Wedding Woes

Your H is right, there's no need to ask her to 'explain'.

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I have two children so we know how hard it is to get any adult time together without paying an arm and a leg for child care. We have started to trade babysitting with some of our new neighbors, but our problem is the single mother next door. She is always eager to make play dates for her kids at our house but always has an excuse for why she can’t possibly help with our kids. The last two times she was supposed to babysit for our date night she canceled on us at the last minute. It is extremely frustrating and unfair. My husband thinks we should just pull back and start making excuses when she wants something and focus on our other neighbors. I think we should give her a chance to explain herself, but I also agree that we don’t want to start a feud. Thoughts?

—No Date Night

Re: Your H is right, there's no need to ask her to 'explain'.

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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    Stop explaining.  Just stop being available.  You're not trading anything with that neighbor. 
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    She doesn't get a chance to explain herself.  She knows she's flaked.  Twice.

    I realize things can happen.  I'm not necessarily blaming her for that.  But if she actually felt bad about it, then she has had ample opportunity to initiate a conversation with them.  Like telling them with an upbeat tone, "Don't forget I owe you all some babysitting!  Please let me know when you all want a date night."
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    Whatever agreement you had clearly isn’t working, so stop being available next time she asks. If you’re kids play together, don’t make it weird but you don’t need to be someone’s free babysitter. 
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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    With your H, you don’t have to explain it.  If she wants to know you can share, but I wouldn’t feel obligated to. Play dates with parents present, sure, of the kids get along. But she doesn’t sound like a reliable sitter-share person. 
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    No, sorry.  She's behaving like a user.  I'm surprised you're not more pissed that she's playing you as a patsy for free babysitting.  The flaking on TWO date nights would be a final straw for me.

    I'm sure being a single mom is really hard, but this is bordering on a 'good fences make good neighbors' situation.  Let the kids play, outside. And either find another neighbor to reciprocate with or pony up the cash for a sitter if you want to go out. 
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