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AP- Feel like a right witch (again!)

(15 Posts)
Julia1973 Mon 20-Jun-11 21:42:17

Why is it that I keep questioning my judgement and feel bad when I raise an issue :O(
Our Aupair is lovely, great with the kids and apart from little niggles we're dead chuffed to have her. So much so that she's extended for another year.
I now am questoning whether I was unreasonable with her earlier today and can't get it off my mind.
One of the niggles I have is that she sometimes pushes the boundaries regarding people staying over, despite making our wishes on this quite clear- and I think fair. Visitors from abroad- up to 5 days in our home with advance notice. Local female friends allowed to stay overnight on occassion after prior notice. We have had quite regular guests staying over night.
Two weeks ago she asked if her local aupair (who stays every other or every third weekend) friend could stay Saturday to Sunday. We agreed as long as friend was gone by Sunday midday so we could have our house back for the family by then. The aupair and her friend got in in the early hours of Sunday morning and said firend didn'y leave until Sunday midnight. I was annoyed but my husband/friends said that I was being unreasonable as in actual fact we didn't notice/hear from them at all on Sunday. So I left it.

Saturday she went out again- didn't ask if anyone could stay over. We would have said no anyway as it was Fathers day on Sunday. Ap came back early hours of morning and we didn't see her before we left for a day out. Finally knocked on her door for dinner at 18.00 and she was still hungover. When i was brining the kids to bed, my husband made conversation with her asking: "well if your friend was this drunk how did she get home?" Ap ummed and ahhed before admitting that she'd hidden her in her bedroom and waited until we were gone to sneak her out.
Husband only told me today and when I got home from work. I told AP that i was really disappointed as I felt we were fair with our rules and I felt that she'd abused them and our trust. I also said it made me question her honesty.
Husband is now saying I've been too harsh....and now I'm sitting feeling like a witch :O(

Grabaspoon Mon 20-Jun-11 21:45:40

Does it really matter if she had a friend stay over - maybe AP thought it was safer than allowing friend home by herself, maybe there was an issue.

As you weren't aware - Is it really a problem?

thebody Mon 20-Jun-11 22:40:33

you arnt a witch.. you set out the rules and expect her to stick to them.. and you have given her a kick up the backside.. good.. thats what she needs..

as a mum of teens mine would always will push the boundaries of what was agreed/ acceptable.. if you give an inch they will take a mile so stand firm.. she hasnt comitted a mortal sin of course but its good to let her know that you wont bend toooo much..

now make friends again and say that you do trust her but you were disapointed.. but also praise her for being grwat with the kids.. and at least she was honest with you..

about dh... ask him how he will feel when your dd gets off her face.(and she will of course in the fullness of time). will he take it calmly..i think not!!!

on the whole she sounds a good kid..

Julia1973 Mon 20-Jun-11 22:42:57

Well Grabaspoon I guess you're confirming that I was overeacting.

To me, inviting someone into my house whilst I and the kids were sleeping and then sneaking them out, felt like a big deal.

BooyHoo Mon 20-Jun-11 22:47:03

well i think she's being a bit cheeky to do that without asking you first as per teh agreement so i understand why you are annoyed but i think teh actual presence of her friend didn't cause any disruption or inconvenience to your family so maybe use that as a stepping stone to move forward. she broke the rules and you need to know you can trust her but she made sure it didn't interfere with your day so maybe she was trying?

Julia1973 Mon 20-Jun-11 22:48:02

Thanks thebody. She is a great aupair. As for dds drinking- I think dh mentioned something about looking the girls away until they were 23 smile
He told them (jokingly)ages ago that you weren't allowed to date until you were 20. My eldest watching eastenders tonight: How come Tamwar can get married? Is he 20 yet?

StillSquiffy Tue 21-Jun-11 07:04:23

I think you should give her an emergency fund so that she and/or her friend can always get a taxi back in an emergency, with the proviso that if she uses it it gets taken out of her wages. That way she understands the boundaries but knows that you are still concerned for her and her friends' welfare. TBH I wold far rather a girl ended up holed up in my AP's bedroom than tried to get home drunk without money.

And I'd chalk this one down to teenager practice.

nanny101 Tue 21-Jun-11 19:51:19

Well i was a live in nanny and aupair for a while and if i ever had anyone over i would have asked first seeing as it was not my house, and you need to be able to fully trust the person looking after you kids.... if her friend was that drunk the she should have taken a taxi home, cause if they have money to get drunk then she should be wise enough to keep some for taxi...... also if they are au-pairs working with littlies then they shouldn't be going out and getting drunk as it is not setting a good example for the kids to follow......... but that's just my opinion....

Grabaspoon Tue 21-Jun-11 21:01:46

I am lucky enough that my boss trusts me explicably with her home/children. I don't have overnight guests that often but when I do I try to ask before hand but if it had been late I know that my boss would be fine with it in the morning - obviously girls.

Have you spoken to her?

Julia1973 Tue 21-Jun-11 22:17:46

Yes we've spoken and everything's fine and she understands why I was so upset.
I don't think I expressed myself very well in my first post. It wasn't the going out getting drunk bit I minded (we were all young once.- although she's not a teenager as suggesetd in some posts but 23)
I'd have been grumpy about someone staying over uninvited but I was hurt and disappointed as she'd tried to hide it from us. it made me question what else she would try to hide...?
Grabaspoon- it's great that your employer trusts you. But trust has to be earned and can be lost. It was the breach in trust that hurt.

Treeesa Wed 22-Jun-11 10:16:55

You are not a witch but maybe you should just encourage her to send a text in the future if she makes the same decision just so you are aware..

My daughter regularly brings one or two friends home and wouldn't dream of asking us whether it is ok or not. It is her home and we leave it to her to make the right decision.

Your au pair is 23 and it is also her home, and on this occasion she made a judgement call that she thought would be OK. Her decision making powers were obviously influenced by a bit to drink so I do think you need to cut her a little slack.

I guess she's pushed the boundary this weekend because it is her home as well.. We know how our own children do this, as we did when we were young, free and single.. The previous weekend it had not been seen to be a noticeable issue with her friend being there all day - so in her mind it would work again.

She feels comfortable in your home - and in her home, to have offered this to another friend as a solution. So she must feel that you are an accommodating family. She must be happy obviously because she's agreed to stay another year.. but her natural character would seem that this will continue to be something that she'll feel she many want the freedom to do.. If you like her friend and they cause no fuss, then why don't you just say to her that from now on it's fine to have her friend stay on a weekend if she lets you know beforehand, and that they keep a low profile so don't take over the house..

I often read on here about the many rules that are written down for many family's au pair.. Most of our au pairs have stayed a long time but move on because they can't stand the feeling of not having their independence.. In most cases the girls have already lived by themselves at university..

One horrible alternative ending to this story could have been that on Sunday the police call round to speak to your au pair for a statement after her friend was raped while trying to get home by herself. If they were still hung over at 6pm the next day then they must have been pretty drunk, so they were looking out for each other doing what they did.. You don't mention if her friend would have needed a taxi home, or could have walked.. but either way in that state it makes one or both of them easy targets for drunken lads out late. I agree with StillSquiffy about having a cab fund - but again I'd prefer my daughter to be getting cabs with someone else.... Not great for young girls with faltering English and obviously a stranger to this country, being picked up by bogus minicab drivers..

harrietthespook Wed 22-Jun-11 10:50:51

Yes the au pair needs to feel comfortable in your home but it is not exactly like her own home. There comes a point when if they really need freedom to do whatever they like, it's time to be living in a flat wth mates, not with a family with young children that they have only known for a little while. Even their own parents would have rules after a certain point, so it's not carte blanche to do as you please when she comes to live with you.

I don't think your AP showed great judgement but I wouldn't read too much into it in terms of what else she may be 'concealing' from you. I do think you are entirely free, however, to underline what she needs to do to keep safe when she goes out AND that it does not mean that she can have a long line of guests coming over and working off their hangovers in your house. If this bothers you.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 22-Jun-11 13:17:37

tbh i think you over reacted, yes you have rules and expect am ap/kids to follow them

but

your ap made a judgement call, her friend was plastered and thought her safer to sleep it off at yours - she stayed out of your way and yes it was fathers day and dont forget she was probably missing her dad as well

many times when i lived at home i would have friends to stay after a drunken night out

does your ap ever stay at her friends house, seems weird the friend stays at yours every 2/3weeks

harrietthespook Wed 22-Jun-11 14:36:01

suspect the other families have rules about people staying over so much...

It happened because she thinks you won't really mind/do much about it. I'm guessing this is the case not just because of her behaviour but also your DH's reaction. She's probably right.

It seems like there's a lot of precedent and I think it might be hard with this AP to change the regime that much. Is she just here for a school year? I would think about the next AP and how you might want to amend your visitors' rules, if this year has been too much. Also you and your DH need to agree on them and enforce equally.

Strix Wed 22-Jun-11 17:07:23

I personally don't care how often au pairs has gguests, but they do have to stay in her room. I think your rules are fair, and I also think I would be annoyed about the hiding it and not so much about the frequency of he guests.

However, if I were you, I'd let her have guests whenever she wanted so long as 1- it didn't interfere with her job and 2- there was not a significant dent to my food budget.

Also, I've found that two au pairs usually enhances the job rather than detracting from it so "1" above is unlikely.

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