I have a young neighbour who is very kind and helpful, we are on very good terms and I value her friendship.
Occasionally, I have kept an eye on her young daughter while my neighbour is at work. She’s a dear little girl, and not much trouble, but obviously needs attention, meals and amusement.
Now my neighbour has more or less assumed that I will provide childcare throughout the school holidays, and I don’t know how to politely refuse.
I would like to help, but I already look after my own young grandchildren, who are also nicely behaved, and of course I adore them, but I am exhausted.
At 71 years, and being very arthritic, a houseful of young children to feed and amuse all through the working week, and often at weekends, is just an overwhelming prospect.
How can I politely cut down on these commitments? I don’t want to appear unhelpful, but people seem to think that being retired I have nothing whatever to do. In fact I would love a day out, a leisurely shopping trip, lunch with friends, a weekend away, but all these things are impossible because of all the jobs which are found for me.
I know it’s my own fault for finding it hard to say ‘no’, but I do value my kindly neighbours and dear family, and don’t want to upset or inconvenience them!
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