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Childcare

Am I petty, mean, small minded and unreasonable, or justified?

28 replies

Caligula · 21/11/2004 00:12

My au-pair has been here for about 2 months. For 3 out of the last 4 weeks, he has had friends round on a Sunday afternoon where they cooked and socialised. Each time, me and the kids had some of what was being cooked.

This evening he's told me he wants a friend to come round again and cook, but that if me and the kids are going to eat, he wants me to pay half.

I don't suppose it will be very much, but it just really irritated me. I sort of feel that in a family environment, where he's having friends round in my home (and I'm putting up with them drinking and leaving cigarette butts in my garden, and allowing one to stay the night) it's just a courtesy to offer me and the kids a share of any food. Especially as we both can't conveniently use the kitchen at the same time.

And the other reason is that tbh, I don't really like what he cooks that much! It's all right, but frankly, if I'm going to pay for something, I'd rather pay for something I actively want to eat, not just because it's there.

I do appreciate that an au-pair's wages aren't high and he hasn't got stacks of money to throw around, but I wouldn't dream of asking him to contribute if I was getting in a take-away because I couldn't be bothered to cook, or if I was doing a special meal of some sort and one of his friends was round - I'd automatically invite them to join us.

Am I right or wrong about this one? Over to the court of Mumsnet!

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staarbar · 23/11/2004 21:23

Hi there

I worked as a nanny for 10 years before I had my 1st child and I have to say that I met a lot of au-pairs ( and nannies) that were just looking for an easy ride. A lot of the foreign au-pairs come over here looking for a place to stay while they study English and get to know all the local pubs! Not even remotely interested in the children they are supposed to be looking after. I did meet a few that were brilliant and it's sad to say but I think that's a rarity!

I lived with one family for 5 years and I got to be part of the family but I never would have dreamt of taking over the kitchen.. especially at the weekend. Apart from anything else I was glad to have a break from the place after the week at work!!

It's a difficult situation from all sides, getting the privacy balance right but I know for a fact that I couldn't bear having someone live in to help with my children. I have twin boys of 2½ and a 4 yr old girl. I'm months into 3rd pregnancy too and even though some days I'm screaming out for help I know that it would annoy me too much to have it!

You have to either set some clearer boundaries or just tell him that it's not working and that he has shown you little respect by expecting to have a free reign over YOUR HOUSE

Hope you can sort things out soon.
Staar x x

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staarbar · 23/11/2004 21:24

That should have read 6 months into my 3rd pregnancy.... I know!!! I'm MAD

Staar x x x

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Caligula · 23/11/2004 21:37

Thank you all for all your input. I've decided that the real problem is that I don't really like him - if it were someone I liked, I wouldn't really mind, but also, I'd point out the flaws in his argument because I'd want to keep him and have an honest and open relationship where I could complain about things that annoyed me about him and where he could complain about things that annoyed him about me.

Have now decided that I'm going to let him go at Christmas, and send dd to a mixture of childminder/ playgroups instead - it's time for her to move on too and get some more stimulation and structure in her days.

This thread has been really helpful in making me make up my mind, so thanks all for your advice.

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