When you email for advice…

Here are some things you should know:

1. I may take your email text, in part or in full, to use within a post about the topic you are asking about.

Often in order to share useful advice, people need some of the details of the situation.

Generally, I tend to edit the emails and remove some specifics, (e.g., city you’re in, actual country you are from, actual ages and genders of host kids) where those specifics are not critical

2. I will NOT post your name, email address or other specific identifying information, in an effort to keep the conversation about the issues that are raised and not about the particular individuals involved.

3. If you want to share your situation BUT keep some of the details private, you must TELL ME SPECIFICALLY which bits of information these are.

It is up to you to determine want you want to share with me/ AuPairMom vs what you want to remain off the blog itself.

4. I expect that your emails tell the truth as you see it, and that you aren’t adding additional ‘facts’ or over-dramatizing what’s happening.

We have to take your word for things since we aren’t there to assess the situation ourselves (obviously), so your word must be as honest and reliable as you can make it.

5. I am happy to add corrections (and note that they are corrections) if any agency guideline or process is incorrectly described in the post itself or by any of the commenters.

Please email me if you believe there is something inaccurate, and send me a link to the correct information.

That said, I will not add ‘corrections’ that are the ‘other side’ of the situation. We will not get into an “X said this/ Y said that” situation. If there are any other issues abut which I should make my policy clear, please let me know via email at mom at aupairmom. dot com.   Ultimately, the reasons to email us need to include not only to get help for your individual situation but also to create advice and wisdom for the other users of the blog who might contribute to or learn from the discussions on any post. And as always, please make an effort to search the blog for advice on your situation before emailing. I can’t personally answer each email, and I am not able to send you replies to commonly-asked questions that have already been answered here on the blog.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren April 25, 2016 at 7:38 am

Hello AuPairMom,
I am currently working with a family in Paris that is very disrespectful towards me and my time. I have tried to talk to them about them asking for more hours than promise as well as other issues and I see no change in sight. I have been here for three months. I would like to quit to find another au pair position, but wondering how you’d suggest I’d handle it. I want to give 2 weeks notice to give them some time to get childcare arranged. Do I be blunt and tell them it’s because of how they’re treating me (and then live in extreme unpleasantness for two weeks or make up some sort of excuse (i.e.: illness in the family)

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Lauren April 25, 2016 at 7:39 am

I also wanted to add that I’m not using any sort of agency, so there’s no “rematch” that can be arranged on our behalves.

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IntellectualMom April 29, 2016 at 7:14 pm

As we match with our 4th Au Pair, I find that we are facing a dilemma: to select a young woman who is a well trained childcare expert and who is committed to working in the education field with young children (i.e., a kindergarten teacher, etc.) or a young woman who is intellectual, ambitious, and pursuing some other fascinating field (journalism, dentistry, whatever). I have not found both in the same person, so feel compelled to choose one or the other. Many of the candidates I have interviewed from Germany who work in childcare do not complete the Arbitur degree which is the most rigorous high school diploma, but do a vocational degree instead. I find it’s been fabulous for my younger kids (ages 1.5 and 4) to have a trained childcare worker at home – and relaxing for me in the sense that I have the utmost confidence in what she is doing with the kids. I have learned a lot about child development and psychology from au pairs like these. On the other hand, for my eldest who is a bright 10 year old, and for me (we have dinners together as a family) it’s stimulating to converse with someone more worldly and educated. I would love to hear from other host families as to how they weigh these different kinds of backgrounds and how their experience has been! Thanks in advance.

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Angel February 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

@Intellectualmom

I recently started the AP programme because I realized I have a greater interest in childcare than Dentistry which I was doing my final year in. I never realized it was good idea to tell hosts that I have history in a degree.Do you think it is a good idea? Because I have been struggling to find a HF on the Interexchange programme. Assist me with some advice please.

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Frankfurt AP Boy February 16, 2017 at 4:19 pm

You really left a degree in Dentistry in the final year to pursuit a profession where you earn around minimum wage? Have you ever thought of working as a dentist part-time and volunteering during the other half?

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Angel February 17, 2017 at 4:37 am

@Frankfurt AP boy

I did not enjoy the Course at all. And it is quite hard to pursue something you have no interest in. But I can always return to any university to finish the degree because it’s not like I failed or did bad in any modules. And the point of doing the programme was to earn experience to do a degree in Childcare.

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Frankfurt AP Boy February 17, 2017 at 5:37 am

I see. I am particularly mentioning it because I dropped out of a law degree in the final year to pursuit social care positions and it was a huge mistake. Having a completely degree means something, particularly if its such a difficult degree such as law or dentistry. If you really only have a year to go and strongly urge you to keep going. An academic year is about 9 months right? Just tough it out. An unfinished dentistry degree means nothing. In fact, some might interpret it as you not being able to finish things or that you didn’t have the capability to finish. However a completely dentistry degree means a lot.

Just to make clear my point about salaries: the average salary for a dentist in the USA is $145,588 a year. The average salary for a nursery worker is $19,770. It is a little less than 10x as much. Assuming you’d earn the average, you could work 4 or 5 hours a week as a dentist and earn the same as a nursery worker and then then other 35 or so hours a week, that people usually spend working, volunteering.

It is just a really really terrible decision in every possible way.

TexasHM February 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Angel,
As a host mom that just hosted an AP that left after her 3rd year of a 4 year program in physical therapy to take a break year to be an AP and then return to her home country to completely start over (in her country college is degree focused so none of her classes from those 3 years will count toward her new degree – business) I can tell you she doesn’t regret her decision and I don’t think you will either. It takes a lot of strength and self awareness to make a decision like that (especially with everyone telling you just to finish – same happened to our AP) so I was impressed. We picked her, she was great, learned a lot about herself and what she wanted to do, even extended an additional 6 mos because she had a lag before school started again. Loved her and was so glad to be a part of her life and helping her figure out her new direction/purpose.

To answer your question, I would absolutely put your college experience and explanation but that is me personally. It was a reason I chose our AP (showed courage, a lot of thought, maturity, self awareness, empathy – not wanting her parents to pay for another year of school she knew she wasn’t going to use, etc).

Especially if your new degree is related to childcare this is directly aligned to your degree and would probably help you determine if that is the right fit for you. I would put that on your profile as well (that you intend to pursue a degree in childcare after the program).

You have to do something you are at least a little interested in. I have watched so many people waste time doing things they hated. There is no perfect cakewalk career but if you have an interest it works out. Good luck to you!

Sarah April 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm

It sounds like you know your answer already. In my humble opinion, it sounds like you have had success with one model in the past, but are curious about a new kind of au pair and want support in making the change. The wonderful part of bringing new people into your home, is the different perspectives they bring us. I say follow your new idea and change the model. You’re right that as children grow and change their needs change. Go for the new model!

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Jess July 11, 2017 at 5:04 am

Hi,

I am an au pair in a small town in Italy and this is my second summer with the same family. Initially I was happy and excited to be returning to them as a have a good relationship with them. However, this year I am quite unhappy as I feel athat because they know me now they use me and expect too much off me than what I am being paid for. The mum recently announced that she changed her hours at work without giving me the choice of being ok with this or not. Therefore, I am now working until 7pm and an extra 3 hours each day. She treats me like I am a child despite the fact I am almost 22. She always tells me what to wear, how much suncream to use, she passes comments if I eat something other than the three set meals they eat each day. The children are 10 and 12 and I do love them but they are so cheeky sometimes and she doesn’t do anything about it. They snatch my phone off me and come into my room on my days off. The mum also gets moody if I leave the house or do something on my days off or if I don’t come with them to family evens even when it’s my day off. I just feel trapped and unhappy, I feel like I can’t be myself. Also, my own mother is a single mother and extremely needs a baby sitter back home now and I would love to go back home and help her instead of her having to get a new baby sitter that she could not afford for my siblings she I am going to speak to the family and I can give the host mom 4 weeks notice before I leave but I am really scared of what she is going to say. Please give me some advice on how I should tell her I need to leave. I am going back to the U.K in 2 weeks for 3 days to do a job interview for September when I am meant to be going back but I am dreading coming back to Italy after that.

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PlaybyRulezHD August 17, 2017 at 7:20 am

Hello Aupairmom,

I want to be fair and play by rules. I recently hired an au pair through an agency … . I read all your posts sent her the complete schedule and the duties involved. She came here and quit within 5 weeks. Now I’m on a rematch process since I realize that the refund is not generous.

I want to use aupairs for maximum of 45 hours/ week and 9 hours a day and nothing more. I realize most of aupairs these days are flexible in their schedule sometimes work overtime and in return expect privileges such as complete car privilege and curfew times that is almost non-existant and weekends off.

I feel that most of the aupairs from Latin america are feeling entitled and the local area director is pressuring me to give almost whatever the aupair is asking for. I find myself helpless since it appears no one is playing by the rules (the area director or the aupairs). I realized that this whole program is not just right for my family – it seems to work for others who want to exploit or just want to use them as home day care while they are gone (in big cities where this is cheaper).

I live in a large city… and the local aupair director is not helpful. Can you please advise if it is just me or should I try some other agency? I hate to sign up for 12 month contract again with new agency or hire someone from overseas. Please advice.

Thank you,
Sam

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2weeksterror September 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

Dear AuPairMom

I’ve just given my host family my two weeks notice as it has been a really horrible experience so far. Two weeks notice was apart of the contract and I honestly have no idea how to survive it because the host family has told me exactly how they feel about me now (they hate me!).

How do I survive this? Please help.

Thanks!

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