Au Pair Declines to Extend, Now Her Host Parents Are Mean

by cv harquail on March 6, 2015

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?

14017168977_187fe9af9d_mWe’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.  


See also:  “Her Next Adventure”: Telling your kids that your Au Pair is leaving

Image: Andrew Baldacchino, on flickr: The Panda And the Bear – 12


Nordic auparair March 6, 2015 at 9:33 am

if you don’t want to rematch right now, I would say call you LC and have a sit up conversation with parents. E plain your concerns etc. And if nothing changes immediately I would go to rematch or home if no one will take you,. It’s only two months I know but those two months may spoil all experience for you. I don’t understand the behaviour of the parents they knew you are coming only for year anyway. And the last thing stop do extra things! Like parents laundry fridge etc. It’s not your job!
I knowWmy self it easy to start feel guilty etc inwasSin bad situation my self, and when saying bad I mean really really bad. Like oneEof theEhost parents marketing the kids go against me bad! But hats another story.
I knowWits not easy to get out but it’s better that staying frustrated!

Nordic auparair March 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

Sorry for such bad writing autocorect on my phone really hates me.

BearCo Momma March 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

If the actual reason they are treating you this way is because you refused to extend – I honestly cannot understand it at all and their response is INCREDIBLY immature, unkind, petty, and manipulative. I honestly can see no excuse at all for the “don’t be afraid, I’m right here” comment – that is almost the way (some) women act when they’re going through a divorce …. which sounds like is how they’re viewing the whole situation.

Are they very controlling people in general that are used to “getting their way” in regards to employees, etc. ? Is there some other circumstance we don’t know that will make it especially hard emotionally/literally for them to find a new AP around when you are leaving that is making this harder than it should be for them ?

The only thing I can suggest is to ask them for some time to sit down and discuss it and and say you feel there’s been a change in their feelings/treatment toward you and you don’t know why – although you noticed it seemed to start around when you had the extension discussion . If they admit that they are angry about it, I would calmly point out that you were upfront from the beginning that you would not extend a year, their treatment of you is hurtful , and that you love their children and want to give them the best they deserve for the remainder of the year, but the feeling you have now is making that very difficult. My guess is that they already know they are being unfair, but are having trouble controlling their emotions/behavior for whatever reason. In which case, they may either just need to be called out on it to apologize and “cut the crap”, or they may get angry at being confronted with it and then it will get worse and you may have to look at rematching. :-( Or, they may be upset about something that has NOTHING to do with you not extending, in which case you can talk about that and hopefully resolve it.

Good Luck and let us know what happens ! You sound like a good AP.

(And FWIW, It’s technically not acceptable to ask an AP to work a 60 hour week, even if she’s on a Disney vacation, and being upset about that doesn’t necessarily mean she was lazy)

Seattle Mom March 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

+1 on all points

Also to add to the OP, they may be taking advantage of the fact that you only have 3 months left, they don’t realize that their behavior *could* provoke you to rematch. If you tell them you are unhappy with the way they are treating you and you cannot live that way, then they might realize that they can’t just assume you will stay and take whatever they dish out. If they worry about matching under normal circumstances, a rematch would certainly scare them even more.

I’m surprised that your LCC isn’t giving you more support. Do you have a good relationship with her? Another thing to try might be a mediation session with the LCC. That could really light a fire under the HF to change their attitude.

Host Mom in the City March 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

+ 1 – this pretty well sums up what I was going to say

au pair March 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

The lc is giving me alot of support! Really, she wants a conversation with the family, but i think its not worth it anymore, …. im leaving in 60 day’s.
it just seemed important to me that she knows for the future Au pairs

My hostmom is pregnant, and is due 1 month after i’m gone,
so the hormones will not make the situation any easier.

I still really love them, alot!
They got a new au pair and that seemed to make the situation a little better.
They will get over it,…

I just want to find a way to get my connection with the kids better.
I was already planning on making a countdown calender for the new au pair.
And write her a letter With the kids.
so the transition is easier.

And they really stick to 45 hours,… no kidding
but sometimes there just is a snowday,…. and what a horrible au pair would i be, to let a pregnant woman take care of 3 kids all by herself, I just go and help.

They are wonderfull people,..for sure!
the blame is also a little on me, i feel uncomfortable so I go up to to my room to avoid confrontations.
maybe they think i don’t want to be here anymore,…
but that is not true

WCO HD March 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

Wow. Assuming there isn’t anything else missing from this story, the host parents are being unbelievably immature about this situation. It is admirable that your first reaction to this is to work even harder and try to ‘win’ them back. You sound like a great AP for sure. But I think you owe it to yourself to have a serious sit down talk with them. You should not be treated like that, especially having made it clear upfront that you were limiting yourself to one year. You need to have a very quiet and calm – yet firm and direct – conversation with the host parents when the kids are not around. Explain to them how hurt you are and how much you love the kids and how much you still want to be the best AP that you can for the remainder of your time. But you can’t do that if they continue to undermine you at every turn. It sounds like they have a lot of fear about finding a new AP so perhaps also offer to help them screen candidates. Good luck and do not be afraid to leave if the situation becomes too unbearable. You deserve better.

Another DC HM March 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm

I agree with this. I know you said rematch isn’t an option, but I think you need to make it clear to this family that you are feeling abused and that you won’t stand for it. I would start out the conversation asking if there is anything that you have done to make them treat you so coldly. Make sure there’s no misunderstanding going on. But then I would tell them how you feel, reiterate that you really love them but that you have serious commitments at home that you simply can’t walk away from.

If they are still nasty, I would also tell them that you are unhappy and don’t want to go home early…but that you would consider it if the tension in the house remains this high.

TexasHM March 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I agree assuming this is all to the story this is hideous. We had a rockstar AP that wanted to extend, had the paperwork and then got the opportunity to go to New Zealand to work for a year and she came to us and was honest that she was conflicted and couldn’t decide. Guess what? We made the decision for her and told her we wouldn’t sign an extension because that was a once in a lifetime opportunity she would not miss because of us!
This is SO unfair. You told them in interviewing you had plans to get back to and could commit to one year. They knew that in matching. Now they want to badger you for it. Just horrible. Yes, I understand it would be easier for them to have you extend but it’s not only about them! This is profoundly selfish and by the way – working 60 hours a week isn’t ok at Disney World or anywhere else for that matter. And I don’t care if she was sleeping for half of those hours. I have talked to at least half a dozen APs that were so excited to go on Disney trips only to come home exhausted and disappointed because they worked the whole time and didn’t get to really do anything so location means nothing! Same thing for Hawaii and carribean, I have had crying APs at my house fresh off the plane from those dream locations ready to go home or rematch. Plus you doing their laundry is way above and beyond. Again, it sounds like selfishness. They like that you are a rockstar and they don’t care that you said one year they want you for two so you need to change your mind. Not ok.
Also, for what it is worth, we just last week were looking for APs with 3 months left on their term and couldn’t find any. Not to say that you would be guaranteed to find a family BUT if you were a diamond in the pool (experienced driver with license, education done, vacation done) then your odds might not be as bad as you think they are honestly. I have a friend that is looking that would take that because it would give her enough time to interview and bring over an out of country match but give her solid care in the meantime. My only point being that “rematch is not an option” is not true and I don’t want you to feel like your hands are tied because especially if your LC likes you or you have a place to stay then it is most definitely an option and perhaps that conversation would wake up your host parents to treating you with respect for the rest of your term! I doubt they want to try to find someone new in the next two weeks. You can commit to them that you will continue to give 100% until the end of your term but they need to commit to you that the decision has been made and they will move on and treat you with respect. You could even offer to help them interview/screen your replacement to help take some of the load off them. If you feel like this conversation won’t go well or won’t be taken seriously I would engage the LC to be present for the conversation. Right now the parents are poisoning the well with the kids so no matter what you do I don’t see how you would win them back. You need the parents on the same page.
When we have changed APs we have made a point of making it crystal clear that our APs have families at home too and that we are blessed to have them for whatever time period we have them and then we have to support them as they move on with their lives. We act excited for the APs and we throw a party for them before they go (because we are grateful for the time we had and we are truly excited for them)! The moral of the story is if the parents act like its a great thing, the kids will think its a great thing. Unfortunately it works in reverse as well. As long as the parents are acting like its a bad thing, the kids will be upset/frustrated/confused/challenging and that is a battle you are not going to win.

NJ Mama March 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I second all of this. Talk to your LC. Have a talk with your host parents — maybe with the LC present — and tell them you feel that they are treating you poorly because of your decision not to extend. If this is what is happening it’s awful and completely immature of the host parents. and you should be glad you are not extending if they act like this when they don’t get their way.

And if they continue to treat you badly then do not be afraid of rematch. There are families who need au pairs quickly and for the short term. About 10 month ago I was one of them. It happens.

Emerald City HM March 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm

I agree too with the other host moms on here too!

The host parents are putting you in this situation and it’s not fair.

FWIW, we were also just looking for a temporary au pair to fill a gap. So there are host families out there that do need short term au pairs.

SKNY March 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm

What is your agency mas where are you from?
Like TexasHM has said, there is a chance you could rematch. But I agree a talk could help.
As a former Au pair, I know of a good number of on line support group for Au pairs, and a lot of them have had similar experience (although usually the family gets mad because Au pair will extend somewhere else, never that Au pair is going home.)
If you want, feel free to contact me and I can direct you to the best group. Sometimes just having a safe venue to talk and let down frustrations can help. Plus talk to others who lived through similar experiences.

SKNY March 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm

TexasHM, you are really good at this. I heard about an agency in your area recruiting LCs if you ever feel a calling. I think you would be great!!!

TexasHM March 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm

SKNY you are too sweet! SBW, TACL, CalifMom and many other of the awesome contributors on here have been my virtual LCs for years! I’ve been called by a couple agencies over the last two years but as many on here know, being an LC is not very lucrative and we aren’t in a financial position to take that on right now but I would definitely consider it a few years from now when we are in a different place. There are only a couple agencies I would even consider working for and full disclosure I did get a call from the national director at CCAP about a year ago and she was AMAZING and a big part of the reason we are trying CCAP now. Their structure is very different – incentives for performance and APs and HFs regularly rate/give feedback on them. I am supposed to call her when I’m ready. ;) I did also appreciate that CCAP is the only agency where almost everyone I talk to either has an AP currently or has hosted or been an AP in the past. Even the matching coordinators, people at corporate, etc. I think (and I guess I am proof) that they actively seek out APs and HFs to fill their positions which I think is super smart as unique as this program is. I am cautiously optimistic right now and hope they are as awesome as they seem and live up to the feedback of the regulars on this site! ;)

Seattle Mom March 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

I can tell you from experience that it seems to be a nice company to work for- I was hired and trained, but in the end did not take the position because it was not going to work for me at that time (and I realized that my expectations about the job were not entirely correct, but at least I saw it during training). But I always think that I would consider doing it someday, if the circumstances were right.

TexasHM March 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Seattlemom interesting!! Was it an LC position? Were you a HM with CCAP at the time?

Seattle Mom March 6, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Yes and No. I became a HM later on, and went with CCAP because I was so familiar with the agency.

SKNY March 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Let me know about your experience! After researching prices for live-out nanny on our hopeful “new living area”, I have a feeling DH is going to give-in and try the au pair route again. Will make sure when we are “down there” again we call you, so you can help me show him there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and there are still good experiences for host families out there…

WorkingMomX March 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm

I would encourage you to call your agency. It’s unacceptable for a family to treat an au pair in this manner or to encourage the children to do it (that’ll come back to haunt them, trust me).

I’ve been involved in the au pair program in many capacities over the last decade and unfortunately, there are some families who host who really just do not get the spirit of the program. Your host family is behaving terribly to you and I think you should reach out for support.

au pair March 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

I know they will regret it,
and i think they will miss me when i’m gone,
I think they where just hurt , because off what happened with the previous ones.
they are hurt,

But they are great and amazing people
and they still are,
and that just makes it hard
because my respect for them reaches so far,…

AuPair Paris March 7, 2015 at 4:59 am

This is incredibly, incredibly weird. No matter what way I twist this in my mind (giving benefit of the doubt to au pair, and assuming there’s (even) more to the story, or giving the benefit of the doubt to the parents…) I can’t make it come out right…

But I have to reiterate what other parents have said – 60 hours a week is too much, and being upset about it isn’t lazy – you don’t owe that level of work in gratitude for a disney land ticket. I also have to say that the story of watching porn… I mean, I know there are people out there who are *completely* unaware of what is and isn’t appropriate… But… If the family are already dramatising your leaving as abandonment, it makes me question that story too… Was she watching a film that was a little too racy to watch around kids? Was she on duty at the time? Was she reading some silly erotica novel in the 50 shades vein?

I’m sorry, I know it’s not at all relevant. It’s just that when presented with a story as weird as this, I can’t help but poke and push at it in as many ways as possible, to see where the weirdnesses come in, to see where it falls apart a bit.

I think the reason I’m focusing on the other au pairs, is because the narrative has so much defensiveness to it – the way you talk about the amount of work you do, the extra things you do just to be kind etc. It gives me the sense that you want to prove you’re a *better* au pair than most – which is perfectly fine, only it makes me wonder if your host family have given you all these stories about selfish, terrible, lazy au pairs to push you to prove yourself – to push you to go above and beyond, and also to push you to accept some abusive behaviours?

I might be projecting, because I had an abusive family that did this.Talked about how lazy and awful their old au pairs were – talking about genuinely terrible things they “did” (which I now doubt), but then dropping in perfectly normal behaviours as if they were the same level of terrible – so that I wouldn’t, for example, ask to be paid when my money was late, or ask the kids not to go in my room when I wasn’t there.

In any case, all of that is beside the point, because the story as is, is a really horrible one, and this behaviour is abusive. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it!

UKAu Pair March 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm


I was thinking much the same as I read it. Very, very weird.

German Au-Pair March 7, 2015 at 3:50 pm

YES! Besides the story being terrible and the HP being incredibly immature, I also wondered about the tone of the email. I’m uncertain whether the Op is just very confident and aware of accomplishments (which is great) or if something brought on this defensive tone.
It is pretty clear that they think you are a great AP if they asked you to extend but the way you emphasize your perfomance almost makes me think they have made you feel like you constantly need to be good and better. Doing the parents’ laundry is NOT your job. It may be nice to do that occasionally and I would have thrown things in for my HP, too, but doing their laundry on a regular basis on top of your duties is NOT just going above and beyond, it’s letting them take advantage of you.

Not wanting to work 60 hours is not being lazy. And maybe that was the top of the iceberg of the problems the AP had with them. Seriously.
This reminds me of a friend’s HM who sent the AP to rematch because her child ate a whole bag of vitamin gummy bears and the AP apparently endangered her kid. Except the AP was playing with the other kid in another room while the Hm and her sister were in the same room with the kid. It was clearly HER fault and she blamed the AP for it. Surely this HM will also tell her next AP that her former AP “endangered the kid by letting him eat the whole bag” or whatever.

I say go and talk to them, tell them that you’re hurt about their behavior and that you need to figure out a way to deal with this together. If they are angry at you, fine. But for everyone’s sake -ESPECIALLY the kids!- they need to help you keep your relationship with the kids. You need to make them see that they cannot treat you like this because they can’t have their way and they also need to see that they are harming their children now and possibly their ability to form a bond with any new AP. They cannot want their kids to be unhappy and insecure about your relationship for the next 3 months.

cv harquail March 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Quick editorial comment here:
Keep in mind that the ‘tone of voice’ of an OP is not always easy to interpret correctly.
Folks are writing about emotional things,
often in the moment, and
often on the fly (e.g., on their phones).
Plus, people are often writing a a ‘second language’ challenge.

Then ADD the IMPORTANT fact that
I often edit out details or shorten descriptions.

While it’s tempting to infer details, motives, attitudes, etc. from the text, you may have no idea what information hasn’t been shared or has been removed.

That’s one key reason why we need to read for the ‘big picture’ problem. We can’t often help with the details because we can’t know them (anonymity issues) and of course we only have one person’s viewpoint.

Also, when the OP conveys something she was told, it might not be her mistake. Did the HM tell the OP that? Did the OP make a translation mistake? Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter — the previous ap showed bad judgment and rematch occurred, leaving the HP gunshy.

Extend the generous interpretation. ~ cv

AuPair Paris March 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Sorry – I wasn’t trying to be ungenerous! Just trying to figure out if the weird behaviour of the host-parents in this story is actually a pattern of manipulation/abuse, rather than a bizarre isolated incident. Not trying to distract from the fact that the story as told is not ok.

German-AP March 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm

What may matter though is that the AP may have been pushed to feel like she needs to try really hard to make things up and do stuff she really isn’t supposed to do (like parents’ laundry) and maybe even work more than she should (if an occasional 60 hr week is seen as okay). Not trying to nitpick here or anything but rather offer the OP a different perspective. The “tone” that I (and I assume also APP) was referring to was the detailed description of how helpful and above-and-beyond the AP was acting and that even with this unfair and mean behavior, the AP wants to be helpful and lovely for the HP. It seems to me like she really feels she needs to prove herself.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it abuse but the stories that have been told to her may have been a sign for how controlling they are which would match their behavior now.
Maybe I’m entirely wrong, but I do think the OP should review her situation and the HPs’ behavior keeping that possibility in mind. If only to see that she seems to be doing a great shop and should be able to stand her ground and confront the HP to find a solution for this situation together.

German Au-Pair March 8, 2015 at 6:46 am

Sorry, accidentally replied with a different username!

HRHM March 7, 2015 at 7:16 am

i see where APParis is coming from. Not that there aren’t APs that do outlandish things but watching porn in front of the kids? Really? And 60 hours of work IS too much, no matter the geographical location.

The fact is, they have finally found an AP who lets them abuse her without complaint. The fact that you are doing all this extra stuff (their laundry? cleaning the frig?) is not lost on them and the fact that their gig also is tough without all that (three kids, special needs, traveling parent plus you don’t mention location or other perks) makes it hard to find any AP, let alone one that picks up the slack of their housekeepers misses.

Your choices are 1) initiate rematch now 2) stay and tough it out, 3) ask the LCC to sit down with you all and see if you can work it out.

IMHO I don’t know how you will go back, now that the kids are involved. The parents may start acting right but the kids have been warped and it will take longer than you have left to get them back on track.

NewbieHM March 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

This is very unfair and cruel, even if you were a lazy and mediocre AP. I’m sorry you are going through that.
I don’t agree that you have no choice because you only have a few months left. Before my AP arrived I was looking for an AP with a few months left in their visa and there was nobody. Even the ones that had a few weeks left were taken really quickly. By the way, stop doing their laundry that’s not your job! If they have a bad housekeeper they should fire her and get someone else.
I wish you the best.

Mimi March 7, 2015 at 2:54 pm

It’s unfortunate you find yourself in this position. It seems the family doesn’t have a decent way of helping their children (or themselves) handle the prospect of a transition.

If you feel comfortable, sit down and tell them how this is making you feel. If you have a LCC and are comfortable getting them involved, even better. There is no reason you should be worried about matching with a new family, even for a short time. Many families (like me) are looking for short term in between long term situations. Don’t be afraid to end your relationship with this family, even if it means you might go home. This is an abusive relationship and dealing with removing yourself from it may be better experience for you in the grand scheme of things than toughing it out.

Good luck and keep us posted what you decide to do.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

This conversation has been pretty well hashed out with some good advice. However, I’d like to pose a slightly different scenario. It is possible that the HM has some sort of separation conflict, so that when she’s faced with “rejection” she needs to justify the “abandonment.” The resulting behavior, as described here, is emotionally damaging to the rest of the family. The OP, as much as she would like, cannot fix either the damage or what her HM is experiencing. I’d like to pose, given the circumstances, that the AP program is not appropriate for this family – if the kids have to put up with this borderline abusive behavior with each separation, instead of seeing goodbyes as an appropriate part of the process.

The OP has a choice – ask for a rematch or endure what’s left of her year. She seems to have sided with enduring it, so I’d offer a piece of advice. Tell the kids you will always keep them in your heart. When child #2 was small, each morning when I said goodbye and headed to work broke his heart, and so I would kiss him, and touch my heart, and tell him that I was keeping him in my heart until the end of my day when I saw him again.

TexasHM March 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm

++++++++ totally agreed!

Seattle Mom March 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

Yeah, that was in the back of my mind. This might be an unfixable problem. Well, get out of the AP program… get a nanny who can stay with the family for a long time.

Europair March 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm

I had a brilliant year with my family. When I had to leave to go back home we all were devastated. After a while I came back to visit them and stayed with them for a bit longer than a month. My HM had completely changed, she ignored me, didn’t talk to me and only communicated with me when she wanted to request something. Luckily she had changed after my aupair stay but still, was quite disappointing.

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