Dont want to picking up neighbour's kid!

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

Hi all
I am new here. I have an issue here which is totally confusing me like what to do. I have two kids aged 8 and 3. I pick up my son from bus at 4pm. Now I have a neighbour who just started working a couple months ago. I have picked her daughter (9) from the stop on & off and dropped her to a friend of hers who lives in our apartment complex. That friend of hers moved out. Now this year her daughter's bus is coming like 20 minutes earlier than my son's. Because she is ADHD, so different bus for her for some reason. She asked me before if I could pick her up every Wednesday. I said YES. But now she is texting me like 3 times a week to pleasepick her up. I have to leave 20 min early and stay there for like 30-40 min altogether until I pick up my kid. Its getting cold. and my three year old doesnt want to sit in the car. She wants to run around and I have to run around her. My neighbour's boyfriend comes home around 4pm who takes the girl from bus stop only and then I stay there to pick my son up. I dont want to do this. I mean she should either put her daughter in the regular bus so I dont have to go early or her boyfriend should manage to come home early to pick her up. I am SAHM but busy. I drop n pick my preschooler, housework, preparing dinner, teach my kids. Hardly any time left for me, which I want some because I am trying to get a job. What should I do? How do I say no. I am bad at that. This daughter of my neighbour is a misbehaved child too. A couple times when her boyfriend didnt come on time , I had to bring her home. My kids played outside. But she constantly wanted to come inside the house, which I let her do that and she was running around the house like crazy opening my fridge and asking for snacks. She doesn't listen at all n screams for no reason. I know as in society we need to help each other. But I have always taken care of my kids. Never asked anyone for help unless an emergency. When I moved in this apartment, We had one car, so I walked to the bus stop every morning and afternoon with my 2 year old in a stroller. Even when it snowed, rained or anything. I didnt ask anyone to drop or pick up my other kid. This neighbour who wants help now was SAHM then. She never helped me then. I mean she offered once. My daughter had high fever, I called her but she never picked up. So I now feel like being taken advantage of :( Oh I wrote way too much !

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Chet - posted on 11/18/2014

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Suman you don't need to convince me. Don't pick up this kid if you don't want to do it. I think it's a relatively small thing. If you don't think it's a small thing you just need to explain that to the mom - not to me.

I'm not suggesting that you aren't a fun mom, or an involved mom, or a helpful neighbour, or a good friend. I'm suggesting that the reason you have a hard time figuring out how to say no to this is because you don't have a really pressing reason to say no. It's easy to say no if you have a schedule conflict, or not enough space in your car, or if her kid is violent with you, or if it costs you a lot of money to do it. It's a lot harder to say no when you don't really have a reason, especially when you've already been doing it for so long.

It's completely within your right to say that you don't want to do it any more. And if that's what you want to do, that's okay. It's your prerogative.

The more you post though, the more it sounds like you're letting this eat away at you because of what it represents. Every tiny thing about the pick up gets to you because you're aggravated about something larger.

And my point was that it's possible to just change the way that you think about it. You don't need to feel taken advantage of. One option is to choose to manage this in a way where it's not a big deal, and to just be more positive about it.

And another choice is to just tell the mom that you don't want to do it.

When one person takes advantage of another they are abusing power. In many situations that power comes from something that can't be controlled - a boss can take advantage of an employee, a doctor can take advantage of a patient, a teacher can take advantage of student, an adult can take advantage of a child, etc - because in those pairings one person has power granted to them that they could use unjustly.

In a situation like yours though, this mom doesn't have power to abuse other than the power you grant her. The power she has is in your head though. You can feel like you aren't being taken advantage of by refusing to pick her kid up, but you can also feel like you aren't being taken advantage of by deciding that picking up her kid isn't that bad, it has some minor benefits for you too, and that even if the mom isn't the best mom sometimes you're glad you can be there for her kid and have a small amount of positive influence.

[deleted account]

To Chet MC.......Thank you for the reply. What you are saying is right. But my daughter spends a good 1-2 hour outdoor time everyday with my neighbour's same age kid. And I spend that time with her playing and watching her and the other kid because her mom just had a baby. And then we do reading and preschool activities at home. After that I have to prepare dinner for my family which takes me about an hour. I always prepare before my son comes home so that I can help him with homework and we do extra stuff. all this gives me very little time left.
The only time a don't want her to play outside is when it's very cold. And she wants to go out of the car and run around. That is not the place for her to play because cars are coming now and then and I have to be very careful. Even if I make them sit in the car , the other girl keeps on asking me for my phone to play or she wants to come in the front seat and stuff.....I have always been a people pleaser which I am trying to change now. What bugs me is when I had a small child and I always walked to the bus stop even in freezing temperature. I didnt impose on anyone, neither did anyone offer. She was always home then. She is such a sweet talker , so I am not able to say no !

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Raye - posted on 11/19/2014

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We were all just giving opinions, and you don't have to agree with them. You're right... we don't know all the aspects of the situation. We just know the piece that you wrote about, and our opinions are formed from just that small piece. But our intent was not to be harsh. (okay, so me telling you to grow up may have been harsh).

It's sometimes difficult when reading something to know how the words are meant, because you can't hear the person's tone. Especially if you're coming from a very defensive stance (as you seem to be), you're going to read the comments as being against you. I thought Chet was being very nice (believe me, I've been on the receiving end of her comments). And I really meant for you to not take offense when I said "no offense", because I didn't mean it as an insult. It was meant as a different perspective for you to think about. We don't know you, but I think you do seem to be a generally nice person (even without the continued defensive explaining of how you really are a nice person). I don't think any of us thought you were wrong for your feelings that picking up the child was an inconvenience for you, just that you've chosen not to do anything about it for so long.

Your original post was not clear that your main concern was if you were being taken advantage of. It came across as a rant about how you're doing this nice thing but hate it. If you feel taken advantage of then you should bring it up with the people doing it. You don't give people enough credit to understand your position. Yes, occasionally someone will get their feelings hurt, but it's up to you to decide which is worse... continuing to be inconvenienced (long term unhappiness) or hurting someone's feelings (short term guilt). As Chet said, you're giving them power to make you feel that way, but it's hard to blame them for it because they don't know it's an imposition for you.

If you're going to tell them no, don't give them too many details. Just say you're unable to do it anymore. If they ask why, just say that you're busy or that the earlier bus schedule is difficult on your child to wait so long in the confinement of the car. Then let it go. You're not a bad person for saying no. You're just trying to be kind to yourself, and that's not always a bad thing.

[deleted account]

Actually the conversation took a whole different path. I had already decided that I am goint o say NO to her. Because I am the only one who knows all the aspects. But there is a polite and helpful voice inside me which always tells me that I should be able to help someone and may be I am wrong. By stating all the situations about this neighbour I was just asking people what they think about her. But instead of talking about her, CHET MC just went on and on about how I should spend those 20 minutes with my child and be a good example

[deleted account]

YES I was confused....that's why I came here to post.....It happens to a lot of people that they are doing something and are not comfortable with it....It takes them some time to figure out the best way. No-one in a click takes decisions like either I do this or that..."Grow up" ! Wow. Pretty disappointed I am. One thing sure I learned here how I need to take care of my business myself. People will just enjoy the chat and be offensive especially starting the conversation with "No offense"

Raye - posted on 11/19/2014

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Suman,
I'm not sure what you were expecting to hear. You received friendly advice, and all you did was kept defending your position that you didn't like doing it but you weren't going to change anything. So that leaves us all confused. We weren't trying to be mean to you or to your neighbor.

You're a nice person, great, continue being nice and getting taken advantage of by those that don't even know that you have a problem with what you're doing. Most people would be okay with you saying that, since the girl no longer rides the same bus, you can't keep picking her up. If you're sick of it and believe these people have other methods to deal with the situation, then tell them you're done and let them handle it.

If people think their kids are fine by themselves, then don't take it upon yourself to be the chaperone. The kids will be fine, or they won't and the parents will learn that they're not fine by themselves. But if you do take it upon yourself to monitor everybody else's kids, don't play the martyr and feel that you're so much better than everyone else and complain about the burden of being so nice. Grow up.

[deleted account]

I can see how being polite is interpreted in so many different ways. Well looks like I am the only one who is incapable of being upfront. People here are pretty harsh and upfront. I felt lonely and did this post to look for some friendly advice. But No thanks ! Please u guys dont have to answer...I will delete the post.

Raye - posted on 11/19/2014

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Suman,
No offense, but if you can't say no and you can't ask for money, then you're putting yourself into that situation and have no basis to complain about it. Put your big-girl panties on and do something about it if you're unhappy -or- like Chet said, change your attitude.

[deleted account]

I have always tried to set a good example for my kids and other kids. I have been a teacher in past. When I moved to this apartment, this neighbour was nice to me, like she said hello and talked to me at the bus stop. Kids come outside to play in the evening. Would you believe no parent comes outside even once in a while to check on their kids except my one neighbour who just had a second baby. I am pretty much watching everyone's kids. They dont think so because they might think their kids are fine by themselves. But I had to deal with all the sharing issues. One woman in my building just had a third baby. Every morning she drops her oldest kid and other two kids at the stop and picks them up. I have recently offered to pick and drop her oldest , because it's the same time as my kid and I think this is the person who I can help. So I am not s unhelpful person guys. There is a reason I felt like this because I think she has other options. She always tells me how her boss is very flexible. But it's okay if noone else feels this way. Still thanks for taking ur time out to reply.

[deleted account]

Thanks Raye! Like I said I have hard time saying NO to people. It's almost impossible to ask for money. I see other people being so upfront and I want to be like that but I cant. Even when I do it I feel very guilty afterwards that I might have hurt someone's feelings. Especially when kids involved.

Raye - posted on 11/18/2014

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Since it's cold and you have to wait in the car an extra 20 minutes or so, maybe ask the other parent for help with gas money. If her BF is late and you also have to be babysitter to this special needs child, then ask for a few extra dollars for your time or ask them to do you a favor as payback. You scratch their back, they scratch yours.

[deleted account]

I think you are looking at it from only one perspective. I am a mom who is very much involved with kids. I tend to make everything fun. I have always helped out my friends with babysitting their kids when they needed. I live in an apartment complex. I have pretty much picked up other kids a lot of time when their parents couldnt reach at the bus stop a lot of time. Even this neighbour who I am talking about , I am ready to do this whenever there is emergency. My real personality is always telling me to be able to do this for her. That is why I havent said no to her yet.
THE REASON I posted here was because sometimes I felt confused if I was letting people take advantage of me. I am sorry CHET MC , but it looks like all you read out of my post was how I didnt want to do this. Whatever you are suggesting me I am already doing. I just wanted to know if it looks like I am being taken advantage of. This is just a neighbour, not even my friend. She just have one kid and her weekends are free when she drops her kid at her grandparents. She party with girl friends every now and then. Me on the other hand , I am a totally devoted mom...trying to organize and get things done on time and do things with my family. And YES I have spend my share of time at bus stops too with my kids and strollers. And I have always taken care of my kids myself. Never have asked people for favors. I have been way too much helpful to my friends. But at this point of time for some reason I feel people just want to use others. My own friends drop for playdates without invitaton. Sometimes stay for lunch. They get their eyebrows done from me because I am good at that. I have always enjoyed that actually. But recently I am feeling very used because things arent vice versa :(

Chet - posted on 11/17/2014

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I only said that if it was me I would do it. I would find a way to use the 20 minutes productively, because I don't think it would be difficult.

If your kid is happy enough to go and play outside at the bus stop, or read a book in the car, then play at the bus stop or read in the car instead of at home. I think you can choose how much this bothers you or how much it creates problems for you. On cold days you can complain that it's cold, or you can say to yourself, "well, at least my kid is getting some fresh since it was too cold to play outside this morning".

Lots of people wouldn't do it. I'm only saying that I would, and I would do it because I think I could make it work pretty easily. It doesn't need to be an imposition. You're making it an imposition by how you choose to look at it.

We haven't had a car in six years, and our kids spend a lot of time waiting at bus stops and in subway stations. Sometimes it's a pain, but one thing I realised really quickly is that we can complain or we can find ways to use the time productively... and I've definitely seen that attitude trickle down to the our kids.

Chet - posted on 11/17/2014

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If it was me, I would just pick up the neighbour's kid. I'd plan for those 20 minutes be a nice time you spend with your 3 year old - read together in the car, play together on the side walk, listen to an audio book, have a sing-a-long, play I spy, bring a special snack, etc. I would find a way to just feel more positive about going.

Is this the only outside time your 3 year old gets some days? If it is, keep doing it so that your preschooler gets some run around outside time even on days where you feel like it's cold and wouldn't do it otherwise.

I would absolutely say no if it was causing me some kind of hardship, or if I couldn't do it reliably or safely for some reason. But the reason it's hard for you to say no is because you don't have a real reason why you can't, or why it's difficult. You just don't want to.

I'll add too that one of the best ways to teacher kids to be kind, empathetic, charitable and neighbourly is to set that example yourself.

A lot of people would just say no though. You aren't alone in wanting to bail on this. I'm sure other people will post with ideas about how you can get out of it. :-)

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