Departure Gift Ideas– For Not-So-Great Au Pair

by cv harquail on October 15, 2013

“We only have to endure our au pair for 6 more weeks!”, writes a Host mom.”

Yes, endure. Very long story, but we have had a mediocre au pair for the past 10 + months. She only wants to party, lies consistently, does not respect curfew, treats our children like potato sacks, and I have caught her complaining that she hates our family and that her situation is a “disaster”

4177137089_a55ebf7b4cI should also add that she was unable to care for our children and we had to hire a full time nanny to take care of our children.

We did meet about re-matching twice, yep twice. And met with the LCC. But, because this was our first experience with an au pair, and because I am a weenie and caved when our au pair cried, we decided to let our au pair stay with us and we have put up with her.

We pay for a monthly transportation card for her which she uses for personal use, and we pay for her cell phone and calling/internet plan. Both together cost $155/month (in additional to the weekly stipend and room and board of course.)

Now, since we aren’t really on great terms, and I already feel that we have spent so much money on her, I’m not sure what to do about the departure gift that so many families have posted about.

I don’t really want to give her photos/crafts from the kids, as she has told our nanny and her friends that she can’t stand us. We don’t really feel like giving her cash because we feel like she’s already cost us so much money.

What kind of parting gift would work?

Thanks in advance!  ~Almost there

Image: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by jessica wilson {jek in the box


Anna October 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Don’t give her a parting gift, it is not a requirement. I am sure she is not going to give you any.

BBBG October 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Why is she still in your home? Say bye bye, and let her know she still needs to vaccuum her room and clean the toilet before she goes.

Marília October 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

This is really sad. I’m so responsable person with a great academic and child experience, I’m christian, I don’t drink, I don’t go to parties and the agency – Cultural Care – just said that they can’t put me in because I don’t drive. I’m so sad about this, cuz a lot of girls have this amazing experience and they just don’t make this works.

LookingForwardToBeAP October 17, 2013 at 8:04 am

You should try other agencies!! There are many families that don’t require you to drive! I know Au Pair Care allows you to register without a driver’s license, but you have to be IQ. Good Luck!

Host Mom in the City October 17, 2013 at 9:14 am

We’re a host family that doesn’t require a driver. Actually we’d prefer if she didn’t, would be a lot easier. Try another agency! APIA has a toggle for host families that says “would you consider a non-driver” or something like that, so I’m assuming they have some candidates that don’t.

hOstCDmom October 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

I read somewhere that it is a State Dept requirement that the AP have a license- anyone else heard that? (I will ck the US reg’s later when I have a chance!)

amelie October 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

It is not a state department requirement.

I was an au pair in 2009 with CC in 2009 and I dont have a license.

I found my family on Great Au Pair, and they didnt need a driver. They sent an email to CC explaining they didnt need a driver, so CC would let me in the program. They accepted me, but made it clear that most families require a driver, and that I eould have problems if I went into remarch (which thankfully didnt happen).

Multitasking Host Mom October 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

When I signed up with Go Aupair a couple years ago, I checked the box that I didn’t need my au pair to drive as part of her child care duties. The first five au pairs they sent me to review did not have a driver’s license, so it must be possible with some agencies. There are like 12 or 13 au pair agencies now in the US , so check them all to see if they will take you before you give up. That being said, I would think most host families would need a driver even if it is not for driving their kids, but to get to classes, cluster meetings, etc. , so it might take you a lot longer than normal to find the right family.

Host Mom in the City October 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

While I completely agree that most families are going to want a driver, it could also be a plus since there are so few non-driving au pairs. I mentioned we are a host family that doesn’t need a driver for the job, and I’m sure there are more of us out there. And if I could find an au pair that didn’t even want to drive at all, that would eliminate a lot of the year’s frustration and expense surrounding car use! When we looked this past year, I didn’t see any au pairs that didn’t drive. And I did look specifically for non-driving au pairs for a bit. We’re out there!

Skny October 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Host mom in the city, how is public transportation in your area? Can your au pair still socialize, go to meetings, classes, etc without a car? (Asking because where we live the au pair would be 100% dependent on us. We have had ap who was a terrible driver and it was a pain.

Host Mom in the City October 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

We live in a city (obviously lol) and take the bus and/or train literally every day ourselves. We live right by a bus stop and a half mile walk to the train stop. We have tons of restaurants and bars within a few minutes walk. When I meet my friends out or when we go on dates, we walk or bus. So I’m in a different situation than many.

Skny October 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

Ok, in your case I wouldn’t offer a car even for drivers. In our area is really not an option. As much as id like to save in extra car mantenance, insurance, and stress of a young driver going out and about in our car.
But I always feel bad for au pairs who live in suburbs and are not allowed access to a vehicle. They are usually stuck home…

Host Mom in the City October 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

Skny, I completely agree. We do have an old car that we use for long weekend trips mostly and our au pair drives that one with the kids during the week and she takes it out a few evenings a week too because she’s more of a car person than we are.

I think it works to apply the “don’t ask your AP to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself” rule. Would I take the bus to a friend’s house? Do I take the bus when I go into town? Could I get everywhere I need to go with public transportation? If you don’t ever take the bus yourself, I don’t think it’s really fair to expect your au pair to. Like I said, I am literally on the bus or the train almost every single day. So I am more than comfortable asking our au pair to do the same.

It is a life-style choice though – yes, it’s usually faster to drive somewhere even where we are. Yes, it’s annoying to wait 15 minutes for the bus. Yes, you have to check the weather and make sure you have an umbrella in case it rains and you’re out walking. There are many au pairs who won’t put up with those inconveniences, and that’s why we try to be very clear about our situation.

Emerald City HM October 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

HMitC – I do mostly agree with you on the “don’t ask your au pair to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself”, but we did make exceptions. We didn’t need a driver when we just had one child, so we didn’t want to pay to put them on insurance just so they could drive the car in their personal time. At the time though, we were more than willing to drive them places (because it’s easy enough to put one child in a car to drop the au pair off somewhere), or my son could drive them, or they could take the bus. Do we take the bus? Not really, but mostly because when I’m out, I tend to be running errands like shopping for the family. Would I take the bus to visit a friend? Maybe, we used to take the bus when we didn’t have kids, but I probably would not do that now. Particularly with two kids. So it’s a little different. Depending on the time of day and day of the week it’s actually more expensive for our family to take the public transportation than it is paying for parking and gas (I realize wear and tear on the car and insurance isn’t factored into this, but we already own the cars for getting to and from work, so it’s a cost we pretty much have to pay anyway). Anyway, my point is, when we were a childless couple we absolutely took the bus and/or walked even to do some errands, but now with two kids under 3, I probably wouldn’t do that. Even for local events, we really could take the bus, because it is a straight shot, but it would cost us $8 to travel about 8 miles to go to and from our local library as a family. $12 if we take our au pair with us.

Do I expect the au pair to schlep two kids on a bus to take them to story time? Not really, at their ages right now anyway, that too much of a pain in the rear. However, IF she is a terrible driver, I absolutely will not hesitate to pull access to the car and she can walk or take the bus with the girls.

Should be working October 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I don’t use the “would you HPs do what you are asking the AP to do” rubric. The AP is in a totally different place in life, income, and status. They aren’t her cars, we let her use them, maybe. Yes we ourselves would not deal with that inconvenience. But she can handle the inconvenience because that’s the deal with us. It’s not that all our stuff belongs to all of us equally in the family, and it’s not that the value of our time is measured on the same scale.

Host Mom in the City October 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Emerald City HM – I actually do agree with you and I should clarify. I am against a host parent not allowing access to a car when they live where there is no viable public transportation and they are not willing to chauffeur an appropriate amount of time. A young adult is going to want to go out with her friends on Saturday night – are you really going to pick her up in the city at 2am every Saturday night? If not or if you’re going to act like that’s a big burden to you to do even occasionally, you should probably consider allowing car access or perhaps providing a taxi stipend or SOMETHING.

But that said, when public transportation truly is available, I do think that a young, single adult in what is frequently her first real job can (for lack of a better word), suck it up a bit. Particularly when you’re talking about spending someone else’s money. Or at the very least, being appreciative of car use and not acting like it’s an entitlement when other options are clearly available.

Although honestly both my kids are better behaved on a bus than they are in the car, I can see how schlepping two kids on a 15-minute bus ride to the grocery store that would take 5 minutes driving) and back is more of a burden than asking a 20 year old to meet her friends out for dinner on the bus rather than taking the car. Or even for a parent going out on a dinner date themselves to take the bus – a parent who probably has a limited amount of time until the babysitter is off duty is probably going to want to spend as little time and effort in commuting as humanly possible, and is entitled to use the car that he or she paid for. In contrast, an au pair can spend 15 additional minutes on a bus ride instead of taking the car and bundle up a bit and it doesn’t make much of a difference.

We’ve talked about car expenses before and I don’t think either of my au pairs have had any idea how much more it costs a host family to offer car use. Heck, our last au pair had no idea how much anything cost – resulting in her being really aggravated at us when we wouldn’t keep the AC down to meat locker temperature because that’s where she was totally comfortable (added $100 a month extra to our electric bills this summer!).

Anyway, I’m rambling. Yes, Emerald City HM – I agree with you. The “do I take the bus daily myself” test doesn’t completely apply.

Host Mom in the City October 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Should be Working – I think we were posting at the same time. I like the way you put it – that the ap is “in a totally different place in life, income, and status,” and that that inequality means that an au pair can be asked to do things differently than the host parents to a degree. It’s like TV watching. We don’t allow our au pair to have the kids watch TV at all while she’s on duty. We do personally let the kids watch TV for a bit every Sunday morning. Looks “hypocritical” on its face, I guess, but a mature au pair will understand the difference.

Skny October 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm

It is not as simple though. Depending on where you live a trip to the pharmacy or store for female pads can take hrs.
One of our au pairs (an extension one) always talked about how she would work sat morning until 12 and then from 4 to 10. She was allowed to go out and meet friends during those 4 HS, but had a 20 min walk to bus station, and after walking to bus station, waiting for bus, taking bus to wherever friends were, it was already time to return to work. So she felt she could never do anything on Saturdays.

Momma Gadget October 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

” the ap is “in a totally different place in life, income, and status,” and that that inequality means that an au pair can be asked to do things differently than the host parents to a degree ” . I completely agree!After overhearing some other APs complaining about the fairness of HPs, this has really struck a nerve for me.
We ask the AP not to have the kids watch too much TV- though we allow them to watch more. None of my bosses have ever allowed me watch TV or chat for hours on the phone with my friends while they are paying me to work either. When we HPs get home we have already worked an 8-12 hr day plus commuted 1-3 hours. It is our prerogative to
let our children watch TV while we grab a bite to eat, throw a load of laundry in, email the teachers, or god forbid actually have an adult conversation with our spouse.
We assume huge liability, cost and inconvenience should something should happen to one of our cars. So we take the cars beyond the local 15 mile radius, out of state,on an overnight trip, or into the NYC on a weekend. Our AP may not. If they want to do any of these things, they can arrange to have a friend drive, take public transport to the city, or rent a car. We allow the AP to use our cars locally , since other than NYC commuter trains/buses , local transportation is non existent in our suburb. We don’t even have school busing! Some APs have earned the right to longer distance trips and an occasional over nighter- but this is a privilege, not an entitlement. We learned after our 1st AP to be crystal clear about this.
We follow the program rules. We treat our APs kindly, fairly, and thoughtfully. But they do not have equal entitlements, anymore than our children do/will.

Host Mom X October 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

We also look for non-driving au pairs for the same reason – we live in a city with great public transportation, which we ourselves rely on for the most part. Cuts out a whole lot of the headache to not have to deal with the driving aspect. We have realized that even if an au pair’s application says “driver,” there are signals that she is not really a driver (e.g. date license received is a few months ago; AP lives in a city where driving is less common; AP notes that her family does not own a car and she drives her “aunt’s” car or something like that). When we then tell the AP with those kinds of “signals” during the interview that we neither provide car access nor require a driver, we usually hear a sigh of relief. And this is often a good way to get a great au pair who might otherwise have been quickly snatched up; other families pass on the non-driving au pair because they need a driver, and we benefit!

Host Mom in the City October 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

This is making me sad that we didn’t look harder for a non-driver this year! Our current au pair arrived two weeks ago, and I’m feeling good about things, but from an overall level it would make it way easier (and save money) to just have a non-driver. Oh well, maybe next time.

Host Mom X October 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

HMitC – we didn’t look THAT hard for a non-driver, but it certainly factored into our scrutiny of applications. I’m sure it will be okay if your new AP is a good apple! Our best AP was an experienced driver, but at the time we hosted her we lived in a city with even BETTER public transportation than our current city, and where car ownership was not common (I’m sure you can guess – I think it’s the only city in the U.S. where car ownership is less common than non-car ownership). We had a car, but we did not offer use to the AP, and she never, EVER expressed resentment. (But really, using a car in that city was harder than using public transportation – no parking, etc. Our current city has great public transport, but using a car is frequently more convenient. Even so, I am positive that AP would not have complained. And it’s also possible that at some point, after realizing her responsibility level, we may have chosen to add her to the insurance and give her car access. But anyway, our first AP in this new city did not drive, so we didn’t confront the issue, and our upcoming AP does not drive either, so if she works out – we will be lucky to have dodged that bullet completely thus far.)

Taking a Computer Lunch October 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Realistically, while some agencies allow you to register without being a driver, very few families in the United States will consider non-driving APs (yes, I know there are families on this list that don’t need a driver). The United States made a decision in the 1950s to fund Interstates, as a means of national defense, at the expense of public transportation networks. With the exception of the major cities it may be very difficult to go from point A to point B without a car.

Many of us are fussy about the APs we will consider. I, for one, look closely at when the license was acquired. If the candidate earned her license weeks before submitting her application, I don’t look any further. I don’t need a beginning driver (btdt).

There are agencies that will consider non-drivers. APIA is one. If you apply to be an AP through one of them, then I recommend asking HFs very specific questions about access to public transportation. You don’t want to find yourself trapped in a house at the mercy of your HF and friends for a lift!

Should be working October 18, 2013 at 1:05 am

I gotta ask: what do freeways do for national defense?

Taking a Computer Lunch October 18, 2013 at 6:41 am

It allows the military to transport troops and supplies quickly. That was the reason for the infusion of millions of dollars into building and maintaining the federal highway system. Of course that was before airplanes could do it more quickly and cheaply. History lesson over, but it might help APs understand why public transport in the US is so miserable, especially outside the major cities.

LookingForwardToBeAP October 19, 2013 at 2:03 am

It does help!! Since I read about the lack of public transport I have been wondering about it, thanks! =)

Seattle Mom October 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

And I thought it was a GM conspiracy…

Skny October 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Agree. And being from a third world country, I could never imagine public transportation In US was so bad. Most au pairs can’t grasp it until they get here. Even in a rural town in my home country there is public transportation. Efficient. Maybe not the nicest bus, or safest ride, but you can get anywhere, even at night time. Not in US. You may have to walk a lot to get to the one bus stop, and the bus may run only every hour…

Host Mom in the City October 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Agree that this is true out of the cities. But it does bug me when people in my city say the public transportation sucks or it’s too inconvenient for them. It doesn’t and it’s not, it’s just that people have this “I’m too good for the bus” thing in their heads or “I need to get there fast and on my own timeline” thing. I am always shocked at the number of people on my street who never take the bus anywhere – our bus system goes anywhere and everywhere. Yes, it takes a little longer as I mentioned. It takes a commitment. But people don’t even try.

So I will say that I completely agree with you that in much of the US, there is no viable public transportation. But if you’re in or very near a city, chances are there are perfectly fine options for getting around if you just put forth a little extra effort (of course, all this is assuming you are physically capable of taking the bus).

Seattle Mom October 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

That was the amazing thing about my Peace Corps experience- I am from NYC, and I would say that the bus system was far more extensive and convenient in my little village 2 hours from the capital city in the West African country where I lived than in the neighborhood in which I grew up, which is <10 miles from Manhattan.

I can see how someone who grew up somewhere like the country where I lived as a PCV would not be prepared for how abysmal the public transportation is in 98% of the USA. They would think, "Oh, I'll just say I know how to drive, but I'm sure I can just take the bus once I'm there." HA!

We actually have decent bus service in our neighborhood. There's even a new bus line that runs at least every 15 minutes during "waking" hours, and at least every 30 minutes in the dead of the night. I know this is unusual. It's a new thing (about a year old), and it has been great for our au pairs.

Emerald City HM October 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm

They did really beef up the bus system down here too (south of Seattle). A bus comes by every 30 minutes now, instead of every hour. Also, night busses are every hour instead of every two. So that has helped a lot. Even our current au pair, that does drive, drives the 5 minutes to the new transit center, parks and then takes to bus to downtown, or even over to Bellevue.

But, it does still take an hour to get to the mall instead of 10-15 minutes driving because of the incontinent times an paths.

I do really wish the light rail were also more useful. I still do not understand why they didn’t elevate it and instea chose to put it at street level and make it run really slow.

Emerald City HM October 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm


Seattle Mom October 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

That’s really weird. We’re with Cultural Care and I have come across non-drivers on the website. But I did notice that they were from certain countries, so maybe it depends on what country you are from. I’ve noticed that there are non-drivers from countries where there are not a lot of AP candidates. I interviewed someone who was listed as a “non-driver” but she had actually been driving (on a learner’s permit) for a year and was in the process of getting her license.

We would be OK with a non-driver, since the bus system is good in our area and our preschool is within walking distance of our house. DH and I both take the bus to work every day. But some things are easier to do with a car, especially with 2 small children. We do expect the AP to take the bus on the weekend, for the most part.

Jo December 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Don’t give up! APIA helped me to find a family who did not require me to drive. Although, I still took a driving course in my home country in case I would need it too. I did not drive their kids but I was able to use their vehicle to go to school, my group meetings and to my church. I come from a country where we only use public transportation, so when knowing that in America and specially the state where I was coming, driving is a requirement, I saved to pay for the course. I was scared though but I thank to the HF who always encouraged me to drive at least for my own personal activities like the ones I mentioned above.

Liz October 15, 2013 at 11:15 pm

How did you put up with her for that long?! That is a real shame. I’m an Au pair ATM myself and I couldn’t even imagine being like that. I wouldn’t give her a leaving gift, just get her out of your house!

Should be working October 16, 2013 at 1:03 am

Two choices:

With six more weeks and you paying a nanny, you can go into rematch. Why pay her $1200 more dollars when you have a nanny? You already had mediation, so it should be possible.

OR you keep her the last 6 weeks and (in my sucker’s way) give her a book about your city or a paperweight or something. I would feel the need to model for my kids how to say a proper good-bye, including the crappy gift. But don’t spend much money or especially time on it.

Aussie Au-Pair October 16, 2013 at 3:50 am

Give her a pat on the back and say you hope she gets an au pair as dreadful as her for the day when she has kids.
Kidding (ish).
Get her a calendar of your city/state for next year – but not an expensive one, a cheap crappy one – so that all of next year shell be reminded of you :)

DCBurbTwinMomma October 16, 2013 at 4:29 am

Basically you’ve hosted a petulant foreign exchange student instead if having an au pair and now you want to reward her with a gift? At most, I would give a simple card with “good luck” written inside. Even that makes me feel like it’s too much.

Momma Gadget October 17, 2013 at 9:39 am

how about “Good Luck, You’ll need it”

WestMom October 16, 2013 at 6:18 am

Wow! This sounds unbearable. Does she have her ticket yet? If she doesn’t, I would make sure her departure is as soon as possible. My LLC mentioned that it’s ok for an au pair to leave about month early without any program consequences. Under these circumstances, I would Let her go as soon as possible.

Also, I would set pre-departure expectations: clean your room, start packing early, make sure you leave nothing here (they always do bc they don’t have enough room in their suitcases to bring everything back). End cell phone privileges early and sit down to discuss if she owes you anything (long distance charges? International texting?).

Also discuss how she plans to go to the airport. Personally  I would not go out of my way to give her a ride.
A gift? If you really want to take the high road, I would give a card made by and signed by my kids. Sounds like she will probably grow it in the trash anyway! Maybe the message should say: ‘Don’t let the door hit ya on your way out!’

WoodlandsMom October 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

Why is she still there especially with a nanny? Spending an extra $1000 for someone who I couldn’t or needed would be unbearable. I would get her out early and end cell phone priveledges. That alone would probably prompt her to want to leave. Yep, a book or cheap trinket from your city is plenty. Good luck!

Skny October 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

Agree on let her go! I would never pay a nanny and keep a terrible au pair. If anything I’d get a good decent au pair (they are out there!! Many) and save on headache AND nanny.
Think of what you could be Doing with $1200!! In my household a lot!
Either way, if you do let her end her term, I would give a card. Or something as insignificant. I had a so-so au pair leave us half through her term to get married. The get married did not bother me as much as the terrible care she provided to my children on her last 4 weeks. They basically spent time in front of the tv while she planned the wedding. She’d forget snack, give breakfast close to 11…
In the end I took vacation time and sent her to her future husband 2 weeks earlier (while we waited for new au pair). My kids didn’t deserve to be treated like that. So THE KIDS would have closure, at dinner on her last night we gave her a card with an inexpensive book about marriage

Skny October 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

In between, the au pair who came after that one was a rematch au pair who became the best au pair in the universe. We LOVED her. I even offered her to stay on student visa/etc. she had to return home, but she got a big good bye bonus, and open invite to return.
so again, there are great au pairs out there. Sorry you got stuck with a terrible one!

Taking a Computer Lunch October 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

I must admit, I agree with the others above, that your best parting gift would be to say goodbye to her now, since you’re already paying for a nanny!

Do have the “getting ready to go” conversation with her now – even if you continue to host her until the end of her year. You’ll want her to a) clean her room before she leaves, b) if you’ve provided her with a cell phone – empty the messages, photos, and reset all the settings to default (we tell the outgoing AP to leave our work numbers and child’s cell phone number in the phone so the next AP does not have to input them), c) go to the post office and provide a forwarding address and also give you a forwarding address for the mail that continues to come, d) close her bank account, e) return everything to the library, and f) talk to the LCC about what else she needed to do before ending her year. Follow up with a message to the LCC asking if she has been contacted. Since she’s not working, then it’s hard to ask her to continue working well with the kids because they’re going to miss her.

That being said, we recently said goodbye to a mediocre AP (not as bad as yours – she did provide good basic care for my special needs child that allowed her to stay in our house rather than waiting 6 weeks for an out-of-country replacement). I did give her “the box” but instead of spending $150 on airmail, I had it shipped back slowly. We did not do a family picture, as she was out the door the minute she was off for the last 7 months she was with us. I did give her a card, but I figured the box was her goodbye gift. Oh, and she left our house the minute her year was up because I told her that we had a no guest policy for the basement playroom, which was not entirely true, but I didn’t want to host her parties in a room right next to the new AP’s bedroom.

A great au pair, gets the following things from us – a family picture with us, a picture of the kids together, an airmailed box, a $100 gift certificate for her favorite restaurant so she can have a fun evening with friends, the right to host a goodbye party with us out of the house, a family dinner where she gets to call the menu, the right to return for several days after traveling during her travel month so she may repack and say goodbye, and a trip to the airport with as many friends who want/are able to pile in the van. I’ve even driven other friends to the airport heading home when their own HF wouldn’t/couldn’t do it for them. Finally, they have an open invitation to return – I’ve even hosted some of their friends who were making their way through the country. The mediocre APs never know what they are missing.

Host Mom in the City October 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

Wow OP. I thought we had had a bad year. Probably funny coming from me since we also should have rematched months and months ago, but why on earth are you not saying goodbye to her RIGHT NOW. I thought I was a pushover – but at least my au pair was still safely watching my kids and being polite to us right up until the end. If she’s not even working and you know she’s disparaging you guys right and left, please please please send her home immediately. I don’t even understand this a little bit – she’s not even working, but she’s still living in your home, you’re still paying her her stipend PLUS a transportation and cell phone amount? And you feel like you need to just live with that for six more weeks?

Do not spend a minute thinking about a gift! If you must keep her on for some strange reason that I don’t understand, you can be perfectly polite and still let her know that her move out date is X, say goodbye, and that’s that.

We had a mediocre au pair that just left, but she wasn’t nearly as bad as yours sounds. I was counting down the last few months and definitely should have rematched. I realized towards the end that when you pay $200/week instead of the mandated $195.75, that ends up being an extra $250 or so for the year! So I mentally counted that as as much as I would ever spend on her goodbye gift and just made her her favorite dinner, gave her a framed photo of all of us together, and drove her to the airport. And that was that.

Sad because with our last au pair I did much more and we had a tearful goodbye. A goodbye gift is absolutely not required – and really, she dislikes you so much already, why do you care if she dislikes you even more when you don’t give her anything?

Momma Gadget October 16, 2013 at 10:33 am

I agree with the others. Send her to the LCs if she can’t go home right away. Use the money you saved to have her space cleaned, fumigated & smudged of all evil vibes; because you know she will do a crappy job cleaning it anyway.

I think you should give her something really practical and easy to transport home.. like a giant ornately carved marble garden fountain. LOL! ( well, my evil side me would consider it …)

The passive aggressive side of me would get her a card, and a generous donation to a children’s charity in her name.

In the end my decent person side always wins out… After all, as the “adult”, I need to set an example for my children. We would give her a card, and a small token, like a scrap book, or a book about the city. I would have the kids also get her some small token- a t shirt with their team logo and maybe a care package of travel necessities for her trip home.

If I had childcare back up I would not continue to host her, or pay for the phone etc. If I had no choice but to keep her till the (bitter) end, I would grin and bear it..high road, high road, high road. I would probably do a small farewell pizza party with family and maybe a couple of her close friends. One of us would drive her to the airport, and slow down enough for her to jump out with her baggage.(JK)

Our successful APs had the choice of having a party at our house, or going out to a nice restaurant with us and their best friends. We give them an extra week stipend,& from the kids a memento like jewelry, Or a nice engraved key chain for the bro pairs, and a shutterfly photo book of the things we all did together.
We take them to the airport,help them check in, and give them a tearful send off, with all the best wishes for the next chapter of their life. They are now considered part of our family( like it or not!) and are always welcome to come back. We have kept in touch with all 3 via email, FB and Skype. We are even helping our last bro-pair find an internship here in his field of study for next summer.

So Far, we re-matched in the beginning with the 2 APs that did not work out. The one mediocre AP was with us about 4 months, and it was also her Birthday around the time she was leaving us for to go to another family. We gave her a small, party with her best friend, her favorite triple chocolate Ice cream cake and some small but thoughtful gifts.The other AP tried very hard but was just a complete mismatch. She went to another family after the first month. We gave her a starbucks card and a hug. I haven’t had an AP that I was unhappy with, yet kept the whole year, so please forgive me if my post is a little more cavalier than is appropriate. I’m sure it is a tough battle between what the OP feels is the right thing to do and what she feels the lackluster AP really deserves after such a long stint.

Seattle Mom October 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

We also gave a gift to our AP who we rematched with ASAP, right after New Year’s. She spent Christmas Day with us and I got her a nice gift that I knew she would enjoy- she seemed a bit surprised that I took care with her gift. Part of the reason I did that was that she was still taking care of our kids, and I wanted to keep morale as high as possible while we were in transition. She wasn’t lazy or unsafe, just cold as a dead fish. She also got us & the children gifts.

Hayley October 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

It’s true that you can encourage your AP to leave early (up to 30 days, at least in the case of CCAP). We did this with our mediocre AP #2, but it does need to be with mutual consent, and since she’s getting such a sweet free ride and probably sees her friendships as the lone upside to her AP year, you may have some trouble getting her to leave early.

You’re likely to do much better with your next AP (we did, for sure – our best AP followed the AP I just mentioned), but if she’s not – don’t settle again and white-knuckle out the rest of the year while paying for a nanny on top of it all. You deserve satisfaction, and if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids. Trust me, your AP is not *more* grateful to you because you stuck it out with her.

Runner Mom October 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

We had a similar situation, and–as much as I kind of felt like a sucker for still providing a nice departure dinner and gifts after knowing how horribly we had been treated in return–I did it, anyway.

First, I wanted to take the high road. Even though she didn’t deserve anything after badmouthing us to anyone who would listen, that’s kind of the definition of the high road.

Second, I thought that, maybe after the separation of time and distance, there would be a relationship worth salvaging. It’s easy to get irritable with each other at the end, but you often have genuinely fond memories that outlast the bad ones after some time apart. In our case, we didn’t end up staying in touch and there were no warm fuzzies after some time apart, but I am glad I can say I did what I could to make it possible–I didn’t want to share any responsibility in ending that relationship that might still have some value after some distance and time away.

For our gifts, we did personal things–photos, gifts we knew she would enjoy using at home, and some gift cards. We probably spent $150, whereas we would have ordinarily spent more. (I know–suckers.) I’m still glad I did it.

Better luck with the next one–I promise things can be really good with someone who is better.

Should be working October 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Two great au pairs left 30 days early in our case, their own request met with our happy agreement, because we were leaving for summer travel and would have had to pay her and she would have been alone in our empty house. So the 30-day-early thing is not just for bad au pairs!

BKK October 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I’m the OP – thank you everyone. I guess since it’s my first time and I was SO excited to have an AP I really did not know what to expect. I read a lot of wonderful stories about warm caring and hard working APs who fit rit into the family, and I have really been hoping to have that experience the whole year. And I suffer from this horrible problem where I try really hard to get people to like me, and have been trying too hard in a hopelesss situation. I was reading up on preparation for departure and there were so many nice stories about great experiences and what gift to get your departing AP. I know our AP expects a gift because she already told me about the great gifts her AP friends got from there HF, so that started the whole thought process. But now I don’t feel so guilty for not getting her anything. We’ve gotten her little gifts from our trips and our oldest daughter told us later she just threw them away.

Also I have been puzzled this whole time about why we could not rematch – we actually met with the LCC and BOTH of us wanted to rematch. I still cannot recall how it happened – because it happened so fast, but somehow our LCC convinced us to stick together and work out out. Beyond me – I still cannot believe I let this happen. Then I read somewhere that they might be paid by comission? Anyone had a similar experience? We would have ALL (AP inluded) been so much happier with a rematch.

We are looking for a new AP and believe me we have been asking so many questions and calling references! I think the candidates are getting annoyed I keep asking so many questions but this time I am experienced!!

Thanks everyone!

Momma Gadget October 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

BKK- it sounds like this was an exhausting experience. There is always some Give & Take- but that’s supposed to be a 2way street! you shouldn’t be the one giving all the time! Our first AP experience was similar ( though not nearly as bad)except we have an awesome supportive LC.
Our 2nd au pair was so awsome that she cemented our belief in
this program for life, and she won our agencies au pair of the year.

It doesn’t sound like your LC was supportive at all! I hope in addition to searching for a new AP, you are looking at different agencies- you can interview their LCs too.

This program is not perfect, but it can be extemely rewarding with the right match-

It sounds You’ve done more than your fair share, and neither your AP or your LC have stepped up to the plate.You and your child/ren deserve better! They deserve a caring,responsible engaged AP, and a non-exhausted/stressed mommy.

Cut the AP and that Agency loose! It is not your responsibility what happens to them afterward. There are consequences for every action (or inaction in this case) and they need to deal with the results of their poor preformance.

I would caution you in your interviews to focus more on what you want and need in an au pair, rather than focusing on the failures of your current incompetent AP. It is great to ask a lot of questions, just make sure they help you find a match for your specific needs, and not just someone who is different from your soon to be ex-AP

Chin up & Good Luck!!!!

Should be working October 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Good point. Somewhere there was a post about that phenomenon where you over-focus on the things that made the previous match work/fail when looking at candidates, instead of getting the overall picture. “Experience distortion” or something like that. I almost matched once with an AP who reminded me so much of our favorite AP. But fortunately a contrast with another candidate helped me to see that she was not very energetic and introverted. Her family structure and even hairstyle got me reminded of the beloved AP. Missed a bullet on that one, I imagine.

BKK October 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Sorry one more question – because I did talk to LCC again this Monday. Maybe it’s not my concern, but our AP wants to do her travel month. She gave me the guilt trip that if AP left early may not be able to do travel month. Experience, thoughts?

Skny October 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

Sorry. Too bad for her. If the agency wants you to host again they will figure out what to do with the au pair. Her problem, not yours.
AND I usually defend au pairs because I used to be one (before marrying, kids, etc etc).
Au pair will lose her 30 days trip? Not your problem again. You deserve more, your kids deserve more. And if this is how your lcc is dealing with it you might want to look for other agencies in your area. Or ask the lcc if the agency can reimburse you for nanny you are paying while you keep an au pair that can’t work.
Doesn’t matter how I look at it, you are better off without this au pair

WestMom October 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

This might actually be your salvation. I would tell LCC that she has to be out of your house by the last date of her program (it’s actually 51 weeks FYI). Couldn’t she start traveling now? When we had an overlap with a departing and arriving AP a few years ago, LCC told us it was ok to tell departing AP that she would need to start her travel month 2 weeks early.

Host Mom in the City October 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

I completely 100% understand wanting people to like you and not wanting to mean and questioning whether I’m being fair, etc. I am totally that person and I suffered for it this year. I was afraid to speak up when I wasn’t happy with something because I was afraid our AP wouldn’t think I was a great host mom. I was afraid to speak up because I wasn’t sure I was being reasonable. I get it.

But OP, this is beyond unacceptable. Are you seriously paying a nanny full-time and just letting this au pair live in your house, continuing to pay her stipend and cell phone bill? Seriously? And your LCC is OK with this?

You need to tell them that she is out of your house by such and such a date and it’s completely on the LCC and the au pair to figure out what to do about it. Sounds like you’ve given the au pair more than enough chances to fulfill the basic requirements of her job and she’s refused to change. Not your issue anymore. Change agencies and move on.

Momma Gadget October 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

WOW! Your LC sounds like a lazy master manipulator! You’ve already given your AP a long all expense paid, paid vacation at your home. If the LC is so concerned about the APs travel month, then she should host her for the remainder of her time, or find another family to do so. This is part of her job…. that your agency fees paid for! She has done you and your AP both a major disservice, by not honoring your mutual request to rematch.
The blame for this debacle falls squarely on her shoulders.

As SKNY put it-not your problem!

You sound like a very nice person. You have more than fulfilled your end of the bargain.You need to do what is best for your family and your own sanity. If you cut this AP loose, you will still be a nice person…and the sooner you can give a more deserving AP a chance at an awesome year.

DarthaStewart October 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

It sounds like a pretty nightmarish situation to me. Mediocre, I might tolerate, because honestly it can be expensive to rematch, in terms of emotion, time, energy, and money. So, you have to weigh those factors in. But it sounds like she’s not doing much for you anyways?

Seattle Mom October 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

How about a bag of dog poop?

Aussie mum October 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

The parting gift I would suggest is kick her out now so she learns an important life lesson re consequences of bad behaviour.

Emerald City HM October 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm

It’s not just $1200 in stipend, it’s also the $155 a month on cell phone and personal transportation. The extra food, water, heat, etc.

Is she working at all (child related chores, babysitting in the evening, anything at all)? Or are you just paying her to be a guest in your house?

maggie October 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I am an avid Emily Post believer, but trust me on this one – give her nothing and send her home early.
Be done already.

LookingForwardToBeAP October 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

I just want to tell the OP that I am really sorry you had this experience and I truly hope you have an excellent au pair next time! Best of luck to you!

Should be working October 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

Let me add that you are not only paying the AP $200/wk; you are also in effect paying the AGENCY $130/wk to have this au pair (I believe that is what it works out to if you divide the agency fee by weeks of having the AP).

Gear up your confidence and end this relationship–threaten the agency to go with another agency next time, i.e. in SIX WEEKS. They want your next $7K more than they want the $800 you will in effect pay them for the next six weeks.

BKK October 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Thanks everyone for the support and information. I am the only one of my HF friends with a negative experience. I just have to get the courage to do what needs to be done! To answer a previous poster’s Q, yes she does work some supervised hours, to make it seem like she is doing something. But NO – we don’t need her. So best to save $ and my sanity and get over the guilt and get her out!

SpAp October 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

I can´t believe you´re thinking on a parting girft… ARE YOU CRAZY?
I don´t know why you kept her so long if she´s awful, 6 weeks to end but that will cost you money, if you´re rich and you want to throw away your money do it.

I would write her a card about “your experience” so far hosting her and that you wish her “the best” but she should have a think about her way to work/treat your family. just in case she wants to be back to the states as au pair again.

Clearly she does not deserve having a host mom like you. Next time I encorage you to think about what´s the best for your family and your pocket. “Rematch” is for these kind of girls.

Host Mom X October 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm

BKK – I am little late to this conversation, but I too am so confused! Even with a few supervised hours (which sounds like more trouble than it’s worth) that you don’t even need, how have you had this AP for ten months? It sounds like you are PAYING someone (and the agency) who is essentially a foreign exchange student, but not even a foreign exchange student since folks host foreign exchange students in order to benefit from the cultural exchange and relationship – and you appear to not even be getting that from this “au pair.” Her whole YEAR sounds like it has been her “travel month.”

Can you give us some more details about this situation, just because I am curious and wish to understand? Do you have a lot of disposable income that this is not a HUGE financial burden on your family? Full time nannies tend to be more expensive than au pairs, and to pay for both when the AP is not needed and in fact adds NOTHING to the household sounds like a huge burden in so many ways, but certainly financially. I truly, truly do not understand this situation, even if you view yourself as a “pushover” type who just wants to make people happy. This is well, well beyond what even the most pushovery of pushovers would accept, let alone pay for, I would think. But maybe I am missing some big detail here? I certainly understand feeling guilty and being a newbie host parent – we hosted an awful first AP for four months because we felt we had to try harder. But our AP at least provided childcare the whole time (we didn’t fear for our children’s safety with this AP – it was just everything else that was wrong). We considered trying to get our old nanny back when things got bad, but no way could we have afforded to get our old nanny back AND continue to pay the AP agency and the AP at the same time….

So – to your original question: departure gift just seems beside the point! There are so many other issues here that I just don’t get!

Should be working October 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I think the LCC must have been an amazing “convincer”. And with a first-time HF who doesn’t really know anything about how it works that is possible. When I think back to our first AP (who has since gone on to be a porn star, from what I can tell from her public Facebook page) I can’t believe that I kept her a full four months and suffered over the decision to go into rematch.

Host Mom X October 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Right, totally understand your experience, Should be working, since that was my experience. But the difference between our two experience and BKK’s is that it sounds like the two of us were not ALSO paying for additional full time childcare for ten months. As much as my husband and I were confused and conflicted about rematching with that first au pair and put up with a bad match for four months, I guarantee we would NOT have hosted and paid that AP (and the agency) for those four months if we were also paying a full time nanny. As little as we knew – we knew that part of the AP “deal” was meant to be childcare!

TexasHM October 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Wow. Just wow. This LCC and AP have some cajones. Everyone else has pounded on the freeloader point enough I think (if you want to pay someone $200 a week to do nothing for your family I am available anytime!) :)
Aside from that, I just have to say that if you think you know all the backstabbing/negative comments/bridges burned now, just wait until she is gone. Friends, neighbors, teachers you name it will come out of the woodwork with all kinds of fun stories for you and anything you do beyond this moment (keeping her, paying her, paying her cell, getting her departure gifts) you will likely regret. :( The fact that she talked to you about the awesome gifts other girls have gotten just screams master manipulator to me. The crying on cue to keep you, getting you to pay her even after getting another nanny and still paying the cell and now basically asking for a sweet gift? UNBELIEVABLE!
I don’t wish ill of this girl, but you also have to salvage your self respect! Tell her the free ride is over, if you want to continue to let her chill for the 2 week rematch period to be nice then fine but cancel that phone and have her atleast do kids laundry and/or dishes or something to contribute for her stipend the next couple of weeks.
As mentioned before, give her a card wishing her the best in her future. Take the high road but that doesn’t mean doing whatever she wants. Do not hold out for another 6 weeks no matter what the LCC says and give her a clear list of what she needs to do if she’s going to stay in your house the next two weeks to clean up/clear out. If she isn’t doing those things, she can go ahead and head out. Our last AP got a wedding present ($50ish) as a departure gift as it was a sometimes rocky road, particularly at the end. Our current AP I would probably do whatever she wants (dinner, party, etc) and give her a solid departure bonus. She has earned it!
This actually reminded me of the rematching post not that long ago where the counselor talked about how sometimes families get conditioned to accept far below what they would outside looking in because their “standards line” and tolerance had been gradually shifted over time – you might try to find that previous post – it did wonders for my sanity after the fact when I looked back and said “how the heck did I get here/put up with this?!?!” Good luck!

JBLV October 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Yeah, this kind of thing really miffs me. This young woman is going to go back to her home country and tell other young woman how to be an au pair in the United States. I’m sure she has already told other au pairs in her cluster how to behave. It stinks for the rest of us who expect our au pairs to behave in a reasonable manner.

Host Mom in the City October 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

So back to the question, what have the rest of you done for good-bye gifts for not-so-great au pairs? Even with my terrible year, I still felt guilty handing her a picture frame and dropping her off at the airport.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 31, 2013 at 6:59 am

HMitC, since you used the past tense, I assume the deed is done. Don’t feel guilty. If she didn’t care enough to give you a good year, then a family photo and a trip to the airport is enough.

With two exceptions, the AP who stayed in the US and the AP that extended with another family (our choice), I have always given a box. The mediocre AP who needed job coaching for 11 1/2 months – until I gave up – but took care of my special needs child well enough that DH didn’t think it worth going into rematch (we were warned that there were no special-needs-willing rematch candidates during the times we were most frustrated), received a smaller box and I paid the least to ship it back to her home country (for the rest I have paid top dollar). She also received a thank you card and a lift to the place where she decided to live during her travel month.

We did not talk about what she did not receive, but she saw the family photos with all the other APs hanging on our walls, and DH decided that he didn’t want to bother with her. While he was pretty curt toward her in the end, I was the one with agitada for months.

Just this morning I looked at the calendar and thought how different my year is going with her successor. The year seems to be flying by. Are there things about her that bother me? Sure, that’s life. But all the great things she does makes it possible to let the little things go. Whereas when things are going badly, the little things pile up along with the big things.

Momma Gadget October 31, 2013 at 10:25 am

Our First rematch (mutual) we gave a scrap book kit, A large box of her favorite gourmet bakery chocolate chunk cookies, a Costco Vat of Nutella ( It was a running joke between us how much of this she consumed), and a good luck card…. we had also given her tickets to broadway show for her birthday a week before (I had ordered them much earlier in a more optimistic state of mind)
The flame out, we gave a Starbucks Card and a card…. We had also given her ColdPlay concert tickets a few weeks prior for Christmas.
I will say that after both these bad matches, we had awesome rematch Au pairs, and my only regret was that I “wasted” those Broadway/ Concert tickets on APs who did not really care about our family or appreciate our generosity.
You shouldn’t have regrets (unless you were mean and vindictive)
We are as generous, or stingy as we feel in that particular moment of time. We can’t go back and judge our decisions fairly based on what we know now.

Host Mom in the City November 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

Is the OP around? I’m dying to know what happened with this!

Jen November 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Wow late to this party but OMG please no parting gift! I’ve had good and bad au pairs and most recently it seems only bad ungrateful ones! I’m still wondering why an iphone 5, car, $200 a week, credit card to buy any food you want is not enough! I have had it with au pairs. I will use a local college student going forward. This is my 8th and last au pair. Totally ungrateful and think you exist to cater to them.

Ruth November 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

First off, I am really sorry you have had such an awful experience and give you kudos that you would even want to try again verses just keeping the nanny you have currently and moving on from the program! After 3 failed attempts within 6 months due to one lying about a much-needed skill, second one was just plain crazy and the third one really wanted to live in NYC and was the quiet and sneaky type; no thank you, and our LCC and I in the end did not get along either b/c she wanted us to keep all 3 no matter the reasons why we wouldn’t accept mediocre! The LCC pretty much told me I was hormonal from having a baby and all kinds of others things to which my husband kindly put her in her place since he is the one who lives with me every day and never thought my “hormones” were the reason I had 3 AP’s who didn’t live up to their profile. But, yes, if I had let her, our LCC would have manipulated every angle for us to keep all 3 AP’s.

Here is what I firmly believe from a great quote: “you teach others how to treat you.” You have taught this AP it is okay not to fulfill her responsibilities and she has walked all over you and now you want to “reward” her for her horrible behavior. You need to remind yourself you have gone above and beyond to make this relationship work, you have been a great AP Host Mom any other AP would have been lucky to have this year and change your tune ASAP! This girl needs to know you will not tolerate her behavior.

Our first AP came to us when our little one was just 6 weeks old. We were new parents, exhausted and had no family around since both my husband and I have older parents (my mom has since passed on the day our third AP decided she would rather be in NYC) and siblings that live elsewhere or are in the military. Anyway, we were so excited to have an AP we went out of our way to throw her a party and host the other AP’s, we took 3 weekends in a row to take her to all the malls in the area since she loved to shop, got her a smart phone and decided to pay for it, asked her to do very little chores, rarely, if ever, worked the full 45 hours and she had every week night and weekend off! After the third trip to the mall, she copped an attitude because we were trying to drive around the mall (it was an outdoor walking mall) and show her all the stores before we dropped her off so she would have a sense of what stores she would like to visit. Meanwhile, this was in the cold of winter too, so us being out with a newborn was NOT convenient for us at all. Once we got back to the entry of the mall, she jumped out of the car and said something along the lines of we shouldn’t have wasted our time driving around, but something much more snarky, and she was gone in a flash! I was left with standing with my jaw open thinking, “REALLY? We are doing this out of the goodness of our hearts FOR YOU!” Later that night, I text her and asked if I could come to her wing of the house and talk. I told her I would not accept that attitude and explained how we were sacrificing our time during the weekend to make sure she was happy and knew her way around. She was sorry and she realized from then, I would NOT tolerate that kind of an attitude and we had a very good working relationship after that, but, sadly, she still lacked that essential skill we needed and we couldn’t keep her. I still miss her to this day!

I also want to be liked, but not at the expense of the care I need for my child or the duties I have set forth and expect from an employer standpoint. My child will always be the most important thought to me and if that care is not up to par, I am in no way going to “tolerate” a mediocre, at best, caregiver. I am a tough, but truly fair person! I know that my AP’s had to tow the line b/c I had a newborn and I wanted things done a certain way. There were times I wondered if I was expecting too much but, when each of them left, they EACH one of their own accord sent emails/text, etc. saying how they missed us. While I was teaching them life experiences and being gracious, kind and fair, I expected our contract to be fulfilled!

We now have a US nanny who relocated from her state to be a live-in nanny for us and she has been with us almost 4 months and she reiterates all the time how much she has it so good! She was in disbelief at the stories we had prior to her arrival and I’m thankful she understands what it means to fulfill a contract/childcare position. In hindsight, the cultural exchange was just too much for us with a newborn and needing to rely on this person like a third adult in the house, not a teenager we needed to babysit!

Good luck and I hope you find an extraordinary AP (have you looked into those?). If I were to go down this route again in the future, I would only consider the extraordinary AP’s worth every bit the extra $50 a week ($250 total a week) from the good stories I’ve heard here from other moms.

Ruth November 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

and we did not give any of the 3 AP’s departure gifts.

Ruth November 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Sorry, one more thing. I would search for and read this blog post here, ‘How Much Does the Au Pair Agency You Choose Really Matter?’ It had some really insightful comments from other moms when considering your next AP agency (and I do certainly hope you’re considering a different agency)!

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