When Host Parents Disagree, once an Au Pair has let them down

by cv harquail on January 29, 2011

When there is more than one host parent in the household, it’s important for host parents to present a united front. Parents & Partners need to agree on household rules, behavioral expectations, and childcare preferences, and communicate in agreement to the au pair. When host parents disagree, it is impossible for an au pair to meet each both partners’ conflicting expectations and do his or her job “well”.

Host parents also need to be united in their “host parent approach” to challenges and problems with their au pair. This doesn’t mean that both parents have to act identically– one parent can be the peacemaker, the other can be the problem identifier (aka, “good cop, bad cop”). They just have to agree that the way the other parent is interacting with the au pair is (1) all right with them and (2) delivers the agreed-upon goals.love banner victorian station.jpg

For example, one host family I know had what I thought at the time was an odd relationship when it came to the au pair. Neither parent particularly liked the au pair, but one of the host parents disliked the au pair so much that this parent refused to manage the au pair or even really interact with the au pair. Although both parents disliked the au pair, they swapped part of their feelings with the other, so that with one parent expressing the total of both their dislike, and the other parent expressing the total of both their patience. This is known in group dynamics as “splitting”, and it makes it easier for groups to handle collective ambivalence. It’s a fairly common dynamic in pairs too.

Perhaps that’s what’s going on with this host parent pair?

We’ve had a bumpy road with our 2nd au pair. She’s been with us 4 1/2 months. 6 weeks ago she stole from us and lied, then stole and lied some more. (“Au pair is stealing little items” post).

HD felt strongly that our responsibility as host parent implied a parental obligation to help AP learn from her mistake. As a manager of many hundreds of people, HD applied his considerable Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) strategies with AP. We had several lengthy discussions with AP. We put in writing the specific events and dates of theft and dishonestly, and provided specific examples of events that raised other concerns about fire safety, bossiness/ugly discipline, withholding information from us, and several other areas where she was not fulfilling her obligations as we expected. We gave concrete requirements, in writing, for improved performance.

I agreed with HD that the “right” thing to do was give her another chance, since we had not honestly made every effort to improve the situation. And AP has made a considerable effort and about half the time she meets the tangible requirements (like providing a daily written report of the children’s day and tidying the kids’ rooms). On the less easily measured requirements (don’t lie, don’t steal, ask questions rather than assume or guess, volunteer information rather than wait for us to ask for it) improvement is less straightforward to demonstrate. As I see it, by choosing to steal and lie, she broke our trust; it is now her responsibility to rebuild our trust in her by providing no reason to doubt her honesty and integrity and commitment to making it work. Her efforts at the intangibles are spotty (and I am admittedly biased).

The problem now is really between us HPs. I have no patience anymore for the little stuff (like leaving the space heater on when going out for the weekend) I would previously have corrected, forgiven and forgotten. I’m all out of good will and benefit of the doubt toward the AP and would rather rematch.

HD does not view rematch as viable option; the choice is this AP or no AP. HD is tired of the drama of the strained relationship between grumpy hostmom and AP, and rematch just perpetuates the drama of living with an AP. He faults my poor attitude toward AP, thinks my attitude undermines APs efforts (which it does), and seems to view her efforts as progress enough to keep her through the end of the contract. Until July, we have no other viable childcare options.

I feel trapped. So, where does an HM go to find a better attitude about an AP that she just doesn’t like anymore?

Here’s what I wrote back to this Host Mom–

“I really feel for you. It’s hard enough to deal with broken trust, and with an au pair you dislike. To have to manage this when you and your partner take different approaches makes it even harder.

IMHO, I don’t think you are giving yourself credit for the spot you are in… it’s not that you don’t “like” this au pair, it’s that you don’t “trust” her. It’s not a personality thing where the issue is ‘taste’, it’s a relationship thing where the issue is whether she and this relationship deserve any more effort from you. You feelings aren’t in any way unreasonable… so don’t feel guilty about having them!

I appreciate that HD might feel more attached to the idea that things are good enough– who’d want to go to all that trouble of a PIP, only to have to acknowledge that it hadn’t worked?

But what really troubles me, honestly, is the sense that you and your partner have this rift between you. Sure, you could rematch or not, suck it up or not, or push back on your au pair to improve her behavior, or not… but no matter what you do, you are left with the experience of that space between you and your spouse.

One thing that we talk about a lot is how having an au pair can make us better parents, since it challenges us to reflect on and be deliberate about “how we parent”. Having an au pair can also help us be better partners, because we have to find ways to be in this together, as a team.

You could let this particular situation go, or you could use it as a chance to learn how to build agreement with your partner. That shared skill could serve you both quite well in the future, since children– and life– will create situations where you may not agree with each other but where you still have to respond as a team. You can build that team now, or not. It’s up to you. But, in my official ‘hey, I’m not a couples’ counselor’, that’s my reaction.”

Host Parents and Partners, please weigh in…

  • How might this host mom deal with her own feelings?
  • How might she work with her partner so that at least she feels understood?
  • How might HD and HM work together?


ormer Au Pair D. January 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

This Au Pair STOLE the Host Family. STEALING. No matter what is a HUGE deal. How come you trust someone that steal from you living in your own house? It must be very very difficult for this host mom. Even more difficult because HD doesnt agree with her on a rematch. If it was me, she would be out, period.

When people dont agree. it doesnt matter what kind of relationship they have ( married, friends, au pair – host family) The best way to reach an agreement is conversation. Tell HD how you really feel and listen to what he really feels about all this. In my opinion stealing is pretty bad, but if he wants to give her a chance maybe listening to his ideas with an open mind may change your mind and even make you see th way he sees the situation. OR he can change his and act by your point of view.

No argue, only conversation can bring you too to an agreement.

JJ host mom January 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

A PIP works well in the business world, and although I see why you wanted to use it here, I think you may be shooting yourself in the foot by attempting to hold only to the tangible things that are wrong here. Because with an au pair, the real thing you care about – trust- is an intangible. You either have it or you don’t. As we’ve seen here, and in my own experience, once an au pair has broken your trust, it’s really over. It seems that this AP continues to break your trust, regardless of the other stipulations of the PIP that you guys have put together. I agree with your assessment that “by choosing to steal and lie, she broke our trust; it is now her responsibility to rebuild our trust in her by providing no reason to doubt her honesty and integrity and commitment to making it work.” It sounds to me, too, like she isn’t making an effort to do that.

One dynamic I’ve definitely seen in my own relationship, with au pairs, is that I tend to make childcare decisions instinctively, whereas my husband tends to make them logically. Trust is an instinctive quality; it’s often hard to quantify. And yet it’s crucial to have trust in an au pair relationship. So what’s happened twice now, to me, is that I get to the point where I don’t trust an au pair, but it’s just a matter of grey area. I can’t make it make black and white/logical sense to DH. So he argues with me and thinks that I’m just being overly emotional about it. Then I finally “win” and we go into rematch, and the minute the AP is gone, DH says “wow, you were right.” I would argue that in the business world, logical decisions and PIPs are often correct, but with childcare, instincts are more important. You have to be able to trust the person taking care of your children.

I think in your case, what may be coming across as “the drama of the strained relationship between grumpy hostmom and AP” may actually be that you’ve instinctively made the decision that this AP isn’t working out. It’s just that HD isn’t there yet because he hasn’t been able to make that decision from a logical standpoint. It doesn’t mean that your decision isn’t valid or supported; it’s just supported differently than his.

I would figure out what options you can live with (sounds like rematching is really the only thing that would make you happy?) Then ask DH what options he can live with (if you do rematch, how is he planning to deal with childcare until July? You already have an alternative: another au pair, so if he rejects that alternative, it’s his responsibility to find another option.) And then go ahead and put the au pair into rematch, and let him deal with the alternate childcare, whether that be daycare dropoff/pickup, hiring a nanny, etc. If he gets to the point where he wants another au pair, then you can step in and help hire and train a new one.

Taking a Computer Lunch January 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

BTDT with an AP who took care of The Camel well enough, but missed the mark in many other areas that were tolerable to DH but made me vent my spleen on a regular basis. However, I was the HP who pushed, set benchmarks, and when I finally blew my stack, discovered that the venn diagram of special needs willing APs who could drive was practically nil, and so I vented and fumed for another six months (but on the advice of my LCC I stopped pushing and let her fail to meet the benchmarks, because then I had concrete reasons not to extend with her – rather than my personal feelings).

Rematch. Unless you have a special needs child, chances are you’ll land with a good-enough or better AP. And best yet, you’ll stop fuming. I got to the point that I sounded like a broken record and it got old to DH fast. An intangible that an AP who has broken your trust affects is marital equanimity. (But before you make it official, call your LCC and ask about the pool of candidates.)

After our year was up, we took on another AP (having revamped some of our questions). While not perfect, she is great. And after month 3, I wrote an email to my LCC about how much easier this year has been than last.

Calif Mom January 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I’m in a similar situation, though my hub is not as far down the road of blaming my attitude for *everything* and he agrees that he doesn’t like her either and that I’m right that she is minimally competent. But he does listen to a lot of my complaining lately, because I’m at that same point of no return that you are at. He just doesn’t let it bug him as much. He is more direct than I am, but wants me to be the one to correct the behaviors that piss me off. I still just don’t like her personally, so that means there’s no more goodwill for petty little things and zero tolerance for the things that are not at all in the gray zone. Is she our worst AP ever? no, hardly. But if we had a deal-killer pop up, she’d be gone in a heartbeat. stealing is a deal-killer for me, but you’re beyond that point. So I’m trying to focus on your current situation.

My sanity savers: I avoid personal conversations because they are more frustrating and have the risk of my really blowing up at her. She has no ability to pick up on subtle clues, and I have a hard time saying “don’t ever do that again”. Anticipating that conversation makes me sick to my stomach, and I’m exhausted afterward. But when I blow, I blow, and it would be bad for me to blow up over something small because I couldn’t excuse it to the counselor, and we need her on our side. So I correct—and praise when she does remember to do things!–by text or email.

I also vent here at aupairmom and to close friends who understand this tricky dynamic. So please, loyal readers, allow me to sincerely say thank you for this outlet, and I apologize for having been very frustrated and posting a lot of non-optimistic comments lately.

Here’s something to consider: my eldest overheard me absolutely blowing up at/with my hub after discovering that yet again, au pair had failed to make sure kid had all necessary equipment for an activity, which is clearly her responsibility and has been PIP-ed. Behind a closed door, I told my hub “That’s IT. I’m DONE. This is inexcusable and I’m tired of doing her job for her. Why is she even here if she can’t handle the basics?” etc.

Kid was extremely upset — though by no stretch her biggest fan (and in many ways being much more mature than the au pair)– my sensitive 11 yr old was horrified that we might actually send her into rematch because of her inadequacies. Because she is fun with the kids and means well.

We have the “she means well” problem. I’m not sure you’ve got that same angle, but perhaps you do. It makes it all trickier.

I’ve learned this time that during our fall intervention I ignored that little voice. I was the only one at the kitchen table (AP, HD, HM and counselor) who really really really wanted to rematch, and I agreed to give her one more chance. We did the same PIP thing your hub did; he too is an excellent manager with a lot of experience and a strong sense of fairness.

Are things better? somewhat. But AP is still clueless and shallow and only partially reliable. She still means well.

It’s tough. Good luck!

no name here January 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

As I read your message it seems like this au pair is not improving your life if she is coming between you and your spouse. We all know there are other child care options available — all of which have advantages and disadvantages. Do not let this other person cause you stress and friction with your husband. It simply isn’t worth it. I remember my husband and I arguing about the house we owned. He did not like it but I loved it. We agreed to sell the house and bought another one. It isn’t perfect either but he is a lot happier — and thus so am I. Maybe after trying the other childcare options your husband will come back around to the au pair solution. Personally, we are on our second WONDERFUL au pair. Good luck.

NoVA Host Mom January 31, 2011 at 2:12 am

BTDT myself, in a way. With our first AP, things became very strained in the house, with me trying to be the HM and the childcare manager (of sorts) while HD seemed to always be the “fun one”. AP was untruthful about many things. This and other issues finally lead to us being advised to stop beating the horse corpse in the yard. It had been just over 4 months when she finally left, and I have to tell you that the strain we had been feeling whenever anywhere near the topic of the AP was gone. Totally gone. Vanished. It was amazing, and something that leads you to finally recognize that if you had just given in to the obvious the first time, a whole world of pain and stress would have been avoided. It’s a learning experience for new AP families, I’ve decided, and one I am glad we are finished with. It also showed both of us that we had become so stressed about the AP issues, we were failing to recognize that they were becoming an issue within our own relationship. We couldn’t see the harm while sitting in the now-boiling pot.

This AP has lied, and while your DH is admirable for wanting to apply the business world practices to the home, that corpse is dead. Really dead. Ain’t coming back.

Your AP is a liar and a thief. No amount of PIP is going to change that. She has thrown away (with both hands) any trust you had for her, and frankly that alone is enough to say “this person should not be entrusted with our children.”

You and your DH have to have a frank discussion, away from the home and prying ears, about what is really going on. Is is a refusal to admit defeat? If so, he and his PIP were not defeated. They were never going to work on someone who had no intention of actually trying. Nice idea, but wasted on someone who had already “checked out”. Time to fish or cut bait. And in this case, cut your losses with this AP and spend the rest of the year with someone who is actually has a positive impact on your household. All of nothing (This or None) is giving me the idea that your husband is simply not wanting to admit failure, or risk it happening again. No guarantees, of course, but at least it is a wonderful learning tool for yourselves in this program, and you can both apply what you have learned to the next AP you select. Good luck.

BoysMama January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I am stricken by how common this scenario seems to be. I just went through this, finally stomped my foot down with my logical, great intentions husband, and said enough is enough. Now we are paying a fortune for random babysitters on random days, and we STILL FEEL BETTER than we did when she was in our house. We found a great new AP we will have to wait 2 months for, yet there is no question that our lives are better with the badly matched AP gone. When an AP is making your life more stressful instead of less stressful, and it can’t be fixed, you are paying for your life to be more difficult.

NoVA Host Mom February 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I instantly became a firm believer in going to Rematch when it is necessary. It really was amazing the difference even in just the stress my own body was feeling that I was not aware of. That one experience made me realize never to hold back from rematching just because we are worried about what else might be out there or the problems of handling the swing time in between. It really wasn’t worth it to any of us.

(and my husband and I have talked out how to handle being HPs, and I think we generally do a better job of co-managing this stuff. Always still room for improvement, of course, but we are at least aware of this).

Should be working February 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

Rematch is a pain but not bad, and I agree that HPs should be less afraid of it! And if you move to considering transition au pairs and are with a large agency, the ‘swing time’ for childcare in between can be very small or even none, if (a big if) you can review profiles and do phone interviews fairly intensively for a few days. For me this was worth taking some half days off work (which I was fortunately able to arrange).

Once I initiated rematch with our first AP, I went through about 2 candidates a day and about a week later (even before first AP had left) I had a match. AP departed, new AP arrived 3 days later. It is hard on the kids to say goodbye to the old AP, but the excitement of the arrival of a new one, whose benefits for them I touted as tactfully as possible (“she is really fun, plays ping-pong, and wants to eat dinner with us!”) gets them over the old one quickly.

Rematch is empowering–HPs should be told this. You get to eliminate a source of stress and disappointment (hooray!) and quickly start with someone who (if you are careful in screening transition au pairs) wants a second chance, knows the REALITY of being an au pair, has already dealt with culture shock issues, and will hopefully be grateful and happy to join you IN A FEW DAYS.

PA AP mom January 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Also BTDT with our first au pair. DH was the “fun” one and I was the “mean” one. She would do basically NOTHING Monday-Thursday while DH was out of town, but Friday when he was home, she was Mary Poppins, doting on the kids, packing lunches, making beds, vaccuuming. This in turn got her all the weekend privileges that she wanted.

Finally the kids started making comments about her change in behavior on Fridays and he realized that it wasn’t me “exaggerating”. We put her on a PIP but it never helped. Unfortunately, it was our first AP and we were petrified of rematch so we stuck it out for another long 6 months. I actually had to go to counseling because it got so bad for me at home.

If it happened to me again, I would definitely rematch. Trust is gone and she doesn’t seem to be interested in working to regain it.

Seasoned Host Mom February 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

That’s a funny/not funny story for me, PA AP mom. I have a traveling husband too, and while my AP situation has not been as pronounced as yours with the Mon.-Thurs. vs. Friday behavior, it’s something I’ve noticed with a couple of au pairs now. It must be have been hard for you, since it was so obvious the au pair was attempting to damage your marriage by being one way with you and another way with your husband. And if she thought she wasn’t, she wasn’t being honest. That is a truly poisonous AP-HF relationship.

My situations have been subtle enough, and my husband savvy enough, that we’ve both realized it and laughed it off when it’s happened to us. But I do still have to remind him occasionally that he sees only a little snapshot of our AP on Fridays, since she’s basically out and about on the weekends.

Taking a Computer Lunch February 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

In my experience, APs deal better with dads (not all but most) than moms, and that transfers to me (who is less touchy feely to begin with) and DH (my softer side – hey it works well in the hospital with The Camel – I play bad parent and DH plays good parent and we both get what we both want – not to have to listen to The Camel’s alarms go off all night once she’s out of danger).

If you feel like you’re in a bad parent/good parent situation, pay attention to how your AP describes her relationship to own parents – good chance it’s transferred to you! When that happens, the best thing you can do as a HM is to stop acting like a mom — and to be explicit about it — and do your best to take on the role of aunty or older friend (when you’re not in the employer role). The minute you do the Mom thing, you’re stuck!

HRHM February 2, 2011 at 4:14 am

We’ve noticed the same thing. The APs that LOVE their Mom seem eager to make a connection to me, the one who hates her Mom seems eager to dismiss and reject any attempts I make to connect. We didn’t realize this unti the 3rd AP when the pattern became apparent, but in the future (IF we go back to the AP program) I would be more thorough in my evaluation of these relationships during the interview process. Since I am the one who “manages” the AP on a day to day basis, it is WAY more important that she and I get along. Not that DH has no interaction, but I am the one who schedules, corrects and orients. None of the APs have “disliked” him, but even if they did, I doubt he’d notice LOL. I’m way more sensitive to those sorts of things and it has made this past year a strain for me. I am really looking forward to her leaving in 36 days. If I hadn’t been deployed since August, I would have rematched already.

Eurogirl February 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

To be honest, very often because the mother of the host family tends to be directly involved in the au pair’s daily life, scheduling duties, asking the au pair to do x,y,z, and also criticising the au pair if she makes any mistake – the dad can be (as he is less close to the au pair and less of an “employer figure”) less influential. I think in every au pair relationship I’ve had, and most that I’ve known, we’ve often thought of the dads as slightly irrelevant, bumbling figures who throw back a coffee in the morning and run out to work, who don’t get to spend a lot of time with their kids (or sometimes their wife)… I consider two out of three of my former host mum to be close friends of mine now. The other is also still a friend. The husbands…not so much.

After a year with one family the father drove me to the airport and shook my hand goodbye like a business collegue, after the mother, kids and I had spent half of the day crying in each other’s arms. Kind of a contrast between my relationship with the rest of his family and with him…

HRHM February 1, 2011 at 1:20 am

This is one of the few areas where I think both parents need to be in complete agreement. If one of you can’t stand your AP, then the other needs to understand that and be willing to find a remedy that the whole family can live with. It’s not like your house cleaner or even a live-out babysitter. You have to live with this person 24/7 and that in and of itself requires a lot. If your husband won’t let you enter into rematch to find a new AP then he needs to come up with a workable alternative to keeping an AP that you can no longer work with. He also needs to understand that he will be forfeiting the remainder of the agency fee for the year most likely.

Eurogirl February 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

When I worked in France as an au pair, the parents fought a lot and ended up seperating – but what really bothered me was that I could hear them fighting (so could the kids) and sometimes I would be mentioned in the fights, for example one of the underlying issues in their relationship was that he had left his well-paid job to try something new that he loved but she felt he was no longer contributing and supporting the family as he was working much, much longer hours and not making very much money (and certainly, not even half as much money as she was). She would scream at him that she was paying for all the household expenses including my wages. And also that I was accompanying her and the children on trips/to parties/to family events and he wasn’t.

I felt like I was coming between them. Even though I got on well with both of them, I thought he would resent me because she used me against him in arguements like that. Whether he did or not, he never showed it to me, but it certainly made me uncomfortable in the relationship with both of them to know that they were disagreeing, not directly about me, but I felt somehow responsible or guilty that I was being brought into the problems in their marriage like that.

All I have to say is, honestly, if your good relationship with your au pair is more important or stronger than your relationship with your husband, you need to re-examine your marriage. Seriously.

And don’t forget, if your au pair knows you are fighting over her or have disagreed about her, that will be awkward and uncomfortable for her, possibly prompting her to want to leave or not work to the same standard as she was before.

OP February 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

It must have been tough to live with HPs who freely argue in front of the au pair and the children. I can see how you would view my situation through the lens of your previous experience with parents who disagree. Your view provides an excellent example of the unfounded, irrational responsibility and guilt children feel about tension between their parents. The situation here is a little different, though. The problem is not with the marriage (yet!), rather, the APs behavior is the problem, and the HPs feel differently about how to deal with the AP. In this case, HD is dispassionate and HM is grumpy and unforgiving, but trying to overcome her baser emotions.

Eurogirl February 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I didn’t mean to imply that your problem was with your marriage, sorry! I would just urge you and husband to remember that your relationship with each other is more important than your relationship with the au pair! If this is a problem or causing you a lot of disagreements, maybe it’s best to lose this au pair before it affects your relationship negatively…

My situation with that family was totally different as they weren’t fighting about me, I just felt dragged into it, but I thought it was relevant to say that hosts should remember that if an au pair knows they disagree about her it can put a serious strain on the relationship between the family and the au pair.

ak February 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

Does your husband want your children to learn how to lie and steal? This is the kind of problem that arises when husbands apply their business “expertise”. The au pair is there to make you happy, period. If that isn’t obvious to him then he is spending too much time at the office, and letting the office culture infect his thinking about matters that have nothing to do with the office. Perhaps you could require that he show up to all family occasions in a suit and tie, and type up a memo after every meal summarizing the use of the spices. You need help with your children and its really up to you to decide your own standards. Just tell him no, it has to be your way.

Gianna February 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Hi Ak,
Emotionally , I agree with you and want to say that’s right but unfortunately one of the trade offs of feminism is that if we have equal rights in the business world, we have to share child care decision making with our husbands ( or other co-parent ).
It is a bitter pill to swallow. I am very sympathetic to your point of view, though.
I know successful business women who send their husbands in like the marines to hassle with the LCCs or the agencies and I would be embarrassed to do that even though my husband LOVES to go charging in there like Sir Galahad. We can’t have it both ways. C’est la vie. I want to add this. Most folks I know in business understand a PIP as a prelude to termination. We all know the party line but when someone comes around with a PIP most people know it is time to make a new plan and leave with your dignity intact. No one I have ever met is fooled by a PIP. Maybe aupairs, since they are young and not native Americans are blissfully ignorant of this reality. Maybe the OP’s husband is the only sincere man in America. But a PIP usually signals that the game is over.

Should be working February 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

Just catching up here on all the news after being away a week . . .
With our first AP, with whom I had most of the contact and managerial responsibility, I was first disappointed, then a little annoyed, then very annoyed, and then grumpy all around, then ‘just-can’t-take-it-anymore’, and my husband heard about it every step of the way. But he didn’t react to any of it, he pretty much dismissed the AP from his mind and energy after a few days, because of her dull-wittedness and incredibly tacky/trashy style. He saw my complaints (depression, dull-wittedness, lack of zeal, more interest in boyfriend than us) but ultimately was fine having her take care of the kids and because she never spent time with us, he didn’t really find himself bothered by her.

After a few weeks of me saying how miserable I was, he finally said that he thought we should rematch. I was so relieved as of that moment. Mood in the house improved totally (except for AP’s). And I’m so grateful that he recognized that my feelings–even if the AP was possibly good-enough with the kids–were more important than the stability of the arrangement. I also realized from that experience that, for future reference, if I’m having little rematch fantasies, or reading the rematch posts on this blog, or just finding myself preoccupied with negative thoughts about the AP, it WAS ALREADY some time ago time to rematch.

For the OP, it sounds like you are in a hard spot and I agree with most of the posters above that if you want the AP gone, the AP goes. Maybe the LCC could be of some help in explaining to husband that in her experience, parents need to be of pretty much the same view of an AP for things to work. Maybe husband, as has been suggested above, needs to be the one who figures out all the childcare needs if he is not willing to try another AP.

My husband’s small hesitations over rematch were, again fortunately for me, quickly smoothed away when I promised that I would do ALL the legwork for finding the new (transition) AP, and he would have zero responsibility for the process. And I was so happy to be in rematch that I did that with zeal, and he couldn’t believe how cheerful the house was again.

I hope this works out for you, OP. Please let us know.

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