I had an old friend recently move in with my family to help her and her own family out. I knew from the beginning there would be some issues but wanted to help her move back to our state like she had been wanting for some time. She is a single parent with a couple kids who works full time and is frequently tired and irritable, which usually means the kids are angrily dealt with or allowed to run wild.
I have a bit of a problem with anxiety and hyper vigilance which I fully acknowledge but sometimes have trouble recognizing in the moment. Because of this I usually don’t speak up right away when I feel something is wrong so that I can take some time to evaluate a situation and be sure the problem isn’t really my own. So I just wanted some advice on how best to deal with a few things and/or get a wake up call that I may be overreacting or reading too deeply into something. This has already gotten long so I’ll try to be brief.
-I watch one of her kids every day during the week morning to evening without pay or even gratitude or acknowledgement of it. I feel like its interfering with my time with my own child. Not to mention if I want to do something special I have to take her child along, pay for their things and never get paid back by the mother.
-I am a stay at home mom after years of being a single mom in exactly the situation shes in now (working all the time, barely having time for kids), but largely without roommates to help with bills and babysitting and she treats me like I’m lazy, undeserving of my new status, and owe her since I don’t work.
-The main thing I take issue with is that I feel like I can’t trust her to follow my rules for my child when she watches her. Which has only been a few times and there were problems each of these instances. She is very lax with her kids for the most part and has openly told me that she thinks the rules I set for my child are too strict and letting my child break those rules isn’t a big deal. Things like letting her watch tv during the week (I only allow it on the weekends and then only 2 hours max a day so she learns to manage her time and entertainment) or drinking or eating things with artificial sweeteners. Also, the only time I asked her to watch the child during the school week I asked her to be sure to check her homework as she had been struggling in school and it turns out she didn’t even glance at it and it irked me for her to get 70’s on homework assignments that could have been prevented. It IS a big deal to me and I’m appalled that she doesn’t respect my wishes on how I choose to raise my child. I’m at the point that I don’t want to have any responsibility over her kids nor her mine. Any advice is greatly appreciated and I can provide more examples if needed.