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March 10, 2008



I carpool with my neighbour. She does mornings, I do afternoons. Even if our kids aren't going to school - we ALWAYS pick up/take the other kids. We made a commitment. I would suggest you suck it up for the rest of the year, and make her suck it up to. She made that commitment to you, so she needs to bring Dumpling home tomorrow, either before or after the birthday party. Explain to her that you have made arrangements for your cars tomorrow, so you have no other way to get her home. Then tell her you need more notice, as you both have a life outside driving the kids to school.
You may need to tell Dumpling that some people suck, but that is life, so we're just going to get through this, then we'll never have to do it again! Sometimes being a parent is Hard!!!


Basically, she's suckered you into being her morning driver. She needs you more than you need her. I think the B-day thing was rude. I would say, "I'm sorry, this isn't working out." Maybe in a few months, this Mom will have a change of behavior with her behavior after having to lug the kids both ways.

Mmmm, not really assvice. Just tell you to kick them to the curb.


I'm a wuss, so honestly I'd just stick it out for 3.5 more months. But I would want to cancel the carpool and think you should too. I wouldn't worry too much about next year's carpool. If the woman really is a rude flake who takes advantages of the other drivers (which she clearly is) AND has a snotty kid, people will probably be understanding of why you canceled it.


What Johnny said- the imbalance and rudeness is too obvious for her to not have some awareness unless she just doesn't care about anything but her needs, which seems to be the case. In terms of the long haul? My guess is that this is the kind of person who will develop her own reputation in the community which, if she does say things about you, will end up reflecting more on her than on you. ~lmc


I would quietly try to find another family to make a car pool with. A family whose schedule is more condusive with yours. If you are lucky enough to find one...then you have a great excuse for getting out of the previous one..just make it sound like the opportunity fell in your lap and you could not pass it up...but perhaps give her some notice so she has time to find help with mornings.


Hi there,

De-lurking to say dump her.

just politely tell her that you've got some schedule changes and the carpool no longer makes sense for you guys.
I'd give her a two-week notice.

Be polite (no problem at all for you - you've got mad people skillz :-), succinct (don't explain any further than to say "schedule changes") and be firm (that's just the way it is...).

You can and need to do this!

Good luck.


I don't know. It's a hard one. Normally I would say kick them to the curb (which seems like such an apt thing to say with a carpool situation). But given that this really is a small community, I am going to go with sticking it out for the next 3.5 months and finding another solution for next year. You have too many years ahead of you at this school and this woman sounds like the type to overreact if you cancel the carpool now. She sounds like the type who will go around saying to people "Can you believe they canceled the carpool just because my kid had to stay late for a birthday one time?" Even though that is completely bogus.

Good luck with whatever you decide, though. We will most likely be sending our girls to the closest Catholic school and so will have the same issues. Not looking forward to that.

lisa t

Okay, I say you are worried way too much about being nice and not about doing what is right. Sometimes the right decisions can have negative consequences because other people like to do what is easy not what it right.
My mom used to be this way. I was friends with a girl in early elementary. She was bossy and did the oneups all the time. She left our elementary to go to a special program at another school. I could have but didn't want to because I was way over her by the third grade. In middle school her mom called my mom to see if she could bring her daughter home. she lived down a street perpendicular to our road about 3/4 of a mile away. One day she brought a friend home with her, a girl who was also a friend of mine, to have a party that afternoon. We had many mutual friends. So the other two girls are in the back seat chatting up about how they were going to have such a great party... blah blah.
My mom turns onto our road. Right before she turned left onto her street she stopped the car. SAid, "sorry ladies, I really need to get home, you'll have to walk from here." They looked at each other, huffed, and got out of the car.
It was one of the rare times I saw my mom stand up for what she was feeling. The girl used to walk to our house when she was much younger so stopping there was not a big deal. (She also could have gone by bus) My mom called hers when we got home and she said she wasn't going to subject me to such mean treatment any longer and she'd have to find another way to school...
Your daughter might not be old enough to understand what's going on with the little girl but there are enough awesome girls and parents that appreciate a relationship. Chances are Deadweight will get in a carpool with someone else and they will show their true colors again and they will be the ones on the out... not you for you are willing to get their kids when your own kids isn't going to school.
Of course talk to her and let her know that the situation isn't working out with your weekly agenda anymore but thanks for the little contributions you've made to the carpool.
May your good heart conquer mean hearts.


I've been checking back on your comments all day - I'm glad there are some people who are saying to stop. (I love the schedule changes!) I was put in an awkward situation when a mom asked me to basically chauffeur her daughter to a dance class that my daughter is in. She signed her daughter up, knowing my daughter was in the class and knowing she would have to WORK during the class time. THEN she asked me to drive every week, dropping her kid off at home (not on the way) when class was over (and maybe they would compensate by having my kid over a time or two). I came up with a lame-ass excuse and the mom dropped out of class (a habit they have as well).
We also go to a small school and the mom isn't happy with me. BUT it's not worth the anxiety that would have built up inside me to become that girl's chauffeur. If it's causing you extra grief, I don't think it's worth it to make the other mom happy. She'll get over her schedule change as well!


I would come up with a polite reason of why you just can't car pool anymore.
Work reasons, conflicts in your schedule bla bla bla...

Act like it's no big deal and move on.
Hopefully she will have the decency not to make it into a bigger deal etc..

I find car pools more work than they are actually worth.

Carol Anne

Delurking to give some advice: end the carpool. Do you really want 3.5 more months of unreliability?

Come up with some excuse about your work schedule changing or something, and drop them. You'll feel much better. Don't worry about being "that family etc.". It really doesn't matter what other people think. You don't live with them.


I couldn't decide what to advise so I just waited to see what everyone else would say. After reading all the comments I'm still not sure! I think I'm leaning towards kicking them to the curb, I liked what de-lurker Kath said, 2 weeks notice, no detailed explanation "schedule changes" end of story.

Yeah that feels good, why should horrible behaviour be rewarded. I agree with everyone else with regard to not worrying what other people might think, they'll soon figure her out for themselves.


In the words of the daughter's favorite High School Musical CD, politely tell the mom that you want to "Go Your Own Way." People at the school will quickly figure out why you did it.


When deciding what 'big' school to send CL to in September, we made sure there was some sort of bus service as we wanted nothing to do with carpooling for exactly these reasons. Since it is a private school, there is no bus service offered by the school however you can get a private bus to do pick-up and drop-off right at your door. It is somewhat costly but it can save everyone alot of headaches! I am sure this same company could provide you with service once she goes to school full-time. Let me know if you want the number.


A couple of years ago, I had a carpool I despised. I toughed it out for the year and then quit. They replaced us with another family and that family wasn't such a pushover - the offending kid was thrown out of carpool in quick order and things got reshuffled with the other families and the offending kid's family had to drive him every day. I should have spoken up, my life would have been much easier. I say if carpool if more of a hassle than it's worth, dump it. If you really do need her for those days, hang in there til the end of the school year and be sure to pick another carpool next year. Sounds like she's good at taking advantage and will probably be known as such, you won't be known as the quitter! Good luck!

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