Hello. I have been reading Au Pair mom website since we got our first Au Pair from Brazil in Feb 2009. She is 19 years old. We have 22 month old twins. My husband works out of the home for the most part and I work some from home and some away from home. My schedule varies a lot. For the most part our Au Pair has a good relationship with our children. When it comes to keeping them safe, I have no concerns about that. I do have several other concerns.
I’m not sure if this is the way the program works or if we are just wimps who don’t want to confront her. For the most part, I feel she watches the kids and then it is like we are here to serve her.
She has really one “chore” to clean out the dishwasher every morning. When we first discussed this with the coordinator she did not seem like this was something that we could have her do. However; she didn’t come out and say no, so we continued it. For months the Au Pair totally did a bad job at it. Usually not even emptying the dishwasher. My husband kept reminding her, but it would go in one ear and out the other. The coordinator said to keep reminding her. It was really irritating to me, because before I started to cook dinner, I would have to empty the dishwasher and then put up/clean the dishes she used during the day before I could cook. Maybe its just a pet-peeve of mine to want to start cooking in a clean kitchen. My husband finally told her that us giving her a telephone with unlimited calls and text messaging and internet usage was a privilege and we could take those things away if she could not do as we asked with regards to emptying the dishwasher. She had an attitude, but improved. However; she never does it on Sunday. That is the one day that she is always off and it makes me feel she thinks because she is off, she does not have to do it. The other thing that we have is the person who cooks does not have to set the table or clean up after the meal. This is usually me. She is never around when it is time to set the table.
She does help cleaning, but IMO she leaves anything she does not want to do for my husband and cuts out early. Maybe she feels it is wrong for us to ask her to clear the dishwasher when we have no “set” chores. In a way this is true. My husband is responsible for the garbage and basically my chore is cooking. We do some cleaning around the house, but usually have it cleaned every two weeks. She does not clean. We have had to continuously tell her to clean up after herself in the kitchen. She has had an attitude all day, because my husband took a picture of the kitchen floor where the kids had spilled food while she was watching them and she did not clean it up.
She doesn’t even clean the kids rooms. Toys are usually all over the floor and their bathroom might have hair on the sink from her combing their hair and their are always towels on the floor. We don’t say anything, I guess because I feel we are not the cleanest people, but then part of me feels, but we are paying her. We have learned that her mother made good money for Brazil and she had a maid at home. A lot of times she does seem to me to be a spoiled, rich girl.
There are other problems, I will try to address briefly. I complain about her so much to my friends. I really just want her gone. Do I like her as a person? I used to. Now she is an irritant.
The other issues in a nutshell:
Napping on duty— I learned she was staying up late at night and then taking 4+ hour naps with the kids (took them in the basement, turned off all the lights, held each in one arm and made them stay quiet until they fell asleep). We asked her to limit the naps to two hours. I intentionally one day when I knew she was up late the night before, left out after she put the kids down to sleep and came back 3 hours later. Went around and looked in the basement and it was dark. So, we told her to start putting them in their crib and again reminded her of no more than 2 hours from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Yet, Friday when I came home unexpectedly at 10:00 a.m., she is in the basement with the lights off. When I went down there she had the tv on saying they were watching a movie (they never do that).
She is deceitful. She also lies. Lies about eating things around the house and lied on her application. She said she spoke Spanish fluently. She does not. She said she does not get cold sores. She has had an outbreak three times since she has been here and told me she always gets them when she goes on the beach. It’s no big deal, I get them, still its just that it was not true.
She doesn’t really care for the kids. She is on the internet or text messaging friends during the day when she is hear watching the kids. When she puts on their Babies Can Read video, she goes and lays on the sofa and does not interact with them. She failed her driving test and continuously asks my husband to take her somewhere or pick her up at the last minute. The last time it happened, I told him not to do it. She ended up having to pay for an expensive cab.
She eats continuously. She said that if she does not eat every two hours she gets sick. I am a generous person, but she has caused our grocery bill to skyrocket. She said she has gained over 10 pounds since she has been here. It’s true. It’s very noticeable and others have said it to me. When I am cooking dinner, she will ask when it will be ready. If I say 30 minutes, then she will eat something like a cup of noodles or a sandwich. She still also eats dinner.
I am disliking this and I am at my wits end. I don’t know how to improve it and right now just feel I want her OUT OUT OUT.
Image and poem from Dodinsky. Be sure to read the text of the poem… it’s thoughtful.