A Host Mom writes with a story that will irk us all. The situation is ‘over’, but she still has to cope. And, we can all wonder– how could we prevent something like this from happening in our town?
Dear Au Pair Mom Readers-
Has anyone else had the experience of discovering that their au pair has gone behind their back to find another “better” job in the same city? You might call it “Somebody stole my au pair” except that our au pair had a hand in it.
To give you some background, we are a very warm family with two grade school children. Both parents work. Our au pair (our first), a Western European woman, never got truly used to being an au pair. Although she took wonderful care of our children and was keenly aware of their safety (and we realize that this is the most important thing), we found out recently (after 4 months on the job) that she resented having to wake up early on weekday mornings, being in charge of tidying the kids’ rooms (with the kids’ help), doing their laundry, and organizing the playroom. She also resented having to work 40 to 45 hours per week, since both of us work.
She had a beautiful room, use of the car (with some distance limitations), her own computer/skype, TV and DVD player, and we provided her with a cell phone. For the most part, she was smiling, interacting and joking with all of us, having a fantastic and busy social life, and did her work.
We helped her a great deal with her transition to U.S. life, took her on vacation to the beach, provided her with many tips on where to shop and travel, welcomed her friends at our pool, and we were always open to her whenever she had concerns.
Thus, it came to us as a big shock when she announced that she wanted to “rematch”. We told her that it would not be easy to find a new family in our city, but she still quit. Just a couple of days later, we found out that she had been speaking to a new family in our city, had told them that she was going to quit, and asked them to apply to our au pair agency right after she quit (which the did and she became their au pair). Next thing I know, she is driving a brand new Mercedes and moving into a huge house…
I am curious if anyone has had a similar experience. How did you deal with it?