problems with neighbors!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
problems with neighbors!
Sun, 10-16-2011 - 1:10pm
Last year I was working 55 plus hours a week and carrying my family financially. My husband was working a seasonal job. And while he is a good husband and dad he is not Mr mom or anything. My kids suffered.
He got a new job in the oilfield. He is doing great. He works really long hours but this is the first time in our 8 year marriage that we are financially secure. We moved to a new small town in a great apartment large enough for our family (the last one was awful...we had 3 kids sharing a room). And I am a stay at home mom. Our kids are better adjusted, happier, and better behaved. (just a side note...we live in a 3rd floor apartment). I really thought I would strugle with giving up my job that made me feel important...and with moving from a nice sized city to a small (3000 people) town. But actually I am happier too. I love this little town...the school is amazing, everyone is friendly, and there are actually great activitys for the kids.

Right when school started again this fall another family moved in right across the hall from us. I have befriended one other family in our building...stay at home mom, 3 kids, our husbands work together. Anyway this new family has 4 kids. The mom and I have talked a lot and I would consider her a friend. We both only have one son at home, the rest are in school. The boys are a similar age...mine will be 5 in a month, hers turned 4 in the summer.
Anyway the dad works...leaves before school in the am; gets home around 4:30 pm. The mom decided to go back to work and asked if I would be willing to watch her children after school until her husband gets home. After discussing it with my husband I decided not to. I am enjoying my gains with my own children...and I dis in home daycare when they were really small and decided I didn't want to do it again. Plus I drive a car so I don't have room to transport extra children from school.
She was dissapointed but I suggested that she ask them to work with her on hours so she could go to work after her husband gets home. So she did and they agreed but she needed help just for a week for her training. I agreed to watch them after scohool for 3 days plus her little one for a whole day. Then she asked if I would watch them an extra day because she picked up a shift and I agreed. When her husband picked them up that day he informed me that the next day he would be late. I said well that is fine because I am not watching them that day anyway. He said yes you are she needs to work. I was pretty mad and reminded him that I had said no to committing to watch them.
I have to add that a week prior her husband and my husband had gotten into a heated argument. I won't go into details but it was bad.
Anyway...I said no and later that night he cornered me in the hall to talk to me about it again!
Also part of the reason. I said no in the first week is because the kids were starting to treat it like we had revolving doors. I am a pretty private person. I like my own space. I don't mind the kids having friends but I had to start limiting it...the one boy who is 8 would stay from after school until bedtime every night to play with my 6 year old.
The same day I said no to the husband I took my kids to subway for supper and we brought it home and the 8yo boy saw us get home and bounded down as we walked up and told my son to give him all his food! It was shockingly rude. And the 4 yo boy that is at home all day knocks on our door constantly! He will knock and run away or run back in his door. He does it repeatedly. I feel harassed in my own apartment.
Anyway I think I have made it clear I will not be watching them after school. I only agreed to on occasion watch the youngest during 1 weekday a week. The issues I had this last week was the kids not understanding why they couldn't be going between apartments (no revolving doors!) And wanting to borrow toys and stay and play late and all that.
I am not responsible for these children. I said no. I don't like some of their behavior or lack of manners or respect. And I don't like it to be assumed that I will continue to watch them.
Thanks for listening to my vent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 10-16-2011 - 10:37pm
That really sucks. I think sometimes when neighbors find out there is a SAHM nearby they imagine her as a free and always ready babysitter. I think you need to stick to your guns or they'll always take advantage of you. I also think it would be a good idea to sit down with the mom and outline what you are and are NOT willing to do and set some rules like times when the kids are welcome to play and times when they are not. Good luck!

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2000
Mon, 10-17-2011 - 1:09pm
I cannot believe her husband told you that you would be watching the kids after you said no! That is beyond rude! Grrr....

We have a lot of kids in our neighborhood. Some don't understand the concept of boundaries at all. One kid has knocked on our door. He peeks through the glass if I don't answer (I'm not ignoring him, sometimes I'm just too busy to get the door). Other times, he'll go around back and stand in our sliding glass doorway and just stare in. I've had to tell him that if we don't answer when he knocks, that either means we are not home or are too busy, and that he needs to go home. It took once or twice, but now he isn't so much of a pain. His parents have told us before that if we're busy to just send him home, so that's what we do and I try not to feel bad. I know he's bored, but sometimes we're just too busy to entertain him.

I would set clear rules for their visits, too. My 7 YO can only have friends over after his homework is done and before dinner. No friends after dinner.

If the kids are demanding food, I would tell them to go home and eat if they are hungry. Unfortunately, I've had to do that several times over the summer. If we have enough food to share, then that's fine but it can't be a regular thing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 1:02pm
You just shocks me how many young children have such a free rain these days. I may admittedly be a little on the overprotective side but my children are not allowed to leave the house without my permission. They do not play outside unsupervised (by ME). They are my responsibility and I don't think it would be right of me to send them outside to play just because the neighbors are out. And I cannot believe that kids are out asking for food (previous post said that happened multiple times over the summer). So the parents are not even feeding their children?
My children have boundries. They are not perfect, as I am not a perfect parent. One of the most important things I have tried to instill strongly into all my children is good manners. It is sad to use the neighbor children as examples of rude behavior (not in front of them of course).
I ended up watching them short notice again the other day. I think it is wrong to assume that just because a stay at home mom is a stay at home that she has nothing to do. The mom said I have to work tonight can you watch them thank you.
I told her this isn't working out (which is so stupid because I said no in the first place!) And I cannot continue to watch any of them. And I refuse to feel guilty, I am doing what I feel is best for my own children.