Dear Au Pair Mom,
Hi, I emailed once before about an angry 11 year old and was wondering if I could bother you once more for some advice. I’ve now been here 5 and 1/2 months and I really feel like rematch is the only option now. I realise this is incredibly inconvenient for my host parents after all the energy they’ve expended finding and training me but I really have tried everything I can to resolve this terrible match.
Specific problems include: Me working up to 3 days at a time with parents out of state. I do all the kitchen and living room cleaning/bins/dishwasher/parents bed making/shopping/recycling/cleaning up after the parents.
The parents have huge screaming rows very often and put me in the middle (such as my host mum calling my mobile to get me to tell my host dad what she wanted because he wouldn’t talk to her). The kids are extremely angry, most likely because of their fractured home life and I get the anger directed at me. The boy told me he had been creeping around my room while I was asleep and going through my things to get books etc he wanted. There are times I work until 12.30 and have to get up again at 6.30 and I’m exhausted.
All these things have just added up to the point where I really can’t take it anymore. I’ve given it over 5 months and it’s not a decision I’m taking lightly. I just wanted to know if I’m overreacting or if this is what I should expect at all host families?
Thanks so much. — Waffling Au Pair
Dear Waffling Au Pair-
It’s okay to leave. I wouldn’t even call it “quitting”.
No au pair should stay in a house where the host parents regularly disregard the rules.
No au pair should stay with a family when that family is full of genuine anger, is habitually mean, and fails even to make an effort to be kind.
If you have made a good-faith effort to talk with your host parents, and you have asked your LCC for help (if you have one), and things haven’t changed, it’s okay to leave.
Rematch, without second thoughts.
- Parents and Au Pairs, other advice?
- What does an au pair need to check off his or her list, to evaluate whether going into rematch is really warranted?