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Mothers who do not reciprocate favours/play dates

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:35 PM

My eldest DD (7) is besties with another girl who lives in the next street. They have been friends for 1 1/2 yrs and are at school together.

Despite requests, it seems the other mother always has excuses why the child cannot come to our place. And she has never invited our DD back.

At first I thought this was just us or a lack of trust of us but out of the blue she asked us to take the child overnight because she and her hubbie had a function on and her plans had fallen through. The child stayed over and had a lovely time. To my knowledge no other child has ever been to play with this kid or had her over.

We have also had 2 of her kids after school and fed them dinner when her other child was in hospital. My DH has also picked up and dropped her 2 of her kids one day after school.

My DH and I have decided no more favours.

WDYT? I feel sorry for my daughter because she really just wants a playdate with this child.

Edited by shhhbabysleeping, 08 August 2009 - 03:36 PM.

#2 Jeneral

Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:46 PM

Probably a different perspective then others but as someone who suffers from anxiety in social situations I am one who would 'put off' play dates, I also avoid coffee dates, shopping excursions and tupperware parties.  It is not that I don't want it to happen or that I don't count the person a friend, just that it is incredibly hard and most of the time I don't have the energy, will power, etc to make the effort. Of course I do sometimes 'need' babysitting and will then ask for help, but playdates - nope.  I honestly feel that playdates are just another word for babysitting and would thus feel like I 'owed' the person something.

Anyway, just saying the person may not be being intentionly rude, but rather has a different view of playdates.

#3 *ACE*

Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:49 PM

I'm one of those people who doesn't reciprocate (sp?) playdates.  I just don't like having people in my house.  I'm happy for my children to go to people I know and trusts places to play but I always feel bad because it will be very rarely that I will invite the family to our place.

Does this family have any other family in the area?  It could be a trust thing or a uncomfortable with people in their house thing.

That said I'd think if you have been asked to look after the girl overnight and 2 children in emergencies I would say that you are trusted.

Maybe have a chat with the mother or arrange a playdate at a neutral place like a park and see what happens?

#4 JRA

Posted 08 August 2009 - 04:02 PM

But at that age it is not as though the parents have to be social, they don't need to stay

#5 melandned

Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:18 PM

oh yes i hear you

i constantly have 2 kids over to my place and one never gets reciprocated the other only does when i try and pin down the mum for a date

i hate it (not having the kids over they're really good kids) i just think it's not fair and ned constantly says 'it's my turn to go to such and suches house'  when can i go

do i penalise him or just suck it up?
i have been sucking it up but it still annoys me

sorry op to steal your vent!

#6 Wut??

Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:25 PM

It probably wouldn't bother me that much.  Not to the point that I'd refuse to help out if they asked.

My DH and I have decided no more favours

Why, exactly?

My schoolfriends mum was a bit like that.  She was just a bit strange.  Still is.  I'm still friends with my mate, and have been for many years.  Sounds a bit tit for tat to me.

#7 Char

Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:44 PM

Coming from another perspective...

I am really busy with my work. My kids are very busy, most weekends are sport, birthday parties, or family time. After school during the week we have homework, tutoring, sports training, music lessons.. etc etc.

There is simply no time sometimes.  

I have a school friend who is always fussing about after school and wanting my DS's to go over. That's fine, he can.. but I don't have time to reciprocate most of the time.  It's hard enough without extra kids.

Everyone is different... and I don't see it as doing favors..either.

#8 MurderBritches

Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:48 PM

I don't because I have two dogs and no yard to speak of.

#9 *CalamityJane*

Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:53 PM

I'm one of those parents who doesn't reciprocate.  Quite simply, I work full time - we're not home during the week and weekends are crammed with getting things done.  What time we have left is family time.  DDs have had a couple of after school playdates because the parent has offered and we've managed to coordinate it somehow, but it can't be a regular thing and we can't have other kids over after school no matter how much DDs would like to.

#10 MattsMum

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:08 PM

Its annoying isn't it. I have had the same thing happen. I keep saying to DS that he cannot invite himself over to peoples places. But the return invite never happens.

I've decided not to penalise the kids over it but definately don't do any more 'favours' for them.

#11 Guest_jaicorbe_*

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

There are so many reasons why a mother might not either be able or feel able to reciprocate. Have you ever considered simply asking if there is a reason she seems to away from having people over? I doubt its quite as malicious as you feel it is.


Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:17 PM

Thanks to some posters for giving an alternate view. I had not thought of mental illness as a possible issue but I think perhaps it is...

BTW - my hubbie runs his own business, I work 3 days a week and with little family support and 3 kids we too are busy...but I will always find time for my kids to have playdates - it was a reason we picked the local school - local families, local kids which is different to the private school I went to where kids could be all over Melbourne.

I won't be stopping my daughter playing with or having the kid over for plays when/if the mother allows it but I think I won't be doing favours. The mother has involved parents and sister which is more family than we have here. It's not tit for tat, it's just recognition that I am busy too and can't be used. I don't mind giving but sometimes its good and not that unreasonable to recieve.

Edited by shhhbabysleeping, 08 August 2009 - 06:18 PM.

#13 Rock of Empathy

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:32 PM

Wow, it never actually occured to me that playdates were done on a reciprocal basis only. I've had kids over here to play that have not asked Matthew to their house in return and vice versa. I didn't realise some parents were keeping score - I assumed it would all even out over the course of my kids' school life.  blink.gif


Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:36 PM

Rock of Empathy - you misunderstand. I'm more than happy to have the child here - but mother won't allow it, mostly. Or to any other child's house either. It's not about keeping score - but it does seem odd that kids hardly ever have any playdates and she definately never has kids to her house.

#15 sarahjk

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:47 PM

So do some of you hear "playdate" and think it's having the mother or the whole family over?  A couple of PP's seem to have said that but to me a playdate is just having the child for a play.  So even if you have issues it shouldn't necessarily be that hard to just have on child over to play.  
And it's not necessarily keeping score, but I know that if my DD has been to play a couple of times at a friends house I make sure the friend comes to us next time so I'm not seen to be taking advantage.

#16 Dino-Mite

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:49 PM

I don't normally have time for play dates!   I also work full time and get home between 5pm and 6pm every night.  Weekends are also extremely busy!

I also have a dog that jumps on "everybody" so if somebody isn't use to dogs, it can be hard.  

#17 mumtomakandissy

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:53 PM

I personally would stop the " favours" but would continue to have her over as a play date for your daughter. Otherwise you are teaching your child that if you don't get back what you give in life, then stopping giving. That would be sad.

#18 Manda

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:56 PM

I am in two camps on this one...

1) The mental illness camp- i suffer from depression anxiety and panic attacks. I will not have vistors in my house the only people that come here are my mum and her partner and TBH i hate that. I tolerate it because i love my mum and the kids and i need to see her and visa versa. But Iam far from comfortable with it.

2) The no space camp i live in a VERY small unit, no yard at all we are cramped here as it is let alone having another child here.

I have said to my two school kids that if they want to go over to someones house they need to swap numbers and let us parents get in contact and maybe meet them at a park or something first before they go over to anyones house. I know that day is coming DD has already swapped numbers with a girl and TBH im scared to death of the pre meeting of the parents, Im going thru a rough patch and dont want to be in ANY unfamilar social situations.

#19 beckyboo2

Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:58 PM

I wondered why my daughter was never invited to her besties house...One day I was talking to the grandmother and she said - my poor granddaughter never has children over to play because my daughter is a lazy woman whos house is always a huge mess..mmmm that explained it to me and I stopped taking it personally!!

#20 JRA

Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:02 PM

I thought the OP said the child does not come over for playdates as such, only when the other mother needs  a baby sitter.

I think when both parents work full time (and use ASC), the chance of reciprocation is very low. There simply isn't time.

Edited by JRA, 08 August 2009 - 07:03 PM.

#21 Eileithyia

Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:12 PM

When I was around 7 or 8 I had a friend whose family where like this, I was never invited to her place and she only came to mine when her parents had other things on. She also lived very close.
The one time I was invited over, we had a typical 7 yr old tiff over playing barbies, her dad beat her with the vaccuum cleaner for argueing and locked her in the wardrobe.  
I was so afraid of it happening to me I ran home (back in the days when you could walk around the corner by yourself) told mum we had a fight, but I never told mum about what her dad did.
They moved soon after that. I still feel regret for not saying anything.

#22 ~~JMC~~

Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:27 PM

I have to opposite problem....well, kind of.

My DS's best friend from school (they've know each other for 4 years now) has been to our house for numerous playdates and even a sleepover. My DS has been to his house all of once and even then it was a 2 hour playdate 2 years ago and that's it.

My DS keeps asking if his BF can come over again for another sleepover and playdates in the school holidays etc......I just say no now.

#23 Sunny003

Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:39 PM

I hate going our, let alone to other peoples houses. There's a few I feel ok going too, but others I hate. I have to consider things that may effect DS2 (allergies) but even then, I feel really uncomfortable and cannot relax.

I much prefer people to come here, except when we've been sick, DS2 has a flare up, or we've been in hospital, because the house is a mess, and that makes me nervous too!

I'd much rather not go anywhere than have an anxiety attack sad.gif

#24 minyaca

Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:50 PM

I feel guilty that DD doesn't have as many play dates as her classmates. She has only been on two to her friends' houses, and despite my best intentions, the invitations haven't been reciprocated. Three days a week DD goes to after-school care on my work days, one day after school she goes to dance class and on Fridays she is buggered. We don't live within walking distance of the school, like most of the other children at the school. My car can only fit two car seats, and I always have DS, so can't pick up other children. DD has asked to have other girls over, but I just haven't worked out how to do it. We keep the weekends as family time, as DH works some weekends. On school holidays, DD usually spends one of the weeks at a grandparent's house so DH and I don't have to take so much leave. I am also conscious of how the house looks, so would spend the night before doing an intensive tidy and clean before someone comes over. This gets a bit exhausting after a day a work. So, there are various reasons someone may not ask your child over. It is not necessarily a deliberate snub.

#25 KnightsofNi

Posted 08 August 2009 - 09:00 PM

I just assume they don't like me.

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