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To be worried that our au pair may have an eating disorder?

(2 Posts)
Gotbills2pay Mon 20-Feb-17 14:02:01

Maybe AIBU is the wrong talk topic but I need some guidance. We've had out au pair (20) for six weeks now. She gets paid £80 a week and all her food etc - she also comes out with us on family visits at weekends (for example we went to London last week and she came with us to Sea Life) - but only if she wants to.
Now the last few days she has been unwell, but I have been worried about her for a few weeks. I just don't think she eats enough and on the occasions when she has eaten more than normal I have found sick around our bathroom sink. Now - some background - I had an eating disorder when I was 19/20 so around the same age - I was at my second and third year at university; I was going through some stress at my parent's divorce and took my stresses out by controlling my food intake. My GP said I had the potential to develop anorexia so I was sent for counselling. I was never overweight by the way. I don't really know what to look out for, but seeing her nibble her food as I used to - and have tiny portions of food that I cook is bringing back some painful memories. She has been lovely with our children, but she's never got much energy and her face is so pale with dark circles around her eyes. I work f/t and freelance some weekends so I really don't want to worry about her, but I am...WWYD?

sonyaya Mon 20-Feb-17 16:31:17

If you are finding sick round the sink after she eats (which she should clean up to be fair but that's a separate issue), and usually you notice she doesn't eat much, then it sounds likely she has an eating disorder.

But... I'm not sure there's much you can do. As a fellow former sufferer, I would be mortified if approached with it by my employer. Do you have a relationship with her where you'd feel comfortable discussing it? Does it have any effect on her care of the children?

I appreciate the painful memories and why you'd be concerned but don't scare her off by mentioning it directly. Is there a friend of hers you could talk to who could discuss with her?

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