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Do you ever feel as though others don't value your time because you homeschool?


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I watch my neighbor's dd7 each day when she gets home from ps. My dd7 is this girl's friend so I don't mind. She's only here for about 20 minutes each day until her teenaged sister comes home. I used to help her with her homework which I didn't mind but now she does it at home. I'll watch her later if I know in advance.

 

Anyway, my neighbor is a nice person but sometimes I feel as though she doesn't think *my* time is valuable. There are times that she will take the teenager to an appointment and not tell me. Her dd7 will then be at my house until 4-4:30 instead of 2:30. We're going on vacation next week and I've reminded her repeatedly about that. I spoke with another neighbor who would watch her dd for the week. I told my neighbor this but she spoke to me like *I* was supposed to set this up with the other neighbor. Ummm, I'm not getting paid to watch her dd. I don't need to ask someone to *pick up my shift*. She has the lady's number but hasn't called yet. Today is Thursday and we leave Monday.

 

The kicker was today. My neighbor has off on Fridays so I don't need to watch for the bus that day. Last Friday, the little girl knocks on my door. Mom took her sister to another appointment and didn't talk to me. She's lucky because I had plans to not be here. Our plans changed so I was here. If I wasn't here the bus would have taken her back to school and called mom to pick her up. Today(Thurs),I told my kids to say goodbye to her because we wouldn't see her again until after our trip. The little girl informed me that we'll see her tomorrow because her mom is working Fridays again. Excuse me?

 

I'm feeling really aggravated right now. The girl has a bad cold so I'm keeping her away from us when she's here. I have plans to get the kids haircuts tomorrow. I'm packing and doing laundry and more for this trip. I really don't appreciate the lack of consideration I'm receiving. I don't want her to kiss my feet or thank me profusely--just be considerate.

 

Does anyone else experience this from people? Do people make you feel like their time is more important because they have a *real* job?

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I know this sounds mean to the little girl but if the Mom has not called you specifically to ask you about tomorrow, I would be "not home". Don't answer the door if you are there. She might be upset but she will be safe - as you say, she will be taken back to school and the mom will be called. When the Mom calls you to rant, just say, "Oh, I'm sorry, but had you called to let me know you'd be working? I'm so sure I would have put it on the calendar. We really do enjoy having "Sissy" on her scheduled days. We'll look forward to having her again when we come back from vacation. I hope she has fun at whatever other arrangement you've made for her while we're gone." And if she says you were supposed to make those arrangements, just say, nicely but firmly, "No, I'm busy enough with the scheduling for my own children. I wouldn't dream of taking that responsibility from you."

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I don't think the problem is necessarily related to your homeschooling. Some people are just generally presumptuous. Their schedules are always going to be busier or more important than anyone else's. It's likely that if she didn't have you to pick up her slack she'd be mooching off of someone else.

 

Back in PA, I used to have a friend like this that I otherwise loved dearly. She would call and ask if she could leave her three kids to play with mine so she could go shopping or whatnot. I have 6 of my own, so no, I wasn't okay with that. The only thing that worked was a firm no. No excuses, just "my free time is too rare so I can't promise I will be around all day."

 

There is a lady who calls my daughter to babysit on the spur of the moment. She doesn't like to take no for an answer. She has actually shown up another neighbor's house while my daughter was babysitting there with her grandson in tow to ask whether she could leave him *there* for a few hours. Some people are just like that.

 

Barb

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I know this sounds mean to the little girl but if the Mom has not called you specifically to ask you about tomorrow, I would be "not home".

 

I wish I could do that. But this little girl spends so much time here. I feel like she's a niece. That doesn't give her mom the right to take advantage though.

 

I don't think the problem is necessarily related to your homeschooling. Some people are just generally presumptuous

 

That's so true. I know it's a personality issue and she would act the same even if I didn't homeschool.

 

 

 

My kids are in karate, ballet, scouts, etc. When my special needs child comes home from school I am essentially his nurse. I *am* busy regardless of what someone thinks. I appreciate being able to post here first. It enables me to sound more rational when I speak to my neighbor. Thanks for listening:)

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As much as I *hate* conflict, I don't think there is any way around it. You really need to have a conversation with the young girl's mother. You need to be able to tell her that you feel as if she is taking advantage, then set out some guidelines.

 

(((PM)))

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Sounds as if the problem may be that you don't like conflict, and so you're avoiding setting good boundaries. This will continue as long as you allow it. So stop allowing it.

 

Pull up your big-girl panties and call the Mom. Tell her what works for you and what doesn't. No apologies. No rising tones at the end of sentences as if to ask for permission. Just "This is what I can do, when it's convenient for me. You'll have to make other arrangements for other times."

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I would *not* go the passive-aggressive route of purposely not being there when the bus drops this little girl off. It is the scenario most likely to blow up the situation, IMHO.

 

I would, however, approach the mother with something like, "We seem to be getting our wires crossed--just wanted to touch base with you on our babysitting agreement."

 

Go into this conversation with notes for yourself, so that you don't forget. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate--just a couple bullet points to keep you focused.

 

Lay out what IS okay, and lay out what ISN'T okay. Do it with a smile. Be direct, and be firm.

 

DO NOT justify yourself or go into elaborate explanations about what you do with your time. Your reasons will likely NEVER be compelling enough for her, and elaborate explanations open the matter for debate and judgment. Keep your message simple--this is what I AM agreeing to, and this is what is NOT okay.

 

Good luck--let us know how it goes.

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Yes, I am a little bit of a wimp on this issue. I could list plenty of times when we had our wires crossed. Although my wiring appeared fine to me:) It seems like she just assumes that I'll be here. This is the case alot since we are HOMEschooling-hence the name. Dh says that she's a user. I think that's harsh but a little accurate. Ourkids play together all of the time(2 of my dc and 2 of hers) Yes, the kids play here more than her house and I don't mind it most of the time. I really don't mind. Her kids are like my niece and nephew. But our "relationship" is a little one-sided. I help her and...

 

When we first moved here and started homeschooling(3 1/2 yrs ago)I made it clear that I would NOT watch her kids when ps had off. I also made it clear that if her kids were home sick that she'd have to take care of them. She has never intruded into our school days and I appreciate that.

 

After we come back from Florida I will talk to her. I reallydon't want to deal with it before vacation. I will explain that she needs to communicate better. It makes me uncomfortable how poorly she communicates with me. One day her dd might ge dropped off and the bus might actually leave. If I'm not here, dd would be stranded. It bothers me that *I* worry about this more than she does.

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If people ask if me if I can do something I usually say, "I'm sorry that is my homeschooling time. I could do it at _______" and then they don't ask again. In this case I might say, "I can commit to 20 minutes after school, but if it is going to be more than that it won't work." Little comments like this, even though they feel mean, establish the notion in people's mind that your homeschooling time really is valuable.

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very valuable, and unless you are the official babysitter, you need to be with your children at that time. It sounds like you've been very giving so far!

 

I find that with appointments (doctors, dentists, etc.) that the receptionists often don't value my time! I know this sounds nit-picky, and I really do understand that they have many, many people that they have to schedule in a busy workday. However, I do get a lot of comments like, "Oh! Well, you homeschool, so you could come in during the schoolday!" I usually agree to come later in the afternoon (i.e., maybe between 2 and 3 p.m.). That way, they've fulfilled their obligations to get those daytime appointments in, and I feel better, knowing that the bulk of my schoolday is over by then. (The peevish side of me feels sometimes like retorting, "Would you ask a schoolteacher to abandon her class to come to this appointment?" I don't though; that wouldn't be very nice!) :)

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We put on our answering machine that we do not return calls until after 3 and we don't answer the phone unless it is my dh. People have commented, "I know you are doing school until 3 so..." I have found this helps us set some standards and they are never rude. I think most people just don't stop and think since their dc's are away from home all day and they are free to chat, etc.

 

I'm not sure if this will help in your situation because some people don't value anyone else's time, whether they homeschool or not. Just selfish or not very thoughtful I suppose.

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Yes, I do think people undervalue what I do as a homeschooling mother. My mil will often want to disrupt our school day. I have many times had to ask her not to invite dd somewhere during school hours. I have also had tell bil and sil that I can't watch their 3 yo ds when I am having school. They were asking a lot and he is a handful. I think at some point you just have to put your foot down.:)

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I've had a very similar experience recently. I had agreed to watch a neighbor's dd a few mornings a week (Mondays and Wednesdays), and take her to school. Then, last Tuesday morning, I got a knock at my door. She had dropped the girl off at my house! I let her in (though I did ask her why she was here, as I wasn't expecting her), and after I took her to school, I immediately called her mother. I explained to her (as nicely as I could), that I was not the local drop-in free babysitter, and that I at least needed advance notice before she dropped her daughter off. (And no, calling at 5:45 the morning of does not count as advance notice.) I told her that had she been there even 5 minutes later, I would have been gone, out for a run. I reminded her that I rearranged my schedule (ideally, I would like to run/walk early every morning) those few days to watch her dd.

 

I would like to say that this conversation made her more respectful of my time, but that wasn't the case. She called late Sunday night to ask me to take on even more responsibility (watching her ds, whom I have never met), and I had to decline, and she is no longer dropping her dd off in the mornings.

 

I agree that you need to talk to this girl's mother directly, and establish a few firmer guidelines. It is not the girl's fault that her mother did not make arrangements with you first, and I hate to see her punished for her mother's mistakes.

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I find people to be very considerate and respectful of the fact that I hs. I am the last person on the list that my girlfriends call for a babysitter, for the exact reason that they know my time is precious and valuable, especially from 9 - 2.

 

I'm also absolutely fine with saying: "sorry, doesn't work for me today."

 

My experience is that the leech-ons will leech-on until you say NO. It's human nature, I think. It's ok to draw boundaries and protect your land, esp. as a hs'er.

 

T

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Just adding. I don't have near the amount of things as you do on your plate, but this is really a pet peeve of mine. We stay at home, therfore we don't have "lives" as important...or that we are sitting waiting for something to do. I have had to be terribly terribly firm. It's especially hard when you want to download or complain about your day...I get a look like "Gee, why do YOU have it so bad..." This is kind of digressing on the same topic, but it drives me nuts. Sorry you're going thru it...

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Why is it people assume you (general you) would just love to watch their kids, any old time they want you to? Makes me wonder how many people are that self-centered or are they just that oblivious?

 

I used to watch an infant, that I stopped watching because the mother couldn't be bothered to let me know if she didn't need me that day, or she'd not let me know she was working late and a scad of other reasons. She was very put off that I expected some common courtesy. She then wanted me to watch not only her infant, but her sister's infant as well. She knew I homeschooled my own child, but figured I could do two infants as well, since I was home all day anyway. :eek: Add to the situation that the sister was schizophrenic, was not med compliant and acted out violently. No, I don't think I want to be involved in that situation at all! What are people thinking sometimes? (I did, btw, give the family some resources for help with the mentally ill sister--professionals who could give some real help. I was NOT equipped to deal with that situation in any way!)

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