We’re all for mums helping each other out, but what happens when it goes too far?

The start of a new school year means a return to the dreaded school run – traffic, tired kids, no parking…you know the drill. Helping each other out with drop off and pick up can make the whole process a lot more bearable, but a concerned mum has taken to popular forum Mumsnet after occasional pickups for her friend turned into a daily occurrence.

Pushing The Friendship

The mum says that despite their friendship being relatively new, she was more than happy to help when first asked. “I have a friend (I’ve known her since our kids started school a year ago) who is asking me ‘casually’ almost every day to drop her four year old son off at home after school,” she wrote. “She started off occasionally asking if I could pick him up due to a ‘meeting she couldn’t move’…and it was only once, maybe twice a week. But lately she is asking me pretty much every day and for reasons like ‘can you pick him up so I can finish early?’ or just asking me to pick him up without giving a reason.” Despite her generosity in continuing to do the after school pick up, the mum says it has never been reciprocated. “It also annoys me because on the days when she does pick up her own son from school, she NEVER offers to drop my son home – not even once.” This arrangement doesn’t sound very fair to us!

Totally Oblivious

The mum asked forum users whether she was being unreasonable by making up excuses to get out of helping her friend with the school run. “Aside from this issue we get along quite well and it’s really irritating me that she is totally oblivious that she is asking too much,” she said. “I really really hate confrontation. Do I just keep making up excuses and hope she gets it?”

We totally get where this mum is coming from. Offering to do the occasional school pick up is one thing, but being asked almost daily is completely unfair. Sounds like a difficult conversation is in order…

Have you ever had another mum ask you for one too many favours? Let us know in the comments!

  • My step kids bio mum would do this, ask me to pick up her other kids (that we’re not my husbands) and drop them off at her house or even pick them up and take them to school, I’m too nice for my own good and did so for some time, then I started coming up with excuses and I think she got the hint. We got along quite well so I didn’t want to ruin a good (rare) relationship but it was driving me nuts.


  • I think you should speak to her about this. Maybe ask her to do alternate days or else it’s going to eat away at you and it will affect your friendship with her. She may not realise that she is being unreasonable in not returning the favour


  • Unwilling to confront the other mum when its obviously bothering you makes it an issue about you too, maybe its time to take a look at this situation. If your kid was bothered by something, wouldn’t you advise them to confront the other party and resolve the matter? Time to sit down and talk.


  • So I often hear now that I really hate confrontation. I don’t think any of us like confrontation – at all. And that’s what I keep telling people. However, there are those, like this other Mum, who put you in situations hoping you do hate confrontation and she will always get away with it. It means you enable her ‘unsatisfactory’ behaviour. I think you absolutely need to push back or start to find or make up reasons why you can’t pick her son up. She is using you and treating you really badly.


  • If you feel it’s unfair maybe ask her to drop your kids home one day and suggest a regular arrangement where she does it one day and you do it the next. Or if you don’t want any part of sharing rides then say ‘no'; you don’t need reasons although I can think of plenty .. from missing out on what your kids have to say, to the safety issues of someone else driving with habits you don’t necessarily know. It will all pass very quickly and before you know it you’ll be teaching the kids to drive themselves!


  • Be honest in the beginning if you want to keep her friendship.


  • Definitely speak up now,


  • Sounds like it’s time to draw the line. Answering her next request with a no should start the ball rolling. I’m very careful about doing stuff like this because it can quickly snowball.


  • ITS a big responsibility I wouldn’t do it


  • Being upfront and direct and saying something is better than having any kind of resentment.


  • I wouldn’t mind if the drop off was on the way home but i am lucky in tht my friends don’t keep score, we all help each other out whenever it is needed


  • I fear that this mother doesn’t actually realize that she’s asking too much. So I think that the best is to let her notice that. At least asking her to give back the favour sometimes, otherwise this problem will not go away by itself.

    • You are quite right! Sometimes some people don’t realise what they are doing or the impact it has on others.


  • I helped another mum out for years. When picking up my daughter from school I would also take her child home. It was a little out of my way but I was happy to do it. My concern was always for the welfare of the child. I wanted to make sure her child got home safely every day. I never expected anything in return. In the case of this article, this mum should clearly decide whether she’s willing to help out, and whether she wants anything in return. Once she decides what she wants she should communicate that to the other mum so there is no misunderstanding.


  • This mum is totally overstepping the friendship and probably knows it too – she sounds like she is happy for someone else to do something for her but will do her best to not reciprocate. If it was me picking up the child I would simply start saying no – it’s obviously an issue for the mum who is collecting the child and I can understand why but she needs to be not afraid to say no I am sorry I can’t do that today. The lady will either soon find a new person to collect her child or will just have to do it herself.


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