Posted in Relationships

My “Friend” is using me as a free babysitter

I feel this post belongs on an AITA Reddit feed, a Dear Abby column, or something of that nature.

A while ago, my close friends introduced me to one of her friends, let’s call her Charlotte. (side note have you guys seen the Queen Charlotte Netflix special? I’m obsessed)

Now Charlotte and I had many common interests and became friends. It was going great; we would first talk on the phone. I’m not always the best texter, which causes some problems, but I will admit my fault. We even hung out a few times.

Charlotte and her husband both work and sometimes need help with their son. I’m super comfortable around kids (I come from a big family) and would watch him.

Then she started asking me over more. Again not a problem, but it was never to hang out; it was to watch her son.

Now Charlotte and our other friend still talk and text regularly. And our friend would mention things to me that Charlotte had told her or show me pictures of places Charlotte and her husband had been. I was surprised that I knew nothing about what was happening in Charlotte’s life.

But please don’t assume that it is my fault. I get a message from Charlotte asking to watch her son, I go over there, and typically when she comes back, I go home. Sometimes we’ll have a conversation, but I’m usually sent on my way.

Now here’s an important detail I left out, Charlotte is pregnant. Her baby shower has now passed, and she did invite me to it -out of courtesy, I brought them the car seat off her registry. When I showed up, it was so awkward. I knew one person, our mutual friend.

When it came time for the games, I realized I knew NOTHING!!!! The “Who Knows Mommy Best” game asks whether mommy prefers mountains or beaches and does mommy drink coffee or tea. I had a 50/50 chance, and I played the odds. But other things like Babys full name? I knew the family name. Baby’s nursery theme? Not a clue. Baby’s due date? Soon-ish?!?

I felt angry, embarrassed, and humiliated. I wasn’t even mad at her. I blamed myself for not trying hard enough to have a friendship.

I reached out a few days ago to Charlotte, asking her how she was feeling and if she needed help getting ready for the baby. Thanks to the baby shower, I know her due date is soon. I got very short messages. It felt like I was bothering her. This is the worst thing and one of the main reasons I’m bad at texting: I never want to feel like a bother.

I accepted that I tried to reach out, but it didn’t go well. So I decided to cut my losses with this friendship.

Today, she messaged me asking if I could watch her son on the day she is supposed to give birth. I said No. Before even messaging me, she knew I had plans that day. You want to know how I know she knows because I made these plans with our mutual friend, with whom she talks regularly.

She told me how hard it is to find someone to watch her son and how she feels he doesn’t fully understand what’s happening. I feel like the bad person because I don’t know how hard it is to have a kid. I don’t have one. But if it is hard to care for one, why are you having another one?

Also, the due date is next week. Charlotte has known for most of April the exact date she is expected to have the baby. The baby shower was over two weeks ago. Many moms and moms-to-be will say, ” Oh well, babies never come on their actual due date; sometimes they arrive early.” This is a planned c-section.

Why is she waiting until now to ask me to watch her son? Should I watch him even though I have plans?

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