To think my married friends might cough up for a babysitter occasionally

(168 Posts)
Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 10:58:38

I am a single parent and have my DS 99% of the time, apart from in the school holidays when he goes away with XP for up to 3 nights.

This means I don't go out much in the evenings and if I do want to go out I generally have to pay a babysitter. I don't begrudge this, although it does mean I don't have much of a social life because money is tight.

What really rankles is that on the rare occasion when DS is away, my married friends never seem willing to get a babysitter themselves if their DHs aren't around.

So the conversation usually goes:

Me; "Hi DF, I've got a night off later this week, do you fancy going out?"
DF: "No sorry I can't - DH is out that night."

So, if I want to see them we have to find a time when they can go out for free and I have to find a babysitter!

I find this annoying and hurtful on so many levels - mainly because I think they must not want to see me that much, but also because I think they are mostly much more able to afford a babysitter than me as they have two incomes coming in.

So AIBU or do I have crap friends?

stormforce10 Mon 11-Feb-13 11:19:08

I was a single parent for a while and had (have) a wonderful friend who used to inform her DH that we were going out and HE was looking after their DD AND having mine for a sleepover.

This was a brilliant solution especially as our children get on well but I realise that this makes me incredibly lucky! Would any of your friends consider informing their DH he is also baby sitting yours?

Ragwort Mon 11-Feb-13 11:21:40

Sheila - read my comments, I shop in Waitrose and have a big house grin but I just don't value socialising enough to justify the cost of a babysitter - perhaps thats why I can afford to shop in Waitrose. It doesn't mean I don't like people, just that I would be happy to meet up for a coffee/weekend lunch/with the children etc rather than a 'night out'.

Or perhaps they don't like the sort of places you suggest to go out to? I have a good friend who loves going to pubs for a night out, that is not my sort of thing - I would prefer to drink in the comfort of my own home - so I don't go out for 'nights out' with her. Equally another friend loves going to obscure films with sub-titles, thats not my thing either, doesn't mean I don't like them as friends, just that our choice of entertainment is different. I'm sure they don't like the sorts of things I enjoy either grin.

LtEveDallas Mon 11-Feb-13 11:22:05

And this is from people who can clearly afford to pay a sitter

Have you read any of the previous replies? What makes you so sure it is anything to do with the money?

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 11:22:07

ragwort I think my sums are out a little!!! It's probably £50 WITH taxis... whoops. It's still a lot of money... smile

ZacharyQuack Mon 11-Feb-13 11:24:22

Sorry, I wouldn't pay for a babysitter for a random night out, if I could wait till the next night and get DH to look after the kids for free.

Your friends have a different situation, and different priorities to you. Talk to them and try to work something out.

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:25:12

In response to some of the comments - my XP is non-co-operative so will only have DS when HE wants, so I don't have every other weekend to myself as some single parents do. It's a very rare occasion when I can go out without lots of hassle and expense.

The friends I'm talking about are not on the breadline by any means, although I can see that they might PREFER not to spend money on babysitting.

I can see that in general you not be too worried about socialising if you've got a DH at home with you, but I would hope that my friends would understand that I'm in every night on my own with a 12 yo, and no adult company, so make more of an effort. I hope I would do that for them.

TwoPoundCharityShopShoes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:26:07

I wouldnt pay a babysitter for a night out like others have said...

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:27:25

By the way my wireless connection is laggy so I may be a bit behind reading respones - don't flame me for that (I'm lookng at you LtEveDallas!)

KellyElly Mon 11-Feb-13 11:28:11

It's one of the hard things about being a lone parent, arranging nights out, babysitters etc. I can't afford a babysitter and my solution to this is to reciprocate sleepovers with other mums. Then you can ask them to have your DS when you want a night out and won't have to pay a sitter. Unfortunately you do have to return the favour. I had two crazy three year olds this weekend. I need next weekend to hurry up so I can recover grin

nkf Mon 11-Feb-13 11:28:54

I wouldn't pay for a babysitter either. Sorry. Too expensive.

lynniep Mon 11-Feb-13 11:28:57

YABU. I dont have spare cash to pay for a babysitter for a random night out. DH never goes out so its not generally an issue if I do want to go out, however DH and I NEVER go out together because a) we have no family to help b) we cannot afford a night out AND a babysitter.

You need to plan better with your friends for occasions when you know your DS will be away, not feel personally offended because they arent able to fit into your timetable.

OR suggest you go round theirs with a bottle and some choccies - I like those kind of nights just as much (and they are much cheaper for everyone!)

I think maybe part of the problem here is that op is a single parent, and from the sound of things, most of her friends are not. So, in the evenings they don't go out, they are still enjoying adult company, have someone to chat to about how their day went, and share their lovely Waitrose food with.
After I lost dh and before I met dp, I wanted to go out sometimes with friends....mostly the married ones would manage a quick trip to the cinema, but would prefer to go for lunch, or coffee, or "just come to ours and we'll have a wee glass of wine", and definitely not at weekends.
I'm sure they didn't mean to, but sometimes they made me feel crap.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Mon 11-Feb-13 11:32:09

Your DS is 12 and you get a babysitter for him? When I was that age when my parents went out (which wasn't often) I just stayed at home. Unless he is particuarly immature or has SN could you not trust him at home for a few hours in an evening?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 11-Feb-13 11:32:33

If their DHs are away, can you go over for wine and a DVD?

DelGirl Mon 11-Feb-13 11:33:40

I would invite your friends to you for a 'night out'. I used to do this fairly frequently as well as paying for a sitter for nights out. It still feels very social. A lot less hassle too if you have a good sleeper.

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:34:09

2blessed - yes, exactly that! My friendships don't feel equal and I feel I have to do all the running and put all the effort in to work around them.

Just really gets me down and makes me feel resentful sometimes.

I wouldn't pay for a babysitter so I could go out when dh was not around. If I did that I wouldn't actually have the spare money to go out which would make it kind of pointless. If I didn't have lots on though I would ask you over to mine for dinner. I also go round to my friends who are single parents for dinner so they don't have to pay for a babysitter, and sometimes take the food so they don't have that expense either.

YANBU to want friends to consider your circumstances, but YABU to not consider theirs also, which as others have said may not be exactly as you are thinking.

Bramshott Mon 11-Feb-13 11:36:08

I agree that this kind of thing is annoying (and I'm not a single parent), but I think TBH "I can't come out because my DH is out/away" really means "I don't want to go out that much". Maybe they're not that interested in having a social life - it's their loss.

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:36:11

I used to have friends come to me for a drink and that worked well, but now DS isn't in bed much befeor 10 pm it's more difficult, especially during the week (and I'd never be allocated a Saturday, sigh).

Sorry, but YABU.

Your DC are used to being left with a babysitter and you have, presumably, through trial and error found one you can trust.

My DC would not easily be left with a babysitter as they have only ever had me, my DH or GP look after them at bedtime. If it was going to be a weekly thing, like a class etc, then it would be worth pushing though this but not for a one off.

Sorry.

coldcupoftea Mon 11-Feb-13 11:36:19

YANBU, they don't need to pay for a babysitter, get them to take it in turns and look after each other's kids! DH and I do go out together occasionally, and I have been out when he is away, but we have never paid a babysitter, I get a friend to babysit and I will do the same for her kids if she wants to go out. What's not to like- sitting in someone else's house eating crisps and watching what I like on the telly!

whateveritakes Mon 11-Feb-13 11:36:21

2blessed2bstressed that's it exactly.

Judging from the comments on here some of the married folks really don't get it.

I have friends popping round for a chat and wine in the evenings a few times a week. I go out maybe once a month and DS goes for a sleepover at a friends then.

thefarmersintheden Mon 11-Feb-13 11:39:20

We dont habe babysitters.

I would come over to your house with a takeaway and a bottle of wine though, if youd have me smile

Sheila Mon 11-Feb-13 11:39:30

Yes DS is 12 but I wouldn't leave him on his own in the house while I went out - he would be miserable and lonely. I guess I don't want to go out that much!

theredhen Mon 11-Feb-13 11:40:57

Yanbu. I used to get this when I was single. Expected me to pay out but refused to do the same.

Finances do come into it but in my case I knew they had more money than me.

In my opinion friends who have partners tend to be a bit more fair weather simply because having a partner gives you socialising everyday so it's not as important to then to see friends as it is when you're single.

My answer was to find single friends or married friends who were happy to stay in with kids or get their husband to babysit my ds too if we went out. smile

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