Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Since the start of this year, when Little D's school moved a little further away from my home, my friend Hw and I started this carpool for our little girls. I would send her daughter home on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she would send Little D home. On fridays, we would both pick our girls ourselves.

I am not sure what I should do now, coz, MIL, who usually helps me when we go to pick the girls, is not happy with the arrangement, and wants me to stop it. You see Hw's daughter is not very independent, and whoever picks her has to carry her bags for her, help her with her shoes, supervise her coming down the stairs (or she will be running wild or jumping all over the place). And she is prone to forget to take some things of hers, and she would suddenly remember it just as we get into the car and one of us would have to go back to pick it up, or she would be throwing a big tantrum about wanting her things. Little D on the other hand is like the eveready bunny. As soon as she spies us, she would have collected her water bottle, folder, bag, and she would be off to put on her shoes by herself. She will then go down the stairs in a calm manner (no jumping or running).

Also, for quite a number of fridays now, I have been picking her daughter home for her. One day, MIL found out from Hw's helper that there were days she was out shopping, lunching, or whatever, when she told me to pick her girl for her!! I think that triggered it for MIL.

When we first discussed this arrangement, Hw really appealed to me to help her out, as she is studying part-time, and for her to make it home to pick her girl everyday, was not an option. Her husband wasnt keen on putting their little girl on the school bus and suggested that she tried carpooling. I also thought that by having this arrangement, I would also have some days where I am less hassled by all the rushing to and fro to pick all three kids. And with her helping out on my two busy days, it was a win-win situation. What I did not envisage was her daughter's lack of independence, and in MIL's words, Hw taking advantage of me and the arrangement. Mil is also unhappy that when Hw picks the girls home, she is usually late. (Actually she is not really late, just not as early as we are.)

Hubby thinks that if MIL is not happy with it, (since she helps me out), I should discontinue it. He too, prefers me to pick Little D myself, as being the super cautious parent that he is, he is worried that Hw may not be a safe driver. He is also concerned about the liability issues that may arise should anything happens. (Choi! Touch wood!)

The problem now is that when we worked this arrangement out, I did not put in the escape clause of: ".. lets see how it works out and we are free to discontinue this arrangement if it doesnt work out."

I really dont know if I should discontinue this arrangement with her. I actually have no problem with it - its those around me that are against it. And if I do, I really dont know how to tell Hw without jeopadising our friendship - coz I know she would be in a real dilemma if I were to discontinue it. Now I am in a dilemma. To continue or not? What do you think?


Constance said...

hey. i was in the same situation like you last year. apparently a neighbourly assistance to my neighbour on two days a week to school end up to be a horrible nightmare. i was helping her cos two days a week her hubby couldn't pick her kid up from school. 2mths into it, he changed his job, sold the family car. she said to me, Looks like i need your help. i ended up fetching her girl home daily.(with mother and 2other kids in tow, to and fro!)I had to let my younger one take a schoolbus cos i'm driving a small hatchback! Not a word of thanks, it went on fr jan to end may before the hols. i then put my foot down and told her i couldn't anymore cos i have decided to drive my younger one and my helper is going to follow, so she has to find her alternatives. now there is a grudge. petrol was high then because they are on the obese side. on rainy days, i took the liberty of fetching the kids after shopping for groceries and the mom didn't even extend help to pick the girls fr the shelter, so i had to leave the girls there, park the car then send her girl to her doorstep! i had an inconsiderate neighbour. you won't want to be caught in my shoes, so don't ever start...

Iml said...

Yes, a very delicate problem here.
The thought of someone having a leisure lunch/shopping while you, slaving away must have made MIL very unhappy.That her DIL is being taken advantage of.

bp said...

Tricky one, I also find it hard to say no. But if your MIL and husband are both uncomfortable, you may just have to tell your friend sorry, you can't continue with the arrangement. Is it possible to let her know "in advance" when you'll stop the carpooling, so hopefully she can find some alternate arrangement on her end?

NomadicMom said...

That is quite a dilemma. Go with you instinct lor.

Hazel said... difficult to make dicision