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Blues Definition A Wonderful Genre Of Music Enjoyed Shirt, hoodie, tank top
Feeding, Ask a Teacher, and How to Do It? Answer: Join Slate Plus.
Dear Care and Feeding,
Early in the pandemic, my neighbors did not go near each other. As the months went by, they loosened their restrictions and our kids began playing together. I have one young child. Somehow, my house became the hangout. I am working from home, but the key word is working—I still need to work. Every single day, up to three children show up at my house.
They want lunch and snacks. They use up my craft supplies, dirty every dish, and make huge messes. They stay here for six or seven hours, and their parents never check in or respond when I contact them. When I walk them home, they end up right back here, stay for dinner, and sometimes overnight. I have a lot going on in my own life, including the recent loss of my spouse. I have told these parents this. I don’t have the emotional or financial bandwidth to keep this up, and the other parents don’t seem to care. I don’t know what to do anymore.
— Neighborhood Nanny Not by Choice
Dear Neighborhood Nanny,
Of course you cannot deal with this anymore—it should never have been expected of or forced on you in the first place! I would really like to talk (“talk”) to those other parents; that you have not (I assume) left angry notes and glitter bombs in their mailboxes is a testament to your enormous patience. I’m so sorry you have to endure such inconvenience and presumption during a pandemic, as you grieve for your spouse.
I know you have already tried talking to the neighbor kids’ parents. If you decide to try one more time, feel free to be very blunt about why this situation cannot go on—e.G., “I really need to be able to work, and I don’t have the time or resources to care for and feed your children all day.” And then draw a clear line for them: “From now on, if your kids show up at our door while I’m working, I won’t be able to let them in.”
You shouldn’t have to be so firm—these parents should know better already, but obviously they lack both logic and empathy. It’s depressingly clear that you can’t control their behavior, so regardless of the words you choose, it’s your follow-through that will likely prove most important. Don’t let any of these kids in your house if they show up unannounced. Don’t feel a second’s guilt about turning them away from your door. “Sorry, Billy, you’ll have to go back home,” etc.