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Childcare

Aupair dilemma - anyone give some practical advice

30 replies

mishmash · 14/08/2007 19:23

New AP arrived 3 weeks. I had been in quite a bit of contact with her before her arrival so I suppose we knew each other before meeting.

She is a lovely girl but very forward. Her parents are coming to visit in October - we are away at the same time and I think she automatically assumed she would have my car and they could stay here. We need car ourselves for going to the airport and she offered to drive us there and leave the car at the airport on our return as she is going home with her parents for a few weeks.

I am half thinking of obliging her but I don't know her family and not sure I would be happy with them staying here when we are out of the country and it would mean having to put the dad on my insurance but then the other half of me feels that she is being a bit too cheeky.

Any thoughts

OP posts:
NannyL · 14/08/2007 19:34

there is no way i would let anyone else drive my car

(well my dad is allowed and my daddy boss moves it around the driveway if necessary but that is about it!)

yes i think that is cheeky.

Also do you have another spare bedroom etc? If so maybe consider letting her have her parents stay, but if not, then i wouldnt be letting them sleep in your bed or anything like that either!

scienceteacher · 14/08/2007 19:34

She's being cheeky. They can easily hire a car.

Personally, I would be happy for them to stay in the house, but not have one of our cars. However, she shouldn't assume anything.

scienceteacher · 14/08/2007 19:36

Yeah, I wouldn't want them in my bed. My aupair has a double, so parents can sleep there, and aupair can go into one of the girls' beds.

WanderingTrolley · 14/08/2007 19:40

You're not unreasonable to refuse her the use of the car in your absence, if she uses it for work purposes only.

Why would you have to put her father on the car insurance?

Ask her where her parents will be staying when they're here - offer to help her find a B&B if you'd rather they weren't staying in your house. Hopefully she'll get the hint.

Weegle · 14/08/2007 20:14

Think she's being cheeky TBH. You're not a free-ride. I would consider letting the parents stay if I had an extra spare room but no way to the car - imagine the hassle if they have an accident!

yogimum · 14/08/2007 20:36

I think its very cheeky as she's only been with you for such a short time. Are they even used to driving in this country? Is it the nanny car? Apologise but tell her that you have promised the car to your brother or something or its going in for a service. Also think she should have asked you in advance if her parents could stay? I've had people stay but I had a nanny flat so it was never a problem.

mishmash · 14/08/2007 20:37

Thanks - I think I will stick to not giving them car but may let them stay here.

She has a double bed so her parents could have that and she and her brother and sister could have the kids rooms so long as they change the bed linen after them!

She had already asked if they could cook here which I had agreed to so I suppose them staying might not be as big an issue as the car.

Will have a word with DH when he gets in.

OP posts:
mishmash · 14/08/2007 20:38

She was looking at B&B's but was moaning about how expensive they were

OP posts:
yogimum · 14/08/2007 20:46

OMG its the whole family not just her parents

Nightynight · 14/08/2007 21:40

She is being cheeky.

eleusis · 14/08/2007 21:49

Heeeeeellllllooooooo Mishmash. Yeah, she's eing cheecky. I'd probably do the same. let them all stay and find if they wanted to cook (but I wouldn't stock up on food for), and the car would come to the airport with me.

BrummieOnTheRun · 14/08/2007 22:17

another vote for 'cheeky'!

although mine hasn't even arrived yet and her bessie mate has already contacted me via facebook and invited herself over!

mishmash · 14/08/2007 22:26

Hey Eleusis - how are things?

OP posts:
eleusis · 14/08/2007 22:36

I'm fine. You won't believe this, but DH is trying to persuade me to move to Dublin. How are you?

mishmash · 14/08/2007 22:41

Well if you moved there I would definetly get to see you

Have become semi retired since June - working 3 short days a week and giving up completely mid 2008

Am due a trip to London soonish so you'd never know

OP posts:
eleusis · 14/08/2007 22:47

You better tell me when your coming so we can go out.

Hey, are you coming to the Mn xmas party. They are great fun!

Genidef · 15/08/2007 00:16

Oh dear. Are they East European? I'm really sorry if this is slightly off topic, but it brought back memories...I spent a while living in Czech. A couple of years ago I got stuck spending hours chatting to a Czech au pair (not ours) at a barbeque -a struggle given the state of my Czech at this point. Then the email comes through: "Can my whole family and I come and stay in your house when you are in the States?" Easy enough for me to say no. It's hard to really appreciate how expensive it is here for people though, esp with this exchange rate, so I can see why you're tempted to agree - and why she optimistically assumed it would be okay. Is she a good au pair? I have to say I'm worried she has it in mind to have a great holiday and then go home with her parents - for good! This would determine whether I bothered to agree to it.

Good idea not to give her the car - don't.

Sorry for the ramble.

goldenoldie · 15/08/2007 08:33

sorry, but after 3 weeks there is no way I would let family stay while I am away. It is a huge risk, and you will have to notify your insurance company that you have invited a group of complete strangers to stay, unsupervised, as you will be away, in your home!

expect higher priemums, and if they go out and don't lock up properly, and you get burgled, your insurance is invalid.

agree with earlier post, once family has free holiday, at your expense, don't expect au-pair to stay for long after.

btw, why can't they come in 6 mths, when you have got to know this girl?

scienceteacher · 15/08/2007 08:36

I missed the bit about three weeks - way too early to commit to having guests when you aren't there. By October, it would be nearer to 3 months, so I would definitely put off the decision until nearer the time, no matter what lead time they need for flights etc.

You can't let her call the shots. You are the boss

squiffy · 15/08/2007 09:21

I've had a couple of au-pairs and this doesn't surprise me at all. Depending on age and where they grew up they will hacve varying attitudes on what the 'treat as part of the family' bit of au-pairing really means. My Swedish au-pair was most surprised when I told her that no, she couldn't have my 'free' M&S reward vouchers to spend on clothes....

If you have a fab au-pair who your kids have bonded to, I think sometimes better to go with the flow. I used to get really taken aback by the cheek of some requests/beliefs but to a 19 year-old from an 'upfront' culture it is often a case of 'don't ask...don't get' and they see nothing wrong with chancing their arm. I would just sit down and explain that although she is part of the family, it is your house and your car and that you will not be able to relax when you are away knowing that someone without UK driving experience would be driving your car, and then set out what is OK and what isn't OK. Chances are she won't bat an eyelid and will just say okey-dokey at whatever you set out. Tell her that's the limit of what you're prepared to do given that you don't yet know her that well and don't know her family at all, and that she mustn't 'assume' things. Explain that she needs to appreciate that your home is as personal/emotional to you as her clothes & ipod are to her.

Saying that, when you do sit down to work out what would be OK in this situation you might find that you don't have a problem with anything that she has proposed....

and remember that if there were no culture differences they'd bring lots less 'fun' into the house - my DH and I still regale friends over dinner with tales of our experiences (one of the best of which was the same Swedish au-pair trying to chat up a clearly terrified holiday rep - Simon, the rep from Mousses - in front of all the nannies in the creche. He spent the week trying to hide from her, and I don't think he lived it down for the whole of the season)

mishmash · 15/08/2007 09:29

Thanks Squiffy.

Mentioned to DH last night about letting them stay and he isn't keen on it either so I think we will just leave things as they are and hope there isn't too much more mentioned about it.

I will have my car changed by then I certainly don't want them driving round in my brand new car.

BTW - she is Swedish! Are they all so upfront - I find her a tad intimidating at times and very direct. That said she is a nice girl

OP posts:
squiffy · 15/08/2007 09:45

The Swedish are so upfront it isn't true! Saying that I used to work for a Swedish company and love them, and I loved the Swedish au-pair too, even though she was allergic to washing-up. FWIW I think they make fab au-pairs - very careful drivers, constantly cheerful, happy to race round the garden with the kids whatever the weather. Our swedish girl used to poison us with her cooking, chat up my husband's friends, and wander round our local art college in hotpants wondering why she wasn't makign friends with any of the girls on her course..... incredibly thick skin... but then, she comes back to see us every holiday since she left, showers my boy with kisses and cries her heart out because she's missing out on 'her boy' growing up so quickly. That kind of love is worth a dozen shockers in terms of expectations/requests.

goldenoldie · 15/08/2007 14:53

Surely they can afford a B&B - Sweden is not an underdeveloped country, and wages are pretty good?

Genidef · 15/08/2007 22:52

I missed the three weeks too - despite the fact that it was, like, the first thing you said!

Forget it mishmash - do what one of the posters says and say that it's too early to commit to her family coming. I'm not sure I would leave it, though, as re the flights, she could well make it even more awkward if you don't address it and she assumes it's all okay. And I'm sorry, Swedes - get a B&B.

By the way...apparently the Swedish driving test is one of the hardest ever...you have to drive on wet ground etc etc. Still ,don't let them do it.

squiffy · 17/08/2007 14:58

These days, apparantly you can't pass the Swedish driving test until you've been out on a track and gone through an oil-slick - just so you get a feel for what happens in the snow! How cool is that... My au-pair used to come home in bad weather absolutely raging about our poor british driving standards...

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