Help-lurking aupair(9 Posts)
I'm hoping someone can help me with my aupair situation. Our 2nd aupair started with us at the beginning of the year and I noticed very very early on that she was lurking and watching me in particular. I would see her just standing outside my kids' bedroom while I talked to them just watching with a soppy smile on her face. Or she would come in and stand in the room and watch me (smiling) while I tried to speak to my kids.
I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought it would improve as she got used to the place and it did for a while. I introduced her to a few local aupairs and for about 4 weeks I barely saw her. This suited me fine and I was pleased for her too, because I was very clear with her from the beginning that we are not here to be her only friends (Friendly yes, welcoming yes, but part of her experience in the UK also had to be about getting out there and meeting new friends her own age and fully experiencing what London has to offer. 2 small kids and their parents are not suitable playmates for a 22yr old). So of course, then because I had managed to spend about 3 days with her before I went to work, and she was being brave and going into city exploring alone or meeting up with these other aupairs, I realised that I hadn't had a chance to fully go through how I want things done with her and things weren't being done.
To be clear, she has to make the kids breakfast and take the older one to school and mind the little one. 3 days a week. The only housework is to do the kids washing once a week and that entails washing it and hanging it out, not even putting it away. But I had to introduce her to the dishwasher recently as her dirty dishes were just being left in the sink and food prepared without wiping down counter tops etc. Anyway, a chat and a checklist sorted that out and in fairness to her, she is doing a great job and the kids love her.
My problem is that she has now decided that she doesn't really like her friends and prefers to just stay at home with her duvet and lurk and talk to me ALL. THE. TIME when I am home. I tried to do the online food shop the other night and felt her behind me, smiling and watching me. Are you ok? Yes. Can I watch you do the shopping? Eeeeeeeer (NOOOOOOOOO!) why?? Oh I think it's interesting to see what we're going to be eating. I couldn't order my sanitary towels!! My little one had a playdate the other day and the front door had barely closed when the friend went home and down she came immediately and "hung out" with me from 5pm until 7.40pm when I nearly threw myself through the front door to go to the gym and beat the living sh*t out of a punching bag to get rid of the tension. She thinks I'm "adorable" and a great mum which is very sweet, but I am so crowded and tense with the constant chatter and watching and following me around that I have chest pain. I feel like I am the one in a goldfish bowl. I can't seem to get time alone with my kids in my house. I don't know what to do or how to cope. I probably am not even being that clear here because she had a cough last night and I finished up getting about 3hrs sleep. I am running from her and trying to not engage which is not what I want in my home or for her. How do I tactfully tell her TO GET OUT OF MY FAAAAAAAACE!??!?
Sounds like it is just her personality, I don't think you will change her.
OP that would drive me mad too...whilst being friendly and chatty to your au pair is part of being a host parent, you need time alone too.
Shut the door more, ask what's she's doing today. Say that you want some time alone with the kids tonight. Say you're worried that she's not spending enough time with people her own age (meeting people if different nationalities is a major part of the au pair experience).
I had one just the same. I did speak to her and she got really sulky and wandered about like a kicked puppy for a while. I grew to really dislike her and it made me feel horrible. I wish I'd asked her to leave as the whole situation was bad for my mental health.
I think you have no choice but be quite clear with her that you need your personal space as this is already driving you mental. This would go on my nerves too. You need to feel comfortable in your own home!
Hopefully at 22 your au pair should be mature enough to understand where you are coming from.
Today she leant in close to me to tell me that her friend who is seeing a guy who doesn't believe in sex before marriage "just wants to f**k!". Kill. Me.
Are there any evening classes she could do?! Hobbies she had at home she can do nearby (ideally not solo), or anything she couldn't do at home that she could nearby?
She sounds rather lost - and would drive me NUUUUTS! But it might be worth sucking it up a bit now and investing it n finding something, anything that she can do out of the house.
It sounds like she's not been an AP before, or abroad. If she has then I'd deal with her differently. So, assuming not, she's probably scared and lonely and the combo don't add up to getting out there and trying new things! I don't think it should be for you to solve, or get involved in, but not sure how else to deal with her without having her sulk around the house too!
I quietly lost my temper one Tuesday morning after my husband had respectfully told her that she needed to go back to the doctor the following morning because her cough was not getting better and disturbing the whole house at night. This is after 3 weeks of coughing. So, she didn't bother to set an alarm that night and slept through the time when you can call our surgery to make a same day appointment. It would have been less annoying if I hadn't missed my daughter crying for me that night because I had earplugs in. I sat her down, made her a coffee and told her that she is a lovely girl (she is) with a great future (she does) and that she was great with the kids (she is). But I told her that her maturity level was far lower than I expected and the level of micro-management it was taking to get her to do anything was far higher than what I could cope with. I told her I didn't want to hear about her sex life, her friend's sex lives or anyone's sex lives and that I never ever wanted her to say the word "f**k" to me in relation to sex again. I said that she couldn't lurk and watch me, and that she needed to get out and get a life sorted as she is in London for goodness sake and she couldn't waste the opportunity. I then completed the sh*t sandwich by repeating that she's lovely and that we didn't want her to go but that she was supposed to help reduce my stress but was currently elevating mine. She put the dishwasher on without being asked later. (I never ask them to do housework like this, but I guess I expect them to be adult enough to behave like a grown up and do things if they see them-ie wipe the damn counter down if they make a sandwich). So, long story short, she has improved 150% but she still irritates the life out of me, but is getting a life so I don't see a lot of her and she's great with the kids. We will be changing the situation when my littlest goes to school in 2019 though. Thanks for the advice and for checking in xx
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