Let’s look at the other side of the situation of the half-empty/half-full relationship … We’ve shared and commented on stories from host parents who are having bad experiences but can’t seem to let go , even though to us — as outsiders looking in — the decision to rematch (or not to extend) seems both obvious and rational.
People resist change for reasons that are valid to them.
We can’t really know all that’s going on in a host family-au pair relationships, and we can’t really know how ‘valid’ any of these reasons are.
Sometimes, though, when we see these reasons in the light of day,
— we find ways to get a round them OR
— we find ways to accept them (and our decision) so that it doesn’t bother us as much.
Here are some reasons we’ve heard for hanging on to a disappointing Au Pair:
- Her time with us is pretty short… by the time we got a rematch, she’d be gone. I’d rather wait until we get someone fresh.
- I can’t take the time now to deal with a rematch…I am too busy, can’t teach someone new.
- She’s ‘good enough’ with the kids. It’s just that I don’t really like her /she annoys me/ she doesn’t do the other jobs well.
- My kids love her and it would be mean to them to have her leave early.
- I don’t believe that girls in rematch are any better than the one I have. I’d rather choose a new candidate, and I may as well wait till it’s time for a new one.
- Finding an extension au pair is so competitive, I can’t bear to have to sell myself to a girl who knows enough about being an au pair to be really picky.
- I keep thinking that, if I manage her better /give her more stuff/schedule her for fewer hours, she’ll improve.
- I’ve accepted that au pairs will only be ‘so good’ and so I’ll lower my expectations.
- I think that the Agency won’t refund my money.
- I’m afraid of being seen as a really bad host parent, since rematch is a sign that you’ve failed.
- I don’t think that my LCC/Agency will support a rematch for me.
- It’s not fair to her to send her home early… she has friends here, etc.
What other reasons have you heard, or even had yourself, for keeping on with an au pair that just wasn’t being part of things the way you’d hoped? Share some more reasons, and then we can talk about when or whether these reasons make sense.
(If you refer to one of the reasons above, use the # so we can keep track! )