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What if you just arent meshing with an au pair?

(14 Posts)
dreamteamgirl Fri 02-Oct-09 14:35:24

Hi all
Some advice please. Today is the end of week 4 with our AP and to be honest I dont feel it is working

The first week she did NOTHING except mope about missing her bf, so we had a chat.

The second week was a little better, but at the end of it I spoke to the egency about potentially moving her on, as she was still not really making any effort

DS is an amazingly friendly social kid and falls madly in love with people- mainly anyone who pays him much attention, but hasnt really bonded with AP. I havent seen a single kiss or hug pass between them.

I think I feel just a bit as tho we havent got this right. She is quite lazy around the house and does things like leave DS tea for me to wash up and put away, and despite me asking/ reminding hasnt done the washing up

But I cant say she has done anyone single thing wrong

She does smoke which her form said she didnt but after the second week when I talked to her about it, she proposed smoking right away fromt he house and never around Sam and true to her word she has done that. BUT ... I just dont feel right about her. Its not that I dont trust her or anything like that, I just dont feel she is matched to us.

But is that a good enough reason to give notice?

(Oh and please dont start prattling on about why do I use cheap childcare etc etc. I got an AP cos I hoped thta despite me HAVING to work FT, it would give my son some of the advantages of a SAHM in that he could come straight home from school and play with his friends and be in his own space, not to save money. If anything this is more expensive)

booreeve Fri 02-Oct-09 17:48:37

Hi Dreamteamgirl

Having sat on your side of the fence with a girl who was similar (no bonding with DS or helping around the house) all I would say to you, is that if it's not working, it's not working. In the end our hopeless AP turned committed a few sackable offences, so we got rid, but to be honest I would have got rid of her anyway because the chemistry simply wasnt right. I can't tell you what a relief it was when she left, and I feel like a whole new person.
TBH she has sone something wrong in the fact you don't feel she is bonding adequately with your DS, and nor is she pulling her weight, despite you having talked to her about it and given ample time to pull her socks up. I felt that with ours, I could forgive the lack of help around the house, if she was good with DS, but becasue she was hopeless there too I wasn't left with much to work with. You have to live with this person and you have to feel comfortable about the situation otherwise it'll keep winding you up which isnt healthy.
I think the in her heart of hearts she must know that it's not working for her either, so I would take the plunge and start again.

Our new AP starts this w/e and I've implemented a 2 week trial from both ends, so if new AP unhappy then they can walk (as it were) and vice versa, and Im determind to get the chemistry right this time!
Good luck....

frakkinpannikin Fri 02-Oct-09 18:14:00

I agree - if it's not working it's not working and it's better to admit this and walk away to start again with a new one (having learnt a few lessons) than struggle on and try to make it work.

What do the agency say? Have you talked to them again?

I guess with APs its quite difficult because you can't necessarily meet them beforehand to see whether you 'click'.

tulpe Fri 02-Oct-09 18:45:53

If it isn't right for you (whatever your reasons) then follow your instinct and end the situation now.

I didn't follow my instincts and had 6 miserable months with our last AP because I couldn't bring myself to say to her that we just weren't the right family for her and vice versa.

The whole family breathed a collective massive sigh of relief the day she went home.

TwoCupcakes Fri 02-Oct-09 18:54:28

I do sympathise with you and I echo what the others say - follow yr heart in this. When you are living with someone, there's nothing worse than it not working and you feeling upset for the duration your AP is there. I think that the first month is where the AP really should be trying to make an impression, and the fact that she doesn't seem to be doing so (homesickness aside) doesn't bode well.

Have a chat and explain that you feel it's not working well and see what she has to say. Hopefully she is not as clueless to not realise that things aren't all smooth sailing! If after the chat, it still doesnt feel right, then I think you will realise that you have to get rid of her. Sure, it does put you back to square one in a way but since you appear to have got her through an agency, hopefully they can find you someone else soon?
good luck, hope it all works out - and don't get discouraged by the 'bad apples' out there!

FabBakerGirlIsSURVIVED Fri 02-Oct-09 18:56:41

She lied about smoking - isn't that enough to let her go without saying the other stuff?

dreamteamgirl Fri 02-Oct-09 23:47:26

Thanks everyone

I had the chat tonight, and she agreed it isnt working
She is going to look for another family- it seems she has already been on au pair world!- and I am gonna decide between after school club, a local childminder and another au pair
Ho hum!!

Treeesa Sat 03-Oct-09 13:28:08

Hi dreamteamgirl

I can point you in the way of a great agency where you get to see the au pair before you make a choice. You may get a better feel for someone that way.. PM me and I'll send you all their information.

ConstantlyCooking Sat 03-Oct-09 14:09:13

Sorry it hasn't worked out DTG. Definitely the right thing to ask her to leave IMO - having someone living in your house is difficult at the best of times. Don't let it put you off the whole au pair idea tho' looking on here there seems to be an element of luck in the whole area and you can't waste your carefully prepared AP room! Good luck with whatever you decide to do next childcare wise.

dreamteamgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 21:28:07

Hi Treesa- I dont have CAT, but can you post the agency name on here?

Thanks CC I assume yours is all going well?

AP is already on APWorld- and still lying about being a smoker!!!

Treeesa Sun 04-Oct-09 22:54:36

Sorry dreamteamgirl - have been --waiting hand and foot-- lovingly entertaining my MIL & FIL most of the day.. only just sat down with a large glass of wine..

The agency I've been using in the last few years show video clips of each of their au pairs introducing themselves. You can see them on their web site. It gives more of an idea of what they're like - at least you can see straight away what their English is like and if they have any sort of spark.. I like the idea of what you see is what you get if you know what I mean.. Sometimes it's so difficult when you see one or two photos of someone because if they're in a bikini you put them straight to one side! or the photo is of a group of 10 girls in graduation robes and you can't quite work out if the one you've been talking to on the phone is the pretty one 3rd on your left or the glazed over one 3rd on their left..!! 1st Choice Au Pairs

All I'd say is don't lose heart because of this first experience. I'm sure you've learnt a lot from the experience anyway.

Has she asked you for a reference.. I assume you'll give her one of sorts?

dreamteamgirl Mon 05-Oct-09 16:53:19

Actually I was going to post and ask for advice on the reference.
I have given references through work, but never had to make one up from scratch.

So far I have come up with that her time keeping is exemplary- which it is, she is 5 mins early for everything- but no 2nd positive thing and I cant just sya one thing or reference will look terrible...

Thanks ofr link, I will look at them

Treeesa Tue 06-Oct-09 16:44:08

Looking at your first post again I guess you wouldn't want to give her a reference. If she's not doing what you're asking her to do around the house AND hasn't really made much of an effort to bond with your son AND is a smoker and misled you over this in the first place then I wouldn't give one myself or at least just the facts of how long she worked for you.

frakkinpannikin Tue 06-Oct-09 19:27:37

Minimal reference saying how long she worked for you.

If you then go on to say anything else on the phone that's 'bad' then make sure you'd talked to her about it and pulled her up on it, given her a chance to improve and she failed to make good before you mention it. Otherwise, saying nothing speaks volumes.

If I was a parent I'd want to give a reference so I could NOT give a reference IYKWIM. There is a reference gap in my history as a nanny and no-one has worried about it, which is a bit hmm, but it's simply because I worked for them 5 years ago and I've fallen out of touch.

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