What did I do wrong?

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  1. #1 May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    Hi,
    I want your opinions on something that happened a few months ago but I still feel bad about. On the first day of school a guy who barely knows my husband and his kid was in my kid's class last year approached him with a request. He said his car is broken and that he needs to fix it and do the insurance and legal checks. He was wondering if my husband could take his kid home when it is time for pick up because the man just started a new job and with one working car he can't ask for early dismissal from work. They don't live that far but it is the opposite way from our house. My husband said he couldn't due to work schedule but said my wife (me) could do that because im the one who usually picks the kids up. The man asked me and I said no problem. We went home and when I asked my husband for how long did he need this, my husband said the man told him , "it is not permanent".

    We felt he needed help and we wanted to help him. When I went home I got a text from the man's wife introducing herself and thanking us for doing this. I said don't worry about it. She asked if her husband set this as an ongoing thing, and I said he said until his car is fixed. I told her I can't do this long term and we hope his car is fixed soon. She thanked us and said she really needed the help and that they only have one car and that she is pregnant and having complication, offered gas money and gifts. She said if you get tired of this let me know. Thinking this would be just a week or maybe 10 days, we said no thank you because we would like to help out. Isn't that the impression from "not permanent" ?

    The situation at home was not very stable. We had some problems and his parents were coming soon to stay for a while. I really hate it when they come and problems and remarks are always there. The cleaning and extra work plus homework plus regular doctor appointments for my first kid, all of this was too much stress on me.

    The first week after I started taking that child to their home passed. Then the second with no news about the car being done. They were able to take their kid home a couple of times due to her husband being sick. After about two weeks and my in-laws coming soon, I felt things were getting a little tight for me. I wanted to quit but unfortunately she lost the baby and had surgery. She hinted they have no one to take care of the kids during her surgery. We felt she really needed help, and she was a very nice lady, so we offered to babysit her kids on the day of the surgery. She and her husband were very thankful. She offered to pay us again. We felt they were in need of help and said no need. Again not expecting to last much longer.

    Fast forward two more weeks (one month total) I sent her a text saying that my in-laws are coming, kids have classes after school and daughter has frequent doctor appointments, so today would be the last day. I told her about the after school program where they take the children for an extra 3-4 hours and that I checked and they still have places available. She sent a msg that they are not accepting kids. I checked again and the website says places are available so I was not sure why it wasn't working. I gave her the link to the website. Apparently he has tickets he needs to pay and then fix the car, insure it and register it.

    I felt I gave her a late notice but frankly it was getting tight for me, and I told her before, I can't do this long term. I also sent the msg just before the weekend.I felt they could have done something in that month to resolve their situation. A day later after I told her I want to quit, I sent a long msg explaining my other obligations and schedule conflict. I also told her the initial arrangement was until her husband's car is fixed and that I didn't expect it to take that long. I also said I am sorry and I would like to help but can't anymore. She didn't reply to that msg and she always replies.

    I felt she was upset because this msg was not expected by her. My child told me that her friend's dad picked his kid up. I felt bad that he probably had to leave work early, but what am I supposed to do? The next day I sent her another msg asking if they were able to put their kid in the after school program and she didn't reply. Now Im pretty sure she was upset. To try to leave on a positive note, I sent a third msg explaining my situation again and telling her I didn't mean to put you in a difficult spot and that I wish them good luck. NO REPLY!!!

    Did I do something wrong? She was very nice up until the last three msgs. She may have been upset, but I told her from the beginning I can't do it very long. I felt that I gave them a late notice and that could have caused a problem but we didn't expect the whole fixing thing to last that long. We thought a month was long enough. Plus I looked up the after school program before I ended it with her. Maybe they had some difficult financial situation and that is why it took that long, but they were not clear about it.

    I saw her husband once a few weeks later and he said hi. I also learned she was pregnant again, enrolled their child in the program for a while, then they asked another parent to bring their kid home. That was a few days ago, so whatever situation they had was still going on and the year is about to finish. I don't think they are bad people, but I feel bad it ended like this. Sorry this was very long. What do you think?
     
  2. No, you didn't do anything wrong. You were generous to help her as much as you did. She is probably upset but imo, she is not being reasonable with her expectations of you.
     
  3. Don't feel bad. You did a lot more than I would have. If I said a week I wouldn't do a month. Not sure why they couldn't do after school. Relying on you like that and expecting to pick up their slack is wrong.
     
  4. You definitely did nothing wrong...you went above and beyond. It is not your job to provide a taxi service for their kid. IMO I cannot even imagine asking someone to take on this task that I am not close friends
     
  5. Please sleep at night. You did nothing wrong. You helped without knowing them in the first place. You did more than I would have. Parenting is hard and we all have to own up to our responsibilities. And she has the nerve to get made! 🙄
     
  6. I agree with everyone else. You didn't do anything wrong at all. Actually, it sounds like your kindness was taken advantage of. At least they could have given you updates on how much longer it may be or why it was taking long or not working it. It sounds like they had more of an issue than the car and wanted to see if they could find a way to get someone to step in to help by manipulating the situation some. I also don't like to feel like people are upset with me, but you should know you and your family did so much!!
     
  7. I really hate when people use people's kindness against them. Trust me you did waaaaay more than I would have done and you did it out the goodness of your heart. Put this behind you please. If she's mad that's her issue, not yours. You did absolutely nothing wrong and everything right. She said when you get tired let her know and that's exactly what you did. Maybe they aren't mad and just stressed. Who knows but what ever their issue is don't beat yourself up about this.

    Maybe it's just me but I'm not that trusting with people I don't know with my children!! Who are these people?!
     
  8. Nope, you did nothing wrong. I don't understand people who just expect nice gestures out of strangers, where does the entitlement come from? The least she could have done was said, thank you for all your help instead of ignoring your messages. You went above and beyond, I'd delete her from your phone and forget about them all together.
     
  9. You don't owe them any reasons for stopping the free car rides and babysitting. Some people live their lives looking for others to help them long term and it's one excuse after another. This happened to me when my kids were young. At some point you have to stop and say no.

    You are a very kind person. Don't give it any more thought.
     
  10. You were more than generous & went way above & beyond.

    Put it in perspective & know you were very kind & thoughtful.

    There are people in this world who have a sense of "entitlement", they
    were one of them, sadly speaking.
     
  11. They were just using you. Clearly they lied about the short-term nature of their "problems". When you were no longer useful, they found someone else. I agree with the poster who said not to give it anymore thought.
     
  12. Sounds like she's mad she can't use you anymore==no reason to talk to you. Your conscience should be clear.
     
  13. I'm in the same situation as you, but the people's circumstances are totally different. These people are my neighbors and I feel like a jerk if I don't bring their kid home because I'm there at the same time/place as their kid is. I've been doing this for years, with their older child, and they are super nice and extremely generous. I only have one more year that my daughter will be in this school, but their kid that I take home is a turd. I let my daughter play after school for a bit and chat with the other mom's, and Turd tells me that his older brother 'is probably home by now' and that he wants to go home. He then glares at me and gets upset if my daughter is late...Turd is in the 1st grade and my daughter is in the 4th grade. Being that next year will be her last year at this school, I want her to have fun after school with no worries and just have a fluid schedule before she hits middle school. I'm dreading telling the parents that I quit, but Turd has annoyed me to the point of no return. He is not my child, so I don't feel comfortable telling him to suck it up (of course, in the nicest of ways). But I digress...to Verychic555, don't feel bad about saying 'NO', you did the right thing, they took advantage of a favor and made it routine. It's their problem, not yours and I have a feeling that this isn't their first time doing something like this.
     
  14. First I would like to thank all of you who were so kind. But oh Lord Elle-mo, I really really feel your pain because I was in another situation a few months ago with another parent. I even posted asking for advice from the ladies here. There is this kid who is my kid's best friend and every Friday I let them play in the park next to the school. The father of that kid used to ask me how long we were going to stay. I say "20 min". He leaves and comes back after 45 min. It happened two or three times. One of those times I was sick and really wanted to go home, but didn't want to leave his kid unattended. I found it awkward to talk to him about it and thought the whole thing maybe a misunderstanding. But this guy was getting on my nerves. One time I had a conference with the teacher and he knew and left his kid with me!!! I was shocked and wanted to leave his kid alone as punishment and to teach him a lesson, but the panicked look on her face when she realized she will stay alone...I couldn't just leave her, so I took all of the kids and told them to sit next to the classroom.
    Then the year finished. When we came back to school, he started asking me to give his kid a ride. After a few times, I started bothering me. One time after he left her with me, his kid told me he wants to go shopping!!!!!!! I was very upset but found it very awkward to say I don't want to take her home. I am a bad lier as I really have nothing to do except sit with the kids, and he knew that and took advantage of it. He started leaving her with me every single time, I repeat, every single time we play on Friday. When I took her home I almost always find him home. I felt like a huge idiot. It really bothered me because I'm not his driver. I finally had enough, so one time he approached me to ask for a ride for his daughter, I just said, "sorry I can't today" with no other explanation. I don't work for him, so I don't have to explain anything. You should have seen the look on his face, total shock. The next time we played, he saw me pretend to leave, but still had the nerve to ask, "you are not going to stay for too long?"
    I would love to help when it's an emergency. But I felt used and didn't want it to continue anymore. Now he sits and waits for his kid like he is supposed to do. I don't know your situation, so I can't judge if my advice will help. But what are the parents doing when it is pick up time? Do they contribute some gas money or something to you family as a thank you? But I too found it very hard and awkward to say no the first time. You could say you have to go "somewhere" and go to the supermarket or something. It is hard esp that they are your neighbors, but try to think of something, because I feel they are too comfortable with this and they let it go on for years. Best of luck to you.
     
  15. I just wanted to clarify that for the conference incident I told him I have a conference and then went on my way to let my kids play a little. He went home. When it was about conference time, I gathered everything and took my kids and wanted to leave but his kid told me,"my dad said you have to watch me"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He didn't even ask for me to watch her. I was angry. I thought of leaving her (with other kids around) but she was scared and just I couldn't do it.

    Just like you Elle-mo, in the beginnig I felt like a jerk if I don't bring his kid home, because I was in the same place/time. And it was only once a week. But when it started becoming a routine for him. He just comes, sees me sitting doing nothing and asks me to drive her home. In the beginning it was hard to say no. But when I found him home every time, I couldn't take it anymore. So I just said I can't today. I hope you find a resolution you are comfortable with.