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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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blair606 Offline
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Am I being used? :( - May 21st 2009, 01:40 AM

I'm friends with a former teacher of mine. She's in her mid-thirties and we're super close and there is no weirdness about the fact that she used to be my high school teacher whatsoever. Anyway, I babysit her kids at least three nights a week for a few hours after school without receiving payment. For about a month I babysat them every day while she was running around, sometimes for 8-10 hours a day while her husband worked. Furthermore, I give her relationship advice about a guy she's seeing (she's divorcing her hub) several times a day via text (even if I'm in school) and I often mediate between her and her boyfriend when they're having issues communicating. Whenever they break up--which is often--I'm always the first person to talk to her and console her...I don't mind being there for her, but when it comes to me having a problem or wanting to talk, I sometimes feel like she brushes me off. She's a nice woman so I'm thinking she's unaware of it, but it seems like I devote a huge portion of my life to taking care of her kids and counseling her, but she blows me off sometimes when she doesn't "need" me....what should I do? How can I fix this?
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Re: Am I being used? :( - May 21st 2009, 02:21 AM

Hi, Blair (:
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Hmm, that doesn't seem to be a very balanced relationship; its totally fine that you're friends with someone who's older, and its fine that you o your friends favors. But for youto babysit her kids several times a week, and for periods of time, every day... and then from eight to ten hours... seems to be a bit much. So does the constant mediation business btween her and her boyfriend, when the help and support doesn't go both ways. If you're devoting so much of your time to this friendship, and she can't seem to respond to you and your own issues in a way that shows that she cares about you, as well... then maybe its time to have a chat with her about how you feel. I'm not suggesting that she's using you on purpse or anything.. if she's like you say she is, its likely that she doesn't even realize it. But I really would suggest sitting down and having a bit of a chat with her about all this, because unadressed problems tend to be persisting ones.
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Re: Am I being used? :( - May 22nd 2009, 03:01 AM

Hey Blair,

It is fine that you are friends with someone older, but if she is going to treat you like a friend and an adult, then she should be paying you for the childcare as well as treat you properly and listen to you when you want to talk. That's what responsible friends do, and as someone older, she should be doing this.

Don't hesitate to start asking her to pay you for babysitting. Just let her know that it does take up a lot of your time, and although you enjoy doing it, you would appreciate some compensation. Just know that a regular babysitter or daycare worker gets payed a heck of a lot more than nothing! So don't be afraid to ask.

I think you need to find someone else to talk to when you're having troubles. You can still console your friend and help her out now and again, but I do not think you should be using her as a primary person to talk to. She doesn't sound very dedicated and seems a little self absorbed in her own problems.


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