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Au Pair seems to have had a personality transplant

(29 Posts)
ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 19:52:23

We have had our Au Pair for just over a year.

I was very clear in our ad and discussions with her before she joined as to what we needed. We wanted someone to be a part of the family, a big sister to our children - who were in full time nursery and Year 1 at school. My husband travels a lot and so I need help for 2.5hrs on Saturday mornings when he was out of the country (aprox 2 weeks away, 6 weeks home).

She arrived last year and fitted in well. We'd cook and eat together, be a family - the kids love her.

Then just after new year, she seems to have had a personality transplant. She refused to have the kids one Saturday morning when my husband was away, she goes out as soon as I get home and stays in her room when before we'd all watch tv together. She doesn't let us know when she gets in so I don't know if I can lock up the house.

I had to have a chat to her about letting me down on Saturday and she has ignored me ever since.

It is all very odd. Do I need to start looking for a new au pair??

ImperialBlether Sat 28-Jan-17 19:53:37

Yes - once the respect has gone, it's time to move on.

MadHattersWineParty Sat 28-Jan-17 19:54:25

Yes maybe, although she may already be looking for a new job, she doesn't sound very happy.

Did she go home for Christmas? Did this start since she came back?

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 19:55:21

Sadly that's what I think I need to do.

It's just so strange. I'm reminded of when Kevin and Perry turned 13 - it was that sudden.

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 19:57:15

She didn't go home at Christmas, she's not homesick. Her mum is coming to stay over May half term (we are away).

She went to Prague for New Year (and her birthday) and had a fabulous time. I think she has met someone. She reminds me of me when I was 15.

roundtable Sat 28-Jan-17 19:57:55

Is it worth having a chat to see if everything is alright?

If the change is sudden and you had all got on well before then - I'd worry something was wrong/happened to her.

Reality16 Sat 28-Jan-17 19:59:29

I agree with roundtable. When somebody has an extreme personality change like that it is always worth trying to find out the reason. She may be suffering and feeling unable to talk

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 20:00:02

Thanks RoundTable - I'll try again to talk to her. Each time I do she is "rushing out the door". She now goes to bed as soon as I get home. So once I've settled the children, she's gone.

JennyOnAPlate Sat 28-Jan-17 20:03:20

Have a chat with her op in case something has happened that she's struggling to deal with.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 28-Jan-17 20:04:23

I'd ask her what's going on directly, but also be prepared to get looking for a new au pair ASAP. I'd try and manage her exit so it's as pleasant as possible for the children.

I do think that some people respond better to form guidelines and clear endings whereas left to themselves would devolve into teenage strops and sulky behaviour, befkre they actually take action.

roundtable Sat 28-Jan-17 20:06:49

Good luck! flowers

Coincidently, I'm going to see the family again (we visit most years) that I au paired for . I started when the youngest was 2 and the eldest was 7. Now the youngest is 19 and the eldest 23! shock They babysit my dc when we see them. It's lovely, they're my extended family.

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 20:38:22

Thank you all.

I start a new job next month and could do with out having to find a new Au Pair before I do!

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 20:39:22

Thank you all.

I start a new job next month and could do without having to find a new Au Pair before I do!

WicksEnd Sat 28-Jan-17 20:53:40

Home sick?
Love sick?

bevelino Sat 28-Jan-17 20:55:41

OP have a chat with her.

Manumission Sat 28-Jan-17 20:56:15

How old is she?

WellErrr Sat 28-Jan-17 20:58:20

Something sounds wrong. I'd try and have a real chat with her.

ConfusedMumDotCom Sat 28-Jan-17 21:10:26

We have a big family breakfast on Sundays. I will see if she joins us. If not I'll try and sit her down to see what is up.

I really don't think anything serious has happened. I think she might just have hit the teenage years late - she's Canadian and just turned 21. I think she has met someone and wants to spend all her time with them.

blueshoes Sun 29-Jan-17 01:26:39

If she has found a boyfriend, then that is probably the reason. She sounds like she wants a little space and time for her new boyfriend. I think her Friday nights and weekends are going to be sacred now - if she has had to babysit or have duties then, that is probably going to change as you found out about Saturday.

If this new more distant arrangement does not work for you, you would have to move her on to give yourself time to settle in a new aupair before your job starts.

Perhaps rather than talk about her changed behaviour (which will put her on her guard), try to sound her out on what changes there have been in her private life. If she has a boyfriend, what does he do, where and how does he live? If he lives far away, I suspect she will want to move in with him (esp if he has his own place) or move closer to him. These personal details will help you gauge her next likely move and what are her options if you decide to change aupairs.

I doubt if her behaviour will change. Sounds like she has checked out.

blueshoes Sun 29-Jan-17 01:38:34

Many of all my aupairs quickly morph into your aupair's behaviour. I am fine with it because dh and I work longish hours and I don't particularly want another member of the family. That said, my children are older and do not need their aupair as much. Mu aupairs gratefully realise that I do not require them to join us. Let's face it, family life is not going to be as interesting as their friends. Think of it as staying with your uncle's family - if you are their age, would you necessarily want to spend your spare time at home with them?

This is just a long winded way of saying that your aupair's behaviour, save for the sudden change, is not particularly unusual. However, if that is not what you want and she is changing the goal posts, you are within your rights to re-negotiate the arrangements.

underneaththeash Sun 29-Jan-17 08:50:47

I suspect she's clearly annoyed about something. Did anything happen over Christmas/New Year.
Did you ask her to babysit at the last minute on New Year's Eve for example? Did her hours go up over the New Year period?

You need to get her to sit down with you and tell you what the problem is. Ask her outright. Say that you know that something is bothering her and that you'd like to sort it out.

Bobochic Sun 29-Jan-17 08:55:38

After a year living with your family I do not think it is surprising if your au pair has had enough of "family life". At 21 she needs to spend time with her peers.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 29-Jan-17 08:59:34

Tell her you want to have a chat and ask her a time that would suit. She sounds unhappy but equally might be a bit sick of 'family time.'

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 29-Jan-17 13:54:40

Ask her nicely again but if not forthcoming tell her her time comes to an end at yours. She might buck her ideas up especially if her mother's coming in May - have the bought the ticket?

ittybittyluna Sun 29-Jan-17 18:00:42

Au pair jobs have a sell by date. It is not a role that a young person tends to do indefinitely. It is an experience and needs to have an end date for the sanity of all involved. She's probably had enough of living en famille and wants to move on.

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