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no au-pair in two weeks after seven years!!

13 replies

dizzydo · 15/06/2006 19:57

Has anyone else decided to go it alone and if so has it worked out better or worse?

OP posts:
ssd · 15/06/2006 20:08

how many kids do you have and do you work?

dizzydo · 15/06/2006 20:13

two dd's and I work four days a week 9 til 5.

OP posts:
hattiel · 16/06/2006 17:15

I have 4 children and work part time and had 4 years of Aupair, after next month.... no more Au - Pairs. I not sure how it will go. Why are you going it alone Dizzydo?

I am getting a bit fed up looking for new ones and want my home back.

MrsRecycle · 16/06/2006 17:54

Snap - my AP goes back home in two weeks. I'm starting Maternity Leave three weeks after she leaves so am not replacing her. Not sure if we'll be getting another one once I go back to work as ds1 will be so young. We have 2 dds as well and I'll still be doing 5 days 9-5 so hope my months of drilling a rountine into us all will pay dividends Grin Either that or watch out for me on the Depressed topic Wink

MissChief · 16/06/2006 17:58

so what is it really like having an au pair then? occasionally day-dream about having lovely girl swanning around doing all my boring chores, helping ds become bilingual in some really useful language..
What I dread and fear tho' is some mixed up, homesick chick who hates kids, goes thro my knicker drawer, can't be bothered to clean properly and is going to scarper off at the earliest opportunity.
or am I just paranoid? Wink

dizzydo · 17/06/2006 09:42

Hattiel, I am going it alone for the same reason as you really. There are lots of benefits of an aupair, but "having your own home back" is definitely one of the down sides. To a larger or lesser extent, all our au-pairs have completely taken for granted what is on offer here, (on the phone and internet for hours whenever), disregard for taking proper care of machines and furnishings etc., (particular in their room) and in the end one gets really fed up with having to share absolutely everything. It's bad enough with your own children. That's a flavour of what it is like MissChief and as for swanning around doing all the boring chores its far more likely to be "banging around sulkily doing all the boring jobs". There is definitely a honemoon period but after that time things to become a little wearing.

having said that, the upside is that they can be a big sister to your children, they give them an idea of what things are like in a different country, you can pop to the shops without getting everyone ready etc. etc.

I'll sit back and wait now for those that will say, oh well its slave labour and what do you expect. Smile.

I know that having been used to having live in help for seven years my family (and in particular DH)will not all be pitching in to help. It will be me running the show. So it is a trade off really. Mrs Recycle I would definitely say get your routine established early whilst they are little and keep it going. Then when they get the eight years and up stage they really should be able to share the load effectively.

Having said all that (sorry bit long) I may after a few weeks decide it is the lesser of the two evils (or perhaps you and I could get together on the Depressed topic Mrs. R.)Smile

OP posts:
MrsRecycle · 19/06/2006 12:56

Yes now that dd1 is 8 I'm thinking that I could get her to help out a bit more but that would be child labour wouldn't it? Grin. Having said that I had dds sorting out their pen/pencil box yesterday and they said they were like the sisters in Cinderella Smile.

Mind you dh astounded me and ran/unloaded the dishwasher at the weekend so maybe our routine is working on him. DD2 is actually very good at helping out and wants to help all the time so I should be lucky. The only problem now is the fight over the AP's room - both want it Grin.

But it will be nice getting our home back (albeit a more messier one!) I do know what you mean though about the respect thing - I always feel guilty asking our AP if I can use the Internet when she is on it in the evening. I have no problem with her using it - just wish she would check with me that I don't need it before setting herself up for the night.

I definitely agree with the big sister thing though - it is nice for dds but you have to realise that you are taking someone into your family and be prepared for the extra input that involves.

dizzydo · 19/06/2006 15:05

Mrs R totally agree with you about taking on board the extra input of another member of the family.

Whilst thinking about how I would manage all the chores an idea struck me yesterday that I picked up from Mumsnet on another thread and that is the 20 purge, set the timer and do as much as you can in that time. I got everyone on it (the girls got into and started to try and beat the clock) and effectively that got one hour and twenty minutes work done by everyone pitching in. The house was tidy, dishwasher unloaded and beds made plus in that time. Well worth a try. Smile

OP posts:
dizzydo · 19/06/2006 15:06

sorry, should read "20 minute purge" Blush

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MrsRecycle · 20/06/2006 09:40

Oh yes - I'm a flylady fan well not rigid but adapted my routine/schedule based on some recommendations. I never spend more than 15 minutes on a room/chore. This is another source of frustration, as, before I get to work I can have hung the washing out, emptied the dishwasher, sorted out dds lunches, mopped the kitchen floor and done some ironing (using my 15 minutes analagy) and dropped dds at school. I guess I expect the same speed from my APs but can see their side of things as when I was their age and didn't have any kids I was exactly the same as they are. Grin

hattiel · 22/06/2006 10:33

There are great advantages of having an Au pair. In the early days i would never have been able to work P-Time, I had one in child in reception, one at nursery school and two at a creche on the days that i worked. It was still choatic but more managable, with ironing up to date, getting the kids out the door on time, and some one to pick up from school, seemed to work..

( i'm almost talking myself into another Au pair)

However, I have just replaced my third hoover in 4 years and Au- pairs room is a disgrace, stains on the carpet, ring marks, cracks on most of the furniture. At times i felt like social secretary to Au pairs, taking/passing on messages ect.
Our current Au pair is 28 going on 48 has on the whole been very good: makes very few demands on us, is sensible and kind with the kids, and totally reliable, is considerate with the phone and internet. But she has terrible habits, I have caught her drinking directly from the milk bottle and putting it back in the fridge, picking at food with fingers that i have just pulled out the oven, she can't get out of the habit of saying, Geeesus christ and shit, never says please or thank you, her spoken English has not improved in 12 months.

Over time, some things I have learned to accept ( not disgusting habits)
So I am going to have an Au pair break, and see how things go. I have already started getting the kids to help more - never too young to start.

dizzydo · 22/06/2006 13:58

Yep that all sounds very familiar to me, another attractive habit of my current AP is licking her knife and then sticking it in the butter dish! eeeeegggggggggghhhhh!

AP goes this weekend will let you know how I get on.

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MrsRecycle · 23/06/2006 10:13

Oh yes Hattiel - I've just started with the kids helping out more. Dd2 (5) helped me change my bed. Dd1 (8) took the washing downstairs and they both loaded up the dishwasher. They have been very good. So hopefully things won't be too bad next week dizzydo.

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