A new Host Mom writes to share her frustration – and concern- about an Au Pair who doesn’t quite seem to fit.
- Are the mom’s expectations too high, she wonders? Or,
- Does she just have an Au Pair who needs (even) more direction and motivation?
I’d like to think that I asked all the right questions, did my diligence in interviewing as many candidates as possible, but I’ll be honest -timing was an issue. We wanted to have support in place as soon as possible after the baby was born. I selected the candidate we thought was the most responsible, organized and could most easily communicate with.
Fast forward a month and a half into our experience and we are frustrated, confused, at times concerned, and always stressed. Being as this is our first time as a HF, maybe our AP expectations are not normal?
Please help me; I have learned from the parents at AuPairMom that rematching is not something to put off…but perhaps our ideal AP does not exist?
I am a working-in-the-home mom. Prior to the AP we had other support, 2-3 different women that did both childcare and housework. We have a bright, well behaved 26 month old daughter, highly verbal and social.
My vision was that the AP would primarily spend time with her at first, as I nurse and bond with the newborn, and then also begin to help me with the baby so that I can have a chance to exercise, have a shower and cook dinner in the evening. I wanted the AP to not just hold the baby but also help our toddler learn to be around her little sister and really integrate the two of them.
I want the AP to take charge of potty training our toddler, keeping good track of her belongings – I.e. organizing the clothes in her dresser, keeping her diaper/car bag stocked and toys organized in the library/play room. I want the AP to take our toddler outside for a minimum of an hour each day and to work with her on addressing normal 2 yr old behaviors – screaming, standing on furniture, etc.
I have previously communicated the potty training goal and ownership in the interview as well as going outdoors daily. All other goals were discussed in our handbook in orientation weekend and revisited weekly at our touch base chats.
A month and half in, today we all set out on our first outing – lunch at a destination restaurant. Our AP forgot a bib for our daughter, had to be told to change her diaper after 4+ hours, left my expressed breast milk in the car, dressed her in pants that were too small and had to be told throughout the meal when to tend to her (luckily our infant slept through almost the whole meal!). FYI, the entire trip, 9 hrs, AP was working.
It is not just this one event – our AP signed up for her academic requirement all day Saturday for the next seven Saturdays. She did ask me if it was ok, but I didn’t really think I had a choice. We now have one of our previous nanny/housekeepers come on Saturdays in addition to her other two days so we now have her for 30 hrs plus the 45 for the AP. My husband is incredulous that we have so much help and are always so stressed out – he is taking tomorrow off because he couldn’t get anything done on the weekends.
Do you think my expectations for an AP that can watch our infant and toddler at the same time for short periods of time as well as also own potty training and learning based activity time one on one with our toddler? I can’t imagine ever going through the expense of taking our current AP on vacation with us if she doesn’t make it easier and being able to travel was one of our goals in getting an AP.
Please help us! Should I ask for a rematch? Or do we need someone other than an AP?