Dear AuPair Mom,
I am always delighted and relieved when my AP makes friends and starts spending time with them. I have never set a curfew since it seems to me that if I expect them to be responsible for my 4 children, I ought to reasonably expect them to be responsible for themselves; they are adults after all.
I make it clear at the beginning of the year however, that while they are welcome to go out with their friends, I expect them to show up for work well rested and able to take proper care of my children, reminding them of how hard it is to be patient and deal with kids when you are tired.
As the year progresses though, they tend to stay out/up later and later, and often get tired, run down and frequently sick. And then they begin complaining about how tired they are, and how they don’t feel well. At this point, and despite my usual warmth and friendliness toward my AP, I find it almost impossible to muster any sympathy for them.
These are not always “party girls” either, so setting a curfew is not necessarily a solution.
I had an AP who routinely stayed up until 2-4am skyping with friends, browsing the internet or watching movies, and although she usually didn’t have to work until 11am, she frequently complained about how tired she was! She even told me that she stayed up late because otherwise she would wake up early and “have nothing to do”. (I had plenty of things she could have done, but that’s a whole other issue.)
I myself have been woken up by my baby every few hours at night and would have just about killed for even 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, so despite seeing clearly that her behavior was the result of immaturity, I was still irritated by it.
On the other hand, I had a wonderful AP who disappeared Friday evening (to stay with friends) and reappeared at 6am on Monday morning looking a bit bleary eyed, but always smiling and ready for work.
How do other HP deal with these situations?
What do you think of internal ‘curfews’ aka bedtimes?