It’s interesting to get emails from host parents — and au pairs– where it seems that the very act of writing to us is helping them gain some clarity about how untenable their situation actually is.
As I read through this host mom’s email, below, it became easier and easier to imagine recommending that she move to rematch. After all, this host mom had a good experience with their former au pair and knows what kinds of challenges are reasonable.
And then there was one statement in her email that stopped me cold. (I put it in bold for you.)
Apart from all the other concerns this single statement said to me:
Not an au pair you want in your life.
What do you think?
What should this host mom do next?
Our first AuPair was great, not perfect, but we had a wonderful loving relationship with her and became very close.She was also an integral part of interviewing for our next AuPair.
We Should Be Grateful?**
We matched with our 2nd AuPair several months before she came. She made it quite clear to us that she had many other offers but she was “picking” us, as in, we should be so grateful. We thought it was a little strange how she emphasized it so many times but let it go.
“Snotty” and Dissatisfied
Fast forward….. since joining our family, our AuPair has made several snotty comments to me that were derogatory about our house not being perfect, about our routine, being organized, etc.
She is never home when we spend hours cleaning (she thinks it magically happens?) and is constantly complaining about his or that but always ends it with “but it’s okay”. She doesn’t get that we each work 70+ hours per week and recently moved, and finding time to create the perfect home isn’t easy. But don’t get me wrong, we live in a beautiful, well-kept home and a very desirable neighborhood.
Negative Perspectives on Her Blog
We knew she was writing a blog to chronicle her adventure here in the US. We were okay with it and set a few ground rules.
Today, she posted her most recent blog (during work hours) and it was totally different.
I was fully aware that sometimes she said things that well, were a bit rude about us, and it’s always bothered me but I tried not to be overly sensitive.
Her latest entry complains about pretty much everything. She goes on and on about all the things she doesn’t have, like her own bathroom (she shares with the kids, who really only use it to brush their teeth), her own kitchen and apartment (really?), how the kids and dog are noisy, and how we don’t have the nicest or biggest house (3200sf). But then says, she’s glad she chose our family. She doesn’t say why, and maybe she’s trying to actually say something nice, but it comes across very rude and materialistic. It’s all complaints.
Au Pair’s Situation Is Actually Fine
She has her own car to use whenever she’d like, she never works evenings or weekends and has so many amenities and access to so much that other Aupairs don’t have. Sure, there are those that live with wealthy families, but I can’t imagine they are the majority.
Now, at first I thought, okay she’s just spoiled and immature, and being materialistic for no reason. I know she comes from a blue-collar family in her country so it’s not like she’s slumming it her in the US. But, after reading it a few times, and talking with our former AuPair to get her take on it (she could better translate than Google, and also has a better perspective of someone that age) I’m just hurt and very angry.
Not Doing The Job Well
We’ve also noticed performance and attitude issues that we were already planning to address before this latest blog post. Such as, not bathing the children or changing their clothes, she’s very demanding with us and scoffs at us and whines constantly. Now, we’re a very silly fun-loving family, so this just doesn’t “fit” in our family culture.
We’ve had issues with her bank not accepting direct-deposit, and she refuses to take her checks to the bank. She also never signs them so I can’t even take them to the bank and deposit them for her. Yet, she complains to us and her friends that we never pay her or that she has no money.
She also tells us we need to pay for all her gas despite us making it very clear, in interviews and in writing before matching that if she’s driving the car for personal use, it’s on her dime. And, because she’s one of the only AuPairs with her own car she’s driving a lot.
Am I off base to feel totally irritated?
I’ve already been on edge from some of her comments and attitude to me which she does not do with my husband.
She’s very giggly around my husband and more snotty around me. I chalked it up to her family dynamic, in which she described not having the best relationship with her mother but being very close to her father but I’m not sure.
Now with this latest post on her blog, I feel like she’s not here to be part of our family, and am feeling a bit betrayed, if that’s even the right word.
LCC says our AuPair speaks very highly of our family but that’s not how she acts or speaks of us on her blog.
Advice? I just don’t know how to get past some of these issues!!
[note: ** I put these headings in to help organize this long email ~cv ]