Good friends share with each other… tips about shoe sales, complaints about PTA events, and the whipped cream on their Frappucinos (yes, really. Ask Jenny.)
But, as a good friend, should you share your au pair?
(Note that it’s against the guidelines of most agencies for your au pair to work for anyone but you. But, some host parents allow their au pairs to do extra babysitting, and lots of au pairs would like to make extra money. Hence, the situation.)
Here’s the situation:
A host mom sent out an email to her close friends. Her fabulous au pair was looking for extra babysitting work, to make a little extra money. The host mom offered that, if anyone was interested, her au pair was available during school hours and most evenings. And, she was even often free on Friday and Saturday nights!
How generous of the host mom! All her friends just loved her AP, and all of them were happy to connect with a trusted babysitter.
A few weeks later, the host mom had to send out another email: “Just a reminder girlfriends…. before you contact AP about extra babysitting, check with me first. AP is being overwhelmed by requests.”
(Needless to say, the AP had a hard time saying no. Plus, the AP was being asked to babysit on some evenings when it turned out her host family needed her. But you saw that coming, right?)
While the host mom was happy for her AP to make a little extra money, the AP was getting outside booking for too many evenings and weekends, and the host family lost the flexibility they needed. And, one particular friend had begun to count on having the host mom’s au pair at least one schoolday a week.
To make things even more awkward, while the AP was getting a full stipend from her host family, she was only working 30 hours a week, tops. She was babysitting for others for another 10 hours, at $12 per hour. Guess how she started to think about her AP stipend relative to babysitting money– forgetting she used the host family’s car to make it possible to get to these babysitting gigs?
So how did it turn out?
Ultimately, the host mom had to set some limits, partly by having her momfriends ask for the host mom’s okay first. This way, the host mom could manage the amount an time that her AP might potentially be unavailable to the host family.
Then, the host mom talked with the friend who needed steady childcare. And yes, dear reader, she sent her friend to an Au Pair Agency website.
lucky for the host mom, her au pair was understanding about the departure of all the extra income.
And the moral of the story?
What do you think?