Hi Au Pair Mom,
I am currently an Au Pair on the East Coast. I arrived in Jan 2014 and extended another 6 months. Everything is amazing and we have had no issues in the time I have been here. But now a pretty big problem has arisen and I dont know what to do.
When my intl. license was expiring, my host parents said they wanted me to get a State license. I started the process but the numerous snow days and bad weather (which Im not allowed to drive in) slowed the process down. Not to mention the problems at the Motor Vehicle Office.
Last week while I was driving the kids to sports, I was in a fender bender (not my fault and no damage done, just a fright to us all.) I was very lucky that the woman who hit me did not call the police or pursue anything further, but it put me and my host parents in a predicament.
The day after the accident, my host parents sat me down and said they did not want me using the car in my off time until I have my license, which I completely understood and agreed too. (I have my own ‘au pair car’ car that I can use whenever I want.)
I was however still allowed to drive the kids and do ‘work’ stuff. After multiple visits back and forth to the MVO, I finally did the law test on Friday. We were not aware at how long it takes to get an appointment to do the road test. We were all under the impression that the road test would be the same day as the written test and that would be it. I ended up booking a test date at the first available slot – May 10th.
That’s over 6 weeks away!
So this has caused a huge problem. My job is basically driving my two kids (11 and 5) around during the week. But now my host parents have told me that I am not allowed to drive AT ALL until I get my new state license. My host mom will take my younger one to school and then I have to go and pick her up in an uber. Then, either my host mom or host dad will come home early to take them to any necessary appointments.
My host mom has also asked her mom to come up from where she lives three hours away to help out with the driving. My host dad travels a lot for work and is going out of town the next two weeks.
I can completely understand why this is happening. But I feel absolutely awful. I am supposed to be helping them with the kids and childcare, not making their life more difficult.
I spoke to my host mom on Friday and told her that if they were thinking of finding another au pair who could drive, than that was ok with me and I would understand. She told me that even though they had discussed it, they wanted to do everything they could to keep me. I was really happy to hear that but after finding out today that I wont be driving at all until I get my license, I just feel completely useless. I have thought about rematch but they said they didnt want that.
I am so sorry this is so long, I just feel like I dont really have anyone else to talk to and ask advice from.
Do I push through the next 6 weeks feeling guilty and awful?
Or should I seriously start to think about initiating rematch, even though they said they wanted to keep me?
I just dont want to feel like I am making everything a million times harder when Im supposed to make their lives easier. They are the best host parents ever and I love my kids to bits but I don’t want them to secretly start despising me for the circumstances.
I would really like to hear from other host parents how I might fix this for my family. ~ParkedAuPair
Image from Carissa Rogers on Flickr