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New au pair- holidays and leave- advice and opinions wanted

(19 Posts)
sagalsmith Wed 18-Dec-13 14:43:47

My au pair is only around 5 weeks old this weekend but she's been au pairing with another family so- huge network of friends. When we took her on, I told her that we were going away for hols and that she would need to figure out a place to stay- worse case she could stay with my other family (very close by) or we'll pay for a room till her flight home. This is a condition of acceptance of the job and we are up front about it. She said its not a problem and that she has friends and a boyfriend she could stay with. Anyway- we're leaving on Sunday and she's leaving on Tuesday.
Now that we know her better-
-would you let someone you've only known for 5 weeks to stay on their own in your home?
- I normally give her a credit card for household expenses incl food (easier to track agt receipt)- should I ask for it back before leaving? Who's responsible for her expenses for those 2 days. Would you give her cash to cover the 2 days instead perhaps?
-I don't completely trust her yet and won't put her past having her friends round and going through our stuff etc. She's good with the kids and I'm happy with that but there's that little something that I'm not completely comfortable with yet, unlike with some other child carers. Can't put my finger on it. I had to talk to her after 1 week as it wasn't working out for me but she made an effort to swing things round-I appreciate it but feel that she may have resented me for it. Possibly all in my head.

mrswishywashy Wed 18-Dec-13 14:55:13

I don't think its fair she has to leave however as she's agreed to it I would let her stay until the tuesday but make clear no friends are to be over. Or if you don't feel comfortable then get her place to stay however if I wasn't comfortable leaving her by self at home I'd be finding a new au pair. Resentment will build quick on both sides if there is lack of trust.

Also you should be responsible for her expenses eg food as she is an au pair that is part of the deal just because you don't need her to work doesn't mean she should lose out.

HomerPigeon Wed 18-Dec-13 21:27:24

I have an AP and think you sound absolutely nuts, OP. You're happy to let this person look after your children but you won't leave her home alone?? Crazytown.

mikulkin Thu 19-Dec-13 13:52:55

You trust her with your children and your credit card but not to stay at home for 2 days on her own?
You are responsible for her food etc while you are away and she is around.

Strix Thu 19-Dec-13 14:55:46

You clearly don't trust her. I think you should do some soul searching and find out why. Is it because she is untrustworthy? Or because you are not really ready to have an au pair? Honestly, its not for everybody.

I understand you were up front and she agreed to it. But, I think she will still be offended and it will inevitably have a negative impact on your relationship.

My view is that you should apologise for being a numpty. Tell her she is welcome to stay in your house whether you are there or not because it is her home too. Don't ask for your credit card back. Do tell her she is welcome to use it to buy herself food while you are gone.

Unexpected Thu 19-Dec-13 15:30:30

Aren't you the poster who had all the issues about your AP eating your organic food? Honestly, many people have said this to you but it bears repeating - you don't sound suited to having an AP, it isn't for everyone and I'm surprised you/she have lasted even five weeks. If you are really intent on keeing this AP (or indeed any other one) you need to remember that they are supposed to be treated like a member of your family - would you ask your cousin to pay for her own food when you leave her in your home? If you think that the AP is going to go through your papers, surely she has ample opportunity to do that when you are not on holiday?

Strix Thu 19-Dec-13 15:43:08

She's nott allowed to eat the same food the rest of you normally eat? hmm

Unexpected Thu 19-Dec-13 16:50:45

There's a thread Strix grin. At one point it seemed like the OP was telling us that she could end up going hungry so that she could fund the aupair's food?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 19-Dec-13 19:08:29

i find it weird that you apparently trust her to look after your children but dont trust her in your home alone/with a credit card hmm

i rem the food issues thread, was the last ap, not this one

why did you not want her to stay alone in your house?

i do find it strange that she didnt take you up on your offer to pay her flight home and spend xmas with her family?

Er, you're supposed to treat her like a member of the family hmm Would you chuck your family out over Christmas?

LightsPlease Thu 19-Dec-13 19:11:28

I don't think au pairs are for you.

Reinette Thu 19-Dec-13 22:30:46

My goodness, I would have been so hurt to be treated that way when I was an au pair...even if I'd agreed to it upfront. OP, you should say that now she's been with you five weeks you know you can trust her (because if you can't, why are you leaving her alone with your kids??) she is welcome to stay on at the house but you expect no one will be invited over while you're away. If you can't do that, I have to agree, au pairs are not the right fit for your family.

Mumof22222boys Thu 19-Dec-13 22:43:35

Very odd. When we go away we encourage AP to go at same time. However where this has not been possible we have let them stay in house with some cash to cover their food. Even let one girl have bf and sister o stay...have just been to her wedding!

IThinkThat Thu 19-Dec-13 22:52:56

This sounds very odd. I wouldn't leave my kids with someone I didn't trust. confused

Why don't you ask for the credit card, apologise that she can't stay in your house while you are away and give her a big wad of cash so she can do what she likes. Be generous and you can buy yourself out of this situation.

Boxofbugs Sat 21-Dec-13 08:30:52

I completely trust our au pair and happily leave her alone in the house overnight but I'd never give anyone a credit card. Just buy her food before you go and leave £20 for restocking milk, bread etc.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 21-Dec-13 09:59:41

I've always had a credit card in a job - handy for food shopping - petrol - entrance fees etc

Says it all if you are worried the ap/nanny may steal your money/spend tons but happy to leave them in charge of your non replaceable most precious thing in your life

It's called TRUST !!!

Boxofbugs Sat 21-Dec-13 12:20:08

That's not it at all Blondes. A credit card is something you commit to the bank that only you will use. You are not meant to hand it about. I wouldn't fear my AP would steal with it but I would fear she may lose it of go out at night and hang out with less trustworthy people who may get hold of it.

I hate the old MN argument of "your kids are your most precious thing yet you leave them with people you don't know inside out/you won't pay their main carers as much as you humanly can/you put your career before them etc". It's a totally meaningless and manipulative mantra.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 21-Dec-13 14:44:47

i have a credit card in my name under their account, so not using their name, ie cc company would approve

you wouldnt believe how many of my friends employers seem to have trust issues with money/credit cards/house keys etc yet as you said leave their child with a stranger (tho hopefully have been interviewed/refs checked, dbs etc)

anyway i regress off original topic smile

op - what have you decided to do?

and yes quite in your rights to let ap stay those few days but say no visitors/guests while you are not there

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 21-Dec-13 15:17:07

' A credit card is something you commit to the bank that only you will use.'

You can have other people named on your account. Let's not make this about upsetting the bank!

If you don't trust your nanny with a credit card, just say that, don't blame Barclays.

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