Because having an au pair seems to be considered posh.I have one out of need,not out of choice. DC2 has SN and health problems which could very well mean a midnight ambulance trip (already once this week and its only Tuesday),so by having an AP it means precious time is not wasted in getting a babysitter,as DH travels a lot.Also there are many appointments,so it means I can go and not have the other children distracting me or annoying anyone.
I agree with you, they're not the same thing. But sometimes people (usually those that are jealous and would love to have a bit of money to have an au pair help them deal with their brood) lump the two together.
It is your choice, your money, and your priority. Bugger anyone who gets arsey about you having an au pair.
I spoke to a "friend" this morning who was "ooh, get you" about our forthcoming holiday, obviously trying to establish how we can afford it, why we live in a small house (but nice area!), and anaylsing it. It has fuck all to do with her where we go. Some people just cant say that's nice I(and bitch behind your back to husbands!). Her priority is going out with DH lots to pub and concerts (several times a week to pub) and ours is decent holidays.
Feel for you though OP, having to have an au pair due to your kid's illness. Hope he/she is okay.
It is not posh to have an au pair - as someone above said they are far cheaper than other types of childcare, as long as you have the space. I would love an au pair, and I am not rich at all, but over here they need to have their own bathroom, and we have only got one bathroom. And I am not posh, or rich or snobby.
But having been an au pair I think it can (but isn't always) a good solution for parents, child, and au pair.
I'm with Cheria - depending on how much childcare you need, having an au pair can be much cheaper than say nursery + babysitters. Plus it's one-on-one care rather than shared between say 3-4 children at nursery. We had one for a while (well more of a nanny as she was English!) and it was an absolute lifesaver.
My DC love Nadya our AP and she in turn,loves them.We did an attic converstion of a bedroom,en suite,and kitchenette. We have done AP sharing which meant she lived in one house but only worked 3 days and came to us for two.
Oh, don't worry about it. It's human nature, people will always be looking at each other's lives and trying to work out who has most. Round here my neighbour jokingly calls DH posh because he goes to work in a shirt and tie, but five minutes the other way down the road here are houses with four stories and our landlady there thinks she is a bit bohemian because they drive an old Merc, not a shiny new one.
If you don't act snobby, either they are saying it out of thoughtlessness and would be ashamed if they realized your reasons, or they are not very nice people and not worth your time.