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To have gone into my room and cried before I killed the aupair

(149 Posts)
Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:33:31

I've had the worst weekend in a long time !
DD1 has ASD and ADHD she has a strict list of no no's as in what she can and can't eat, the smallest thing on the donts list and she's the devils spawn !!
So I get in from work Friday and I can see just by looking at her she's had something, so I asked the aupair what she's had and "nothing" was the reply, so I asked DD and she said sweets after school !! Arghhh the aupair has been told time and time again about this, there's even a list stuck to the fridge of things to avoid and if we do she's fine.
So we've had the weekend from hell because of this.
I'm still moaning stick with me !
Then DD2 who is 10 months is crying for a drink so I get her sippy cup and go to give it a wash and find MOULD inside it, all in the bottom and all in the lid !! Apparently the aupair didn't realise it was mould !! WTF !! She could have harmed poor DD2 ! I was horrified !
I try not to get cross with the aupair she's 26 so not a kid she just seems to have ZERO common sense ! She's leaving in a few weeks thank goodness but my DH is ok nights, I'm 8 weeks pregnant, work full time and I'm shattered, so I've shut myself in my room for an angry cry.
Feel much better now grin

MidniteScribbler Mon 25-Mar-13 03:26:21

If the parent says no sweets, then that means no sweets, whether you agree with it or not. I au paired in the US when I was younger, and just because I didn't agree with all of the rules and regulations the parents made, doesn't mean I could just ignore them.

The sippy cup, well if it gets washed daily in hot water, well I'd find it very hard to believe that it developed mould so quickly, could it just have been some soapy scum on the bottom from it not being dryed out properly after it's last wash? I live in a very hot and humid climate, and even we don't get mould developing that quickly.

LondonKitty Mon 25-Mar-13 04:24:28

Oh Newtothisstuff, I really sympathise. Both with your difficult au pair experience and for the lack of sympathy some people were able to offer.
Have had lots of experience with au pairs and don't think you are asking anything unreasonable of her. Indeed, deliberately not doing as you ask re sweets repeatedly would be enough for me to offer her a lift to the airport. She's not a young girl, she should at the very least understand, your house, your rules. I've had nannies and au pair of this age... Not much difference in standards of professionalism tbh between them, but generally they were far more mature than the younger au pairs that you often get.

Mould in cup thingy... Well, it happens to the best of us, but I can understand that you see it as a symptom of her apathy.

honeytea Mon 25-Mar-13 04:37:35

So you havn't fed your 10 month old baby a meal for weeks (as I imagine that is how long mold would take to grow) and your calling the au pair lazy! Yabvu about that.

The sweets issue yanbu, I would be more angry that she lied to you.

nooka Mon 25-Mar-13 04:57:50

I suspect that the OP got a bit of a kicking from some people because from her first post it sounded as if the au pair was in sole full time charge of a 10 month old and a child with significant extra needs.

It isn't unusual for people to have unreasonable expectations of au pairs, using them for childcare just because they are cheap. I think that people can easily forget that it is not unusual for au pairs to have very experience or at times even much interest in children.

SpecialAgentDaenerysTargaryen Mon 25-Mar-13 05:49:26

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:59:19
'I'm off downstairs to turn all the lights off and the tv as the aupairs gone to bed leaving the house looking like Blackpool illuminations ! '

she sounds like she is your whipping boy tbh.

^^ This. You've thrown in insults about her in each of your posts, not sure if you realise that.

I do feel for you having a DSS (lives with us) who has complex SN. It's hard and stressful!

Alligatorpie Mon 25-Mar-13 06:44:33

Some posts on this thread are awful. Give the OP a break. She sounds exhausted. I think a 26 year old should be able to follow the 'no sweets' directions, whether she is qualified or not.

Dd1 doesnt have adhd, but sweets make her crazy.i think thats pretty normal.

I only wash sippy cups once a day ( but only put water in them) i don't have a mould problem.

Hope you got some sleep OP

ConfusedPixie Mon 25-Mar-13 07:48:19

Op, can you get a mothers help? Or a young nanny. That's what my bosses did and I'm still there a year and a half later looking after two with sen and their brother. I get paid less than others similar positions but they got somebody they could 'mold'.

I would be hauled over hot corals if I ever have mine sweets though O_o

The diet restrictions need to be taken seriously bt whoever you employ, whether they believe it our not. My three are on the scd and gaps diets, we've now reintroduced rice but my god their bowel movements are not present when they've had gluten by accident or something else on the list!

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 07:57:23

I was an au pair at 18 I stayed with the family for 15 mths and often had sole care in fact most days of a 1 yr old . I did as I was told , washed up, tidied the house and had a ball. Ok this child did not have SN . At 26 you would expect her to have some common sense and after 5 months with the family to understand why she should not give a child sweets..Imagine if the child had allergy. i am with the Op all the way.

trustissues75 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:02:42

Just get a new employee - this one obviously isn't working since she's been failing to follow instructions for some time (it's not like you've asked her to walk a tightrope while balancing an elephant on her nose or something - the instructions you've given her time and again are simply not being followed) sack her and move on.

AlfalfaMum Mon 25-Mar-13 12:36:57

Ouch at some of these replies. Apparently the op is very unreasonable for having an au pair in the first place?
Granted, there are people who take the piss with au pairs, but the op clearly isn't one of them. Also, not everyone can afford or needs a full time nanny..
She is sharing her home with an au pair who doesn't respect her parenting decisions, which is having a bad effect on at least one of the children. Of course she's pissed off!

StuntGirl Mon 25-Mar-13 13:45:53

Mould/limescale/whatever due to lack of proper cleaning was your responsibility, not hers. YABU.

Following your requests, whatever her personal feelings on the matter, is part of her job. YANBU.

Dealing with problems as they arise (i.e. disciplining/firing staff who are not capable of doing the job) is part of your job as employer. YABU.

Echocave Mon 25-Mar-13 13:56:22

YANBU. Maybe you do need to consider higher quality care for your DCs OP, but the 2 examples that you give of this au pair's behaviour make her sound like she couldn't be trusted with a hamster.
The no sweets policy is pretty obvious and the mould thing is unbelievable from a woman of her age.

I know you need child care but can't you just bin her now? I hope you'll be writing an honest reference so this person isn't let loose on anyone again.

Babymamaroon Mon 25-Mar-13 13:57:23

For all those criticising the OP for using "cheap childcare", I would like to ask how many of you are trained professionals? If one of your friends left their child with you for an afternoon would you find it so difficult to follow some simple rules or would you ask for specific training? I'm not a trained professional but I know what not to feed my child and how to wash her crockery up properly.


Catchingmockingbirds Mon 25-Mar-13 14:03:55

Argh what a nightmare weekend, DS has AS and certain foods give him a bad reaction too so I understand how frustrating it can be. Only a few weeks left and she'll be gone though smile.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 14:05:50

For fucks sake give up work and look after your own children or pay a nanny from a large agency so you can get a replacement if your present one dares to breath.

Crabbypink Mon 25-Mar-13 14:08:42

AuPairs are so hit & miss! I had two bad, one good. Dismiss her now, if you can. Find other help; maybe a friend, neighbour or nanny share. I nanny shared in the end, very successfully, and also regained the right to walk around in my underwear, without a stranger goggling at me in my own house. They're your children. Do what you think is right!

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 25-Mar-13 14:12:33

I'm quite shocked at the reaction of some people on this thread! Why the hostility towards the OP? I don't think what she was expecting of a 26 year old au-pair was at all unreasonable! It sounds like the au-pair was being dismissive, really nothing to do with being a professional child minder or nanny. What was asked of her was pretty simple!!


ReallyTired Mon 25-Mar-13 16:57:28

"For all those criticising the OP for using "cheap childcare", I would like to ask how many of you are trained professionals? If one of your friends left their child with you for an afternoon would you find it so difficult to follow some simple rules or would you ask for specific training? I'm not a trained professional but I know what not to feed my child and how to wash her crockery up properly. "

So there is no need for people to do childcare qualifications like NVQs etc. There is no need for OFSTED or CRB checks or anything else.

Louise Woodward was an au pair and the consequences of the Eappens doing childcare on the cheap.

Would you pay someone with no experience or qualifications to cut your hair? Yet its deemed OK to have someone with no qualifications or experience look after a child. Parents are different to paid carers in that they love the child. Parents also have help available to them through surestart or health visitors or extreme cases, social services.

I know the costs of proper childcare is horrific, but I don't understand how someone can say they cannot afford to pay for decent childcare if their children love them are precious to them. Childcare is not something that can properly on the cheap.

Babymamaroon Mon 25-Mar-13 17:06:20

Really Tired- you raise a good point. My response was in the context of these 2 particular incidents where it seemed that because the OP wasn't paying top dollar for her childcare, she couldn't expect anything in return for what she did pay. Not even the basics like not feeding certain foods and doing the washing up. They're tasks I would expect a 14 year old babysitter to be capable of to be honest let alone a 26 yr old.

DIYapprentice Mon 25-Mar-13 17:11:56

Fucking hell, this thread has me raging!!!

What a lot of mean spirited, smug comments!!!

The OP has an au pair, who is someone there to HELP her with things. Housework (like washing children's cups to stop them going mouldy) is USUALLY included in the remit. Collecting a school age child from school is ALSO USUALLY in the remit. The low salary reflects the low number of hours and them living in and having all food etc included.

FFS, give the OP a break. A 26 year old au pair should be WAY better than this!!!

OP, I seriously dont' know why you didn't sack the au pair earlier if she's been like this.

Roseformeplease Mon 25-Mar-13 17:26:50

We had a problem like this which still makes me rage! We employed an au pair to help with children. I was working full time as a teacher and DH was also, but from home, running our hotel. The au pair was paid £80 a week for 3-4 hours per day, no weekends. In addition, she could earn extra money, outside those hours, at above minimum wage in our hotel. Worked brilliantly. But there was one.... The oldest, most qualified one we had. We came back from our first night out in months to find her letting herself back into the house having spent the evening as a customer in the hotel bar - about 30yards away from the children, in a different building. When challenged, she said she was only drinking lemonade, which was hardly the point. She was sent back to Oz immediately.

We had been through everything with her. She knew the rules, the routines etc.
We didn't think that we needed to specify that she must not go to the pub while babysitting!

Get rid of her ASAP, get someone else and chalk it up to experience. Some au pairs are fantastic and I am still in touch with 3 of ours who enriched the children's lives, had a ball in Scotland and made my life a little bit easier.

Floggingmolly Mon 25-Mar-13 17:27:24

I think you got such a kicking because your original op makes it sound like you and your DH work full time and the au pair is in sole charge of both your baby and your child with sn; whereas she's actually a sort of mothers help.
If you're replacing her when she goes, can't you get someone new now, or are you under contract? If it's just a matter of a few weeks, though, it might be worthwhile paying her off. She doesn't seem to be making your life much easier.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 25-Mar-13 18:16:02

YABU about the cup, but not about the sweets or the lights.

This thread has definite nest of vipers qualities...

Fanjounchained Mon 25-Mar-13 18:59:47

I worked as an aupair and hated my boss....but I think you've got a roasting on here.

Won't bother with the YABU/YANBU debate. Sorry you're having such a shitty, stressful time. Hope it's resolved soon...

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