Two Weeks, Three Lies, and One Next Step: Rematch

by cv harquail on March 26, 2014

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.

Except for 1) unsafe behavior, and 2) confirmed serious lying.il_570xN.363725042_89bw

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


Grammatical Art print for sale on Etsy.

See also:  On Lying:

Cut Your Losses: When your Au Pair starts lying before she even arrives
When You Suspect That Your Au Pair is Lying. A lot.

 On Rematching:

Longest question, shortest answer: Rematch now
My Au Pair is Stealing Little Items: Should I rematch?
Saying Farewell After a Quick Rematch: What to do?
Rematch. NOW.





Host Mom in the City March 26, 2014 at 10:00 am

OP, you have a person that in the first two weeks has flat out lied to you about multiple things and hasn’t comported herself in any way shape or form as someone that can be trusted to be left with children. It has been my experience, and I think, the experience of most experienced host moms, that au pairs don’t get better over time, and when they do, it requires a TON of work from the host parents to bring them up to even a mediocre level of performance. Your au pair has already indicated, within the first two weeks, which is when the vast majority of people would at least be trying to be on their best behavior, that she has no issues lying to your face to get what she wants out of you, doesn’t care a bit about your children’s safety, doesn’t take any accountability, and has no concern at all for your needs. Why on earth would you continue this relationship? I would seriously be calling the LCC, having her put out of my house immediately, and would be demanding a full refund of my agency fees – what you describe is truly that bad.

WarmStateMomma March 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

OP: Your baby is left home unattended, a confirmed liar is driving your car who knows where – doing who knows what, and you’re paying for the privilege. It sounds like you know she has to go but want confirmation that you have this in perspective. Confirmed.

If the AP doesn’t actually care about your kids’ safety now, she never will. She may modify a few behaviors to avoid detection, but she will never have her heart in keeping your kids safe, let alone providing quality care for them. She’s just not that kind of person and you can’t change/train her to care.

My emergency child care plan is not good – it’s just the drop-in child care center at my husband’s company. The baby would hate it there and I’d feel terrible leaving her there. But a responsible adult would keep her safe while we made better arrangements. Your situation is bad enough that we would use this last resort plan. I’d call my LCC and tell them the AP is leaving in 2 hours; she may need a ride and a place to stay. Then I’d tell her it’s time to pack; the party is over.

AmericanAP in Germany March 26, 2014 at 10:47 am

Unfortunately, I think rematch is inevitable in this situation. The question is just now or later, possibly when her negligence has caused something to happen to your child. Her main concern is not your family and she has made that clear. I was very upfront in my profile about the fact that I had a boyfriend in the area of Germany I was looking to live in, because I wanted an open and understanding relationship with my host family. Just the fact that she hid this person from you is enough evidence that she doesn’t want an open or trusting relationship. I agree with WarmStateMamma that she may put in more effort into hiding her behaviors, but her attitude will not change. As hard as it is, please go into rematch and find an AP who shares the your vision of what an AP relationship should be.

Dorsi March 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

I think your last au pair must have really affect your perspective on what is “adequate” child care and what is “good” child care. This AP is neither.

You really need to work on resetting what kind of care you can expect from an Au Pair. I don’t say this to make you feel worse — I am sure you are in the midst of a terrible situation and you are trying to figure out how to get care that you need, minimize disruptions, and move forward. However, you need to move into the next phase with no doubt about what you need, want and hope for.

Good luck!

Should be working March 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

As the other commenters have said, you are already looking at what you know to be true, you have to rematch. It would be interesting to consider what makes you hesitate. What makes US hesitate? I’ve put out problems on here that, when I write them out, I realize could be grounds for rematch but to me it isn’t so clear. Why do (some of us) have this high threshold, or this obstacle, to just saying “time to rematch”?

For the record: The ex in the next town is to me not a huge issue. He’s an ex, and she was in rematch and eager to get a family. I don’t consider that a big lie.

But the rest, especially phoning while driving, is unacceptable. And phoning while driving is reason to NOT house her for 2 weeks; she has no judgment about safety. She goes to the LCC.

OpinionatedHM March 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Trust your instinct and rematch. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. She lied to you and mislead you about her actions and intentions. There are a lot of reasons not to rematch, but none of those reasons can outweigh the stress that will be placed on you and your family by keeping someone you can’t trust. We recently had a similar situation and my husband said it best: if she can lie about something so small – visiting her boyfriend – how can you trust her to tell the truth when it’s something big? How can you trust that when she is out with your children, she’s not ignoring them while meeting up with the boyfriend? How can you ever trust that she is where she said she would be? There is no easy way to fix that, certainly not in one year.
We rematched with our AuPair who we caught in a similar lie. It’s hard to rematch, you need childcare, and it takes time to get someone new in place even if you are lucky enough to find someone in country. You’ve already been through it once. It’s worth going through again. The amount of stress you will experience during rematch is nothing compared to the worry of having someone you can’t trust in your home and caring for your children.

exaupair March 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Dear OP, I’m sorry you ended up with such a terrible au pair, she is clearly not there for the right reasons. Same as people above I think you should just sit her down in the evening, point out every concern you have with her performance and kindly ask to start packing. I would be against any mediation meetings because after that she would most likely continue whatever she was doing, just hide it better.
On the other hand, consider yourself lucky – two of your kids are big enough to tell you how the day with the AP looked like. If you only had the baby you would have realized MUCH later!
should be working@ As much as I think the boyfriend not an issue at all, she LIED when asked about it before matching. I would have more sympathy for her if she said she chose to keep her private matters to herself. Even if it was one (but not the only one!) of her reasons to pick the family/ location she’s not really obliged to disclose this kind of info, isn’t she? He might have been an ex, now they’ve rekindled, end of, but when it comes to job matching questions should regard the AP role in the household, and the the AS (same as any other interviewee) has the right to ditch any relationship-related question. Unless it’s different in the US.
Instead of pulling the privacy card she decided to lie from the very beginning, so in general she can’t be trusted…

Angie host mom March 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm


As an exercise, let’s break it down into what is a pain in the neck which maybe you could live with for a stellar au pair and what the reasons are that you are going into rematch.

Car comfort – the fact that she isn’t comfortable driving one of your cars could be a reason to rematch if your family doesn’t function with her driving the other car, but it sounds like you put that in the pain in the neck category.

Lying about car usage – Saying you are going 30 miles roundtrip and going 150 miles in one night is ridiculous – that’s 2 extra hours of driving – if you are SURE that the 150 miles was put on that night by the au pair this is a fire her right now offense (unless she came back and apologized and explained car usage).

Ex in town, not mentioned – I put this in the pain in the neck category. You can’t control who your au pair is going to date. And you honestly can’t expect her to bare her heart to you before she even knows you. And I personally don’t think as host parents we have a right to demand au pairs tell us who they are seeing, or to be upset if they lie about it. Half the time these young women don’t even realize themselves if they are dating or in love or just friends or a booty call.

Cell phone usage while with kids – First offense, if admitted and apologized, would be a pain in the neck and a watch it condition. Lying about it, when you can see she was on the phone for over an hour is a firing offense again.

Here’s a slightly different perspective if you are looking for it, in case you decide not to rematch. This is an au pair who clearly wants to stay in the area. She wants to be able to drive and use her cell phone. Your kids like her. She doesn’t want to live by the limits you have set for her – but the good news is you are able to tell if she is following those limits or not. What you don’t want to do is come down harsh and have her just get her own cell phone and keep lying to you. What you do want to do is have her understand that above all lying is not acceptable, and that she needs to tell her friends what her limits are and live within them – or she is leaving. Personally, I’d rematch, but if you want to keep her for whatever reasons, just make sure you emphasize she needs to be honest not that she needs to dump the boyfriend.

Dorsi March 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I really appreciate this perspective (and this site). I really don’t agree with keeping this AP at all, but I love that someone is making a case for how you could make this work. I really appreciate the variety and depth in these discussion.

Should be working March 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I’ll put out there that “petty dishonesty” and “strategic concealment” are for me not a deal breaker. I am certainly an outlier on this, as I was with my tolerance for the idea that an AP might snoop around in my stuff.

Our second AP smoked occasionally and the application said she didn’t. When after her first week I told her I smelled smoke on her clothes (occasionally when DH arrives home I know immediately he’s had a cigarette), she pretended she had no idea why. Actually I totally understand why she lied about it, not that it’s right but I can see why. The lying was not a big deal for me. Meanwhile she had shown herself to be DEVOTED to the kids and highly motivated. For me, therefore, it was a pragmatic issue: I don’t want kids ever to see or hear or smell smoke, and me either. It mostly worked. If someone had asthma or we truly HATED smoke, the smoking would have been a dealbreaker but not the lying about it. Also, at some point my little daughter spied a pack of cigarettes in the AP’s purse and told me about it, and it was a great learning opportunity for talking with her about why people smoke, even people who are smart and great, and why it is important not to start. (We have Euro grandparents who smoke a lot and so we don’t want to demonize smokers.)

We are also probably more lax than others about kids’ lying. They lie about small stuff, I smirk at them and let them know I know. Obviously big, bad lies or concealments aren’t ok, and thus far there have been none. And I have an occasional talk, since they were little, about why it is sometimes ok to break a promise of secrecy to a friend–e.g. if someone is getting hurt, or something scary is happening to the friend, or even if it just doesn’t feel right and you aren’t sure what to do, then you HAVE to break the promise.

To me it is the “package”. An AP who lied about driving a long way but otherwise was great, I would shrug and say to her, “The odometer tells me the story. Don’t do it, ok? Otherwise you’ll split cost of maintenance and repairs with us, starting last week.”

On the other hand, I make VERY CLEAR that phone use or texting is grounds for immediate rematch and say several times that this is for real, no ifs ands or buts.

If I felt like an AP were not taking good care of my kids, including lying about how long she was on the phone, THAT would be the dealbreaker. Not the lying but the coverup of how available she was to the kids and what she was doing on the work time.

Should be working March 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I meant that phone use or texting WHILE DRIVING is grounds for immediate rematch, duh.

The comment doesn’t come off the way I meant it, I think. I guess I wanted to say that in terms of the package, petty lying about small things (the 150 miles is not small, I grant) is outweighed by a devoted AP. I have even suggested to new, kid-awkward APs that they do something sneaky and conspiratorial (to help them bond with kids), something I probably would not “approve of” in most cases, like go get a big ice cream after school, or put the fake ice cubes with fake bugs in them into Papa’s glass at dinner.

Should be working March 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I’ll add one more: It’s hard for kids to learn the code of what we call a lie and what not. It is tied up with our notions of morality more than of truth. We make them write thank-you notes (I do anyway) in which they have to say something positive about the gift they received even if they hate it. They have to pretend all day to care about schoolwork that they don’t care about, and to show respect to people they don’t respect. We ask them to not act so grumpy, when that is how they are feeling. (This is a BIG topic btw with German APs: they don’t want to “be dishonest about how they are feeling”, I tell them “in the US it is considered a virtue to be cheerful even if you don’t feel it”.)

My husband is even more lax about lying than I am! He outright contradicts them when they tell a story or mention someone “lying” in a petty context. He tells the kids that it’s not a lie unless it hurts someone. So when my kid tells me he made his bed and he didn’t, that doesn’t count as a lie or at least not as a moral offense. He has to make it, he should just go do it.

AlwaysHopeful HM March 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

SBW– I’m intrigued by the idea of a lie not always rising to the level of a moral offense. But even when it’s “just” a lie, how do you know when you’re being told the truth? How do you KNOW, for example, that she is devoted to your kids?

Should be working March 26, 2014 at 6:09 pm

For my husband, a “lie” is only a lie at all when it IS a moral offense. Not sure what the word is for all those “fibs” that don’t rise to that level. I’m starting to see things his way on this.

With the kids I usually know if I’m being told the truth, and it is about giving them the “moral compass” for knowing what matters and what doesn’t. “Lying” about making a bed doesn’t matter. Lying about whether there is bullying at school does. My kids really seem to get it perfectly.

My kids are verging on or already preteens, and they are tattletales, so I have some feedback on the AP and they don’t hold back. But apart from that I can see when the AP is devoted to kids, or so I believe. She shows enthusiasm, plans things, snuggles with them, laughs with them, goes to say and hug goodbye when she goes out at night, stuff like that.

Always Hopeful HM March 27, 2014 at 6:12 am

Got it.

I can definitely see that with kids, for two reasons. One, they are growing and learning to develop a moral compass, so it’s hard to say something is a “lie” when they’re still learning to sort out how to tell the truth. Second, we’ve known them their whole lives, so we know their tells, know what’s big or little, etc. what strikes me about an au pair is that what we know about them really is what they tell us or choose to show us. So, when an untruth occurs, it can be unsettling because it can seem to call into question everything you thought you knew about the AP. Or maybe that’s just me! :)

WarmStateMomma March 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Angie – I like your points about the boyfriend. I do ask applicants if they have any friends in the US and would be irritated if lied to about a basic question like this. But I can see where an AP would think “I’m done with him and don’t want to mention him” but later change her mind.

Momma Gadget March 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm


OpinionatedHM is right on target-“if she can lie about something so small – visiting her boyfriend – how can you trust her to tell the truth when it’s something big?”

She has told multiple lies right out of the gate…
She has broken your rules repeatedly out of the gate…
She is an inconvenience because she can’t drive manual right out of the gate…
She is negligent with children by leaving them on their own while she chats on the phone in another room…right out of the gate!!!!
What are you waiting for?
We had a similar experience with our first AP, although there was no boyfriend involved. She put ridiculous amounts of mileage on our car, and would manipulate the truth-ex.. she would say she was meeting friends at Starbucks, purposely leading us to believe she was talking about the one 1 mile in town by pointing in that general direction, When in fact she was meeting some random AP she met though Facebook 45 miles away (we have a 20 mile radius limit on our car). She would leave my rambunctious boys to their own devices for long periods if time while she skyped with friends in her room… so that I would come home to boys covered head to toe in permanent marker since they we bored by themselves and decided to fence with sharpies. I was reluctant to rematch at first, but the(attitude) marker incident put me over the edge. This type of lying, and irresponsibility just shows that she was too immature to be an AP.
Personally- I would not match with the only available transition AP- without out others to choose from, no matter how inconvenient it is. I really need at least 3 candidates for compare. As hindsight is 20/20, if none of them are the right fit, I’d start over from out of country.

Good luck!

CAcapitolHostMom March 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Rematch is hard, but the anxiety beforehand while deciding what to do is the hardest, I think. I used to read blog entries about rematch and think, “That’s clearly a rematch situation and the host parent should not feel badly for requesting a rematch when her children’s safety or health or wellbeing is at stake.” But after I went through a rematch, I complete empathize! Why do we feel so badly for rematching when it’s in our family and children’s best interest? It’s almost like we take on some type of “I’ve failed” mentality.

I think you already know what to do, but you want some reassurances that you’re not a bad host mom because you’re rematching. At least, that’s what I wanted someone to say to me. So I’ll say it here, “You are a good host mom.” And so is every hostparent who reads this blog.

Best of luck in your rematch.

TrustBroken HM March 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm

I am the OP and appreciate everyone’s comments. This happened a little over two weeks ago. The first night I contacted the LCC and we sat down together to discuss what was going on (LCC wanted to be in on it). I thought for sure we were heading towards rematch and wasn’t sure if I could even go forward with her watching the kids.

We had a very detailed discussion and she apologized regarding the cell phone use and promised to not use it at all during my stated off limits time. In regards to the car, she was frustrated that we brought this up, since she did not think it was possible she could have put that much mileage on the car. We are positive this occurred for two reasons, 1- we had just put gas in the car and reset the odometer and 2-she had to get gas the next day in order to get my children to school. Basically the way we left the car situation is that she wants to only drive it to school and the gym and otherwise she will catch rides with the other aupairs when they are going places.

I explained to both the LCC and the Au Pair that isn’t a good resolution for that because she will be unfairly relying on other au pairs to drive her places, but they both agreed that was a good path forward (we have two very close au pairs). After our meeting, I agree to give her another chance and meet weekly with the LCC and monitor cell phone usage. I was pretty surprised that was our go forward plan (I didn’t think I would be willing prior to the meeting). She otherwise is a pretty good au pair and has connected with my kids. I am somewhat weary on how things will be going forward and a little unsure if it will work out.

I know that issues identified in the beginning will most likely only get worse but her other good qualities is allowing me to try this right now. A couple of side comments: the boyfriend comment I made was more towards a concern that she would be attempting to drive the 75 miles each way to meet up with him going forward. I don’t mind that she has an ex she didn’t mention to me (we never discussed it), more was worried that she would continue to lie about the car so she could meet up with him again.

Caring HP March 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

We’ve had a lot of lies about the car from APs we trusted and valued and cared for. Other HPs we know have had the same thing. THe HFs we are friends with suggested we print the AAA Cost of Driving Annual Survey (I don’t think I can paste a link here but if you google “AAA Cost of Driving 2013 Brochure” and “Cost of Driving 2013 Press Release”) and the IRS Website Article on Cost per Mile REimbursed for driving (55c I think to cover wear, tear, maintenance, tires, gas per mile driven). THe AAA survey pegs 1 mile driven in a minivan to cost 65c assuming 15,000 miles driven per year. This helps them understand that it costs a lot for the HF to operate a 3rd car and they are usually a little more respectful of car usage.

The 65 c a mile assumes 15,000 miles a year, gas + tires + oil + fluids + service checks and maintenance and replacement parts that the Manufacturer says to check every x thousand miles + tag + registration + tax + various other things I would never have thought of til our friends pointed it out. I also hadn’t realized til I read one of those AAA surveys that each mile driven on a vehicle can depreciate the car maybe 20+c. Now I understand why HFs put a cap on the miles an AP can drive so they don’t clock up way too many miles and leave us with a worthless car at the end of the year.

Several HFs we know have also installed OnStar or Mastrack or some kind of Security GPS device in their Cars due to lies like the ones your AP presented. [some insurance companies are using a similar device now too to monitor the insured’s driving habits to lower insurance – so if the car is used less than 30 miles a day, and is not used after midnight (which is the time the insurance companies consider the start of the high risk accident period) they are offering up to 30% discount on insurance per month].

My HF friends give the AP website or printout access showing what the Security device says were the miles or locations of the car if the AP denies misuse of the Car. They only usually have to gently discuss it once and then the Ap understands that the device does not lie and is more likely to ask permission or stick to the rules in future.
ANother HF found out their AP had an accident because the device was set to somehow send an email to the dad when there was an IMPACT or sharp braking. He was able to rush to help faster than he might have otherwise known. I think these devices can be set with a GeoFence too so if you only allow your car to be used say, locally, it will send an alert if the limit is abused.

I know people who do not tell the AP these devices are in the Car. I think it is better to tell the AP and explain it to her fully.

These devices are in most company cars that employers issue to sales men and other traveling employees these days. THey are also in delivery vans, taxis and other fleets. It is totally common for a person to wish to know where a $25,000 or other expensive asset is. Employers therefore track their own asset, not the human that is in it. Our employers often can track us using our cells if they are work issued cells too. It is the way our world is now.

If you decide to keep the AP you might tell her that you will be installing a device in the car. It might help keep her honest.

PhillyMom March 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Thank you!! Great idea!!!

Taking a Computer Lunch March 27, 2014 at 7:30 am

Call your LCC right now and have her pick the AP up. She left a toddler alone in another room while she talked on the phone? That AP needs to surrender her phone, keys to the house, and be out of your house immediately – because if you let the LCC invoke a two-week waiting period, I’m afraid things will only get worse – especially if she figures out your older children on reporting her activities to you. This young woman is ignoring the fact that her visa requires her to do a job and has already left you in the lurch. Don’t put up with her for another minute.

WestMom March 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

As if you didn’t go through enough with the previous AP… Did you make it clear to this AP that you already went into rematch because of overuse of cell phone and excessive car usage (if so, she is plain dumb)? The fact that she is pulling this off 2 weeks after coming out of rematch just proves she is unfit to be an Au Pair (and even perhaps hold a job for that matter).
The previous mom made it sound like she would be great, but I am wondering if she just said nice things to get her out of her house! I probably would call her back to let her know what’s going on and see what she has to say…

SingleHM March 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

I have a similar AP. Lies, uses phone excessively.

We even went thru mediation. Slightly helped for a while, and then she fell back into her lazy lame habits.

At this point with <100 days left…I am counting down until she left.

I should have rematched…but I'm a dreamer that she would change. All she does is take take take from me and never give back and does the absolute minimum.

Take these two weeks and really look if she is improving. If she slips back, rematch. It will NOT get better than it is now…just worse until you feel like I am …counting the days until she LEAVES and avoiding any unnecessary contact.

London Mum March 27, 2014 at 11:55 am

I agree with SingleHM, I had a terrible AP a couple of years ago, she always did the bear minimum and even said to me once “if I do something once, you will expect it all the time so I will only do what I am asked”. She wouldn’t even wipe down the kitchen bench after making toast!
I put up with her for 10 months and only realised what an atmosphere she created in the house after she was gone. The final straw was when my 3 year old started crying in the bath, he couldn’t tell me what was wrong but his big brother said, “he doesn’t like dragging”, apparently when he was tired, coming home from nursery, instead of walking at his pace, it’s only a 5 minute walk, she would drag him by the arm, repeatedly telling him to hurry up!
I think APs with bad attitude will never do a good job and usually don’t make an effort to change.

Momma Gadget March 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Dear TrustbrokenHM- Though I hope I am wrong, I strongly feel it is a mistake to be talked into another chance for this AP. Usually any half decent APs try really hard in the beginning. Usually transition APs having dodged the bullet of being sent home, are grateful to be given another chance and try very hard to do a good job too. Did she acknowledge/apologize for leaving your toddler unsupervised too?!!! Plus, She refused to acknowledge that she drove the car as far as you know she did.
Our 1st AP did this too. Even though we discussed the car rules before matching, she decided( in her own mind) that our car rules were unreasonable, and therefore felt entitled to drive the car wherever she wanted. She even went as far to suggest that since cars are so cheap in the U.S.A.- “only a couple thousand dollars” maybe we should buy her an exclusive AP car.
You sound like a very nice person for wanting to give this AP another chance, but I would be careful that she is worthy of it, and you are not being played by an AP who’s intention is to do/say just enough to keep her out of rematch…and being more of a stressful aggravation than a solution to your childcare needs.
There are plenty of other caring , wonderful APs out there who are deserving.

London Mum- That is abusive & terrible! I can only imagine your horror, shock and outrage when you found out! Hugs to the little one, and the big brother who told what was going on.

IT-Aupair March 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Hello! I was in a similar situation just opposite. My host mom lied to me from the beginning. I’m an au pair in Europe in a country where is not necessary use an agency to be an au pair so I used a web site to find my former host family. I was there legally and I had a contract.

According to the contract I was supposed to work 6 hours per day but I was working 11hours per day without being paid the extra hours. My host mom initially told me that they needed me to work in the afternoon and in the evening while all mornings would have been free. So I decided to study for a test, I paid (a lot) to register for the test and bought all the books to study for it and discovered just later than in the morning one of the kid didn’t attend school and they wanted me to look after the child, do the laundry, cook and keep the all house clean (included their room)! So I had no time to prepare my test.

They also stated they were a non-smoking family and I clearly said to them that I didn’t want a smoking family (I have a little asthma problem) but I discovered that both parents were smokers. Finally, I had to share the bathroom with the kids (I’m ok with this) but it wasn’t possible to lock the door and the shower was just in front of the corridor and the kids were coming inside and outside the bathroom opening the door.

We discussed these problems in the first days and they made me promises they never kept so after a week I talked to them and ask why they didn’t keep their promises and told them I wanted them to respect the contract. They just told me they weren’t going to respect the contract and that I couldn’t do anything….of course I answered them I was going to leave really soon and I did so.

I had to write to the website/on-line agency to ask some info about documents to change the family and I had to describe all the situation. I didn’t say the name of the family but they asked me to report to them the family to see if they still have an active account (they do) so that they could cancel it and don’t let them host another au pair.

I still haven’t given an answer to the on-line agency, I feel bad reporting the family. I found another family in the same city and I have au pair friends who live next to the first host family and work for families who are friends of them so I will probably meet them again. What should I do? On the other hand, I feel bad for the poor au pair who will be chosen by them.

I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions!

HRHM March 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Give them the name. I would hate to think of my daughter ending up with a family that treated her that way! You have an ethical obligation to disclose to protect other young women like yourself. AND if any of my friends treated their AP this way, I’d be appalled at the family’s behavior, not at the AP for reporting them.

exaupair March 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Dear IT-Aupair@There’s no reason for you to feel bad! I’m sorry you had to go through this, hope your next family will treat you in the way you deserve and respect your off duty time.
If I understand correctly you don’t want to give full name of the family to the website owner in order to have them banned? You should definitely do that, and do not feel bad about it. they have cheated you, not the other way round.
If you want, describe your story on facebook page for potential and current au pairs in your area, you can’t put the family name in there (that would be an offense), but you could hand those details in a private message.

My 2 cents
Shame some girls do not realize that when abused in any way, they are in a position to stand up for themselves. Dunno which country you were in, but in many oral agreement is as strong as any written contract.
If both parties signed the contract you could have taken some legal action. Some people probably think that the AP can barely afford a night out therefor
And to be honest, if I were you, I would gather some evidence for what I’ve worked not being paid for, and at some point I would simply refuse to work mornings and any other time that’s outside my hours mentioned in that contract, end of.

Best case scenario: they leave it how it is and I continue doing my bare minimum, looking for a new family behind their backs.

Worst case scenario: they tell me to pack and get lost right now. In that case I simply tell them I’m not really going anywhere and if they really want me out they need to call a police officer for assistance.there’s a very slim chance they would because 1)police has better things to do than evict live in house staff, and 2) I have my copy of the contract and whatever else I have, which I can always show to whoever shows up and tell my side of the story. In reality 90% of dishonest host parents would not go that far, simply because they are in the wrong and they know it, plus there’s always the “what if” – i.e. what if there is a very slim chance (but still!) that she will actually press charges and we will end up named, shamed and skint after a year long court battle. Sometimes people like that on the outside seem perfect and “what if the neighbors will talk” can be more of a problem than no childcare backup? And back to the worst case scenario, I would just stay in my room for few days doing absolutely nothing but looking for a new family/ other place to stay, then, after that made sure I got everything they owned me I leave.
Oh yes, and on my way out I would make the neighbors talk, just to show them, they are not above everyone else and they can’t just mess with some people.

Said that, using websites has more advantages than disadvantages, like for example, you are pretty much free to shop around, and see as many families as you want to before you make your decision, it’s cheaper because they charge only a small amount for subscription, some even register au pairs for free! You’re not coached by anyone on what to put in your profile, so you can be perfectly honest about yourself, your description, likes and dislikes (I, for instance, am a terrible smoker so ticked that in my profile and only looked for smoking households or those, who didn’t mind smokers, and to my big surprise I found plenty!)
I have found two AMAZING families through aupairworld, and I believe there’s more genuine, kind and honest families, than those who will use and abuse you from the very beginning.

Deb Schwarz March 27, 2014 at 10:54 pm

This is an easy one – excessive phone use, lying – it’s a no go. Go into rematch pronto. I hope that your agency has more choice this time – if not, then go to another agency or an overseas au pair.

Deb Schwarz
Mom to Irish Quads
Cultural Care Au Pair
Host mom to 15 au pairs, have matched more than a thousand happy host families

HM Reality Check April 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Multiple lies in the first 2 weeks?
Don’t waste anymore time or energy on this bad egg.

Southern Host Most July 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I am so glad to see that I am not alone in my struggles with APs and phone/text use, driving while talking/texting. I will add this: giving AP a free smart phone so you can keep in touch with her may seem like a great idea but can really back-fire. AP 1 was on it constantly and I mean hours a day while on shift-and that is only what I could see on text and talk, forget social media, email, etc. No degree of talking to her, getting local rep involved, made any difference. Had to block all the data and eventually rematch as it was a safety issue (can you really be watching the kids if you are looking at a phone?). AP 2 was given a phone with big talk up front about not misusing and very clear rules in the handbook about use in the car. Seemed ok for quite a while but then she too started spending way too much time on it and also talking and texting while driving. And, best part, when we talked to her about it, she declared she felt very safe talking/texting and driving….with our kids in the car! Done. And I hope you were too! It is a tough situation though…..because if you don’t provide a phone, they are more than likely going to get their own and then you have zero ability to control or monitor the use. It is a no win in some ways.

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