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Au Pairs and Weekends

(19 Posts)
Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 11:39:08

Do any of you have rules/expectations for your au pairs that cover behaviour at weekends?
Our first au pair arrived last week - and this is our first weekend where she has 'spread her wings' so to speak. She has made a few local friends already, yesterday she went shopping with them at 3pm and we didn't hear from her til about 8.30 - she wasn't home til 10pm and hadn't eaten so I told her to find something from the fridge (we had had salad earlier in the evening). Today she is off to the nearest city and tomorrow she is off to the Notting Hill carnival.
I'm overjoyed that she's made friends so quickly and is getting out and about but I am worrying about little things like - do we need to agree weekend mealtimes and whether she has a plate of food to nuke when she gets in, or has to get her own soup/toast etc. And at what point should I start to worry if she doesn' t return - she is 22 and seems quite sensible..should I accept that as long as she turns up for work at 8am on Tuesday that it's none of my business, or should I ask her to text me by 10.30 (my bedtime blush) if she is going to be out til the early hours?

nvj Sun 24-Aug-08 12:08:12

hmmmmm not sure about that one Millarkie!
i think i would expect some sort of communication from her so that you don't worry about her... just tell her that you don't want to worry so would appreciate a text? i'm sure she won't mind!
wow, she is certainly getting out and about isn't she?!
my au pair is still pretty much hibernating.. she did mangage to walk to tesco the other night!! LOL.

SqueakyPop Sun 24-Aug-08 12:24:56

She should tell you if she is in for meals or not, but you will soon get a picture of what she likes to do at weekends.

Don't plan to feed her if she is not there, and don't worry about keeping food back for her. If she wants to eat outside of mealtimes and the food is gone, she can always have toast or cereal.

She is 22 so really doesn't need to tell you her whearabouts. It is courtesy to tell you that she is staying out, especially if she has to work next morning.

It is fantastic that she has made friends already.

Weegle Sun 24-Aug-08 12:31:33

I ask them to put on the calendar in advance if they know they will be out over meal times, otherwise to let me know as soon as they know whether they will be in for meal or not. I also ask them to let me know when to expect them so I'm not worrying - a text will suffice. I certainly would not leave meals etc for her - if she's not in at a mealtime then that's her responsibility. On her Info Sheet that she gets when she arrives I have further info about having friends over, what we expect if she is around etc e.g. helping with clearing up after meals etc, just general courtesy stuff really.

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 13:15:27

Thanks all.
So I'm ok with just getting on with meals if she isn't around and asking her to text at 10pm isn't too over the top.
Will see if she can do the calendar thing too..trouble is that at the moment she is too nervous to drive our car so she has been reliant on her friends to drive her back - hence late night last night.

englishspringer Sun 24-Aug-08 18:54:06

we always say to our au pairs are you coming back tonight - if they say yes then i really don't mind what time they are back - we leave their bedroom light on. if they say No then i generally say will you have your mobile on, how are you getting back to a safe place - i don't mind where they are and what they are doing in their own time.

she is not your own kid and may end up feeling like you are checking up on her - i do think she should say though i am going to be in late tonight i will get my own food etc.

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 19:57:48

Small update:- So AP came back from her trip to the Big City at 3pm and went straight up to her room as usual (fair enough).. I started to cook big sunday dinner at 5ish - she was still in and hadn't said anything about going out. 5 mins before it was ready she came downstairs and said 'I'm off to the pub and then to the cinema'. I asked her if she was going to eat whilst she was out and she said 'I don't know' now I have a plate of cold nut roast, etc in the fridge which may or may not get eaten by her later on..

I'm not cross about this, but I can forsee that if she continues to go out at a moment's notice and I end up with a fridge full of leftovers I will start to get annoyed, so I guess we'll be trying to get some better communication going.

SqueakyPop Sun 24-Aug-08 20:02:29

I wouldn't rush back for nut roast hmm

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 20:04:47

It's blardy lovely SqueakyPop! Not like the stuff you buy in the shops - this is home-made this is!
AND She didn't know it was nut roast when she ran away (although she has been subject to our dodgy veggie food all week..maybe that's why she goes out so much now wink )

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 20:06:43

Although even I admit it's nicer fresh out of the oven rather than nuked from the fridge (as are roast pots, broccoli and carrots). And she'll have to have gravy made from granules now. - oh the joyous feast that she has missed

nannyma Sun 24-Aug-08 21:10:24

Millarkie you are responsible for your au pair so If I were you I ask her, if she can tell you, or send you sms that she is not coming home when she is off (always) as you will not be worry after that. Also to be on carneval tmrw could be quite dangerous... you never know. What she eat during her day off is her problem. She knows where the fridge is:O)
When I was an aupair I always send sms that I decided stay with friends over night or that I will be probably very late so my employers knows that I am ok, maybe drunk:D:D:D:D

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 21:19:21

I have warned her about pickpockets at the carnival -but I'm not going to be too gloom and doom since I regularly went there when I was a similar age and always found it to be a safe enough place during the day (she can't stay too late, the last train won't let her and she has no friends in London yet).
To be honest, I'm less worried about her going out at say, 8pm and not coming home til whenever than I am with situations like yesterday when she went out at 3pm to do a bit of shopping and still wasn't home at past 9.30pm..
Oh to be young again...
The roast potatoes in the fridge are calling to me

blueshoes Sun 24-Aug-08 21:55:03

Millarkie, I find teenagers and young adults really don't prioritise food in the way us oldies are used to. A lot of them might be trying to lose weight anyway and it is not uppermost on their minds on a weekend when socialising is on their mind.

Our last aupair hardly ate anything over the weekends and was usually out all night Fri and Sat. I gave her her space. Just asked her before she left whether she was coming back that night and if she was around during dinner time, whether she wanted dinner with us (mostly she was on her way out anyway). If our wires crossed and I prepared an extra portion for her she did not want, I would put it away for her to consume as a lunch. Or I might take it to work on the monday as my lunch. In short, we just played it by ear on weekends.

Ah, to have an active social life.

Millarkie Sun 24-Aug-08 22:03:03

Thanks Blueshoes, I'm trying to relax about the whole meal thang.

<sniff> even as a teenager I prioritised roast potatoes <sniff>, explains how I ended up like this I guess

blueshoes Sun 24-Aug-08 22:29:07

lol. millarkie, I do enjoy roast potatoes myself.

On the safety issue, I found out my aupair was taking huge risks with her personal safety, only after she left. Like hitching a lift from a bloke she just met at a concert, although to be fair she was with her younger sister. But I still shudder. I am glad I could return her to her parents in one piece.

I did try to put the fear of god into her about LONDON. But it is not easy to get the balance right at their age between parental concern and respecting their independence.

Millarkie Mon 25-Aug-08 09:59:59

Well she got in at 11.45pm so the potatoes are mine, all mine

blueshoes Mon 25-Aug-08 22:24:23


catepilarr Tue 26-Aug-08 11:19:10

i dont worry about food - if there is something left over when i come back on my day off thats great, if theres not, i just have something else. but then i am quite predictable, if i go out i go for the whole day and come back in the evening. also if i dont eat my plate in the evening i would have it for lunch the folowing day, i dont waste food.
she probably doesnt know herself when she is going to be in/out and whether she is going to eat or not. if she is the type to have it the next day, save it for her, otherwise dont bother. she can always have something else like a soup, pasta or a toast.
and would expect her to say what time she is coming back if its in the evening/night and roughly where is she going.

QuintessentialShadow Tue 26-Aug-08 11:32:02

If my ap was home when I started cooking on a weekend, I would ask her if she was planning to eat with us, or going out, so I could plan how much to make. This way I would not get any surprises when laying the table, either way. She knew she couldnt really change her mind after and join us after all, as there wouldnt be any. If she is out, food is her responsibility, that is what she has pocket money for. smile

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