Published Nov 14, 2004
Hi everyone. I'm a married mom of 4 boys and going to school full time. My courseload is incredible, as I'm sure many of yours are as well. I need some advice. A friend of mine has 2 children. One is 2 and te other almost 1. Anyhow she's been a stay at home mom and recently went back to work to waitress part time. I asked her who would watch the kids and she said the schedule would work around her husbands schedule. I told her I'd love to help her sometime but unforunately I'm really busy with school and home and hubby etc... (I had a feeling she'd be asking and I wanted to make it clear up front). Well first week of her work and she called to ask me to if I could baby sit and I said sure, but really had a test to study for. I ended up having to meet with my advisor that morning to pre-register for spring so I couldn't do it. She seemed a little upset but what am I to do right? I told her I am sorry but it's not a good time with finals coming and everything. To makea long story short she's asked me if I could watch them this coming Monday and next Saturday night and I told her I couldn't Monday for sure and Sat. night I'd have to let her know and I honestly just don't want to. I just don't know how to say no without upsetting her or something. Also I'm a little preturbed because I already expressed to her I wouldn't be able to anyway because of school. Anyone have any advice????
I've gone from being a stay-at-home to student...and for some reason people think it is not time consuming, have had similar situations. I just tell them that while I would like to help, school is very time consuming and I am no longer able to help. Yes, they sound disappointed, even angry, the first time "no" is the answer, but have to be firm to establish boundries.
I've gone from being a stay-at-home to student...and for some reason people think it is not time consuming, have had similar situations. I just tell them that while I would like to help, school is very time consuming and I am no longer able to help. Yes, they sound disappointed, even angry, the first time "no" is the answer, but have to be firm to establish boundries.Good luck.SJ
honestly, I would just tell her that with school and your own family, you are just too overwhelmed to take on anything else. I wouldn't even go the "I can't tonight, but I might be able to watch the kids on Sat night." It just leads to more pressure and guilt. Just make it a one time no, and be done with it. If she keeps calling, tell her again nicely or just get caller ID and ignore her! Her kids are her responsibility, not yours.
It's hard isn't it? For some reason many people don't count study as important or time consuming. I've been up against the same kinds of situations, and basically what it comes down to is this. If you fail, will she be paying your tuition for the courses you have to retake? Is she in a position to give you another year of life when you have to retake them? And sadly, when it comes down to it, will she even feel partly responsible if you fail? I'm betting the answer is NO!
Still, I know how it feels - you WANT to be able to help out, and you don't want to be mean. But in the broad scheme of things, you can't do everything. And even if she can't see that, you certainly can.
A few tips I've learned on "how to say no" and to place a hedge of protection around your study time:
* Invest in a caller ID unit -- or screen your calls. Saying "yes" to something you shouldn't usually happens when you're caught off guard. And beware of phone calls which start with, "so what are you doing on Friday night?"....the correct answer is, "why are you asking?" or words to that effect. If you are caught off guard, always say, "I'll have a think about it and let you know." If possible email the reply - you can choose your wording better and don't have to dodge arguments about the reason you've decided "no" is the answer. Second best option, phone while you know they are out and leave a message!
* Make yourself a blanket rule - you don't babysit during semester time. Period. Even if you theoretically could do it, sending her mixed messages about "maybe saturday, but not sunday, and being able to rearrange your life to incorporate babysitting" will only give her reason to keep on asking, and add tension and pressure if you've said no 3 times this month already and you don't feel you can say no again. So when you're asked you say simply, "sorry, I've just got so much on during school semesters - but I know of a really good babysitter you can hire - her phone number is......"
* Even during school breaks, you shouldn't have to babysit if you don't want to! I have a person who ALWAYS emails me around break time wanting to know "when my holidays start..." ...meaning, "when will you be able to babysit?" Joke your way out of it if you have to, "boy I wish I had the energy to babysit for you! But I see myself sleeping for the next two weeks!"
* Remind yourself that these are NOT your kids...not your responsibility. Much as you might love them, it is THEIR parents' responsibility to juggle their own life, just as it's your responsibility to juggle yours. Don't ever feel guilty for saying "no".
* If you feel like you'd like to see her kids now and then in a "babysitting" context, make offers on YOUR terms. I do this with family (nieces, nephews etc). If I see a cool activity coming up and I'm free, I'll phone them up and ask if I can take their kids for a few hours on a day of my choice. This sends them the message, "hey - I do love your kids and want to spend time with them, but on MY terms, not as a free babysitter!"
* If someone really comes the heavy with you and starts casting dispertions on "what you do all day" never rationalise. Just brush off negative comments with a light comment such as, "ah maybe someday you'll see what this study caper is all about," or "well I'm glad you've got a superbrain, but mine is just a basic human model - so I'm afraid I actually have to STUDY to pass"...always with a smile, but FIRMLY all the same.
Grrrr....unfortunately it's part of being a student. Just stay tough - your study IS important!
I tell her studying she laughs it off and says things like.."is that all you ever do?" or "haven't you studied enough?".
Instead of saying you are studying, tell her you're doing homework..that is what studying really is anyway, and maybe the work part of homework will get through to her.
If she continues, tell her that when she started work you mentioned that you would not be available to babysit and that you did it a few times until she could get established in her new job, but now you realize that it just isn't possible for you to continue. (I know eaiser typed than done )
however you decide to handle it, do what is right for YOU and YOUR FAMILY
* invest in a caller id unit -- or screen your calls. saying "yes" to something you shouldn't usually happens when you're caught off guard. and beware of phone calls which start with, "so what are you doing on friday night?"....the correct answer is, "why are you asking?" or words to that effect. if you are caught off guard, always say, "i'll have a think about it and let you know." if possible email the reply - you can choose your wording better and don't have to dodge arguments about the reason you've decided "no" is the answer. second best option, phone while you know they are out and leave a message!
everyone has had such good advice and i appriciate it so much. the thing is she did catch me off guard and i felt like i was stuttering. i'm just not the type to say no, but i'm getting better. i do care for her and her kids but at the same time she hasn't called me much lately except to ask for me to babysit. i just want to be able to say no without it ruining our friendship or for it to seem like i'm making excuses. ah well. i'm also afraid if i do it once i'll be doing it all the time. i can recall a time when i asked her to watch my 1 year old. her daughter was the same age at the time and she was pregnant with #2 and her reponse was "two 1 year olds? i honeslty don't think i can manage that." so i'm a little upset she'd think i could watch 6 kids. anyway, sorry and thanks for the great advice and listening to me vent!!!!!!!!!!
All great advice! I've been there/done that. Was a SAHM of 4 kids myself, and still got the calls to babysit (and for kids that IMO were old enough to be by themselves for a few hours).
If you know of someone who COULD babysit, maybe you could say to your friend, "I'm sorry I can't babysit at all when I'm in school because of my study/family schedule, but I do know that so-n-so babysits on occasion, for $X.XX per hour. If you'd like I can give you her/his number." That way, it seems like you understand her predicament and want to help, even though YOU can't directly.
Plus, babysitting is not free! I don't know if she paid you or not, but I got very, very tired of being the "free" sitter just because I was a SAHM. My time is valuable, and I was home for MY kids, not someone else's.
I think that this is all wonderful advice. I, too, have the same problem. Not just from friends, but family as well. I always find myself being volunteered for things before I even get asked to help. I really can't give any advice that has not been already given. But good luck!!! I hope it all works out for you.
I do care for her and her kids but at the same time she hasn't called me much lately except to ask for me to babysit. I just want to be able to say no without it ruining our friendship or for it to seem like I'm making excuses. Ah well. I'm also afraid if I do it once i'll be doing it all the time. I can recall a time when I asked her to watch my 1 year old. Her daughter was the same age at the time and she was pregnant with #2 and her reponse was "Two 1 year olds? I honeslty don't think I can manage that." So I'm a little upset she'd think I could watch 6 kids. Anyway, sorry and thanks for the great advice and listening to me vent!!!!!!!!!!
She only calls to get a babysitter & she won't return the favor? You sound like a very sweet person & a wonderful friend, but this person is trying to take advantage of you. When you're going through the challenge of nursing school, you need to get your priorities set--family, classes, studying, relaxation, etc--do you really have time & energy left over to try to be a babysitter? Good luck with the situation!
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
Tell her that you do not have time too, since you are busy with your own family, school, etc. You don't owe her an explainationof your life, ESPECIALLY since she doesn't seem to be offering to pay you and thinks that despite you telling her you're busy, that she seems to have ignored you anyway (although i WOULD inform her that her snide remarks about 'is that all you ever do' are not called for).
i couldnt help writing something about this. sorry if i will offend anybody.
it seems like a general occurence to me that most americans say that they would like to "help" even if they know that theres a very slim chance of them being able to. i see it all the time where i work. is it from "wanting to please everybody" kind of attitude? "wanting to show ur concerned and u care". and when u do approach them for the help, they act all surprised that u've taken them seriously. what is with all the fakeyness? there lots of ways to show that u feel the pain or the hardship, "'promising" them something u cant do is just the most ridiculous thing to do. if u know that u cant do anything for them, dont say anything. then u wont have to do all of these nonsense explanation why u cant "help" all of a sudden. i'd rather have someone not say anything to me than tell me theyre willing to help only to be let down in the end.
Create well-written care plans that meets your patient's health goals.
This study guide will help you focus your time on what's most important.
Choosing a specialty can be a daunting task and we made it easier.
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X