Dear Au Pair Moms —
I am a first time host parent to a 20 year old au pair from Eastern Europe. She’s been with us for two months. We have two toddlers for whom she is responsible 4 days a week. She is “good” with the kids but definitely does not go above and beyond.
We’ve had some issues with her, off and on, mostly due to us having to adjust to having someone in the home. She is a person who is definitely not afraid of asking for what she wants.
This morning, 10 minutes before I need to leave for work, the Au Pair tells me she is having problems because she has no food to eat.
I was annoyed, because our cupboards and fridge are filled with food. I mentioned several things we had available for her to eat.
She then states it’s not food she likes. Also, none of these items are things which are easy to make.
Let me preface this by saying she eats more in one sitting than my 6′ 4″ husband. She will gorge herself on things that I’ve cooked and things that I buy… and she’ll eat all of something within two days.
I have continued to tell her not to eat ALL of something and if she does finish something up that she just needs to tell us so we can but more. We’ve asked her to be conscious there are two other adults who live in the house, so she needs to expect that other people will want to eat some of the food I buy. After she twice ate all the bite-sized brownies from Whole Foods, by herself, I stopped buying these and other treats. There were never any left for myself and my DH.
The Au Pair also refuses to eat if there is no bread. She says she can’t eat without bread. She will eat an entire loaf of bread in two days.
Here’s what I’ve tried —
I have asked her to tell me what food she likes, and I’ve bought it for her.
I’ve explained my shopping cycle, and asked her to consider it when she plans her meals. I typically shop every two weeks. That last week or few days before I am set to shop again there isn’t the same variety of goodies as right after I go shopping, obviously, because she’s eaten a lot of them up.
So I’ve explained that she needs to make an effort to prepare foods from the ingredients we have (e.g., make some tunafish instead of eating the whole container I bought at the deli). I took her through the fridge and pantry and showed her the numerous quick items to eat and she indicated she didn’t like any of them.
She’s also unwilling to eat the same kinds of foods more than once. When she asked what she should eat for lunch, I suggested a sandwich. She stated she was not going to eat a sandwich two days in a row or if she had one for breakfast.
When she said she wanted apples, I bought a whole bag. She ate two, leaving the rest in the fruit bowl to rot. I told her that I was not going to buy so much different food for her that she could have something different every day. Also, I am not a mind reader — I simply can’t anticipate and plan a whole variety of meals and snacks just for her.
The other night I had to work late and she said she had no choice but to eat cookies because there was nothing to eat! My husband offered to make her food. …
I was definitely disappointed with this situation when I have truly gone above and beyond to incorporate her into the family. I feel like she’s trying to take advantage of us. Also, she has mentioned that at other Au Pair’s homes there is a lot more snack food, frozen food and fast food.
I am truly so angered by this situation. I feel like I’ve done my best. Now what?