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Family Taking Advantage
Old 01-04-2020, 07:45 AM
 
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I didn't find any similar threads so I created a new one. Does anyone else have family and/or friends take advantage of the fact you get a day off, holiday break, summer break, etc.? When my brother lived in town he would do this and now that my sister has school aged kids she's doing it. They know I am out because it is a holiday or whatever and then they expect me to babysit. Other times it's other things they want me to do. It's like they see this time as free time that I have available to give away. Don't they understand that I don't get paid vacation? This holiday break is all I will get until spring break! Anyone else have this issue? I feel bad when I say no but it's like... I need the break to recharge, teaching is hard.


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Old 01-04-2020, 08:15 AM
 
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If you feel up to it, offer them one morning or afternoon. You can take your nieces/nephews to a movie, museum, etc.
Otherwise the kids' parents should be seeking a paid caretaker.
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Family taking advantage
Old 01-04-2020, 08:23 AM
 
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Youíre allowing it...just say ďno, Iím recharging and planning.Ē
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:33 AM
 
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Yes, I am the go to guy for taking my parents to their many doctors appointments. Any and all help from my siblings has fallen away now that I am substitute teaching and can take an "unlimited number of days off work" or so my siblings feel. They don't realize that if I don't work, I don't get paid. Luckily my parents work with me to minimize the loss of income.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:14 AM
 
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I feel your frustration and hate when people take advantage of you. Sometimes it is so hard to say no especially to family and friends.

I am renting a room from a couple and they have had family visiting from another country for the last 2 months. The family that is visiting only speaks Spanish. I speak very little Spanish so I use Google translate on my phone. The 2 little girls are constantly told to play with me (instead of their mom and dad or grandparents). Yesterday, I was home and everyone except the two little girls (7 year old twins) left and one of the little girls told me I was babysitting them. The family was gone for 5 hrs. I don't mind spending time with the girls but it shouldn't be expected. I'm sure you feel the same way.


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Old 01-04-2020, 01:19 PM
 
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Lillybabe and snazzyjazzy - learn to say no. You don't need to explain. Snazzyjazzy - wow! I would definitely give those parents an earful. You are a tenant, not a babysitter. Unless you are getting reduced rent, put a stop to that now. No one can treat you that way unless you let them.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:24 PM
 
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Same problem-but with a neighbor during the school week....
Had a neighbor once who was a stay at home dad. A few times, he tried sending his 3rd grade daughter and his toddler son over to my house about 15 mins after he saw me come home. They told me "he wanted them to stay and visit/play until their mom came home from work." About 2 hours!!

Guess he thought that since I was a teacher, I wouldn't mind a few extra kids in my house, now and then, while he prepared supper or whatever - wrong!!

Sent them right back home. Had to tell him that I, also, had to prepare supper! What's wrong with some people?
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:45 PM
 
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People don't even ask me anymore.

"No. I have plans."

The plans could likely be sitting in my recliner in my pajamas playing games or watching TV.

One of the perks of getting older is that I don't feel bad in the least when I tell people no for anything I don't want to do.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:17 PM
 
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I don't always feel like they are taking advantage, but I do know that on certain days like snow days/school only holidays that I will have my grandson because his dad is a police officer and his mom is a nurse. I do understand that they don't get days off, but there are times I just want to lay on my couch and do nothing without having to worry about taking care of someone else.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:19 PM
 
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The thing is... I do say no. They make it hard though. They talk about how they won't be able to work, won't be able to pay their bills, etc. Also, a lot of it isn't not being able to say no. I'm able to do that. It's a lot of the disrespect that seems to unintentionally come from all sorts of sources. I don't think my family means to be disrespectful they just don't get it. It's like people don't understand that this break is the only break I get. I work my ass off the rest of the time and deserve some down time. Also, I don't know about everyone else but a lot of times I need these breaks to catch up on all the things I just can't do outside of breaks. There's just not enough time in the day. Family sometimes tries to rope me in for evening care too. They assume since I am a teacher I am home and in my pjs by 3:30 which is of course not reality.

I'm also currently expecting my first child. So, I am exhausted and trying to get the million and one things done before the baby comes. When my mom reaches out and asks me to watch one of my nephews at the drop of a hat I just feel like no one gets me. Like no one gets how much water I am treading this year just to stay afloat. It's my second year of special education this year (went through a fast track program with emergency cert. last year) and I have a completely new group of kids. I'm still learning everything and coming home exhausted. Winter break is the first breather I have had all school year.

So, I didn't really need advice which is why I posted in the vent. I just needed to get it out and see if others face this issue of people asking them to do things because they are "free". It's frustrating when people just think I have this cushy job and then get to laze around for these big breaks.


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Old 01-05-2020, 05:56 AM
 
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Quote:
It's frustrating when people just think I have this cushy job and then get to laze around for these big breaks.
I understand your frustration and I remember people not understanding, but I have 2 pieces of advice for you, things I learned the hard way:
1. Try to stop caring what other people think. Donít be their doormat assuming theyíll like/love you more. They'll continue to take advantage of you if you let them. IIWY, Iíd stop taking their calls unless it was convenient for me. Iíd call them back close to bedtime. If they whine they needed you, say ďIím so glad you worked it out without me.Ē If they try to guilt you or overexplain, smile, nod, and say nothing more.
2. ďIím sorry, that doesnít work for me.Ē Make this your mantra when asked for favors. If they insist or make excuses or describe their bill-paying strategy, repeat it: ďIím sorry, that doesnít work for meĒ and end the conversation.

I can tell youíre emotional and are being made to feel bad when you should be enjoying your pregnancy. Donít let them make you feel bad. Donít let them into your emotions and donít let them steal your time. ďIím sorry, that doesnít work for me.Ē I wish you good luck in remaining firm. Itís your lifeómake it what you want.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:15 AM
 
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No, I've never encountered this being an only child and not really having any friends. And no extended relatives wouldn't dream of doing this to me. My own elderly mother who lives alone in a 2-story house wouldn't even dream of doing this to me and never, ever has done this. She respects me as an adult and knows I'm busy with my obligations and when I have free time, she's glad that I get to relax.

You say, "I do say no. They make it hard though. They talk about how they won't be able to work, won't be able to pay their bills, etc." and how they're "unintentionally disrespectful". Well, you'll have to start to learn how to be a bit of a hard-ass to them then. No one can convince me to do anything I don't want to do no matter what kind of sob story they put on. The fact is they managed somehow during ALL the other months YOU are working, so they can manage the two weeks or months you're not working too. End of story.

If they keep pushing, laying sob stories on you, trying to make you feel guilty, etc. you distance yourself. Your priorities are YOU and YOUR own husband/family.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:31 AM
 
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You say, "I do say no. They make it hard though. They talk about how they won't be able to work, won't be able to pay their bills, etc." and how they're "unintentionally disrespectful". Well, you'll have to start to learn how to be a bit of a hard-ass to them then. No one can convince me to do anything I don't want to do no matter what kind of sob story they put on.
Honestly, this is easier said than done. It is family who are pressuring her to help -- it's not as easy to say no and to disconnect from your family.

OP, I have a similar situation. My younger sister has 4 little children and a pretty useless husband. She works two jobs. I will often get calls asking me to babysit on weekends, while she goes to the second job. The thing is, I desperately need the weekend to relax and recharge for the week ahead. But my sister desperately needs the money. She's on the phone, on the verge of tears because childcare fell through and she's worried she'll be fired if she misses a shift.

Sometimes I do say no and I feel really guilty about it. It's not like I am doing anything other than lying around and resting. If I could help, shouldn't I?

It's really, really not as simple as "just say no."
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:36 AM
 
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^ I understand it's harder to put one's foot down with family, but if one gets fed up enough, they'll do it and I've observed it being done first-hand with my fiance' and his family.

My fiance' has finally gone no-contact last year with ALL 5 of his extremely narcissistic family members (parents and 3 siblings) who have done nothing but treated him horrendously his whole life. And it's not like he has any friends who can substitute and be a support system for him. I'm his support system. I've seen first-hand how uncaring and unloving his family is. If anyone's studied about narcissism, you'll soon learn that they literally have ZERO good qualities about them. It's all negative and one MUST sooner or later go no-contact for their own well being (and sanity).

Apparently, the OP's family has a certain level of narcissism because it's all about them and what she can do for them. They never see it from the eyes of her. They may not be as extreme as my fiance's family, but they have that narcissism in them.

If anyone wants to learn more about narcissism, refer to my post #4 in this thread:

http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=628474
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:43 AM
 
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Sometimes I do say no and I feel really guilty about it. It's not like I am doing anything other than lying around and resting. If I could help, shouldn't I?
Not necessarily. You get to choose. Itís your life. If you want to help your sister, then do. If you donít want to, then donít. My opinion is that youíd be doing your sister a favor by letting her learn to take responsibility for the life sheís chosen.

Hereís my personal take: if you decide to help your sister, fine, but donít whine about it. If you decide not to, then donít feel guilty, you have to live your own life.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:33 AM
 
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My opinion is that youíd be doing your sister a favor by letting her learn to take responsibility for the life sheís chosen.
There's an incredible amount of privilege in this statement. People get the lives they deserve or "choose," huh? If you work hard and make good choices, then you will never need help or support. Everything will just turn out fine. How lucky you are and how privileged.

Really, I was just having this conversation with a friend last night. When did we become so unkind? The OP is stressed out, emotional, pregnant and venting. And many comments are telling her to just say no, flippantly, as if she doesn't understand that saying no to family comes with some gravitas.

As for me, I'm not "whining" about helping my family. I'm telling you that these are hard choices that lots of people have to make and there are feelings that come with them. It's only easy for you if you get to be in a position where no one comes to ask you for help or it if doesn't inconvenience you at all to help.

Honestly, your post was really upsetting to me. I've deleted a lot of responses, because I am trying not to respond in kind. But I think this whole discussion is symptomatic of the selfishness and unkindness that is rampant in our culture right now.

OP, you can say no if you have to take care of yourself or if it gets to be too much, but I know that because you are a kind person, you will feel bad about it. And that's okay. Vent away.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:23 AM
 
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Anyone else have this issue?
Quote:
So, I didn't really need advice which is why I posted in the vent. I just needed to get it out and see if others face this issue of people asking them to do things because they are "free".
I'm glad you got some responses from a few posters who understood your individual issue and confirmed your feelings.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:32 PM
 
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Well, obviously the bottom line is it's your decision. They chose to have kids, so ultimately it's up to them to arrange care. I babysit my grandson one or more days a week, and it does help out my son and DIL, but I do it mostly because I want to have a close relationship with him. If you don't want to watch other people's kids, you either say no or don't respond to calls or texts. You can just say you have other plans or not respond at all. Or you can keep doing it and they will expect you to keep on doing it. Since you will have your own child soon, you should probably establish some boundaries if you want it to stop.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:54 PM
 
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I apologize to the OP and Izzy. I certainly did not intend to be unkind. Believe me, Iíve done things for others that I didnít want to do. Youíre right that sometimes Ďnoí isnít an option. Iím very sorry.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:16 PM
 
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For me I guess itís a balance. I cook meals and deliver them to my in-laws weekly. Itís a 3 hour round trip. Iíve been told they are taking advantage, and in reality they are. I am a sub so I work 4 days a week and deliver on my day off which is usually Wednesday. This way the weekend is freed up for DH and I. They reimburse me for food and mileage, which I think irks them ( my MIL is very entitled). Iíll do it as long as I am able. Then theyíll have to find another way, end of story.
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