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new aupair- feeling slightly stressed!

(8 Posts)
friendlyedjit Thu 05-Jul-07 17:13:06

German au pair 19 has just started, and we're going throughthe usual teething things and I'm feeling stressed.
Am looking at the positives or trying to.

She has a lovely manner with the children and I'm certain they are safe.

I work really hard though and was hoping not to have to do as much housework so that I can enjoy some time with my children, and I'm not sure if this will happen.

She is just coming out of her teens and I wonder if this age group just don't see the bleeding obvious, like the table after dinner (that i cooked and cleaned dishes up after) may need wiping down before they wander away!
Or that the natural progression of placing the washing in the dryer may be to take it out and fold it???
It feels a bit like I have an extra child or Y chromosome in the house at present!!

Have made a list and tried to go through it, and am getting a German friend to go through it with her at weekend but only time will tell.... I hope its OK as don't like chopping and changing.

purpleturtle Thu 05-Jul-07 19:52:22

Having done this the other way round - I was an au pair in Germany when I was 18 - I am inclined to agree that at that age seeing the bleeding obvious doesn't come naturally!

I remember the mother I worked for writing me a list of jobs to be done daily and weekly, and I remember that she had to nag me about some of them more than others!

I imagine that she felt like she had an extra child in the house, particularly as homesickness kicked in at about week 3 or 4.

Is it worth keeping an eye open for what she does do, and trying to make that her particularly responsibility? Let her play to her strengths, as it were. I say this because I discovered that I could hide away doing the ironing in the cellar, listening to American radio. Got loads of ironing done!

I think firm guidelines, and plenty of reinforcement to begin with, are what is required. Hopefully it will pay off sooner rather than later.

friendlyedjit Fri 06-Jul-07 08:23:53

Thanks for that purpleturtle- its good to hear from "the other way around".
I will continue to contain my stress- hopefully a good laugh at aqua this morning will help.
I'm dreading coming back afterwards as the list thing will have to be revisited, as I wonder if anything will happen. I do wonder if younger people now are far less equipped than several years ago.

(Decides not to quantify time as feels too old)

StarryStarryNight Fri 06-Jul-07 08:34:21

Hi there,
You have to get in there early and tell her what you expect, otherwise you will still be doing all the housework while SHE is enjoying your children! And you will be stuck in the kitchen, they in the living room squeeling with laughter! I have been there... But you need to tell her exactly what you expect.

I made a timetable, detailing when to get up when it was time for nursery, pick up time, and also the other little duties she was to be responsible for such as helping to make and clear up after meals, etc. Let us know how you get on!

I have had a few aupairs, but have decided to be without one, would like the house to ourselves again!

elliott Fri 06-Jul-07 08:38:31

at that age, I was totally hopeless at all things domestic -cleaning and cooking - and it would definitely not have occurred to me to do the 'obvious' (even now I am not one of those people who is constantly wiping surfaces, so it still doesn't come naturally). I'd have been even more clueless in someone else's house.
I think you just need to be very explicit about what you want her to do, and show her how you want it done.

purpleturtle Fri 06-Jul-07 16:57:57

You'll notice that I too did not quantify time in my post!

How did things go?

friendlyedjit Fri 06-Jul-07 17:16:54

Today I gave a cleaning sink and shower demonstration and later if I'm lucky will do a toilet brushing demo!

I did a hoover demo yesterday and My DH did a wipe down the surface one at brekkie as thankfully he realised after strong words that he needs to lead by example!

we're not ogres at all and the house is by no means pristine, I just know if its not kept under control at our chaotic level that it takes over us.

Absolutely SSnight, I used to feel a tad disgruntled when they were all painting at the table whilst I slaved away.
Happy that they're occupied but at the same time....

will keep you posted on my demos-

keep the advice coming all its soooo welcomed

scienceteacher Mon 09-Jul-07 15:14:46

My German au pair is not great at housework (but then neither am I). She is brilliant with the girls though, and is also having a cracking time here.

The key thing is to tell her what you want her to do and don't assume anything.

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