Here at AuPairMom we get some very interesting emails from host parents and au pairs facing challenges in their relationships. Sometimes these questions are easy to answer, other times the whole group of us has to band together to come up with useful advice.
Sometimes these emails make me sad — so much struggle, such disappointments.
And then, some emails completely weird me out…. like this one.
Let me just tell you that, in my private reply to this host mom, I used the word “Eeeew” almost two dozen times. There was nothing else I could say.
Thankfully, we can turn to your, dear readers, for some ideas about how this host mom might respond.
Privacy: Yours and Hers
The host mom with the dilemma below is suffering from a violation of her privacy. Thank goodness it wasn’t the most direct kind (e.g., interruptus, reading her journals, eavesdropping) but it was pretty invasive.
This ‘disturbed host mom’ is especially upset because privacy is important to her– she’s gone out of her way to respect her au pair’s privacy, even when the situation itself has pulled back the curtain on the au pair’s private life. And we all feel more upset when we work hard to give our au pairs (or anyone) a certain kind of respect that is not returned in kind.
Dear Au Pair Mom-
We have an au pair that has been with us for about 3 months. We got off to a rocky start, but with lots of communicating about openness and trust, things have greatly improved over the last month.
Our au pair is 19 (20 next month) and has a boyfriend from home. They have been together for 3 years. During the interview process, she denied having a boyfriend. This was good for me, as our previous AP had many emotional issues stemming from the relationship with the boyfriend back home and I did not want to repeat that drama. I am a stay at home mom, and the constant weeping and depression (boyfriend was cheating, etc) was too much to be around all day. So, when the new AP arrived and started talking about her boyfriend, I was NOT happy.
I mentioned this to her, and she kind of shrugged and didnt seem too concerned with being caught in a lie, but I let it go and moved forward.
AP settled in to her new bedroom. She has a lock on her door, as well as her own ensuite bathroom and wi-fi for the laptop we gave her. She Skypes with her boyfriend all night long, after she is through working. In other words, she has plenty of privacy.
I have two small children who still nap during the day. If they are napping and she gets everything picked up and a load of laundry started, she is free to use the computer for a few hours while they nap.
The first boyfriend/computer related issue occured while we were on a family vacation. We took one of the kids to dinner and left the baby with AP. We got back to the condo a bit earlier than planned, to find ourselves locked out. After a few minutes of pounding on the door, she opened it in a robe, with full makeup and hair done. Strange, but whatever.
After walking into the room, I found that baby was sleeping, but his dinner mess had not been cleaned, the bathtub water had not been drained, and his (AND HER) clothes were strewn on the floor. When I saw her undies on the floor and Skype open on her laptop, it was clear what was going on.
Again, I told her that the computer was to be used only when the kids were asleep and everything was cleaned up. She admitted that she had been taking photos for her boyfriend, but again I dropped it, not wanting to know any more. Since then, she has gone around the house (when we are gone) taking “sexy” photos of herself and putting them on Facebook for her boyfriend. I don’t think it occurs to her that I check her page on occasion!
Fast forward to last night:
We got home from a long weekend away, only to find a pile of black hair on my bedroom carpet. Interesting as my family are all blonde.
Then, in my bathtub, several more black hairs! And on Facebook, a picture of her IN MY BATHTUB!
It appears that after enjoying a nice “Soak n Skype”, she tried to clean her hair out of the tub, but dropped it on the floor on her way out (duh).
I am extremely upset with this invasion of my privacy, but is it cause for a rematch? It’s hard on the kids and I don’t need the headache, but I am not sure that I can get over knowing that she is continuing her sexual relationship with her boyfriend in my private space. Please help!
Thanks!!!!!! Disturbed Host Mom
Readers, once you, too, have squealed EEEEwwwwwwww!!!!!, please share your insights.