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Is this revolting mess normal for a 19yo?

(14 Posts)
Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 08:56:18

Grateful for advice from people with their own teenagers!

I have an au pair who's nearly 20. She's a nice girl, intelligent, and very good with the kids. However, I have concerns. She seems to have a lot of prescription drugs and I have sometimes had some difficulty getting her to wake up/get up, so I don't find her an appropriate carer for small children and am sending her back to her mum.

My question is about the revolting slummy conditions she lives in! We live in a nice house that's generally tidy and clean, but she keeps her room as a total pigsty. For example, we came back from a trip on Sunday, she has clearly tipped out her clothes in a pile in the middle of the floor, and they have lain there since. Mixed up with them and spread around is a load of cheese rind. There's a 1/2 empty giant bottle of cheap red wine by the bed, and the room smells a bit like a pub on Sunday morning. There are weird clumps of hair all over the place. She finally got around to taking off the sheets and putting them in the wash on Tuesday after about 2 months - I've just gone in and seen that 3 days later she's sleeping on the bare mattress and pillows, even though she has a spare clean set, and the other set that she washed is also now dry (and I have had stern words before about sleeping with pillows without bothering to put on the pillowcases). There are heaps of make up all over and dirty glasses. The top drawer is lying open and it's a mish mash of loose tampax and chocolate biscuits. All the wardrobe doors are open and there are bags and shoeboxes higgledy-piggledy all over the room.

Is this normal?????? Thank God she doesn't smoke!!!! It's truly repulsive.

OP’s posts: |
LadyintheRadiator Fri 12-Nov-10 08:58:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreudianSlimmery Fri 12-Nov-10 09:01:17

How's her mood? Failing to look after yourself and your surroundings isn't always laziness, it's a very common sign of depression. Is she missing her family?

Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 09:01:54

No it's not normal! She sounds either very badly brought up or slightly maladjusted.

Poor you - glad you are packing her off home.

Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 09:09:43

Thanks for replies! She's very 'up' and cheerful when she's actually up, but concerns about her mental health are part of the reason I'm sending her home. She seems completely fine whenever I see her, but then she appears to spend an extraordinary amount of time asleep or shut up in her room. I have tried to discuss it but not got very far - there's some history there that she won't go into. She has some kind of prescription anti-depressant (not always left out of the reach of children, and often next to the vodka bottle). Her parents seem very nice and responsible, so I'm sending her back for them to deal with whatever's going on.

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Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 09:10:40

Yes Freudian she'd definitely missing her family. But does spend hours skyping her mum and brother.

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Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 09:10:57

Yes, it's her parents' problem, not yours, to deal with.

Have you got someone else lined up?

Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 09:16:40

I hope so Bonsoir, I'm talking to an older Asian girl who appears to have been rather mistreated by her host family (nothing drastic, but they've hired her on an au pair visa which limits work strictly to 20 hrs per week, and are making her work 8hrs per day as a maid - she assumes they have specifically sought out an ap from Asia in order to be able to abuse t&c in this way).

I can just about manage without temporarily as can mostly work from home, and the kids are at school all day except Wednesday, and are not too bad at entertaining themselves. But it means compromising on some of my obligations. I do always wonder whether it's worth it - I truly loathe my job and then have all these other headaches piled on top.

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Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 09:55:08

I think you should drop your job and come shopping and lunching in Paris with me. There's a great day-return deal on Thalys grin.

Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 09:58:30

On a more serious note: if you loathe your job, and you don't need the money, why work?

Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 09:59:07

grin. I'd still need an ap to pick the kids up though!

OP’s posts: |
Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 10:01:34

My DD does after school activities every day. If ever I need to pick her up late, there is inevitably another mother going from school in the same direction (ballet, tennis etc) who can drop her off, and I return the favour another day.

I can always stretch my day to 6pm if shopping obligations require me to do so!

Romanarama Fri 12-Nov-10 11:51:53

My job, hmmm. It's a dilemma. If I was working in the supermarket I'd stop, but it's a (very) low point in what's otherwise been a career full of excitement and opportunities to meet and talk with such interesting people. Now I'm stuck in a dreadful role until at least June next year, unless I can think of something clever to get out of it, and even after that I'm not sure what else I can do unless we move, and I don't want to move the kids again so soon. And even then, whatever I do will always mean hours that don't take account of homework, playing chess with an 8 yr old, generally having time for battleships, grandmother's footsteps, reading Treasure Island, let alone anything else I might have felt like doing. I think I may have to cut and paste this somewhere else on mn and start another thread.....

OP’s posts: |
Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 14:50:38

There are lots of opportunities to talk to exciting people when you don't work, you know smile. I had many years of what most people would have termed a glamorous work life but that isn't the only route to interest and fun...

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