[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )
Not even sure where to start! I am a married woman with a six year old. My son has had the same best friend for three years, whose mother is single and has no family or friends close to help her. She struggles financially and her son's father is rarely around. She first asked me to babysit for her on a Saturday because she had to work about two years ago. I happily agreed... I mean, the kids love each other! However, since then I've been asked on a regular basis (basically every other Saturday or every third Saturday) to babysit while she works. I have told her numerous times that I do not mind to watch her son as long as I have no plans with my family on the day she needs us. Mind you, I work M-F 8-9 hour days and my husband travels for work. Saturdays are the only days I have to spend time with my family, grocery shop, and get household chores done. Sundays we enjoy being lazy! So the first few times I was asked to watch her son, it was no big deal. But I found myself purposely not making plans with my family or not scheduling any activities on Saturdays IN CASE I was needed to babysit for her. This became a problem! She also asked me to babysit one day and after I told her I was unavailable, she asked if my husband could babysit instead! I then started to realize that maybe we should stop being available every time she needed us. We soon after enrolled our son into activities that take place early Saturday mornings, activities that cost money for him to be in so it does not make much sense to miss since we pay money to be there. Recently I received an email from this lady admitting that she knew my son had an activity to attend but asked if her son could tag along because she had to work and didn't know who else to ask. I feel really bad for her and she makes me feel guilty, but her son cannot ride along with mine to his activity for a few reasons: 1) it is very unlikely her son will sit quietly while watching my son participate and have fun; 2) her son is not very well behaved; and 3) it is very unlikely my son will be able to focus with his friend sitting across the room watching him! So because I felt so guilty, I told her that since my husband was home, he could take our son to his activity and I would stay home to babysit for her. Now the more I think about it, the more it really rubs me the wrong way because she already knew we couldn't babysit for her yet she asked anyway! She said she's wearing the same two people out and didn't want to bother us but didn't know what else to do or who else to ask... And I know it is my fault because I agreed but I feel so bad that she doesn't have anyone around to help her. She also makes me feel guilty by telling me how she wished she could enroll her son into activities but can't due to her work schedule and because the father is not around to help her. Um... hello? why am I feeling guilty about having my son in activities and him having a father? My husband travels a lot and it's hard for me to make it to certain places at certain times but I make it work WITHOUT help also. We have no family and few friends who are able to help us. I just feel like she's sucking the life out of me, always being negative and always pulling a guilt trip on me to watch her son. I feel trapped and almost to the point of wanting to move to a different town just to severe the connection. And feeling this burdened with her makes me feel like a horrible, selfish person. I swear, I'm not... I just feel like she's sucking the life out of me. TO BE FAIR - she has picked up my son a handful of times for me AND he has had a sleepover at her house twice. But I feel like we are having to change our lives and schedules to suit her on the days she needs us to babysit and I just don't think that is fair for MY family. Any advice as to how to get out of this situation will be greatly appreciated!