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Attractive Au Pair making me feel jealous!

(188 Posts)
MrsMopple Thu 01-Jul-10 17:32:59

It's very early days with the au pair - she arrived on Tuesday. She's young and attractive and ds seems to really like her. I am 31 weeks pregnant, grumpy, sleeping badly and 40. My ankles disappeared weeks ago and I feel unattractive.
Dh usually spends his evenings on the computer, leaving me to deal with ds, but he has become very interested in spending time playing with ds now that the au pair is here and spending time with ds. I'm feeling jealous and I hate it! (Not least because I'll be having a planned c section in a few weeks, leaving dh and au pair alone for as long as I'm in hospital for - last time it was a week.)
I'm tempted to tell dh how I'm feeling, but I imagine I'll just get told that I'm being paranoid and that he's just being friendly. And the irony is that I said I needed help for when the babies arrive and we settled on an au pair for cost reasons, so I imagine I'll get that thrown back at me, too. sad

ZZZenAgain Thu 01-Jul-10 17:35:30

aw poor you, maybe it's hormones, maybe it isn't. Easier for a man to be friendly to an attractive young girl, let's be honest but he may genuinely just be trying to be friendly and help her find her feet in your home.

How old is she and how does she act towards him?

MrsMopple Thu 01-Jul-10 17:39:49

She's 19, he's 35, so I'm hoping she'll be seeing a middle aged man when she looks at him!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 01-Jul-10 17:39:50

I would say that your problem is more that your husband usually ignores his wife and son for the evening, rather than the au pair.

grapeandlemon Thu 01-Jul-10 17:39:53

He is probably just making an effort with her and trying to include her into the family so she feels comfortable which is important if you want her to gel with the family.

Pls don't let the fact that she is pretty affect your family dynamic or you personally, it's not her fault after all and the fact that your DS likes her is really positive.

ZZZenAgain Thu 01-Jul-10 17:43:17

is she from overseas?

IsGraceAvailable Thu 01-Jul-10 17:53:23

A French family fired me from my au pair position because the wife was jealous. It was devastating! I just think the guy was enjoying the opportunity to help an 18-year-old girl with her vocabulary and, while I have a little more sympathy with Madame these days, still feel she should have been more indulgent. There was nothing to stop her joining in, and that's what I suggest for you too.

I'd also take the opportunity to lavish him with appreciation: say how lovely it is to have him joining in more with the family! You can always take the mickey out of him slightly, too, saying if you'd only known that it'd take a teenage girl to get him to be a hands-on Dad, you'd have hired one ages ago wink

ZZZenAgain Thu 01-Jul-10 17:58:08

no exp of this either way but I would say keep an eye on it and if it is going to be a stress factor for you, it is not absolutely necessary to stick with it. Obviously the girl needs to be taken care of, in particular if she has come from overseas. I think it may be more in your mind tbh but if you aren't happy with it, you are not obliged to stick with it. Sometimes it is just a personality clash and if it someone is living in your home, can be a tense thing.

How is she towards you and do you genuinely see any sign of her flirting iwth dh? If not, I think you can probably get used to her being around after a bit more time. You have to know your dh , yourself and what you can feel comfortable with. The point of her being there is to take some stress off you really, not add to it.

MrsMopple Thu 01-Jul-10 18:03:28

She is French and has come here for the summer to help with her English. She's very sweet, but it is a bit annoying how dh has time for his ds at the moment in a way that he hasn't done for ages! I suppose that I have always allowed him to be a hands off dad, but that will have to change this summer as we are expecting twins and there is no way that I will be able to do it all myself.
You're right that I could involve myself too, but surely the point of having an extra pair of hands is that they are just that - so if one person is doing the playing, another could be cooking etc, rather than everyone doing everything together?
I suppose I am a little sensitive at the moment, fat, frumpy and feeling old, and even ds said, when I reminded the au pair of the time (we were meant to be eating at around 6pm, no chance of that!) that why didn't I do the cooking so that he could play with her and Dad!! Maybe I'm just feeling a bit excluded, but it does give me the chance to do other jobs (and whinge on Mumsnet!)

ZZZenAgain Thu 01-Jul-10 18:05:21

it is not ideal. Does she have clearly defined duties or is it all early days?

ie if Dad is playing with ds, could you then say "oh YX, since ds is occupied with his dad, could you come and give me a hand with ....?"

helicopterview Thu 01-Jul-10 18:05:32

Trust your gut instinct - and act on it.

You need to put yourself first. Do what will make you feel happiest.

You can replace her much more easily than your H!

Why did you hire someone so attractive in the first place confused

nowherewoman Thu 01-Jul-10 18:15:45

Why does your husband usually spend his evenings on the computer when he should be helping you?

IsGraceAvailable Thu 01-Jul-10 18:18:23

Yes - it's completely understandable that you're feeling a little bit "less than" with your heavy pregnancy, especially as DH seems to have got away with letting you do it all for a while.

Au pair means "equal". She is supposed to take the place of an eldest daughter. It sounds as if you might benefit from clarifying the tasks & duties a bit more - if you need her to help with the dinner at 5:30 every day, then make that a rule so everyone understands.

This will help her, too. It's very hard trying to fit into somebody else's family, especially with language & geography problems. She'll be highly sensitive to tricky undercurrents (I certainly was) and this can make things terribly stressful for a teenager on foreign ground. Has she got any friends here yet?

My Perfect Friend was a bit freaked out by the gorgeousness of her first au pair - honestly, she was supermodel calibre! After a short while, though, PF realised it was cheering her H up no end - and her teenage son - so became a lot warmer & more welcoming to the girl. Obviously, there was no suggestion of hanky panky (she did have one, later, who kept 'accidentally' bumping into DH while exiting the bathroom in her undies).

Assuming yours is, likewise, just an ordinary teenager, there's every chance you can develop a really happy, helpful role for her as PART OF your family

MrsMopple Thu 01-Jul-10 18:28:20

Message withdrawn

georgieseale Thu 01-Jul-10 18:32:42

there's plenty of au pairs out there! if you feel insecure and you really think Dh might get tempted maybe you should talk to him. If he cares about you he'll take your concerns on board. give it a short while and see if anything changes...

IsGraceAvailable Thu 01-Jul-10 18:36:00

So all in all, she's already improving your life - DS doesn't like his dad doing bedtime, but is blissfully happy with au pair AND Dad doing it. Even if you know Dad's only doing it to get her attention (which would piss me off, too!), your son wins out this way and you're getting one hand free.

Hopefully you'll be able to forge a good relationship with her ... then get her to help you 'train' your DH!

Good to hear she has a friend locally; they'll be able to spend their free time together, leaving fewer opportunities --for -- --DH to get the wrong idea loose ends.

susie100 Thu 01-Jul-10 18:36:19

This is why I only employ reasonably unattractive nannies. I know,I know, its a bit sad and of course a man will stray if he wants to but heck, I don't want a firm, gorgeous 20 year old in my house.

Get an ugly au pair.

IsGraceAvailable Thu 01-Jul-10 18:41:20

Never mind a man "straying if he wants to", what about responsibility? Most of the posts here seem to suggest au pairs & nannies are all frantic husband-stealers!

I think you'll find a beautiful, foreign teenager can attract quite enough males off her own bat, without biting the hand that feeds her.

nowherewoman Thu 01-Jul-10 18:41:52

Really if you can't trust your husband (not saying you can't obviously only you know whether you can or not) then that's the problem, not her. And if you can trust him you don't have a problem.

IsGraceAvailable Thu 01-Jul-10 18:43:27

I meant to add, of course, that a man tyring it on with the au pair would be guilty of harassment, breach of contract and duty of care, apart from being a total plonker. He's supposed to be in loco parentis.

Butterbur Thu 01-Jul-10 18:56:53

I'm sorry, I would get rid. Even a trustworthy man can be tempted by a young beautiful girl UNDER HIS OWN ROOF, looking after his children.

Homesick and lonely beautiful girl, + sex-starved man whose wife has just had twins = recipe for disaster.

helicopterview Thu 01-Jul-10 19:02:46

These cliches exist for a reason...they really do happen.

I have a couple of friends whose dads ended up marrying the babysitter, and went on to have a second family.

Sorry OP. You have enough on your plate. But I come back to trusting your gut instinct, and not inviting trouble into your own home.

helicopterview Thu 01-Jul-10 19:48:06

By the way, was your DH involved in the interview process when you were choosing your au pair?

WhoDunnitInnit Thu 01-Jul-10 19:53:47

IsGraceAvailable seems to be talking a lot of good sense. Just wanted to add that perhaps your dh is acting differently because it's someone else around, and not because he fancies her. I know my dh is a much better father when there are other people around iykwim!

Missus84 Thu 01-Jul-10 19:54:59

Few teenage girls are going to be interested in 35 year old men! Seems a bit much to sack her for being pretty.

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