I need help handling the transition between our departing au pair and our arriving au pair.
I’m nearing the end of our year with our very AP, who is 26, from China, with excellent English. Our AP#1 is kind and patient with our 13-month baby girl. She is also immature.
When we were discussing the end of her year, I told AP#1 that she could leave on the AP#2’s arrival date. This would be an early departure by several days, so I explained that we would pay her for the full time.
Yesterday, I told AP#1 that we’d like to pay for her airfare to get to her friend’s place (where she plans on spending her 13th month) as a departure gift. It turns out that she’d already booked her own ticket– for 5 days after AP#2 arrives. Even though we’d previously discussed her departure, AP#1 has asked if she can stay with us until her flight. Since she was already weepy about saying good bye to my daughter, I said that she could stay. Now I’m filled with dread.
AP#1’s bad habits have caused me so much stress this year and I have to keep reminding myself that AP#1’s devotion to my daughter makes it all worthwhile. (They are very close and I am very grateful that my daughter’s first year was spent surrounded only by people who care deeply for her.) The reason AP#1’s bad habits have not changed is because she cannot cope with any statement suggesting change, no matter how many compliments we give her.
An example: she made a mess by using dish soap in the dishwasher in her 10th month here (because she’d never lifted a finger to help with family things like dishes). I came home from work and she complained about the mess she’d had to clean up. Instead of delivering the rant expressing pent-up resentment and frustration that was already forming in my head, I said, “Please use this soap with the picture of the dishwasher on the package next time.” She got teary eyed and nodded before fleeing to her room. She refuses to ever discuss why she is upset, so whatever I’m doing wrong just keeps happening.
AP#1 has no friends here that she could stay with or even hang out with during her 5-day overlap with AP#2. I’ve made many plans for the time when I thought we’d have no au pair– for example, it’s going to take me hours to clean our AP room/bath after a year of AP#1’s use/abuse.
AP#1 doesn’t understand what cleaning means (see discussion above about dishwasher) and I can’t expect that she’ll leave the room clean.
I bought tickets to take AP#2 to a special event to make her feel welcome and let her do something fun before she settles down to toddler care. Even if I did want to take AP#1 to the event, we can’t get an additional ticket at this point.
How can I do it without AP#1 crying for the remainder of her stay?
I don’t want to make either of us miserable.
Thanks in advance for all your advice ~ WarmStateMamma