A girlfriend writes in for advice on how to deal with the people in her life that use her as a babysitter, who doesn’t hear her when she speaks up for herself.
A community member asks:
“So I’ve been in a relationship for three years, and I hadn’t had my own house, etc. before we got together. I’m only 21, but I feel like my SO always thinks that I could never do “life” on my own with a baby. And I feel like I want to move out and get my own place just to prove a point.
On top of his friend and cousins living with us, I’m tired of cleaning and cooking for everyone. I don’t mind cooking and cleaning for just him. But I feel so used and ran over by him, his cousin, his friend, the mother of his first child. I watch her for free because I love her and I love spending time with her. But her mother ONLY sees me as a free babysitter, doesn’t let me know her work schedule, doesn’t respect when I have a thing to do and can’t watch her. When I tell her that she just drops her off anyways. I have said something to her about it, and neither my boyfriend nor anyone else seems to care. I’ve said something to my boyfriend, his friend and cousin about keeping it clean. They just agree and say yeah, but no one actually changes.
That’s my point really: I express my issues. Everyone hears me, acknowledges me, but does nothing to change. Any advice? Should I just move out and prove to all of that I can financially manage a household alone and prove how serious I am about everyone not really respects my issues? I don’t want to break up with him or anything I love him. And I don’t want him to get the impression I want to leave the relationship. So any suggestions that are less evasive?“
Community Advice for the Girlfriend Who Is Tired of Being Used as a Free Babysitter
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this girlfriend who’s tired of being used as a babysitter, read the comments of the post embedded below.
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A few really good points were made in the community responses. You can read some of these below.
“I would stop cooking and cleaning up after anyone other than you and your child until things start to change. They’re treating you how you’re letting them, so show them you won’t let them treat you like a live-in maid, anymore. And only babysit on your terms, turn them away if you’re busy and can’t.“
“Unless you actually walk away ….nothing will ever change. The best definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome!! I know you say you don’t want to break up with him but ….the ball on that one may not be in your court. But Yes quit letting everyone take advantage of you. As for the mother of his child just”Dropping” his child off on you ….tell her that the next time she tries that, that you will have SOCIAL SERVICES come to pick up her child as she has left it and it is not your responsibility. No one will “Respect your issues” until you make them aware that you are not their doormat.“
“As long as you keep saying what you want and they ignore it, you will continue the way it is. By telling your boyfriend that you will move and then do it he will get the message. If he lets you go, then you have the answer about what he wants from you.“
“Truthfully people don’t care unless it affects them. So stop cooking for everyone, stop cleaning, when your stepchild is dropped off, go for a walk, just keep changing your habits and routines until you can’t be relied on and those around you will start doing stuff for themselves.“
“They have no respect for you, try this go get yourself a part-time job so you won’t have so much free time to be a free babysitter you will have to account to your part-time job and they will have to either be more considerable when it comes to your time or they will have to find childcare that they pay for. Stick to your guns when it comes to your commitment to your part-time job and stress to them the importance of you having to know their schedules if you continue to watch their child. They will only start to respect you when you start to respect yourself in the sense that you’re not tolerating being used as a free babysitter.“
Respect starts with us. How we allow people to treat us and how we stand up for ourselves depends much on us. Learning to say no and following through with it is probably one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn. People catch on quickly to ones they can manipulate. One member made the comment that people will treat you the way you let them. Start by really thinking about what you want and don’t want. Write it down. Then hold yourself to it. Since telling people isn’t working then don’t talk anymore, just act. You are definitely not a free babysitter. Let that be clear to all of them right away.
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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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