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Quick advice please re Au pair

(14 Posts)
dreamteamgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 10:59:08

Just very quick advice needed please.

Got an email from au pair to be last night. She is 19 year old German girl, first au pair job although she does 'work' at a summer camp for 2 weeks each summer. She seems utterly lovely on all the emails and on the phone, and we are really looking forward to her coming in September for when DS starts school.

Last night on email she asked about visitors Quote
"What is with visitors, like my mother or friends, or friends of my language school? Are there welcome? "

Which threw me a bit. I replied with
"Regarding visitors I am not really sure how it will work. It will be ok for you to have friends round to chat and stuff of course until a sensible time of night, but we dont have much space for people to sleep over really. I suspect we will be able to work something out tho, I just probably need to think about how we can do it, as sofa in lounge does turn into a bed and there is space in Sam's room for an inflatable bed."

IS this ok, have I shot myself in the foot?

I kind of felt like we would see how it goes and get settled before we got onto people staying- but I dont want to say 'no, no-one to visit or stay' cos it may well be that it feels ok once she is here.

The sofa does turn into a bed, but I dont want to promise she can have people to stay and then not be able to use my lounge!! Similarly, Sam's bedroom has room for a second person to sleep in and it may well be he can move into her room for a week if her Mum came to visit and they could share his room, but again I dont want to promise something

Sorry I am flapping, I fear I am a little bit of a control freak at times, in as much as I like to be the person starting this sort of conversation and her asking that has sent me into a tail spin (probably utterly ridiculously)
Dont want to come off as horrid, but also dont want to make as tho my house is a hotel where everyone can come and stay!!

Was reply ok? What do you all do? What what you do?
Arghhh I am flapping -sorry!!

OnceWasSquiffy Thu 23-Jul-09 11:30:20

Sound slike you said all the right things. We let our AP have family and GF over from Sweden, but only when approved in advance of them booking flights etc, and only if it fits in with our own diaries (ie if we don't need spare room for anyone else). In reality with all my AP's they only had visitors from home about once every 4 months.

With mates I make a rule that the AP must buy alcohol & pizza for them - I will feed him, but not the 5,000....

MrAnchovy Thu 23-Jul-09 12:12:25

We allow overnight visitors, and have even had family and a friend from home stay with us for a week, but they have to stay in the AP's room (it is a big room with a sofa bed as well as a double bed).

I think that however generous I was feeling, having my AP's friends or family dossing down in my lounge would make me very grumpy. It is bad enough with DD's sleepovers.

I think you have said the right thing too - she needs to move in and find her feet, then you can work out together how it could work in your home, who with and how often.

dreamteamgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 12:57:21

Oh thanks people!!

Why is it before having a child I just knew what the right desicion was and now I feel I have to secind guess everythign I do? LOL

Appreciate your time and advice

Millarkie Thu 23-Jul-09 13:09:17

I think your answer was ok. Made it clear that you were flexible but having guests to stay would involve some hassle and needs discussing.
Both of our previous au pairs have had people come and stay for a few days..there is space in au pair's room for a single mattress on the floor and we also have another spare double room which they have sometimes used. I recommend, once your au pair is here, that if she asks to have someone to stay that you also discuss who pays for the food etc. Our first au pair was lovely and apart from breakfast cereal/tea she took her guests out to eat but our second au pair had several guests for several days each and ate us out of house and home..definitely worth setting expectations before it happens
Oh, and being clear that normal jobs have to be done even if their guests are here - or alternatively they must take those days as holiday. And that they should wash bedlinen/towels after their guests leave.

dreamteamgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 15:46:00

Great advice Millarkie- I am the sort of person who gets taken advantage of frequently so it is worththinking about that now so I am not on back foot when it comes up smile

catepilarr Thu 23-Jul-09 21:50:59

it is sad they all these things millarkie suggests need to be spell out, one would think that it goes without saying....

DadInsteadofMum Fri 24-Jul-09 11:26:49

Same as Millarkie, spare mattress goes on the floor in their room, visitors OK but not in first 6 weeks (whilst they are settling in); mustn't interfere with normal schedule.

mumof2222222222222222boys Fri 24-Jul-09 13:56:26

Our AP's mum and sister were over recently. They stayed in a B&B round the corner and we invited them round for dinner on the Sat night (and a cup of tea when they first arrived). As lovely as they were, it would have been a nightmare having them to stay with us.

A previous (lovely) AP stayed in London in the house while we went on holiday. She had sis, brother and BF to stay. I trusted them and it was all fine. But maybe we were very lucky?

I think you did the right thing OP.

PixiNanny Fri 24-Jul-09 16:14:38

I'd go with that answer, as space is obviously an issue but you seem willing to accomodate for it iyswim? I've had OH stay here numerous times and this weekend my best mate is coming to visit (first visitor I've actually had apart from OH lol) and my host family have gone to their second home for the weekend, to give us space or just to get away I'm unsure lol But I've been here since November and this is the first non-boyfriend guest!

dreamteamgirl Mon 27-Jul-09 13:25:03

Thanks again everyone. Will make sure I spell things out- even if I feel uncomforatable doing so!

ConstantlyCooking Sun 02-Aug-09 09:11:00

Hi DTG - i had this question from several au pair applicants and eventually DH and I came up with - no overnight guests in first 6 weeks so we can all get to know each other (Thanks DIOM for that idea) and after that only if agreed beforehand. We thought it better to start off strict and then relax once we knew she was trustworthy - or not as the case may be.
In essence the same reply as yours I suppose. Good tips about food and towels everyone.

ConstantlyCooking Sun 02-Aug-09 09:12:36

Just checked your profile to see you if you were close enough to meet up/get au pairs to meet as ours is German too - but you are to far - we are in London.

dreamteamgirl Mon 03-Aug-09 13:43:55

Hi constantlycooking

Thanks for the advice there- really useful way to word it if it comes up again

Whereabouts in London are you? I am in Farnborough so only 40 minutes from South London/ Waterloo

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