speaking of being taken advantage of...a neighbors comforter is sitting on my front porch so I can wash it. I DON"T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW!!! We were away all weekend, my daughters bday was yesterday, sleepover tomorrow.....

I need to really get a backbone...
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