A woman is fed up with having to babysit her child’s friend for hours at a time as her the child’s parents don’t pick their child up on time.
Making new friends in a new city can be a challenge, but it can be even more complicated when those new friends’ parents start using you as a babysitter without asking. One parent is facing this situation after her son’s friend and his parents moved 15 minutes away from their home. Despite the distance, the friend still gets off the bus at her house, and his parents leave him there for hours without asking.
Moving To A New City
The parent, who we will refer to as Ally, said they had recently moved into the neighborhood. “My son and I moved to the city a few months back. He became friends with a kid who lived maybe a 3-5 minute walk down the road. They ended up being in the same class in school. The bus stop is in front of my house. My son and this kid would get off the bus, and he would walk home, and my son would come inside. “
The Friend Moves Away
Recently, Ally’s son’s friend and his family moved away. “However, this kid and his parents moved about 15 minutes away about two months ago. For some reason, he still gets off the bus at my house. I don’t understand this, as there’s no way he could walk to his current home.”
Ally notes that the friends pick up their child on time, 2-3 days a week. “His parents are here 2-3 days out of the week every week to pick him up on time, leaving me to babysit him randomly. Some days it’s 30 minutes. Some days it’s hours. His parents don’t ask; if they do, it’s when he’s already at my house. But, of course, I’m not going to kick a 7/8 year old out of my house in the middle of a big city.”
Ally Doesn’t Have A Relationship With Them
“I’m not close with them. Sometimes they will text me “thank you” after they pick him up, which will be the only communication we have about it. I stopped replying because I honestly have no idea how to handle the situation. I don’t want to be mean, but I don’t know if I can politely talk to them about it.”
The Situation Hinders Ally’s Dinner Schedule
Ally says that the situation slows her down in her routine. “I work from home after my son gets out of school, so I have things I need to do. I’ve explained that much to his mom, at the very least. I can’t even make dinner until after he leaves because I know he has dietary restrictions that his parents placed on him, but I have no idea what they are, and he always wants to eat what we eat. I’m guessing because he’s not allowed to have it at home, and it makes me feel so bad. Yet here I am, waiting for his mom to pick him up so I can work and cook dinner.”
Others Weigh In
Many shared Ally’s frustrations and advised her on how to approach the situation.
One parent suggested texting the parents politely, “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I will be unable to watch your son after school any longer. Our schedule has changed. Please make sure your son gets off the bus at the correct stop in the future. Thanks!”
Others suggested being firm but not aggressive and setting clear boundaries. One parent shared their experience, saying, “I was in a similar situation, and I got an answer of ‘I was afraid you’d say no,’ so I told her that’s precisely what I’m going to say now and that if she tries to sneak her kid on me that I’ll call the authorities.”
Another parent suggested that Ally should call the parents and tell them that she cannot have him over during her work hours, and that’s that. If they give her trouble, she should tell them she’ll call the school to see if he can be rerouted and why.
One parent shared their experience of working out an arrangement with the friend’s parents, saying, “We ended up working out an arrangement where he came here every day after school, and I watched him in the summer, but it was talked about and agreed upon. Boundaries were established because we had a discussion about it.”
What would you do in this situation?