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Au Pair ok with kids but driving me insane

(40 Posts)
PrintScreen Sat 10-Jan-15 21:41:59

I've had au pairs before and all has been great. Are current au pair however drives me to distraction as a housemate. She's messy, inconsiderate and just plain odd. She does stop things if asked but she has no common sense so has to be asked to stop so many things: can you not Sykpe in the living room when we are all in there? can you not use the family bathroom to take a bath when you have your own ensuite bath and it's kids bath time? Can you not listen to headphones while sitting downstairs with me in the evening? Can you not eat 2nds, 3rds and 4ths before we have eaten our firsts? Can you not him loudly while sitting at the dinner table with us.

Her presence is like fingers down the blackboard to me but I have to admit she is good with the kids.

She's meant to be with us for 8 more months. I want her to leave now but can I give her notice when she's good at her core job? How do I phrase it without being horrid?

PrintScreen Sat 10-Jan-15 21:42:57

For "him loudly" read "hum loudly". Sorry.

Karoleann Sat 10-Jan-15 22:20:47

She sounds nuts, can you be made redundant, or take a (short) sabbatical?

I don't think there is a nice way of saying you don't like someone! But life is too short to have someone you don't like in your house.

blueshoes Sat 10-Jan-15 22:39:41

I think it is fine for you to tell her matter-of-factly you prefer her not to do certain things. I guess it sounds terrible to your ears and makes you feel like not a nice person. But you have to at least tell her how you want her to behave before giving her the heave-ho.

She can either take it in the right spirit and try to improve, or she can decide she does not want to live in your household and find another one, in which case problem solved. If she stays but does not improve, then you have given her a chance (or two) and tell her that she must now find another family. I treat it like an employer-employee relationship when managing aupairs so that there is a basic yardstick by which to be fair to them.

It is frustrating to have an inconsiderate aupair. I feel your pain. I have had aupairs that just did not gell with the family and we got on each other's nerves. She left in the end of her own volition.

OVienna Sun 11-Jan-15 12:21:50

We have had some similar issues on the past. OP I'm guessing your issue may be that you feel like you are telling her something every week virtually. I get that you have to set expectations but it can start to feel like bullying when it's very frequent and in my experience it's almost impossible to teach someone common sense. I think with all your examples below though you are well within your rights to say don't do that, none of them are marginal calls or unreasonable to ask her not to do. We've always soldiered on in these situations so I am curious if others have other thoughts..,

Tanith Sun 11-Jan-15 12:58:28

How old is she? This all sounds like typical teenager behaviour and she must feel very miserable and unwelcome to be told "Don't!" so much.

I'm not really seeing the problem with the headphones - what do you want her to do? Are you happy to listen to her music, to chat to her, to put on a TV programme she'd like to watch? Or do you want her to keep to her room, or go out instead?

Col12345 Sun 11-Jan-15 13:00:48

also struggling with my new aupair she wont leave us alone. she is watching tv with us every night. coming out with us.... feel so stressed......

Viviennemary Sun 11-Jan-15 13:03:08

She sounds a bit thick skinned and a pain. I don't think I could put up with somebody so irritating and thoughtless. And really not very well mannered and considerate.

PrintScreen Sun 11-Jan-15 13:29:38

Thanks all. I'm trying not to overwhelm her with criticism and I let lots of little things slide but some things I can't leave.

I am more than happy for her to hang out with us. We have been very close to previous au pairs. But if she's in the family rooms I think she should interact with us, not Skype not listen to headphones etc. she has a large lovely sunny room with wifi to do those things. I've invited her on family trips but even then she sat in the front seat of the car without asking, leaving DH to sit in the back.

I just can't stand the idea of living with her for months and months. I need to let her go. DH says we just tell her tonight that our requirements have changed, don't hurt her feelings with the real reason, buy her ticket home and wave her off next weekend. What do people think?

Col12345 Sun 11-Jan-15 14:10:06

what does DH mean? sorry am new to this.....

PrintScreen Sun 11-Jan-15 19:17:34

DH = my husband (I've no idea why MN calls husbands DH!!!)

wewishyou Sun 11-Jan-15 20:52:11

DH = Dear Husband

Knicknacks84 Sun 11-Jan-15 21:21:11

She sat in the front seat of the car?? Well I think that says it all. Good luck.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 11-Jan-15 21:41:48

I think your plan is a good one. There is no point trying to make it work if you feel so strongly. I think 'our requirements have changed, here is a plane ticket' is fair.

I also don't understand the problem with the headphones. It's fine that you don't like it, but I think a lot of people do it/wouldn't have a problem with it so be aware that with that one she isn't being unreasonable.

OVienna Sun 11-Jan-15 21:50:24

It's totally unreasonable to sit on the living room with her headphones on, esp if you can hear music and you're trying to chat or watch tv. Wtf.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 11-Jan-15 21:53:20

If you can hear what she's listening to then yes, it's unreasonable. If she's keeping it quiet and personal, then it's fine. IMO.

cosmicglittergirl Sun 11-Jan-15 21:57:08

It's your home, you don't have to apologise for how you feel. I would find this very difficult. What's important is that you and your family are happy and comfortable in your own house. Either try to fix it or execute your plan to send her (kindly) off.

PrintScreen Mon 12-Jan-15 06:48:21

Thanks again for all your comments.

With regards to headphones it know some people would be ok with it. However an au pair is meant to be treated as part of the family and listening to headphones when hanging out with family is not something I would allow my kids to do and not something I want them to grow-up thinking is a polite way to behave.

Anyway, we were all geared up to have 'the talk' last night and then she didn't come home until midnight (despite messages from me asking if we might have a little chat). I guess we will try again tonight.

Do people think two weeks notice is enough if we are paying her ticket home? Could we even give her less notice or should we give her more?

TwoLittleTerrors Mon 12-Jan-15 06:57:42

Your house your rule. But no headphones in family rooms is unreasonable I think.

Tanith Mon 12-Jan-15 07:59:58

I agree that the best policy is to let her go, especially if there's even more you're trying to ignore! I think your idea is the kindest way to do it.

She does sound like a typical teenager, though smile

MaMaMarmoset Mon 12-Jan-15 11:51:21

I'm confused as to why she should know she should sit in the back of the car? OP, most of the things you are complaining about are failry minor personality differences. DO what your husband says if you are sure you can't make it work. BUt I'd try a little longer to gently change things. You have someone your children like and that should be worth quite a bit.

You're supposed to treat the aupair like family col12345. angry Maybe one day if your children go away to another country when young you will understand and hope the family aren't so shitty about them.

God forbid anyone want to spend time with you.

MaMaMarmoset Mon 12-Jan-15 11:51:57

Some people get car sick in the back btw

PrintScreen Mon 12-Jan-15 19:16:51

MaMa surely it's totally normal for the two parents to sit in the front on a car trip? And people with car sickness explain they need to be in the front? Her English is near perfect so explaining would have been easy if that was the problem.

We have given this four months. I'm not wasting more time feeling uncomfortable in my own home. I feel bad but it's got to be done I think.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 14-Jan-15 13:29:31

I can understand why she is driving you nuts but both you and your DH seriously need to think about why you can't have a difficult conversation with her about her lack of consideration and most importantly, giving good example to your kids.

Ultimately she is good with the kids and presumably then a good au pair. How are old are they - chopping and changing au pairs to simply avoid an awkward conversation seems bonkers to me.

Personally, I'd have bathed the kids in "her" bathroom which would have made the point though a bit childish grin

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Wed 14-Jan-15 13:36:47

Adults sit in the front of cars! That's a fairly basic social convention. Maybe not in the country she is from however.
I can see why you are being driven crazy. It's not a problem to ask her nicely to do this or that - but when it's constant and such bleeding obvious stuff it can drive you crazy.

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