Unsafe behavior. Confirmed serious lying.
These are the two unquestionable reasons for rematching– even if your au pair is brand-new.
Of course, the agencies and even we ourselves ask that we give each new au pair situation a chance to work itself out. Many of us have had au pairs who turned out to be our favorites even though we didn’t get on at first. We’ve also watched au pairs we were unsure about become confident, competent caregivers and family participants. Many kinds of relationship kinks get worked out with a little time, and a little attention.
My response to this email, below, was ‘rematch now!’
But, the mom was still tentative… and wanted more reassurance. I turn it over to you, dear readers, to advise her.
Dear AuPairMoms, I am hoping to get some advice on what to do with my current Au Pair situation. I rematched about 2 weeks ago after having the same Au Pair for 14 months.
We’d had our first au pair for 8 months when we decided to extend her for another 6 months when her year ended. We realized quickly afterwards that offering to extend was a mistake. After impromptu return home visits and watching what was going on at the park, it was clear that our first AP was spending all her time on the phone and ignoring our children.
We worked with our LCC for several months to address the AP’s crazy amount of cell phone usage and her constant partying, both of which were leaving her extremely tired every day. That plus the 2K of miles put on our au pair car a month was too much. We finally went into rematch. Late, but finally.
Fast forward, we had 1 au pair to choose from in the rematch pool. She seemed great and her host family thought she would be good for us. But no.
I have already discovered several lies since she arrived.
1: She told me she took her driving test on a manual transmission and although had not driven one in a awhile should have no problem doing it again. We have taken her on a couple of driving lessons and after 1 week she announced she would not drive our au pair car.
She has no problem driving our van for the kids and wants to use that car for her personal driving. We agreed she could use it with permission (since this is my husbands car, he drives au pair car during day but it is only 2 seats) and she wants only to use it to get to class and the gym. We are in the west coast and have 3 kids ages 22 months, 5 years and 8 years.
Last night she asked to take the car to a party in the next town over (about 15 miles away) and we agreed even though it left us trying to find a carpool for one our kids since they both had baseball at different places at the same time. The car came home with 150 miles on it and no gas left (to be fair she gave $20 to us for gas, but we are looking at a $60 bill).
2: We learned she has an ex in that town and she went there to visit with him. She hadn’t mentioned him in our interviews.
3: My child told me that the AP was on her phone during the day for about 5 or 6 minutes and the toddler was looking for her (since she went into a room by herself). I look up the cell phone usage and see she was on the phone for over an hour at that time and in a different room from where my kids where.
I told the AP this morning that my handbook clearly states no more than 5 minutes of cell phone use unless the kids are at school and the baby is napping. She told me that she only looked up something on the phone for a minute and that was it.
In two weeks she has used the cell phone more than 280 minutes — many of these minutes were during those times including when she would of been driving my 5 year old to school!
Tonight I plan on discussing the lying with her and explain again the rules of phone and car usage.
My question to host moms out there is: Is this relationship worth saving? My trust has now been broken.
I was very excited to have her and my kids do seem to like her but two weeks in to be lying about cell phone usage and car usage seems like a major red flag. I am going to email the LCC after we have our discussion tonight so she is aware. Thanks for the help! — TrustBrokenHM
See also: On Lying: