How do you tactfully offer

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2004
How do you tactfully offer
7
Tue, 06-08-2004 - 6:53pm
to pay someone elses way to activities?

The mom of one of dd's friends is a SAHM whom I would like to be closer friends with. We've actually known each other since our dd's were a few weeks old when we used the same dc and spent our lunch hours nursing our dd's. I lost touch with her when dd#2 was born and we switched dc's and have always regretted letting this friendship slip away. Well, she moved into the neighborhood last year and her dd is going to school with my dd.

Here's my problem. I find myself wanting to ask her to come along when I plan activities with the girls but it seems she's broke all the time and everything I plan with my kids usually costs money. For example, my kids and I frequent the community center pool but I know the $5/person admission can be steep for her. I don't mind paying. $10 is nothing to me, really. How does one, tactfully, invite someone along to an activity that has an admission fee when you know that money may be an issue but you're willing to pay their way?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Tue, 06-08-2004 - 7:18pm

hmmm....I dunno....lol.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-08-2004 - 8:04pm

The other idea you could do is to (depending on how well you feel you know her) is to say something like "the girls wanted to go swiming today, I would love for you guys to come along as my treat since the girls dont get to spend alot of time together."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-08-2004 - 9:01pm
That can be tricky - I think it depends on how well you know this person, and if you are willing to open the door to "treating" every time, it might come back to haunt you.

Do you know if she, or her daughter has a birthday or special occasion coming up? Maybe you could stick some home-made coupons in a card for cheap activities (like the pool you suggested) for her and her dd to do with you. One of my girlfriends made me one for my birthday one year, and it was so thoughtful (but we are really close, so it wasn't weird). Another suggestion is - maybe she can watch your dd for an hour or so while you run errands in exchange for an outing? My neighbor and I swap "I get to go to the grocery store by myself days" now and then - priceless.

I am a pretty blunt person - I would probably just say, you know, we are going to the pool, wanna come, my treat kind of thing. Or invite her to your house so you can chat over lunch, get to know eachother and get to the point where there isn't the $$ weirdness; go to the library, story/craft times, the park (I am not sure how old your child/children are). We are on a budget, so I am all about the cheap date ;)

Anyway - that can be tough. I am not sure if I offered any solutions; but good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Tue, 06-08-2004 - 9:04pm
tell her that you have "free" passes -- and maybe pay for them on a separate day???? my friend and i have OFTEN traded paying for things with the caveat "don't worry about it, i'll get this, you get that -- and it will all work out even in the long run". In fact, i bought more when she was a sahm, she buys more now that money has been a bit tighter this year for us. I owe her for concert tickets, she owes my cousin for a different set of tickets. it all works out in the end!

eileen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-09-2004 - 8:20am
You can't really at this stage. Its not part of the friendship development phase. Just invite them out when and where you want to, from time to time - not every second day - you don't want them to dread seeing you for fear of having to turn down yet something else - so you can get an idea for their actual cost tolerance and tastes without making any assumptions. A good way to broach an activity is "do you have any interest in coming to xyz with us on (or we were thinking of goiong on or we usually go no)..." and avoid last minute invites. When the friendship develops far enough along that you can get a response of "would love to, can't afford it right now" you can go ahead and offer to spring - from time to time. I warn you, we have this situation with friends I've known since highschool...and it can still get stressful, and sometimes expensive, trying constantly act in a manner that is considerate of the other family's financial situation, which often means, not in the way we would prefer. In our case, these friends are in another city, so we don't see them often and can take try to their lead when we do get together...but I don't think I'd like to be doing most of our family outings this way. And its hard to KNOW what is appropriate - are you buying your kids kiddie combos at the theatre today, or is this one of those times that would put you over the edge so you have apple slices and crackers tucked away in your purse that you'll pull out and offer yours when I suggest going to get some snacks? Its just a difficult thing to manage.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Wed, 06-09-2004 - 9:42am
I was thinking the same thing...

"I have an extra set of tickets to.... and was wondering if you and DD would like to go with us. You'd be doing us a favor because I'd hate to see them go to waste."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-09-2004 - 9:42am
I agree.

I have a friend who is a single WOHM. Finances are tough. I just keep asking her to do free stuff, like going to the lake or to the mall for a look around, or ask her to join us at storytime at the library. I definately have to feel it out with every plan and outing. After five years of friendship, I'm just now to the point where I'll pull into the ice cream place and just tell her, "It's hot, I think the kids could use an ice cream cone, would you like something?" After five years, I still have a hard time asking her something very straight-forward like, "Can we afford to stop at Wendy's for lunch, or should we go home and have sandwiches?"

I've only lied to her once about admission prices - I asked her at the last minute to bring the kids to the county fair. I told her the local radio station gave us free all-day ride passes as a bonus for some advertising that we do - when in fact, we only had a half-off coupon. But, I wanted to go, wanted to spend the day with my friend, and I knew her car was in the shop unexpectedly and likely, couldn't swing the half-off price. She's so darn proud though, that if she ever found out, I'd feel like a total idiot, because I'm not sure she wouldn't be offended.