Dear Au Pair Mom — I have been an avid reader of your blog for awhile now and absolutely love the invaluable information and tips I have learned from it.
I’m not entirely sure this is an issue but I think it has the potential to become one so I guess I’m just putting some feelers out there to see if I could do something to nip it in the bud or if you think I’m just overreacting.
Our au pair has been with us for just over 4 months now. She is 24 years old and enjoys the frequent gin & tonic, vodka mixer and wine.
I have no idea how much alcohol she consumes when she is out on the weekend with her au pair friends and I feel it’s not my business to ask her as long as she is safe and doesn’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The problem is there has been three nights within the past two weeks where DH and I either went out to dinner (our anniversary) or were running late with work so our au pair was in charge of dinner, baths and pajamas. When I returned home each of these nights, there was an open bottle of wine on the counter and the au pair has been consuming a glass.
Now to be objective, each time, it was around 6-7.30 pm time slot. I can imagine she’d had a glass of wine to wind down her day and/or to accompany her dinner.
On the other hand, I feel it’s completely within my right to ask her not to drink when she is on duty.
Our Au Pair has never been ‘drunk’ or unable to care for the kids, but my concern is that alcohol can alter judgement. Ultimately I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a childcare giver to drink wine when she’s in charge of the kids.
My DH sees this as less of an issue than I do, perhaps because it’s only happened the three times out of her four months here. At the same time, I wonder whether the Au Pair has also been drinking other evenings when we have left her in charge of the kids at night.
I’m not sure if I’m making a big deal out of this or not.