Neighborly or Advantageous?

I am a work-from-home mom. My job is about 5 hours a day, and while it isn’t stressful, it is still work. I have tasks I need to accomplish in order to get my paycheck. So when people ask me to do things during the day… I see how I can work it into my schedule.

My neighbor, whom I don’t know very well, asked me if I could watch his 2 kids after they get off the school bus. They’re off the bus at 3:30 and I would only watch them until 4:00. My initial reaction is to run. But i figure, 30 minutes? I can do that. Besides.. they can play with my 5yr old and everyone will have a marvelous time. Besides.. 30 minutes isn’t too bad. Just throw some juice and crackers and before you know it, they should be gone.

Today was the first day. The mom didn’t show up until 4:45. I now regret saying yes to these people.

Then it occurs to me. Are we living in the times where we really don’t want to do things for other people? Maybe for fear we’ll be taken advantage of? Or maybe because we simply don’t want to help out with “hands on” type work? I don’t know any of my neighbors. I try not to go out of my way to do anything, simply because I enjoy being at home. I’m too scared my neighbors are whackos and I’ll be forced to fraternize with them. Hm. Maybe I’m misanthropic?

I wonder if I should just shut my mouth and watch the kids, after all they’re a struggling family too? and then I think better of it and say no. I don’t like kids anyways. So if you say you’ll be here at a certain time, do it. Otherwise, I know of a great daycare down the street.

Yep. Neighborly. That’s me.

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One thought on “Neighborly or Advantageous?

  1. Wow. That sucks.

    I think that we live in a day and age where people don’t want to do hands on things for each other… but it’s because of examples like this. That’s the truth for me, anyway. Being taken advantage of has hardened me over the years but my nature still pushes me to do nice things so the occasional burn still happens. It still hurts just the same as it did when my best kindergarden friend stole my pencil sharpener and kept it from me even though I shared everything with her. YEAH, IT STILL HURTS, ELIZABETH.

    Haha, I swear I’m not bitter. 😉 It just takes a lot more for me to trust people these days. And that’s ok. We are so alike in our sympathetic nature. “No” doesn’t come off my lips easily either but I’m working on that. It was really sweet of you to take the neighbor’s kids in. But I’m so sorry it turned into more work than was expected. Maybe start charging a fee for strangers’ kid sittings? That will deter people. >:) And your idea of saying “no” is even better! People need to learn to repay kindness with kindness e.g. being on time!

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