Thursday, October 28, 2010

how did I get here?

We haven't been in our new home very long, but somehow we have acquired another charge. The next door neighbor who seems like a typical helicopter parent has taken to letting her 5 year old only child hang out at our house every afternoon after preschool. While I think it is good that Maggie has another little girl to play with, I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, especially since her mom has insinuated that I'm not being responsible by allowing my older children to stay home alone, but she hasn't offered to have the girls play in her house. Seven children is a lot to manage, and I am feeling resentful knowing that the neighbor has her house to herself for most of the day.

Am I wrong for not wanting to play hostess every day? Any tactful suggestions?


Natalie said...

Maybe a field trip with the other mother would be good. I agree, you shouldn't be taken adavantage of. I just hope she's not thinking, "she's already got six, one more won't hurt."

Renee said...

If she's letting her dd come to your house every afternoon she's not very much of a helicopter unless she is coming along for most visits.
Sometimes when there is a knock at the door, the answer can be 'we are having family time, we'll see you tomorrow".

Karen said...

I had a 9 yr old neighborhood child hang out at my house every day, all day, the entire summer! The only meal I never fed her was breakfast. Both her parents worked full-time jobs. She was left home with her 13 yr old sister who often was either asleep or took off with her friends. It got very frustrating at times because sometimes you just want to BE without someone else's child getting in the way of that. The child is not Catholic but that didn't stop us from being Catholic, and actually more so, so that we could be a good example to her. She ended up wanting to say the Rosary with us... wanting to go to Mass with us... wanting to wear a Brown Scapular. And she did. That was when we lived in St Marys. We've now lived in Maple Hill for two months and she still comes to visit, though I am somewhat relieved that it isn't daily. ;-)

Pam said...

You just simply tell the child that your children can't play today and send her back home.


Michelle said...

Thus far, my solution has been to PCS. I agree, sometimes you just have to say that it's time to go home now or that they can play in the yard only (cleaning house, baby sleeping).

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but your older child is old enough to sit with others, and if 10 is old enough to be alone. She must not be that concerned about the lack of supervision if she keeps sending her over.

It is ok to say your family can't play right now, etc. We are having a similar stalker issue here with our neighbor kids, and I haven't been nearly as nice! Just because I am at home, doesn't mean I am a free babysitter.

I am sure you are will do fine at setting boundaries. When my boys were at home, I had a rule that they couldn't play with kids until 3. Now on school nights, they aren't allowed to hang out with friends at all...I have found they were rushing through their homework to get outside!

Good luck!

Tracy W. who still checks in to see what you're up to!

Larry said...

I know of people who grew up in an abusive household, or one where the mother was an alcoholic, and other parents stopped letting them come over because there was never any reciprocity. They said that the parents who provided a "safe haven" and didn't worry about whether there was equality of hosting were a real life-line.

In one case, the woman said that her mother was a schoolteacher, and you never would have known there was a problem at home. She told her kids that if they said anything, she'd lose her job and they'd all be out on the street.

I'm not suggesting that your situation is anything like this, but it makes one think...