Sorry about the headline, but how else to summarize this dilemma, below?
Before you jump in with good advice, which you will, let’s remember that we only know one side of this story, and we should proceed with the assumption that it’s accurate.
Take it away, team.
Well, I’m a 23 year old AP living in a European country and have been with the same HF for a year and a half. Obviously I’ve stayed so long because I really like this family, the kids are great, I like the country and I enjoy the few friends I’ve made.
By no means has it been a fairytale walk in the park, but through thick and thin my host parents and I have aways worked things out through communication and our solid friendship.
Both host parents work full-time but my host dad has a ton of job flexibility and therefore they have organized my schedule as such: I have the mornings free while the children are at school.
Host dad comes home for lunch, which it is my responsibility to prepare and normally we eat lunch together. Then host dad and I pick up the kids from school (they have no extra car) and I help with afterschool snack and taking them to activities. Host dad goes back to work while I’m at home with the kids doing homework, bath time, dinnertime, etc. Host mom has her own activities 2 days a week after work so sometimes she’s not home until late.
In a nutshell, this schedule has me spending a lot more time with my host dad than my host mom. Additionally, on the weekends, during my free time, my host dad and his friends and/or siblings sometimes go running or hiking or cycling. They always invite me because they have become my friends too, and they know I like to do sports. Host mom always stays at home with the kids during this time.
Well here is the problem. Last month my host dad told me that host mom is very angry about how much time we spend together. I was shocked.
Then the other week, host mom confronted me about her issues. She angrily asked me if I think my host dad is a piece of meat. She continued to express her distaste, for example, that host dad and I eat lunch together, etc. Then she told me that she knows I’m a good girl, that she trusts me and she also trusts her husband, but that she still doesn’t like it.
I was and still am extremely hurt from what she told me, and my level of comfort in their home has declined drastically. I also feel very sad that our host parent-au pair relationship has dissolved so quickly and unexpectedly. I was planning to stay another 6 months but now I don’t know. My host mom still expects me to prepare my host dad’s lunch, but I can’t eat lunch with him. I still have to go with him to pick up the kids afterschool, but I feel uncomfortable like I shouldn’t talk to him. I’m not allowed to go running with him anymore.
My host dad is super frustrated and has even apologized to me because he says he doesn’t understand where all this jealousy (his word not mine) is coming from. He says I have to be the one to talk to my host mom to clarify all my doubts about what she expects because when he talks to her about it she doesn’t want to hear any of it. As far as she’s concerned, she’s won (again, his words).
I don’t feel like I should have to defend myself and prove that I’m not some sort of harlot to my host mom because I have done nothing more than follow the schedule they’ve created for me. It’s ridiculous. I’m feeling very lost, very homesick and very bitter about the entire situation.
Do I just go home?
Thanks in advance for your response, ConfusedAuPair