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To Have Said No

(42 Posts)
HollyDaze Wed 16-Jul-14 13:18:53

I have posted on here before about this type of situation but it reared its head again yesterday and now I'm feeling racked with guilt.

My son came to the house in the morning and couldn't get in (I was in the shower) but I heard the dogs barking so I came down to see who it was. I saw him looking into the kitchen and giving the door a bit of an angry shove.

I opened the door and he was asking where the old pressure washer was. I told him that he said he didn't want it and when I had the skip delivered, he put it in the skip. He hummed and hawed and then asked if he could borrow the new one for work as they were washing down a roof (they are roofers and it's his friend's business - my son works for him) and the business one had just broken (I had put the pressure washer in the kitchen ready to use early in the morning so it wasn't it the shed where it's usually kept - I think that might have been why the door got an angry shove, the washer wasn't in the shed where he could have just taken it and he could see the washer in the kitchen but couldn't get to it).

As my son has a very long history of 'borrowing' things but not ever bringing them back, I said 'no'. He looked miffed. I explained that even if he did bring it back he would bring it back covered in crap off the building site. He still looked miffed. So I reminded him that when I asked him and his friend to fix my roof (it was only a couple of slates missing and a couple of leaks from the guttering) and they said they would - they didn't; I had to hire another firm that cost me a fortune for what was done.

He left feeling like a very unhappy bunny. If he had been responsible and returned my things in the past and if I knew he'd bring it back in the condition he took tit in, I might have said they could borrow it.

Am I being unreasonable and if I'm not, why do I feel so guilty and fighting the urge to phone him and apologise sad

MargaretX Wed 16-Jul-14 19:09:35

You were right to refuse. He must learn the hard way.

Mishap Wed 16-Jul-14 20:26:46

To be honest I would have said yes - maybe I am a soft touch.

But in our family it cuts both ways - if they have a need and I can fulfill it, then I do; and if we need something they do the same for us.

rosesarered Wed 16-Jul-14 20:28:46

Yup! Agree with all the others. The firm should go and buy a new pressure washer, they are not exactly hard to find.This will remind your son not to think he can take what you have.

Nonu Wed 16-Jul-14 21:04:26

The firm should have their own one.!

After all it would be tax deductible !

MariClaire Wed 16-Jul-14 21:50:10

HollyDaze that is it. Pretty much a consensus here. You were reasonable! I am naturally inclined to have the soft touch, but tough love is needed sometimes. I understand it is so hard to say 'no', and would be worrying that ad infinitum until DH would wisely pull me from the brink! Stick to your guns! Guilt is a way of life for mums and moms. How can we retrain ourselves not to feel it? Time for wine Holly.

MariClaire Wed 16-Jul-14 21:52:06

Or brew in your neck of the woods...almost time for wine here!

HollyDaze Wed 16-Jul-14 21:53:46

Many thanks all smile

Silverfish Wed 16-Jul-14 22:03:03

I agree, Holly, I feel that my daughter is similar, I love her sooo much and shes all I have apart from DGD, but if I refuse her or cannot help her I feel she might take the huff and I might not see her or the baby for a long time, she has never done this but I try to keep in her good books in case.
Im trying to teach the baby to know that when I say NO, I mean no, but the other granma says as she doesn't see her very often she wont discipline her so looks like I am going to be the big bad granny.

When you love someone it is so hard to balance kindness with laying yourself open to being used.

HollyDaze Wed 16-Jul-14 22:07:01

Hello Silverfish - I would agree, to an extent, that could be part of my anxiety over the incident but I can't afford to lose another item.

Your granddaughter will love you regardless and it has always been my experience that children feel safer when they know where the boundaries are and they can stay safely within them!

Elegran Wed 16-Jul-14 22:15:40

If your children are prepared to take the huff when you don't let them use and spoil your possessions, or when you mention that they could have helped you but did not bother their arses, then they are not very nice people. Is that nature or nurture?

HollyDaze Wed 16-Jul-14 22:17:44

I would say nurture in this case - I am aware that I was too soft with both of them and am now living to reap the rewards of it. Nothing so perfect as hindsight is there.

Tegan Wed 16-Jul-14 22:20:35

It's quite reassuring to know that it isn't just me that has sons and daughters that never have time to do anything to help housemaintenance wise which means I have to pay people to do things....

janeainsworth Wed 16-Jul-14 22:30:46

Mishap I'm a softie too, but I know the DCs would come running if we ever needed them.

Flowerofthewest Wed 16-Jul-14 23:02:26

No need to feel guilty at all. I would have done the same.

mrsmopp Wed 16-Jul-14 23:22:40

Do you think your son feels guilty for not fixing your roof that time, and you had to pay someone else to do it?
You think he does not feel guilty?
Then neither should you.

Stop worrying. You did the right thing. Case closed.

FlicketyB Thu 17-Jul-14 15:43:14

Silverfish I have a large portrait of me on the kitchen cupboard, drawn by DGD when she was about 5. I have a round open mouth out of which there is a speech bubble saying NO. It was drawn out of love. I had had DGS, aged 2 sitting on my lap for nearly half an hour holding an axe to my throat. He was Viking and was going to kill me. I decided enough was enough and he wouldn't take no for an answer, well, he had to in the end.

I am with you mrsmopp. I have always veered towards tough love because I love my DC so much. I tried to never lay down rules unless I felt it essential but then I stuck.