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7 months into contract: Au pair advice

(3 Posts)
morey Mon 17-Mar-14 11:43:24

I was hoping for some advice/direction about what to do next with our au pair who has been with us since September. This is our 3rd au pair (all have stayed for a year before)- my head told me to choose this au pair as she had previous au pair experience, with a good reference and is 24 so a bit more mature. She is Czech.
My biggest concern is that I just don't think she likes (our) children. Kids are 7,9 and 16. I have come home a few times and she was sitting on the sofa with her hands over her ears in a total non coping type of way, telling me the kids won't do anything she asks and they are being rude about her english (I know she swears at them under her breath in Czech). We have talked about this and strategies for coping, and although things are a bit better I still feel there is no real warmth there. The kids are normal kids, quite smart so can easily spot and take advantage of someone who isn't in control. Is she just not
Due to this feeling, lots of things are starting to irritate me as an an employer and now I can't tell if I'm being unreasonable. I think we are a good host family and I feel our last au pair in particular will always be part of our family. I give paid time off, numerous friend have visited and stayed and the hours are not too onerous <25 per week and babysitting once or twice a month.
She now seems to expect me to cook for her (I'm not home until 7pm) and has generally got quite lazy. Yesterday she was out and asked me to text her what time dinner would be ready- when I did, she then said she wanted to stay out and would be home later. Once home, she was annoyed that no food was left for her and went to bed in a strop! To add insult to injury, this morning on my way to work she texted and said could I add avocado and mozzarella to the on line shopping for her lunch......

I have had a number of discussions with her but she gets so unbelievably defensive that I almost can't bear to bring things up now!
Any advice from anyone would be welcome!

apotomak Mon 17-Mar-14 13:42:35

I think yabu with regard to not leaving dinner for her and getting annoyed at her requesting food for lunch. I understand au pairs are here to experience different culture, learn the language and be a part of the family for some help with childcare and some light housekeeping. I would treat them just like my own teenager so yes I would buy food and make sure there's some left for her when she gets back.
I think you need to sit down with your children and have a chat about respect as well. There's no way I would be able to feel any warmth towards children who show disrespect by being rude towards me. It's not all down to her to cope with them but also about them knowing you're fully behind her and support her.

99redbafoons Mon 17-Mar-14 13:50:14

Well, what was agreed with regards to meals/shopping? Presumably you discussed this before she started work with you?

Being bright isn't an excuse to allow your children to be rude or disrespectful to adults, if they aren't listening to her or are correcting her English then they are being both of these things.

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