Hi, AuPairMom Readers–
We are a host family in a metropolitan suburb with two young boys. This is our fourth year hosting. Over the years, we have had 3 very successful matches and 2 rematches – a mixed bag. The good matches were very good, and those au pairs continue to visit us, and we are going to Germany in the fall for the wedding of our first au pair.
So, as host parents, we have had success with the program. Our rematches were for reasons unrelated to the problems we are currently having. Both were quite young, very homesick and unable to make friends here – long story.
Our current au pair is 20 years old and from Germany (all of our au pairs have been German). She arrived 4 weeks ago. I work part time outside the home and my husband works full time outside the home.
Our current problem is simple: Our au pair lied about smoking on her application and is drinking, possibly while using our car. During the interview process, we were clear – as we are every year – that smokers need not apply for the job. The agency listed her as a non-smoker and we interviewed her regarding the issue as well.
When she arrived, she reeked of cigarette smoke. The next day, I told her that I can tell that she smokes, and she told me it only on “special occasions” when out with friends, not regularly and that we will never smell it on her. However, every night after work she goes out for a half hour or hour drive and when she comes home, she smells strongly of smoke and so does the car, the bathroom, the laundry room where she leaves her clothes and of course her own room. I again confronted her and she said she would stop, but she has not.
I object not only to the disgusting smell, but also to the fact that she lied.
In addition, we were very clear that she should not drink while in the U.S. and if she is going to do so, to let us know and leave the car home. Today she admitted to me that she drives with her friend – another au pair who is 21 – to get beer regularly, but that only the friend drinks it, not her. K. says that when she wants to drink, she makes sure the friend drives her.
I do not believe for one minute that the au pair drives her friend to get beer and sits around while her friend drinks, not having any. She swears this is true, but since she lied about the smoking, I don’t buy it.
Aside from this, there are other issues with her (such as a 40 minute Skype video conference with her friends when she was supposed to be watching our 4 year old), but there are positives as well. She is an independent, energetic, happy person and the kids like her.
I confronted her this morning and am more or less getting the “silent treatment” right now.
How can I learn to trust her, or determine whether or not she is being truthful?
Am I making too much of this? Any suggestions welcome. Thanks very much. -Greenacres
Here are my two words of advice:
Other parents? Other suggestions? Jump on in!
Unauthorised by Arty Smokes on Flickr