A friend writes in asking for advice because she feels her best friend is using her for babysitting services. What advice would you give?
A Mamas Uncut Community Member asks:
“I feel like my best friend of over 20 years is using me. I agreed to watch her four-year-old while she worked, she is a teacher, because she was having a hard time affording daycare. I told her to just bring food for him. I watched him for over two months, and she only brought snacks TWICE, which really pissed me off.
I let her know that it’s hard enough to keep my family fed, and there ain’t no way I am going to do free babysitting plus feed him too. She kept ‘forgetting,’ and I felt like she only did that cuz she knew I would feed him regardless. Well, she gets a boyfriend and has him start watching him. I told her she shouldn’t let someone she just met watch her kid. But she did anyway, so I stayed out of it. Since then, I have moved, and I am trying to save up for a vehicle, so I planned on getting a side job to help with that. But now she wants me to start babysitting again, and I am feeling some kinda way about it.
For one, I would NEVER expect anyone to watch my kid for free for 8 to 10 hours a day. Even if they offered, I would feel obligated to compensate even if it’s a little. I am saving her almost 500 a month. I really need the extra money, and I am going to ask for ten bucks a day (50 a week) but was wondering what others would do in my situation. I don’t want to mess my friendship up, but I truly feel like she’s using me. And I really just need someone else opinion. Thank You!”
Community Advice For The Friend That Feel Her Best Friend Is Using Her
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below,
Read responses from the community below.
“I honestly think she’s not a real friend. Real friends wouldn’t act like that. Hope it works out though”
“Tell her that you can’t afford to watch him for free because you really need to save up and get a car and were planning on getting a part-time job but if she could pay you instead even just 50 bucks a week then you could watch her son instead of taking a job. She is supposed to be your friend too and care about your life situation too”
“I would ask for $5 an hour. I know you are trying to do her a favor, but you deserve to be paid for your time. And the first week she doesn’t pay you, that’s it, no more babysitting for her.”
“Just tell her you are getting a job and can’t now. Keep friendship intact then.”
“There is no friendship to lose. Say no to babysitting. You do not owe anyone an explanation. People like her find a new mark fairly quickly.”
Have you ever had a best friend that you felt was using you? If so, you need to take the word “best” out of “best friend.” A true friend would never take advantage of you and if they did you would be able to feel free enough to tell them. So now we can repeat the question with: have you ever had a friend that is misusing your generosity? The most frequent advice is to just ignore the underlying problem but this would be a mistake for you and for that friend. You need to protect yourself and you never know you might gain a true friend.
In my personal experience, not many people like to hear the truth or take criticism, but this shouldn’t stop you from giving it. I have lost friends and I have gained true friends from just being truthful. In the end, it has opened my eyes to how often we make superficial friendships. We oftentimes use the term “best friends” to loosely. I have learned that once I have distinguished the difference, I have more friends and fewer best friends but I am okay with that. After reading this post today, I had to ask myself, what is the difference between a friend and a true/best friend? I found this article to be a good read: Difference between Friends and Best Friends. Let go of bad friends and go find real ones.
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.
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