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Eeek. Am I enabling this situation??


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A friend asked for my help with being a "consultant" for her preschool age twin boys.

 

I accepted the challenge.

 

I knew in advance this friend deals with too much on her plate, some PPD/insomnia, husband does not help, and basically... she is a perfectionist.

 

At our first meeting, she said she did not have the time to create lesson plans. I suggested pre-created lesson ideas and she then complained she had no money. She implied I was to come up with activities or the lesson plans. Hmmm.

 

I later whipped up some (free) online resources and she did not have the time to print out the resources.

 

I then took it upon myself to print the (free) link and put the worksheets and week's lesson suggestions in her mailbox. I also told her I will not be available beyond the month of March. After that, she will be on her own... but will have a month's worth of lesson ideas and resources to create a do-able plan.

 

I have a sinking feeling she may be asking more out of me. But I am working p/t and homeschooling my own child. I don't have time to help her. Her family wants her to get a p/t job and put the kids in daycare as nothing is getting accomplished with her being at home.

 

The kids are unsupervised often or the TV babysits them for hours. My friend is known to not um... discipline her kids and they rule the roost. She does have some serious Depression/Insomnia issues I feel need medical intervention, but she has no $ or insurance... yet, she is clearly overwhelmed. I gently encouraged her that there is no shame in getting help and putting the kids in preschool 2 days a week for her sanity. Or join a support group or playgroup just to get out of the house. Yikes...

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Moms of multiples have much higher rates of ppd. it sounds like if she can't discipline them, she most likely won't be able to teach them. Does she qualify for state medical care? If she has no help, some meds may help out so she can function.

 

Maybe a website like brightly beaming (or i think that is the name, lotw type activites), but if she doesn't have $ for a few books ( like what your preschooler needs to know and the activity books) where is she going to get money for art supplies, copies etc? Homeschooling is not cheap or free. Not everyone is ready or able to homeschool.

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I think that by letting her know that you would not be available after March, you clearly set up some boundaries. IMO, I don't think your enabling her- yet. However, it does sound like there is a potential for her to take advantage of the situation. . She needs to make time to parent her children, despite her depression and insomnia. This is coming from someone who also has twin boys and was dealing with depression, insomnia, and my children's health issues while they were at their worst, which were during the toddler and preschool age. I had little help because my husband was too busy working two jobs to provide for us. I had one other school age child at the time and no other help. You've done a lot to help thus far.

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ITA that you're not enabling *yet*, and if you follow through with what you said and don't let her suck you in, you won't be. You've provided resources and encouragement--it's upnto her to get it done. Maybe some help finding resources for the depression and insomnia would be good, but even then, she'll have to choose to do it in the end.

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I think that by letting her know that you would not be available after March, you clearly set up some boundaries. IMO, I don't think your enabling her- yet. However, it does sound like there is a potential for her to take advantage of the situation. . She needs to make time to parent her children, despite her depression and insomnia. This is coming from someone who also has twin boys and was dealing with depression, insomnia, and my children's health issues while they were at their worst, which were during the toddler and preschool age. I had little help because my husband was too busy working two jobs to provide for us. I had one other school age child at the time and no other help. You've done a lot to help thus far.

 

 

I think you have ID'ed the issue.

 

What makes things worse is that my friend blames others (or uses them) to get free childcare. And if the friendships become damaged due to the situation, she moves onto the next "friend" and uses them for free help.

 

Plus, she will make it look as if the blame rests on that person... whereas the 800 lb. Elephant in "the room" is that she is overwhelmed and needs to parent her children. Many moms of multiples are on their own with no help. I just am a bit gun shy seeing a few friendships blown apart by this mom.

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Step away slowly.... and then RUN!!!!!

 

This woman is a user.

 

Period.

 

Don't get sucked in. It won't end well.

 

And besides that, she doesn't even sound like a particularly nice person. Why would you even want to help her? :confused:

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There is someone like this in my life as well. The medical issues did not get addressed for many years, and through many pregnancies, until it was a full-blown, very frightening medical emergency. (It wasn't PPD related--the reason for her apparent depression was an underlying, very serious medical condition that went undiagnosed for many years.)

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After your update it sounds like there is a lot more going on, and she probably does want you to teach them. I was alone with the twins and hsing my oldest kg, but i recognized ineeded help and got it. If she is doing that to others, stick to what you said, and back away.

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As another mother of twins - who did the school thing, the homeschool thing, and managed two 4 year olds while my husband worked full time, was in grad school, the union president, and on a search and rescue travel team.... Good times, those years - I would not so gently suggest that if she can't find the time to look at links, or even print what is sent to her, she needs to stop looking at homeschooling (even preschool) and start looking at daycares and preschools.

 

We all know the level of effort we put in to educating our children... Printing is about the easiest task we've got.

 

I'm not sure, either, given the information you've provided, that I would count someone like that as a friend. Friendship is reciprocal, not a "what can you do for me" relationship.

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As another mother of twins - who did the school thing, the homeschool thing, and managed two 4 year olds while my husband worked full time, was in grad school, the union president, and on a search and rescue travel team.... Good times, those years - I would not so gently suggest that if she can't find the time to look at links, or even print what is sent to her, she needs to stop looking at homeschooling (even preschool) and start looking at daycares and preschools.

 

We all know the level of effort we put in to educating our children... Printing is about the easiest task we've got.

 

I'm not sure, either, given the information you've provided, that I would count someone like that as a friend. Friendship is reciprocal, not a "what can you do for me" relationship.

 

I completely agree with everything here. If she doesn't have time to print now, she should just give up on the idea of homeschooling, b/c no way eill she "have time" to do everything else beyond printing after this month.

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I completely agree with everything here. If she doesn't have time to print now, she should just give up on the idea of homeschooling, b/c no way will she "have time" to do everything else beyond printing after this month.

 

Yes! This is what I was thinking. You set a good boundary with only being able to help up until March. However, I would be prepared that in the end, you will become a long list of her casualties because you didn't help enough or long enough or tried to make her do the things you were suggesting to her.

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:iagree: with all those above, maybe you could "help" by recommending a nearby preschool.

I wouldn't expect to stay "friends" long with the track record you posted in your second post.

If she insists about the homeschooling, ask her "why do you want to HS?", is it so she can stay home and not get a job like her DH wants her to (Hsing is a llot of work too)? or do they not have the money for preschool (there are free PSs if they qualify and HSing isn't cheap)??? Really she does not seem interested in it.

If I were you I would be busy a lot..... :glare:

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