When you have an Au Pair you like, the idea of extending for another 6, 9, or 12 months seems so tempting!
We can imagine ourselves just gliding into that extra time, relieved of the burden of finding, training, and adapting to a new au pair.
So when we ask our Au Pairs to extend— and they decline — it’s no wonder we can feel disappointed. Rejected. Annoyed, even.
All that work, and no benefit to having done a good job as a host parent?
We’re supposed to buck up and take the rejection in stride. Which is hard, but we’re grown ups and role models so we do it.
Except that some host parents don’t. Instead of rolling with the rejection, they take it out on their Au Pair, making her/his last few months miserable.
That’s the situation for AuPair PunishedByANo. Her challenge now is– how can she keep going, with Host Parents who don’t even seem to notice that their treatment of their Au Pair has changed?
Dear Au Pair Mom — My first 6 months as an Au Pair were amazing!
I loved the kids, loved the parents! loved my friends here!
Everything went well, Time flew by.
Then the questions came…. Would I want to extend?
They didn’t ask me outright, but they gave me a lot of hints…
My Host Parents had some experience with extensions already — their 1st au pair stayed 2 years. They also had experience with two bad au pairs. One was lazy ( she wanted to rematch because she worked 60 hours one week– on a family vacation in Disney). The other one watched tv all the time — horrible. When they went looking for a new au pair, they struggled to find someone who’d work with a child with special needs in a family where a parent traveled a lot.
When I saw their profile I knew they where perfect for me,.. I love a challenge and Im mature. They did a very good background check ( they even insisted to interview my friends) and then matched with me. I told them on skype sessions that I only intended to stay for a year, since I have a job to come back to at home. I came here and things where perfect!
I worked hard– not only did I work actively with the kids when they were awake, I also worked while the kids are sleeping. I did extra things like cleaning the fridge or the trashcan, or reorganize closets or cleaning closets. That was always very highly appreciated.
But when I talked about not extending…
They showed clearly that they were not happy. My host mom — who never yells at anybody and is the nicest person– was actively mad at me.
I get it — they are scared about finding another au pair. And I told them I understood. But then, they said that the kids would feel abandoned and that I was being mean by leaving ‘early’. They told me to ‘think it over again’. But it’s firm, I want to go home after my year ends.
So now things changed!
My Host Mom immediately told the kids I WANTED to go home. ( I still have 5 months to go). My kids felt rejected. They are 7, 5, and 3. I tell them every day I love them so much! And I really do! But now the kids ask questions… Do you want to go home? Don’t you want to stay with us? I explain that my sister is having a baby and I want to be there, that I have a job at home, but “I love you too” and “I’ll come back”!
The 3 year old is now being mean to me, saying “I don’t want you around, you don’t belong to my family, I don’t love you.” Every morning she comes down she pretends she’s scared of me. Once she said to her mom, in front of me, “I really don’t like her, Mommy. She’s ugly.” And my host mom said nothing at all, even though usually the children are well-disciplined.
Today when the Host Daughter said “I’m so scared of her”, the Host Mom reacted by saying…”Don’t be scared, I”m right here. Just stay close to me.” Like I’m a criminal.
All this when I work so hard. When the kids’ laundry is done, I do the parents’. My Host Mom already has so much on her plate and the cleaning lady doesn’t do a good job.
And now I’m here with more than 3 months to go! I’ve been through a lot growing up, so I know I just need to bite through this and be strong for the kids. I don’t want to be the 3rd au pair in a row who leaves them.
But it is getting so hard! so hard! Rematch is not an option…because no family will want me for so short a time.
How do I deal with this? How do I take care for kids who feel rejected by me and are being mean? I want to win that respect again and show them I really love them!
I have talked to my lc And she is being a great help with ideas and all… but I feel like I’m bothering her by calling her all the time and talking about things when I feel bad.
My Host Family told me I was the greatest Au Pair ever…. then 2 months later they begin to treat me like this. The ONLY thing that changed is that they know I’m not extending.
I really still work hard,… sing songs for the kids,… give them all the attention they need,… I’m a goofy au pair! I surprise them with heart shaped red pancakes on valentine’s day,… I am like that! I have so much to give! and I love those kids SOOOOO much! It hurts so much to see how the kids feel rejected by me…
So I’ll end this long email.Already writing this whole situation down was hard! but I feel a little bit of weight off my shoulders.
I hope you have some advice about how I can have a conversation with the kids on their level, so they understand I still love and care about them. ~AuPair PunishedByANo.