OT: Seeking some input on neighbor and my baby

OT: Seeking some input on neighbor and my baby

Joined: November 19th, 2005, 1:08 am

April 17th, 2012, 6:37 pm #1

Hey,

I'd just like some input or perhaps just some validation for an issue with my neighbor, two homes away in the not-so-friendly Northeast. I would so like to express some hurt feeling to her, but her teen daughter historically has been one of my major sitters to my preschool son. (That is less so at the moment, but they are truly close.)

Anyway, this neighbor snubbed me a number of times when I moved into the neighborhood. She definitely became more cordial after her daughter started sitting for me. But, I always received very, wildly mixed vibes off her, and some smacked of overt rejection. (This neighbor is quite attractive and fit, 40ish, cliquish and gossipy. She also seems to be one of the queens of the neighborhood social scene.)

However, suddenly, during DH's illness and passage, she fell all over herself to befriend me and help me. (Visitors from out of town really thought she was like my best friend or something.) I really hate the fact that she was even in the room when DH passed and made a huge deal of providing comfort. She even offered guardianship of my preschool son if something happened to me.. In the months after DH's passage, that support largely fell away except -- of course -- for a string of e-mails or a gift she dropped off when I wasn't home. (How typically convenient. It was just like the many times she wouldn't pick up the phone if I called in the early years of teen's babysitting.)

So, the direct contact with my neighbor has been extremely scarce during the last year or more except immediately after my baby was born during the summer. (DH and I had frozen embies.) Conveniently, she also stopped by once when her daughter was sitting, and she knew I was at a medical appointment. Now, mostly, if I see her on the street, she darts into her house as fast as possible without a wave. I see her from a waveable distance about every few months. (She did speak to me a few weeks ago, when she directly ran into me, but that was the first conversation in six months or so.) For the record, I'm sure some of dislike of me is justified, but I really mostly just have guesses as to how I rubbed her wrong in the beginning and how those perceptions continue. I probably came across as weird. I was quite lonely early in our move as I battled IF. Again, I'm mostly guessing.

So, here's the deal. The daughter sits intermittently and loves my children. About a month ago, when she was over, the teen asked if she could take my preschool son and my baby to her house so her mother could see them... I was upset but agreed. (I mean if her mother wants to see my children, she can stop by at any moment.)

Well, it happened again last night. This time, I was in the backyard with my children and with a different neighbor and her young children. The teen came outside when she saw all of the children. (The teen and her mother can easily see my backyard from her home, vastly more so than my front yard.) After a few minutes, the teen asked if she could take my baby to see her mother. I hesitated and sort of reluctantly said yes, letting some of my reluctance come through.

OK, I'm sure the mother is busy. She is attending community college for a nursing program. But, there is a long pattern of snubs, avoidance, whatever. She also is quite chummy with other neighbors and lives on the phone with certain friends.

What should I do?

* Nothing as teen sitters are hard to find. If I say what's on my mind I'll look more like that weirdo she avoids.

* Let off a few hints."Um, teen, couldn't your mother step outside for a moment if she wants to see my children?"

* Tell teen she cannot take my children to her house. (The teen has a long history of taking my preschool son to her house. Some of it I don't mind so I can do work, but some of it is way too obvious. Her mother wants to see my son, but not me.) For the record, I've only once briefly been inside just the living room of that neighbor's house in seven years. But, in general, there really is far less interaction inside homes and more outside homes in my neighborhood than other place I have lived.

* Tell neighbor, who openly presents herself as Christian with similar faith to mine, that she has really hurt my feelings.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

April 17th, 2012, 7:10 pm #2

I have no idea why you would think some dislike of you is "justified," but I really doubt that's the case (I mean, except to the extent all of use are unavoidably dislikable to *someone*). And as someone who has often been regarded as a weirdo, I'd still like you to purge that weirdo talk, OK? Anyway, I wouldn't assume too much about this woman's desire to see your kids, not you. It may just be teen wanting to show off her charges to her mom.

This neighbor may have really hurt your feelings, but expressing your hurt to her may either alienate her, causing you to lose a sitter for no particularly good reason, or worse open the door for a closer relationship. And, honestly, I don't think you want a closer relationship with this person. She sounds sort of like the phony, histrionic person who will always disappoint you.

I would be uncomfortable with teen taking my kids over to her house, though now that the precedent has been set, it's going to be harder to stop. But you don't need to provide explanations; just say, "Teen, I'd rather the kids stay over here right now."

Just my $.02,

Maggie (in VA)
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 6:45 pm

April 17th, 2012, 7:15 pm #3

Hey,

I'd just like some input or perhaps just some validation for an issue with my neighbor, two homes away in the not-so-friendly Northeast. I would so like to express some hurt feeling to her, but her teen daughter historically has been one of my major sitters to my preschool son. (That is less so at the moment, but they are truly close.)

Anyway, this neighbor snubbed me a number of times when I moved into the neighborhood. She definitely became more cordial after her daughter started sitting for me. But, I always received very, wildly mixed vibes off her, and some smacked of overt rejection. (This neighbor is quite attractive and fit, 40ish, cliquish and gossipy. She also seems to be one of the queens of the neighborhood social scene.)

However, suddenly, during DH's illness and passage, she fell all over herself to befriend me and help me. (Visitors from out of town really thought she was like my best friend or something.) I really hate the fact that she was even in the room when DH passed and made a huge deal of providing comfort. She even offered guardianship of my preschool son if something happened to me.. In the months after DH's passage, that support largely fell away except -- of course -- for a string of e-mails or a gift she dropped off when I wasn't home. (How typically convenient. It was just like the many times she wouldn't pick up the phone if I called in the early years of teen's babysitting.)

So, the direct contact with my neighbor has been extremely scarce during the last year or more except immediately after my baby was born during the summer. (DH and I had frozen embies.) Conveniently, she also stopped by once when her daughter was sitting, and she knew I was at a medical appointment. Now, mostly, if I see her on the street, she darts into her house as fast as possible without a wave. I see her from a waveable distance about every few months. (She did speak to me a few weeks ago, when she directly ran into me, but that was the first conversation in six months or so.) For the record, I'm sure some of dislike of me is justified, but I really mostly just have guesses as to how I rubbed her wrong in the beginning and how those perceptions continue. I probably came across as weird. I was quite lonely early in our move as I battled IF. Again, I'm mostly guessing.

So, here's the deal. The daughter sits intermittently and loves my children. About a month ago, when she was over, the teen asked if she could take my preschool son and my baby to her house so her mother could see them... I was upset but agreed. (I mean if her mother wants to see my children, she can stop by at any moment.)

Well, it happened again last night. This time, I was in the backyard with my children and with a different neighbor and her young children. The teen came outside when she saw all of the children. (The teen and her mother can easily see my backyard from her home, vastly more so than my front yard.) After a few minutes, the teen asked if she could take my baby to see her mother. I hesitated and sort of reluctantly said yes, letting some of my reluctance come through.

OK, I'm sure the mother is busy. She is attending community college for a nursing program. But, there is a long pattern of snubs, avoidance, whatever. She also is quite chummy with other neighbors and lives on the phone with certain friends.

What should I do?

* Nothing as teen sitters are hard to find. If I say what's on my mind I'll look more like that weirdo she avoids.

* Let off a few hints."Um, teen, couldn't your mother step outside for a moment if she wants to see my children?"

* Tell teen she cannot take my children to her house. (The teen has a long history of taking my preschool son to her house. Some of it I don't mind so I can do work, but some of it is way too obvious. Her mother wants to see my son, but not me.) For the record, I've only once briefly been inside just the living room of that neighbor's house in seven years. But, in general, there really is far less interaction inside homes and more outside homes in my neighborhood than other place I have lived.

* Tell neighbor, who openly presents herself as Christian with similar faith to mine, that she has really hurt my feelings.

Thanks in advance for any input.
you would get more helpful answers over on the pink board. Many here are still struggling to have children.

Call estranged neighbor lady and in the sweetest possible way ask her why you are no longer friends or why she doesn't stop by and see the kids? Tell her you misss seeing her and you have no problem with her visiting with you and the baby. She may have her own issues that you are not even aware of. If she isn't straight with you/won't answer/accept your offer of renewed friendship then when her daughter wants to take the baby to see her tell the girl to have her mom come over instead (again, as politely and nonchalantly as possible).

You also might start looking for new sitters now because you may want to back away from the crazy here too.
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Joined: November 19th, 2005, 1:08 am

April 17th, 2012, 7:30 pm #4

Thanks for all of the valuable input... (I went through a long battle with IF before DS and came to really appreciate this board.)

Just curious, if you're game, why would you ultimately tell teen to tell neighbor mom to come over if neighbor mom is less than accommodating to any outreach on my part?

Just, FYI,the "avoidance" vibes are so distinct and overt that I'm really not comfortable reaching out to neighbor mom, but I can consider it. Also, I could wait for one of our chance direct encounters ever three to six months or so...

Last edited by Funintheskies on April 17th, 2012, 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 19th, 2005, 1:08 am

April 17th, 2012, 7:41 pm #5

I have no idea why you would think some dislike of you is "justified," but I really doubt that's the case (I mean, except to the extent all of use are unavoidably dislikable to *someone*). And as someone who has often been regarded as a weirdo, I'd still like you to purge that weirdo talk, OK? Anyway, I wouldn't assume too much about this woman's desire to see your kids, not you. It may just be teen wanting to show off her charges to her mom.

This neighbor may have really hurt your feelings, but expressing your hurt to her may either alienate her, causing you to lose a sitter for no particularly good reason, or worse open the door for a closer relationship. And, honestly, I don't think you want a closer relationship with this person. She sounds sort of like the phony, histrionic person who will always disappoint you.

I would be uncomfortable with teen taking my kids over to her house, though now that the precedent has been set, it's going to be harder to stop. But you don't need to provide explanations; just say, "Teen, I'd rather the kids stay over here right now."

Just my $.02,

Maggie (in VA)
for practical input. Thanks also for the validation on the "uncomfortable" factor. Feel free to share any additional insights. Thanks again.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 17th, 2012, 7:57 pm #6

Hey,

I'd just like some input or perhaps just some validation for an issue with my neighbor, two homes away in the not-so-friendly Northeast. I would so like to express some hurt feeling to her, but her teen daughter historically has been one of my major sitters to my preschool son. (That is less so at the moment, but they are truly close.)

Anyway, this neighbor snubbed me a number of times when I moved into the neighborhood. She definitely became more cordial after her daughter started sitting for me. But, I always received very, wildly mixed vibes off her, and some smacked of overt rejection. (This neighbor is quite attractive and fit, 40ish, cliquish and gossipy. She also seems to be one of the queens of the neighborhood social scene.)

However, suddenly, during DH's illness and passage, she fell all over herself to befriend me and help me. (Visitors from out of town really thought she was like my best friend or something.) I really hate the fact that she was even in the room when DH passed and made a huge deal of providing comfort. She even offered guardianship of my preschool son if something happened to me.. In the months after DH's passage, that support largely fell away except -- of course -- for a string of e-mails or a gift she dropped off when I wasn't home. (How typically convenient. It was just like the many times she wouldn't pick up the phone if I called in the early years of teen's babysitting.)

So, the direct contact with my neighbor has been extremely scarce during the last year or more except immediately after my baby was born during the summer. (DH and I had frozen embies.) Conveniently, she also stopped by once when her daughter was sitting, and she knew I was at a medical appointment. Now, mostly, if I see her on the street, she darts into her house as fast as possible without a wave. I see her from a waveable distance about every few months. (She did speak to me a few weeks ago, when she directly ran into me, but that was the first conversation in six months or so.) For the record, I'm sure some of dislike of me is justified, but I really mostly just have guesses as to how I rubbed her wrong in the beginning and how those perceptions continue. I probably came across as weird. I was quite lonely early in our move as I battled IF. Again, I'm mostly guessing.

So, here's the deal. The daughter sits intermittently and loves my children. About a month ago, when she was over, the teen asked if she could take my preschool son and my baby to her house so her mother could see them... I was upset but agreed. (I mean if her mother wants to see my children, she can stop by at any moment.)

Well, it happened again last night. This time, I was in the backyard with my children and with a different neighbor and her young children. The teen came outside when she saw all of the children. (The teen and her mother can easily see my backyard from her home, vastly more so than my front yard.) After a few minutes, the teen asked if she could take my baby to see her mother. I hesitated and sort of reluctantly said yes, letting some of my reluctance come through.

OK, I'm sure the mother is busy. She is attending community college for a nursing program. But, there is a long pattern of snubs, avoidance, whatever. She also is quite chummy with other neighbors and lives on the phone with certain friends.

What should I do?

* Nothing as teen sitters are hard to find. If I say what's on my mind I'll look more like that weirdo she avoids.

* Let off a few hints."Um, teen, couldn't your mother step outside for a moment if she wants to see my children?"

* Tell teen she cannot take my children to her house. (The teen has a long history of taking my preschool son to her house. Some of it I don't mind so I can do work, but some of it is way too obvious. Her mother wants to see my son, but not me.) For the record, I've only once briefly been inside just the living room of that neighbor's house in seven years. But, in general, there really is far less interaction inside homes and more outside homes in my neighborhood than other place I have lived.

* Tell neighbor, who openly presents herself as Christian with similar faith to mine, that she has really hurt my feelings.

Thanks in advance for any input.
Do nothing, and look for new teen sitter because this teen will age out soon anyways..
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Joined: November 19th, 2005, 1:08 am

April 17th, 2012, 8:00 pm #7

she is 15, but, yes, that is true.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 17th, 2012, 8:09 pm #8

At 16 she will find boys, driving, and dating. Any grandmas in your neig. that might like to sit??
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Joined: November 19th, 2005, 1:08 am

April 17th, 2012, 8:14 pm #9

agreed on the teen part. As for grandmas, I have most struck out on those with one exception. To my surprise, most are not interested in sitting -- really. They say they are too busy... I have found best success with younger teens and with SAHMs with large families... Thanks for the input.
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 6:45 pm

April 17th, 2012, 8:23 pm #10

Thanks for all of the valuable input... (I went through a long battle with IF before DS and came to really appreciate this board.)

Just curious, if you're game, why would you ultimately tell teen to tell neighbor mom to come over if neighbor mom is less than accommodating to any outreach on my part?

Just, FYI,the "avoidance" vibes are so distinct and overt that I'm really not comfortable reaching out to neighbor mom, but I can consider it. Also, I could wait for one of our chance direct encounters ever three to six months or so...
I know what you mean and I think you are right. She is not interested in you anymore for whatever reason. I suggest the whole coat-it-in-sugar approach because crazy-neighbor lady might be loopy enough to bad mouth you around the neighborhood if you don't.

On the other hand, I like to give people the benefit of a doubt. You never know what might happen when you ask her what her problem is.

Putting myself in your position: because she is not "friendly" anymore, I would not be comfortable sending my kids over for a visit when I was no longer welcome in her life. It's just too weird. You would effectively be sending your kid off to visit a stranger (disclaimer - I don't have kids).

This is a stretch I know, but if there is way that you can put this back on the mom instead of the sitter ("Instead of bringing baby over to your mom why don't you grab your mom and have her stop by over here. I haven't seen her in ages! and Baby is close to lunch time/nap time/tired/has an ear ache/going through a phase, I wouldn't want Baby to be too much trouble/fussy/etc. over at your mom's") you might break the sitter of the habit of asking. She likely knows her mom won't come over so if you lather, rinse, repeat, with the excuses you might get to keep your sitter and lose the mom.

Just a thought.

ETA - I am assuming that the sitter is asking to bring the kids over to see her crazy-neighbor-mom because the mom asked. If this is about the sitter wanting to show off the kids and her responsibilities and the mom is not all that interested in the kids then the excuses idea still applies only to save the feelings of the sitter.

Last edited by Seymo on April 17th, 2012, 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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