Moms: How would you have wanted this situation handled?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Em_Catz, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Today's the first time I've babysat my friend's infant son. She is a single mother taking classes, so I told her I'd watch the baby every Wednesday and Thursday to save her money on a babysitter.

    She left me a detailed set of instructions about feeding schedule, allergies, the toys he likes, to put on Dora the Explorer, etc.

    There's NOTHING in the instructions about visitation from his dad. Which is why I was confused to receive a face book message a few minutes ago from the father saying, "Hey Em, can you drop by with the baby today?"

    Thing is:

    1. Father does NOT live with the baby

    2. Friend is NOT in a relationship with the father

    3. Father does NOT have much relationship with the baby (according to friend and from what I've seen)

    4. Father does NOT have court-mandated visitation nor does he pay child support.

    5. Friend did NOT tell me say anything about visits with dad (plus, if he wants me to "stop by with the baby" what does that mean? I sit around his house while he plays with the baby then when he's done take the baby back to my apart? Leave the baby at his house and come back when he calls me?)

    I tried to call my friend but she didn't answer (her phone was prob on silent b/c she's in an intense class) and she can't get emails or text messages on her pay as you go phone.

    I messaged him back and said, "I'm sorry, I can't do that. You'll have to talk to <my friend>"

    Now I have this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach but it would've been irresponsible to take him to the father since my friend didn't give me express permission or instructions to do so right? :(
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would not have handed the baby over to anyone other than the mother unless the mother gave permission for that ahead of time.

    You did the right thing. You certainly didn't need to get in the middle of anything.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    You did the right thing. I think she would have let you know if she wanted you to let the baby visit with his father. It sounds like he's trying to take advantage of the situation. I would just talk with her. If it IS ok, then you can take the baby to see him next week.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I agree. Worst case scenario, your friend worked out a visitation with him, and she neglected to tell you. If so, that's not your fault.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You did the right thing.
     
  7. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    okay you all are making me feel better. i'm not a parent yet, so i was trying to imagine what i'd want. i hope my friend feels like you all.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    No way. No way. There is no way you want to get involved with a custodial situation. You give that baby back to the person who gave him to you, and let the mom know exactly what happened.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nope...you don't get involved with baby daddy's relationship with the child. Tell your friend he contacted you and that you are not comfortable with his request. She needs to work out visitation on her own. This is not part of your 'job'. Just enjoy your time with the little one!

    PS...you're an AWESOME friend helping out with free babysitting!
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    You don't even have to be a mom to answer this one. Without express permission from the mother of the child who entrusted her child to you, you do not take the baby to someone's house just because they called or fb, in this case.

    Tell the mom what happened.
     
  11. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Not a parent, but I agree that you handled the situation appropriately. That's what I would want to hear if I was the kiddo's mom.
     
  12. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Absolutely did the right thing!!!!! Sounds like he might have been trying to take advantage of the situation. :mad:
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Perfect. You did the right thing, for sure.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    You did absolutely the right thing. Be sure to talk to your friend to find out how she would like this handled if he contacts you again.

    I agree with cza--you are being a great friend!
     
  15. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Update: So my friend called me during her lunch break. I told her what happened and she said it was "up to me" and that if I wanted to take the baby to his father (who lives an hour away) to go for it.

    She also said the father was off work and sometimes he takes the subway to our area and hangs out at her house with the baby. She said she would call him and tell him to take the subway to our area so he can spend time with the baby this afternoon.

    She said she would pick the father up from the subway station or I could if I wanted to.

    I told her I didn't really want to take the baby outside (we have a heat advisory today) or have the father sitting around my apartment while we waited for her to get here from her class.

    Seems like an awkward position to put me in. I'm happy to take care of the baby, but I can't help but wonder, if the father is off work, why didn't he babysit his son today instead of me? :confused:

    EDIT: Aw, thanks Cza Cza. She's an old, tried and true friend and since I'm off during the summer it's the least i can do :thumb:
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Again, you did it right! Somehow, he got wind of you babysitting regularly, so he decided to send you a message behind the mother's back when he knows darn well he doesn't have visitation rights, etc. This could have been a way for him to kidnap the child & run off. You know how some estranged parents do that all the time.

    OK, I saw your update after posting above. I wouldn't get involved in doing any favors for the father. Why should you use your gas & wear & tear on your car for this?! Leave that to the responsibility for your friend. If this were me, I wouldn't even feel comfortable if he drove/came to me IN MY APT to see the baby, whether I knew the guy a little or not. Sorry, I'm not very trusting, but that's me. At first, I thought you were going to your friend's house to watch her baby, in which I wouldn't even want some strange man coming to my friend's house. Not if it will just be myself & him in the house w/o other adults. Remember, the more extra things you do, the more chances of something going wrong & you're right. If he's off he NEEDS to babysit. It's his child & they shouldn't want to impose on you for the day.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    You were right in how you handled it - a similar thing happened with my cousin when she was young, but her day care released her to her father (who had no custodial rights) without calling my aunt, and he decided to take her for the rest of the day, which annoyed my aunt.

    Nothing came out of it, though. His parent's money bailed him out yet again - he just can't visit the state of Nevada anymore.
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    As a mom, I would have been a nervous nelly knowing my infant was in a car traveling up to an hour away.
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Em did right thing...bring up why doesn't dad come stay with baby...it's the least he could do....;) I'm sure you'd be flexible enough if you knew a day or so ahead that dad was coming you could find something to do.
    I babysat for friend & her child's dad would come pick child up from gparent's house. I just had to have child over so gparent could be there as well...
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    It could be that the baby's father doesn't have a good set schedule and doesn't know in advance when he will have time off. It is sometimes hard to find someone to watch a child if the person you are hoping will watch the child doesn't know until a few days before.

    Knowing the dad sees the child off and on, I am less concerned about why he fb'd the OP. But OP did the right thing.
     
  21. MrsJay

    MrsJay Rookie

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    I'm a Mommy and you absolutely did the right thing. The baby stays in your care unless the mother gives you instructions to do otherwise.
     
  22. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    It still seems really presumptuous for him to request that you "drop by" with the baby when he lives an hour away. When I read your original post, I had it in my mind that he lived down the block, so you really could just "drop by" if your friend OK'd it.

    I would tell your friend you're unable to do this going forward. If for no other reason, babies can get ferocious in long car rides.
     
  23. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    You hit the nail right on the head. I don't mind being flexible,but give me notice! Also since the father doesn't have custody I feel leery turning the baby over to him without permission from the mother. He's a (nice enough) guy but what if he takes the baby and skips town? My friend would never forgive me. (I wouldn't if the situation was reversed).

    Plus, if he's grown enough to make a baby, he's grown enough to figure out how to see the baby and not try to take advantage of me. I'm caring to make THE MOTHER'S life easier, NOT HIS.

    I'm glad everything worked out alright for your cousin. That could've gone so badly. We had a similar situation where the mother just never mentioned the father (or the fact that she had a restraining order against him), so the office gave him a visitor pass and he showed up in my classroom.

    :thumb:We think alike Ms. I. because the only person I trust 100% is God. IMHO the father is an idiot and a jerk (he was my friend's ex when they slept together and he lead her to believe he wanted to get back together and be a family, then he hooked up with one of his co-workers and dumped my friend because the co-worker looked "better on his arm" :mad:).

    I prefer not to be around him, and when I it's in a group setting where I have limited interaction. Not one on one at my house.

    He's not babysitting today because he's an idiot. If I were my friend I would tell him, "Look, if you want to spend time with our son, then make arrangements with me. Don't bug my friends asking if they can drive him out to you." :2cents:
     
  24. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Em... I'd feel leery about being with this guy alone with baby puts you in vulnerable state...
    Maybe you should tell friend I'll babysit child but I would feel more comfortable if the dad isn't part of days I watch child.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    You absolutely did the right thing. The fact that he went through you to attempt to schedule a visitation with his baby is a red flag.
     
  26. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    That baby is in your good hands! You made the right decision and I would tell my friend that in the future I did not want the dad around when I was sitting for the baby.
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah. My cousin is still emotionally abused by her father pretty much monthly - he'll pay for really expensive things using his parents money, then when she tries to bring one thing home from his house, he refuses to let her bring it home with her. He'll also take her to see movies like The Hunger Games (Which he took her to see in the theaters when she was 7) - because he wanted them to do something where he could just sit around and she wouldn't talk. Once his wealthy parents die, my aunt is going to "go for the throat" so to speak, as his parents have been complicit in hiding his income for the past 10 years - they report that he earns minimum wage to the IRS and the courts, but he actually earns around 80k a year from his parent's businesses. He's paid no child support in almost ten years, which has led to my aunt's house going into foreclosure, but her bank who initially gave her the mortgage folded into another bank which got eaten up by another bank which got taken over by another bank, so the paperwork got all jumbled around and nobody can find her mortgage (except her, she has a copy of it, but she's not giving it up to the banks). They've been looking for two years now.
     
  28. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I think you did the right thing. You are doing the mother a favor by babysitting and you are under no obligation to cart the baby around town visiting people, even if it is the father. They need to work this out and leave you out of it. I doubt I would babysit again if this keeps happening.
     
  29. eternalsaudade

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    I echo everyone here, you did the right thing. I would definitely recommend staying out of the situation with the dad entirely, it sounds iffy so I think you'd be entirely justified in expressing that the father needs to arrange time with his baby outside of the times you are caring for him. Good luck!
     
  30. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Thank you Diz. :thumb: That's actually a really good way to put it. It's not rude/mean, but gets my point across and it's true. I don't want to be involved with the father on my babysitting days.

    :yeahthat:

    I'm glad you said that NY because a small part of me was like, "Am I being selfish not to bring the baby to him? It's not like he has a car."

    However, a much bigger part of me feels like it's not my responsibility and as I voiced in an earlier post, if he's man enough to make a baby, he's man enough to take care of it without relying on the charity of the mother's friends.
     
  31. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Hi Em,
    I've read over your OP and some of the other responses and everyone is telling you right. What's really bugging me though is your friend's response.

    Whatever the arrangement she has between her and the child's father is their arrangement. It's not cool to drag you in the middle. Plus it puts you in an awkward position.

    If you tell the father yes, then he may take advantage of you further or expect that whenever you are caring for the baby then you will drop the child off with him. If you tell the father no, then you fear he may tell your friend that you cannot babysit the child any longer (hopefully your friend isn't dumb enough to go along with that, though {no offense!} but she doesn't sound like she makes smart decisions when it comes to the child's father.

    It kind of reminds me of when I was at the house of a husband's coworker and the teenage daughter said she liked my car and asked me (in front of 20 people) could she take it "for a spin" around the neighborhood.

    Obviously no one wants a teenager, especially one they barely know, to drive their car, so I looked over to her parents expecting them to put her in check about the inappropriateness.

    Nope, they just looked back at me with stupid grins and were like, "Well Honey, that's up to Ms. Lyn"

    So "Ms. Lyn" quickly squashed that request, but it irritated me that her parents put me in that position. It would've been easier and more appropiate for them to tell her that was out of line, then me.
     
  32. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Absolutely, 100% you did the right thing -- it's good he called, because if he'd shown up at the house and asked you (and been at all persistent, like spending more than a minute trying to convince you) then the right thing to do would have been to call the police, and that might have been a tough decision to make.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It doesn't sound like he's the type to just show up. That would take initiative and he would actually have to leave the house :whistle:
     
  34. Ms. I

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    I had a feeling that he was an a-hole. Just you saying that he contacted you to drop the baby off an hour away at his place doesn't sound like a decent guy to me.
     
  35. comaba

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    Honestly, I wonder if your friend suggested he call you.
     
  36. ku_alum

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    The friend's response of, "it's up to you" bothers me (and makes me think she wants you to do it or was involved with his request). But, luckily, the response allows you to say, "ok, good, I will not be having visits with the father."
     
  37. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Me too. She's a great person, but she there have been a couple times she's made unreasonable requests. I honestly think she still has feelings for this douche and would be willing to get back together. Why else would she be so accommodating?

    When I was still keeping hope alive that my ex and I would get back together, I was the same way. I'd look for reasons to contact him. Now, I have no desire, so if he called me asking for a ride or to get together and "catch up" it'd be a quick, "No" just like I'm giving the baby's father a quick "No".
     
  38. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    You did the right thing.
     

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