Okay, “creeping me out” is clearly an American idiom that I have supplied as a headline, but that phrase seems to capture the dynamic going on for this cautious au pair.
She’s matched with a family, and getting to know them through emails, etc. before she joins the family in a few months. The family seems great– except for the host mom’s sister.
The host mom’s sister has independently emailed the au pair to offer her “the truth” about what the future host mom and dad are really like.
That’s some kind of sisterly support.
The au pair’s email is long, with some interesting details, after the jump, but here’s the bottom line:
What should this au pair do?
- Tell the host mom about the sister’s offer?
- Tell the sister to stop emailing her?
- Find another family?
- Say nothing?
- Some combination of the above?
Dear “au-pair mom”,
Help!As a used-to-be aupair in UK and future-to-be au-pair in America I love reading your blog and opinions of various issues of other moms and au-pairs. It’s interesting and also quite useful as a way that I can learn something about American culture before I actually go to the States and also (hopefully) learn from all of this conversation how I might become a better au-pair for my future host family. :)
Anyway, this time I come to ask about an advice myself…and it worries me that i have to ask for an advice even before I actually meet my host family personally!
I found my host family in the beginning of the summer and since then we are in regular contact over the emails and Facebook posts. My host mom added me to her Fb in early stages of our pre-match. Since I don´t have anything hide from her, I’ve enjoyed this since it’s useful to share more photos and learn about her and her family via her status posts etc. I was very excited about them (well and still am).
Now I have an issue: two days ago i got a new friend request – from the sister of my soon to be host mom. Of course I accepted; I didn’t really feel like I should decline, and I actually thought it was nice of her (the sister). The sister visits my host family a lot and often helps out with their children, and she will probably help to reach with me until I get comfortable with the children.
After I accepted her as a friend she wrote me a message:
We are all excited for you to come, especially the children. They are sooooo cute. You will fall in love with them, and I am going to be jealous at how much love time you will get with them.
You can ask me any questions about (host mom) and (host dad) privately, here on Facebook. You should know what to expect when you get there. They are a little strange in their own way.
I found it quite weird from her to say that “they are a little strange in their own way” and to tell me to ask her a questions. I really had no idea how she meant it. Was it an honest offer and did she really want to make it easier /useful for me to share some information on them from her point of view? Or did she write it because she wants to share with her sister what I might ask her or write her to “test” me?
Of course I knew i should probably be very careful about it and wouldn´t ask anything! Also I think we all are different and what can seem for one to be an annoying habit, other may hardly notice and it´s always better to find out yourself…..if it was point of view of ex au-pair that would be something different I think.
Also i feel bad myself that she is talking behind her sister’s back and i haven´t even met them yet.
So i just replied with a very tactful message back, that I´m excited about meeting everyone as well and that I already fell in love with the children just from the pictures, etc… At the end of all of it i just dropped:
“ehm…anything specific i should know about X and XX ? Do u want to warn me in front of something? haha:D
(i wrote that “haha” comment on purpose, so it was meant halfly as a joke and halfly for real – if you know what I mean)
Well, today I had another reply:
Well Host Dad can be lazy and Host Mom will yell at him in front of everyone. Host Dad can be rude too but he doesn’t realize when he is being this way so just let him know. So take Host Dad with a grain of salt; he can be annoying. You just might have to slap Host Dad around.
Host Mom will rearrange everything in the dishwasher even though it was fine to begin with. She can make a big deal out of recycling plastic dishes and then pour hot grease down her kitchen drain. Just ask Host Mom how she wants things done for a while. That way you can learn what she is anal about and what she could care less about.
The walls in their house are thin so you will hear the tv which is right under your bed. I find that if you sleep with the fan on you can’t hear the TV. Other than that I think you will like it there very much.
I honestly don´t get it. Does she really mean this honestly. Does she want me to prepare on things in advance and tell me what they are really like? Is she trying to make me change my mind?
HM told me at the beginning that honesty is everything (which i agree on too). She said she really liked me because i seemed to be really honest and seemed to be like an open book. But now i feel like i should tell her because i don´t want to be dishonest with her. But also i don´t want her to think I’m telling on people.
What should I do?
Should I tell her sister that i appreciate her honesty and her opinions but i don´t want to talk behind HM´s back and rather wait till I find myself all about them? I don´t think it´s very appropriate to tell me this about her sister and husband. I just want to be a “friend” and get along with everyone and would like all the family members to like me, so i don´t know what i should tell her or how to act.
Now i feel kind of bad and feel like I´m losing my excitement.
I think the sisters’ relationship is very good and that they are very close to each other. Maybe the reason is really a jealousy? I saw HM´s sister commented on one of the baby photos that she feels like she should spend much more time with her sister and help her with the children since the HM did the same for her when her baby was born.
Am I just simply being to paranoid all about this? I tend to be very careful in order to get someone´s trust; life has slapped me in the face several times when I was too gullible to someone and then I was the only one who was hurt because of that.
Please, I´d be very grateful to hear your opinions. Thanx very much in advance:)!