When you initiate rematch, can you ask your Au Pair to leave immediately?

by cv harquail on July 22, 2010

When you initiate rematch, can you ask your Au Pair to leave immediately?

When this question popped up over the weekend, I shuddered.

It brought me back instantly to our flame-out au pair, the one who announced on the last day of school that she wanted a rematch because she didn’t want to work weekends in the summer.

We were rather furious, given the long list of accommodations we’d made to try (in vain) to keep her happy. But worse, we were on our way the next week for a family vacation. Our outgoing au pair hadn’t planned to join us anyway, but when she assumed that she could stay in our house, when we weren’t home, after our ‘relationship’ ruptured painfully, there was no way in wherever we were going to let her stay. We simply couldn’t trust her in our home, alone.

Luckily for her, one of her au pair friends took her in for the 10 days or so until she rematched. But if we’d had to put her up for those two weeks? That would have been the only thing worse than what actually happened.

201007211217.jpgUnless you are in one of those really rare ‘mutual’ rematch situations, rematches generate resentment, anxiety, and discomfort in your home. It’s clear that you, the host parent, are responsible for providing room an board for the departing au pair for up to two weeks– she can’t be kicked out on to the street. At the same time, we seem to hope that there is somewhere else s/he can go.

If the rematch is caused by some kind of egregious behavior by the au pair, sometimes the LCC will find a place for the au pair to stay temporarily. When the rematch is ’caused’ by the host family, other host families/au pairs and the LCC often offer their homes as a neutral respite. However, it remains the host parents’ responsibility to see that the au pair is safely housed, somewhere.

Here’s the query from the original poster, Jennifer, and the start of the comments. Join in with your advice.


Has anyone ever told an AP to LEAVE? We will be telling her in a couple of weeks that we want a rematch and I would like for her to leave immediately.

She has been with us 2 months and we have had many issues in this short time. Our most recent was giving her a hotel room while we were on vacation. We agreed that a GF of hers could go with her. Apparently 2 men flew in and stayed with them the whole time. She drove back to our house a day early (we agreed to this but thought it would just be her and her GF). The men came with her and stayed in our house. She also had her boyfriend here over. I don’t think any hanky panky went on but she is not allowed to have ANY male visitors and no visitors without our permission. She has lied the whole time about it.

Funny thing is she keeps posting pictures on FB. I even befriended her last week and she still doesn’t get it. I haven’t led on to knowing anything yet. The story goes on and on… Anyways, I want her to stay until school starts, even though my boys are just watching TV all day because she can’t get off the internet but they aren’t quite old enough to be home alone. I plan on telling her the weekend before school starts.

I don’t feel that I can trust her in my house while the kids are in school. I think she’ll be pretty mad about it. I’ve already told my LCC the situation. She’s not really any help. Can I tell the AP to just leave?

West Coast Mom

That’s what we did. But … we had the support of our LCC, and had all of our back up care plans in place before we sat her down for the talk. We said something like: we are breaking this match, and you need to go downstairs and pack your things and call [LCC]. She was gone within an hour and we never saw or spoke to her again.

Host Mommy Dearest

With our agency we were told that housing the AP for 2 weeks after going into transition is part of the contract, but that we could chose to have her work & pay her, or not have her work and not pay. We chose not to have her work and since she hid or was out when off duty before transition, and we saw even less after we were in transition, there were only a few moments of tension.


If you are with CC – look closely at the contract. It actually says that the Host Family is obligated to house the AP in transition for up to 2 weeks (and here is the key) IF THE TRANSITION WAS INITIATED BY HOST .

This may not be verbatim from the contract (I don’t have it to hand, but will excerpt and post later). We successfully argued this point with CC re one of our APs – the only one with whom we went into transition. AP said she wanted to go to another family, and that was ok with us (after a long list of her issues – she expected me to cook her 3 hot meals a day, including weekends/off days, even though that wasn’t what I was cooking for our family! She thought we were mean and unfair making her get a state driving license (only cost was $40 for the license, and we were paying for it, and this was because our auto ins required that she have a state DL!) etc.) Suffice to say her expectations of the program and ours were not aligned, but SHE actually initiated the rematch.

So we told CC – per your contract we are only obligated to house AP for 2 weeks if we initiate rematch. CC will need to make other arrangements to house her after X date (a date 2 or 3 days from when we communicated this position- we wanted to be reasonable.). We prevailed.

Taking a Computer Lunch

I would look over your agency’s regulations (Google is your friend if you can’t find it easily on your agency’s web site). If the LCC is not assisting you, then go over her head. My guess is that you’ll need the LCC to come and pick her up. Why not have the LCC at the table, when you have that final meeting, so she can take her home from there?

I would suggest that her pattern of bringing men into your home when your children are not around and against your rules, makes her unsuitable for staying in your house during the two-week rematch period. Continue to build your case.


You cannot ask au pair just to leave, but you can ask LCC to take her in.?We had a situation like that – the rematch was because we discovered a big lie and we decided we cannot trust the au pair in our house anymore. With the agreement of the LCC, we asked her to stay her 2 rematch wks with her boyfriend (otherwise LCC would take her in but she wasn’t very eager to live with LCC).?In a situation like yours, where if she remains in your home it is unsafe, the agency should arrange a place for her to stay – usually with LCC. But read your contract fine print.

PA Host mom of Two Au-pairs

When I started to have problems with one of the au-pairs, I interviewed an American girl to fill her shoes when we ask her to leave, this way we didnt have a lapse in childcare. I wouldn’t even want to keep her for a couple more weeks. There are many college girls that need the extra cash before heading back to school in the fall

.?I would consider removing her now and since the LCC is not being that much of a help, have her pick up your au-pair and let her be the LCC problem not yours.

Ps: I would disconnect the internet before you leave for work, that she fix the problem with being on the net while she should be working! I would FLIP that switch!!!

Jennifer (OP)

I did disconnect the internet one day last week. It was really funny, because they were all calling me trying to figure out what was wrong. I’ve left it connected because she keeps posting pictures and I’ve been printing them out to show her when we talk.

Image: in the out door from ?NTHROPOLOGY


AnnaAuPair July 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

My agencies contract says that if you have problems, you are supposed to try out for another month and if nothing changes, you have to host the AuPair for another 2 weeks until she finds a new family.

The day I told my HF that I wanted to go into rematch was (unfortunately) a sunday. My then-HD tried to call my LCC, but she wasn’t working. He then called the agency and was told to wait until monday ^^ You can guess that he wasn’t really happy with that answer, so he went even higher until someone from the agency called the LCC and told her to call my HF.

My HM was furious that I wanted to leave and didn’t want to ever see me again and told me to pack my things immediately, which I did. (I had seen that coming, so I had already asked a friend of mine if I could stay with them in case we finalized the rematch)
When the LCC came the next day, she told my HF that they had to let me stay or pay for the accommodation at the LCCs house for the 2 weeks transition-time. If I would have wanted to stay (which I didn’t because it would have been just awkward and stressful) and they didn’t want me to stay, they would have to pay. If I would have been the one saying I didn’t want to stay, but they would have let me, I would have had to pay.

Having someone in your house that is leaving because you had issues, is very hard. Especially, if one of the parties is angry at the other one for initiating the rematch.
Paying for the 2 weeks (I think it’s about $20 per day) might not be what you want (I certainly wouldn’t want to and I could totally understand my HF for not wanting it), but I guess it’s better than having the person around all the time.

Hula Gal July 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

This is also my understanding of the rules of the Agency I use as well. We had two uncomfortable rematches where the Au Pair stayed. The first one was downright miserable, awkward, weird etc. which only lasted a week – the longest week of my life. The second one stayed for three weeks, with our ok and she worked and we paid her. But it was still moderately uncomfortable and the last few days were strained. If you do not think you can make it work and you are concerned about her being in your house for whatever reason – I recommend paying to have her housed somewhere else. We should have done that with the first one.

Mumsy July 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Our LCC is housing our ex brand new au pair. I could not have her stay in my home as she was extremely rude and it would not have helped anyone for her to stay. I am sad that things did not work out but I believe I did the right thing to terminate the match now. She was with us for less than 2 weeks and was AP #5. AP #1 through 4 all were with us for a year. APs #1 through 3 stay in touch, visit us at least annually, etc. AP #4 only just left but has emailed me every day that she has been gone. I can only put this experience down to a bad match – I expect to be treated with respect in my own home and if the AP can’t do that much, it’s just not going to work ……

JBLV July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

If she is not doing her job, there is no reason to pay her for the time she is living in your home. But if it’s in the contract that if you break the match, you are responsible for housing her, you should follow the contract. It doesn’t sound like you feel she is posing a safety or security threat to your family or your home, which would void the clause in the AP/HF contract.

If she were to pose a security or safety threat to you or your family, you can demand that she leave your home. If she is damaging your home or possessions, or running up large phone bills, etc, you may also be able to demand she leave. Inviting strangers into my home would fit into the category of “safety-risk” for me. I interviewed several AP agencies before I chose one. During each interview, I asked “If the AP poses as safety risk to my family or home, will she be removed immediately?” They all answered “yes.” This question came to mind after doing some research on childcare options and reading stories of host families who were encouraged to “stick it out” by their LCC, only to have something horrific happen.

We went into rematch with our first AP after three weeks (she was smoking like a chimney). Our LCC at that time was a disaster, and what started out being a meeting to discuss our AP’s smoking cessation ended in our AP gathering her things and storming out of the house, demanding the LCC house her. (We don’t think the AP intended to stay with us anyway – she had just start a relationship in Germany.) The fact that she left right away was a bonus for us, really.

As an aside, I regularly turn the internet off in our home as a survival method. By her own admission, our AP is addicted to the Internet. This morning I tuned the internet off at 7:56 am because I knew AP would come out of her room, eat breakfast and hopefully be on time to care for our son – but she was late anyway. It’s passive aggressive, and I realize that, but it’s a way for us all to start the morning without AP getting too huffy and pouty. We don’t have to knock on her door to remind her to come out of her room and start the day working/caring for our son (which she perceives as a confrontation), and she doesn’t have to defend her adult-ness/maturity level (which, you can guess, is sometimes lacking).

hOstCDmom July 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Here you go –
Below is the excerpt from the Contract that HFs sign with CC. (the “Host Family Agreement”)

I absolutely read this as referring to HF initiated re-matches. It is a protection for the AP — the HF can’t decide on a dime that they want a rematch and throw the AP out into the street. If HF decides to initiate rematch, then they have to house AP for 2 weeks in order to provide reasonable time for another family to be found (or travel arrangements made) for AP. This seems fair.

But if AP initiates the rematch, then nothing in the CC contract I signed requires me to host the AP – neither for two weeks nor any other period.

19. If placement is deemed unsatisfactory by Host for whatever reason, Host agrees to follow CC’s mediation guidelines (contained in the Host Family Handbook) and understands that, at CC’s discretion, CC will use reasonable efforts to find another placement for the au pair, and to locate another au pair for Host. The Host recognizes that CC may not be able to immediately find a new placement for the Host’s departing au pair. If a new placement cannot be so immediately found, the Host is required to allow the departing au pair to continue to live with them for a period not in excess of two (2) weeks. During such interim period, the Host in its discretion may request the departing au pair to provide, or not to provide, any childcare services. Host will provide reasonable assistance to CC in transporting departing au pair to nearest departure gateway

Should be working July 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I’m with JBLV: Lying about guests, especially men, being in your house, if that was explicitly against your rules (and even if not!), is in my view good enough reason to tell the agency that you see her as a safety risk and cannot house her. Then it’s the agency’s problem, likely the LCC’s problem ultimately. But hey, that’s why we pay the agencies that $7K.

This is also yet another reminder to keep a ‘paper/email trail’ on an AP when even small things go wrong. Two men staying in her hotel room would already have been enough for me to ask for rematch, but a HF should at least notify the agency that the AP has had a serious infraction, has been told about it, and you are (if you choose) giving it a ‘last try’.

A smaller, local agency I worked with for our first AP seemed to have a rule that I have a “last chance” conversation with the AP; I couldn’t just rematch without that ‘last chance’ discussion (in our case there was nothing egregious, just not a good personality for our family). Fortunately I had communicated with the agency at 4 different points that I was moderately dissatisfied with the AP and had had conversations with her about what needed improvement.

Calif Mom July 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

1) before your next AP arrives, go read the post about vacations and new au pairs (first 3 months)
2) do you *really* think she brought her BF over, after having had two men join her at a hotel (that you paid for!) and there was no hanky panky was going on while you were away?
3) is it really okay with that you that you *expect* your kids will be sitting in front of the TV all day… is that in your agreement with her?
4) you say in your own post that she has lied about it the whole time!

The real question here is WHY ARE YOU WAITING TO REMATCH? do it now, there are plenty of fresh au pairs around in the summer also in rematch. IMHO, once you make that decision in your mind that you are d-o-n-e, you need to start moving quickly. It will not improve. Why not find someone fun for the kids to hang out with while there’s still some summer left? Find a college kid on break who needs cash. Jobs and internships for students are scarce this year.

First Time HP July 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I agree that her actions merit a rematch. I’m not trying to justify what she’s done but you just can’t throw her out on the street, you need to look for help from you LCC to find some place for her to go for the 2 weeks you are responsible for her although it sounds like they might not be that helpful.

I’d also ask if you feel she is such a bad fit why are you keeping her until school starts, shouldn’t she go as soon as possible?

Jennifer July 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

First Time HP – yes, I am working on other arrangements. Our school starts in 2 weeks so it is not too far out. I am keeping my thumb on her right now and really pushing for her to get the boys out doing some activities. It is a struggle but I am forcing her to do it. She has a written plan daily of what to do and the boys are aware of the plan and tell her it’s time to go. She gets along with the boys so that’s not the problem. Once school starts, we can utilize aftershool care. I have a 13 & 9 year old. 45 hours a week is too much for them to be home alone. And, we aren’t going out of town soon, so no more overnights in our house.

First Time HP July 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I understand. One of my biggest worries is our AP leaving unexpectedly and getting stuck without childcare. We’ve really bended over backwards to make sure our AP is happy and that doesn’t happen so I understand why you are getting things in order before the rematch.

I’d hate to go through the situation you face but from what you’ve posted it sounds like although she is not honest and trustworthy she’s really not a safety issue so I’d stop paying her, gut out the 2 weeks and say goodbye. I’d also try to put as many restrictions on her as possible, no car, no internet, and tell her that you are going to be randomly checking up on her at different times and have told the neighbors to watch out for visitors so she doesn’t have people over when you are out.

Jennifer July 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I wanted to add that the reason I want to wait until school starts is I think she might bail on me. And then when I tell her, she will be home alone during the day while the kids are in school if she doesn’t bail.

Calif mom July 23, 2010 at 8:53 am

Ah, i didn’t see these additional comments farther down. sorry.

Okay, yes you can suck it up for 2 weeks if you aren’t looking for a new au pair anyway.

You suffer credibility problems with the Agency if you knew she was lying to you about having men over (that’s your strongest argument here) but you then waited to use that to get her out of your house. I still would be careful about waiting too long.

You cannot stop paying her until she –that will not help you get her out of the house. The stipend is a given, it’s not an hourly wage.

If your LCC is lame, don’t expect her to jump in and rescue unless there is some huge risk in leaving the AP at your home. You are going to have to drive this, and follow up with the counselor to insist that she actually works on finding a new home for this AP.

Also, I wouldn’t telegraph to the Agency that you’re not continuing with the program. you will have no leverage at all. I agree with Mommy Dearest below — get a college kid or a high school kid to come over and hang with the kids. Even if they’re just having squirt gun fights or playing wii or guitar hero, it’s better than the situation you’ve got now.

Deb Schwarz July 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

Calif Mom has some good points. If you wait too long and then say: I want her out because she lied to me 3 weeks ago – it won’t fly. I’d find something more recent and then bring the previous issues up as well. As an LCC, it kills me when host families say – I want her out day after tomorrow (because I have something important tomorrow) – and she’s a safety risk and I can’t trust her (then – she should leave immediately!) When I was a new LCC, I would house au pairs at the drop of a hat, and then my family got really burned out with housing stray au pairs all the time. We aren’t in the housing business unless it’s a safety or unusual situation – otherwise there would be few LCCs out there. I’ve personally been in transition several times and I have found that once the decision is made, usually the tension lessens and if you don’t have them work the two weeks, you don’t see them that much. They typically spend their time with friends (remember: it’s a difficult time for them, too and they need support and they are told by the agency that if they don’t find another family then they are sent back in two weeks – for many au pairs, this is a dream that they have had for many years, and they have had to shell out $$ to get here…I’m not saying that the au pair with the guys in the room shouldn’t be sent home on the first plane, but talking generally about other more benign situations).

Now – here’s a lesson or two that I just learned (personally) about transitions. We are currently in transition (our current au pair isn’t assertive enough, no backbone with our 4 preteen children). I saw that it wasn’t a good fit, and stupidly found her another family before I found another au pair for myself (Lesson #1 – look after yourself first!) – and then took her on vacation with us because her airplane tickets were already booked (I know – many of you told me not to take her and eat the tickets – and I should have listened to the 3 month, no vacation rule). Well – it’s been painful to say the least. (currently at the beach in SC). She seems even less assertive and now has become one of our kids – complaining, fighting in the car, whining, sulking, etc. She has helped with packing and unpacking – but when my husband and I went out to dinner with one of our kids the other night – she texted us that she couldn’t take one of our kids (that she has been fighting with) anymore and we had to go back. Ughhhhhh!!! I thought that she would be a help on vacation and be appreciative that I found her a great family (with 2 kids) to go to, but that hasn’t been the case. So, lesson to be learned: when you go into transition, don’t take your au pair on vacation and limit the amount of time they help you (if possible). The lame duck scenario is just that: LAME!

darthastewart July 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’m so sorry. :( That just sucks.

Gianna July 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

I think the post directly above makes a good point. I read my agency’s contract very carefully and I talked to my corporate office about this , too. The fact is that there are very few LCCs for the simple reason that the agencies pay them poorly and families often regard them as a free hotel. The agency did not say this but I heard between the lines. I have no illusions about the role of the LCC. She is there to check out families (make sure real families with children are applying for an aupair ) , to make sure the neighborhood is safe and that the house is acceptable & to keep general tabs on the aupair and the family through monthly calls and meetings. If you get lucky or do due
diligence you will find someone who is friendly, smart and nurturing to both the host family and the aupair. There was an earlier post on this topic. I know the agencies hype all the meetings and advertise round the clock support but it is totally unrealistic hype. I think you could probably get away with telling someone to pack your bags and leave this second once. It would not work again and you would lose all credibility and bargaining power with your agency. Having said that, I want to add, as a matter of fairness, that I heard an aupair of mine say to her friend ” just walk out on them and move in with the LCC . You do not have to put up with that #$#$.” This aupair had it in mind to spend a couple of weeks hanging out with the LCC and vacationing.
To my mind, this was completely unethical. The aupairs were very critical of the LCC for declining to get involved in this. I told my aupair that the LCC was not a free hotel for aupairs who have a hissy fit. If an LCC constantly put aupairs up , I would wonder if she were looking for free babysitting and that is unethical, too.

Host Mommy Dearest July 23, 2010 at 3:15 am

My opinion – get on sittercity.com or get some local college board / website and hire a sitter for the next 2 weeks. Anyone. Go into transition ASAP (really, now) and let her know (with the LCC at the exit interview) she is not working (you are not paying her) for the 2 week period. She probably will not want to stay at your house so if she has friends she might go there, but at least if she is home people will be around and she will have less opportunity to do undesirable things.

CCDC Mom July 23, 2010 at 8:16 am

I do think it’s fair to house au pairs in transition to the extent they are not a safety risk, awkward though it surely will be. However, regardless of what your contract says, I also think that these situations are negotiable with the agencies and I would absolutely take advantage of that fact and be assertive if you think it’s best for the au pair to leave quickly. You are a client (whom the agencies hope will continue as a repeat client) paying an enormous sum of money for a service. If you are not receiving the benefits of that service, you can ask them to step up and manage an untenable situation. While it’s important to be just in your actions to the au pair, your family and your children should still be your main concern and that is as it should be. Particularly if you have developed a track record with your agency and LCC as a reasonable, supportive host family, the agency will be more likely to try to resolve the situation quickly. We were with CC when au pair Number 9 arrived–she was a disaster and after 2 weeks (during which we were very active in trying to get her up to speed) we requested a rematch. Still, we felt this young woman was a good person, if too inexperienced and not too bright. Although the LCC encouraged us to give her another try (required under the contract), when we explained our reasoning she understood and agreed to an immediate transition. Number 9 was very upset, but we made it clear to her that this wasn’t about her as a person–we simply needed someone who could handle the job. We housed her while CC looked for a new family for her, about 3 weeks (we told CC that we did not think she could handle being an au pair, but they had their own ideas on the subject). During that time, she did not work and we welcomed a new au pair (Number 10–also in transition). This was a big mistake, and one I would not under any circumstances repeat. Number 9 poisoned the well for Number 10. She told her endless stories about how horrible the kids were and how we were throwing her out. Number 9 was terribly immature and Number 10 was susceptible to the stories. Number 9 did not mention any of her own inadequacies, including the Last Straw, which came when a neighbor around the block found our 6 year old son playing near a downed electrical wire after a storm had felled a tree. Number 9 said he had run out of the house and she couldn’t find him, but she was sitting in front of the TV when said neighbor came by with our son. Anyway, we could see some of this poisoning happening, but stuck to our bargain and figured we could smooth things out when Number 9 left. Number 10 never recovered, however, and we went into transition again. It was a really difficult time, but we learned 2 things–if we ever found ourselves in transition again, we would not house both au pairs at the same time, and we would insist that the agency handle things as we saw fit for our family regardless of the contract. If we had pushed CC to move Number 9 to the LCC’s house immediately, I feel sure they would have done so and this resolution would have been best. Go with your gut–be fair, but be firm.

Calif Mom July 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

We’ve done the 10-11-12-13-14-OMG she’s never going to find a family countdown while housing a lame duck AP. It can be awkward, anxiety-producing, confusing for the kids (depending on ages and cluelessness levels), and a major bummer. But it’s survivable–if you have a certain level of trust that the person isn’t going to damage your kids or your home.

If you are the one who is providing yourself back-up childcare during rematch, it’s also very hard to make all those phone calls you need to make for yourself while she’s hanging around — you will likely need to vent to your sister, argue with the agency, and nag the counselor, and you don’t really want the AP overhearing all of that. You may answer the phone and have to hand off potential host families calling her for interviews. Ick! But again, survivable.

My position is evolving and I’m not a big fan of overlapping anymore, even with au pairs leaving on good terms. In the short run, it’s easier on the hosts because you don’t have to answer 5 bazillion questions all at once in the first 3 days, but in the long run, you don’t get to hit that ‘reset’ button and establish new standards. I also think it’s a bit tough on the new AP — it can go well, of course, but I’ve been happier when I do the training. The new AP is more likely to develop the habits you want. It’s easier to train than to change bad habits.

When I first started hosting, I sounded a lot like New Mom up above, who is scared to death the AP will run off and leave her in the lurch. I, too, bent over backwards. Bad precedent!!! If you aren’t fully happy with how things are going, manage the situation. You can’t buy love or respect. If you have a nagging feeling in your gut that you *need* to bend over backwards, you will start filling with resentment. Bad! Take a moment to observe what’s going on and decide if things really are okay. REward good behavior and show appreciation, but don’t suck up just because you don’t have a back up plan. You must be in the driver’s seat. It’s like dealing with a 16 month old, or a 3 year old — they sense weakness and will drive a truck through any opening. An au pair who isn’t motivated by the same things that you are may take advantage of your good nature, and performance will decline as she sees you are a sucker. (Is this a lot to read into your comment? Probably. I hope I’m totally wrong, but it’s a tough learned lesson and I feel compelled to offer unsolicted advice, just like my elderly neighbor. :-))

Aside: speaking of bad habits and change in general, I just read and very highly recommend “Switch” by the Heath brothers (they wrote “Made to Stick”). Switch is insightful, well researched, well written, super funny, and immediately applicable to work and (host) parenting. (and no, I have nothing to do with it. I set a high bar for management books, and this is going to be a top 5er on my list.)

JBLV July 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

“You can’t buy love or respect.” Excellent advice. I need to keep reminding myself (and my husband) of that.

First Time HP July 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Good advice. I will say that although we are doing more than what we originally had planned I don’t feel resentment. I guess I don’t feel bad about the situation because I don’t believe the AP is taking advantage. I honestly believe that at times the job can be overwhelming (3 kids under 5 for 45+ hours a week) and she’s not trying to leverage her position to get more but sometimes is genuinely at the end of her rope. Given the low pay (I know the cost for HP isn’t trivial but the actual pay for AP is low) I can’t see any AP doing it for the money, so if the bad starts to outweigh the good then why would they stay? I also know how hard it is to bring a new AP up to speed or how difficult it would be to find temporary care for the kids so I’m willing to give a bit more IF I feel the AP is doing a good job and isn’t taking advantage of the situation.

HRHM July 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

“given the low pay” ??????

You need to readjust your idea of what constitutes low pay. My first AP was from Bosnia and the average salary in her country for a full-time working adult was $3600 per YEAR (no I didn’t miss a zero there). Look it up online if you don’t believe it. Depending on where they come from, many of these APs will make more in there year here than both their parents combined – without any mandatory expenses of their own (my APs are allowed to use our soap, shampoo etc, so I guess she probably would need to buy her own pads, but that’s about it). So yes, many ARE doing it for the money.

used to be an AP July 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm

It’s not that easy.
1) This does not go for all countries. $ 3600 is certainly no where near a yearly salary for any kind of job in – for instance – northern, western, and middle European countries (counting Germany as middle European). It’s a monthly salary for people with a good job (but not a top job) in Germany (middle management positions (esp. entry level), high school teachers on tenure track (again, entry level, you get more over time) etc.)
2) If $3600 is the yearly salary, life is not as expensive as it is in the US. Of course, the living standard will be lower but still, having $3.600 in Bosnia is most likely a lot more than in the US.

StephinBoston July 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

Have we ever had a discussion on “overlap or no overlap”? If not, it could be a great one. We seem to be the only HF in our area that refuses to overlap. I prefer starting fresh, changing the rules and schedule as I please, and making a clean break for the kids. I feel it’s easier for everyone including outgoing and incoming AP. To me, it’s my 3 days to get to know this new person who will live with me for a year.

I’ll pick up “switch” sounds great! Thanks for the recommendation.

Should be working July 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Steph, there was a discussion last fall or so on AP overlap. Can’t remember the title. I vaguely recall that most experienced HFs were opposed.

darthastewart July 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm

My answer is unequivocably- NO overlap.

Melissa July 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm

We did an overlap once (with AP#1 & AP#2) and I would try to avoid doing it again if possible. Instead of having a not-so-good AP taint the new one, we had the opposite. AP#1 was WONDERFUL and while I fully trusted her to handle training and knowledge sharing, we had a very tough start with AP#2 and it was difficult to watch the two of them together. AP#2’s shortcomings were glaringly obvious when compared with AP#1 – it made it tougher on me to let AP#1 go and make a ‘fresh start’ with AP#2 and treat her fairly. Also, we had very few restrictions with AP#1 (due to being a newbie HF, but also, she really didn’t need restrictions), and I quickly realized that I would need to set some boundaries with AP#2, which of course was harder to do when she heard that AP#1 didn’t have them. Also, I find it is a tougher transition with the kids when both APs are around.

As another poster said, doing the training yourself definitely takes waaay more time, but it let’s you start fresh.

First Time HP July 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm

We’ll be going through our first transition soon and are going the overlap route. For us its a huge advantage as the current AP can bring the new AP up to speed on the routine as well as help her set up a bank account, go to the DMV, introduce her to friends, etc. As we both work full time our vacation time is very valuable to us and we’d rather not use it to acclimate the new AP if we can avoid it. We also have complete faith in our current AP, and we’re confident that she will do a good job so don’t see any downside in the situation. If we felt the current AP wasn’t doing a great job we might have felt differently but that’s not the case.

darthastewart July 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Make sure you have a checklist of what you want done. and double check that it got done. In my experience, when I’ve had overlap, I’ve made a list, and very little got done. Mostly the outgoing au-pair shows them how to get to wal-mart, the mall, the grocery store, etc. but not necessarily the Post Office, the Dr’s Office, the School, where the hospital is, etc. Don’t assume that what you want to happen will. IME, it almost never does.

Michigan Mom July 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

We’ve done an overlap the last two years and it’s worked out great. Our most recent au pair and our current one still e-mail each other. But–the au pairs involved were all really wonderful. I wouldn’t do it if I were in transition or even we had a “just okay” au pair who was leaving on good terms.

Calif Mom August 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Good advice above if you do overlap. Be sure HP is actively managing the overlap training, even if you are at work during the day. You must check in w/new AP at the end of each day, alone, to see if anyhting AP1 told her was confusing or conflicted with other instructions. You should give them a mini curriculum to follow, and you WILL need to go over everything in the book with her after AP1 leaves just to cement important things.

Totally agree that I would only consider overlapping if I thought the departing AP was better at the AP job than I could hope to be. Those first days of learning her role and the tasks that go into successful performance are really important!

MTR July 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I’ve been in situation once where an au pair left my house with no notice to me. We basically been having a lot of problems with her doing the job of an au pair. In the end it got really bad. So she and I talked and we decided that she needs to go. She agreed. But I asked her to stay for 6 weeks so I can bring another au pair in from overseas. I did not want to get another au pair from rematch pool as this one was from rematch and I was very down on the whole rematch thing. Anyhow, au pair promised me that she will stay the six weeks. That was on Sunday. On Friday of that week, I come home from work and she tells me that LCC is picking her up from my house next day at 12 noon. She was already packed and ready to go. LCC and I never got along and mutually did not like each other, but this was more then I could take. I called LCC had some words with her demanding for her to pick up au pair right now and not wait till tomorrow. LCC was saying something about not being home right now and that she will call police on me if I kick up pair out of the house, and that she cannot get au pair right now because she won’t be home before midnight. I ended up getting au pair in my car in 10 minutes flat and took her to LCC’s house and left her there on the front steps. The right to LCC house was the longest 20 minutes of my life. My kids were with us in the car (nobody to leave them with at home), au pair in the front seat crying (why I don’t know, it was her idea to leave us like that), kids telling her that they’ll miss her, my stuck in traffic and low on gas. OMG, I should’ve just gotten her a taxi cab to LCC’s house.

I learned later that LCC put my au pair in transition and she spend a week looking for a new family, while I did not even know about being in transition. Au pair lived with LCC for 2 weeks and then found a family. That was her 3rd family. She stayed there for a month and then left the program and went home after two rematches, 3 families, and three months short of a full year.

I switched agencies after that.

Lessons learned: if you have problems – go into transition and find alternative childcare for the gap. I was afraid of the gap without au pairs and that is why did not go into transition, asked au pair to stick around for 6 weeks, etc. IN the end I ended up having a gap and it was very difficult to manage, but ok. We got through it and it turned out cheaper for those 6 weeks then 6 weeks of au pair stipend.

CS Nanny July 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

I’m not sure why you felt it was justified to leave the aupair on the front steps of the LCC’s house. While it was crappy for the aupair to tell you she was leaving the next day, she still at least gave you some kind of notice. For you to force her to leave 10 minute later is inexcusable. How about what you put your kids through? They should have been allowed to say goodbye in a more thoughtful way. I hope you seriously think about how you are going to handle problems in the future.

[Moderator: This particular comment steps up to but not quite over the line of kindness. I’m leaving it here as an example.]

MTR July 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I certainty will think about how I will handle problems in the future. With an au pair and LCC who lied to me, au pair who whas so poorly qualified to be an au pair that she had my 5 year old out in the winter with snow up to her knees in summer shoes and without a hat and fed my children crap because she could not manage to say no to them when they wanted their 4th ice cream of the day, and the au pair who turned my house into a mess by leaving food out of the fridge for 3 days (while we were away), yes, she will be out of my house that same day. The only difference, I would not wait 4 months next time to see if can get her change. That was my mistake. Not getting her out of the house after LCC put her in tradition and neither of them bother to tell me and then thought I would stand to have her in my house even a second longer. Besides, she was all packed and ready to go.

As for my kids, the second that AP left my car, they never mentioned her name again. They never liked her and they never bonded with her and it was like she never existed.

... July 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Wow, you must feel so proud. My two year olds can handle conflict better. Why don’t you stop blaming everything on the AP and the LCC and look at your own very poor behavior? The only thing I read here is me, me, me. No wonder your aupair wanted to leave ASAP. And by your own words, your kids were telling the aupair how much they would miss her, etc. But, good for you for now changing your story. Way to go.

[Moderator: Again, another nasty comment. Left here as an example of how not to express your opinion. ]

... July 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Then that is just pathetic. I hope no one ever throws your daughter out like trash.

[Moderator: This comment is over the line. Rude, unkind, unhelpful. Left here as an example of what not to do. ]

Busy Mom July 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

… – you are out of line in your responses. There are ways to express your opinion and still be civil.

[moderator: Thanks BM for your effort to moderate the conversation. Much appreciated]

CS Nanny July 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Thanks for adding your two cents, Busy Mom.

[remainder of comment deleted]

First Time HP July 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Have to agree with CS Nanny. I try to be civil and in my responses but some people just go way out of line and a polite approach just don’t cut it.

[moderator: Folks who can’t be polite are not welcome to comment. There are ways to be firm and not nasty.]

All of the things this AP did were wrong and left the HM with a big mess and she certainly deserved to be replaced, BUT she doesn’t deserve to be left stranded on someones doorstep. Yes, not having proper shoes for the snow is bad but its not life threatening.

Leaving this girl out in the street with no where to go is really dangerous and careless. I can’t imagine anyone doing that and its simply not justified. Its even worse that in retrospect she can’t see that she made a terrible mistake. If someone ever did that to my daughter I would go ballistic.

[moderator: the original commenter did say she’d have done it differently in hindsight. Few have given her credit for that. Instead of saying “It’s simply not justified” it might have been better to say “I can’t see how that was justified, I don’t understand it and it looks wrong to me.” That leaves open the possibility that there is more to the story–]

... July 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm

This woman’s post has been on my mind for the past few days, and the more I think about it, if this woman sees nothing wrong with her behavior, it leads me to believe that the aupair may have been mistreated (I know you will deny it, so go ahead), and that is why she wanted to leave in the first place. [moderator: this comment and ‘conclusion’ are inappropriate. Left here for illustration.]

I still stand by my original statement that if you see nothing wrong with abandoning someone (who is a human being, btw) you do not deserve to be a host family.

MTR July 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hey (persons attacking this commenter),

would your mind be changed if I told you that my LCC, who intended to remove AP from my house without notifying me in the first place, was the one who suggested that I take her to her house and leave her there to wait for her (the LCC)?

Like I said before, I was dealing with inadequate AP and inadequate LCC and I was fed up. Now, LCC actually called that AP and told her that I will take her to her house and for AP to wait for her on door steps. Whether you believe me on this or not, I don’t care. Also, it was end of April when it all took place and AP was there for a max of 3 hours (if LCC actually showed up by midnight as she said she would). It’s not like she was there in the middle of winter in summer shoes and without a hat walking sitting in snow freezing her butt off.

[mild retort deleted] Like I said before, talk to me after you’ve been in my shoes.

NewAPMama July 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I do think, after re-reading MTR’s first posting, and then the subsequent ones after, that she has changed her story, or added/ommitted details to make herself appear the victim.

[M: another way to look at it, if indeed the details were being added, is as MTR’s effort to defend herself. Whether or not she was the victim in the original story, she was made the villain by the angry attacks by another commenter.]

While I can imagine being furious with our aupair (hasn’t happened yet, but who knows about the future), I could NEVER justify it to myself (let alone strangers) that it was a perfectly acceptable to just abandon her. I will admit I didn’t write in when I first read this because I didn’t want to be flammed for it, but it did bother me.

But I do admire CS Nanny for challenging a person regarding their wrong behavior [M: and it would have been nice if she had done it more effectively] , and the fact that MTR almost appeared to brag about how she handled the situation in her first post.

aupair21 July 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

i agree with you CS Nanny.. however i do think it’s difficult to “pick a side” as we only know one side of the story (which seems to be changing)

MTR July 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

First Time HP,

Just make sure that you raise your daughter not to create such a situation, and then nobody will do it to her. If you are a first time HP and you have a good match, you have no idea how bad things can get. So please don’t judge me. We all have our breaking points. When you reach yours, then we’ll talk.

... July 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

First Time HP, make sure if you have a daughter, tell her to screen for neurotic host families.

This whole thing is ridiculous, and MTR, you keep changing your story around so it suits your views and behavior. [moderator: Actually, it could have been a good conversation if you had maintained a less accusatory posture.]

But I am done with this. Obviously, I am not the only person who read your post and had an issue with it. Perhaps I am the only one who is willing to voice their opinion. I certainly hope you are better with your current or future aupair. And I am a great nanny, and do not work for families who would merely throw me out on the street. Moving on now.

Gianna July 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Do all of the host parents and LCCs on this site really think it was morally acceptable to leave a crying aupair on the front steps of the LCCs home despite the fact that the LCC was going to pick the aupair up the next day ? [note: keep in mind the whole context of the story.]

Ladies , we are talking about insisting that aupairs buy are children birthday presents [M: actually, no one has insisted this. Please read that post again.] and attend family events and go swimming every day. Are we ashamed of this post by one of us or do we simply not want to risk the firestorm of criticism ? The self- justification does indeed seem to me to change with every question [accusation?} asked by … ( whom I do not think was so awful – there have been many more aggressive posts by aupairs and host parents ). Let us be fair.

First Time HP July 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I’m sure things can get really bad and I’d hate to be in that position, and I’d be mad as heck at the AP and LCC for the situation but that still doesn’t justify what you did, and trust me I would never do that.

I know many have already pointed it out but your story changes by the minute. Your first post said that she told you when you got home and she was gone in 10 minutes but then later you say she didn’t wait more than 3 hours before LCC got home at midnight. I guess its possible you get home from work at 9, but I’m guessing you don’t. Next you say in your first post that the LCC was saying she would call the cops, then you say it was her idea, makes no sense.

Ask yourself this, if the AP left you kid stranded somewhere alone in the middle of the night would that be worse than the things she did that made you so upset. Well that’s what you did to someone’s kid. Its dangerous for a young woman to be stranded outside in the middle of the night.

[M: This is a good example of being critical and straightforward without going over the line to be mean. That said– ‘middle of the night’ to me is 1:00 to 4:00 am, not up until midnight. So you may be tweaking the details to overdramatize here….]

I couldn’t have said it better than Gianna, we are getting so worked up about some small things (seriously, sometimes I have to laugh because I’d like to post once that my AP didn’t say hello today just to see how many people post REMATCH!) and then don’t condone inappropriate HP behavior

Pa Pa Bear July 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Howdy all – long time HD, first time posting. My .02: We have had a few AP relationships go nuclear over the years, but we have always tried (despite any transgressions) to ‘manage’ the end or transition to minimize pain for the AP and our Family. HM would be emotional about it to me directly in private (away from the kids/AP), but never lost her cool in front the AP. There are ways to express disappointment, anger, etc. without resorting to potentially harmful/dangerous tactics. We have been lied to and our AP made poor judgements on how to care for the kids, but why compound the situation or potentially exacerbate it? If you are lied to (MTR or anyone else) and upset, that (IMO) does not provide justification for putting an AP’s life in harm’s way.

Host Mommy Dearest July 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm

ok, I don’t always agree with Pa Pa Bear (he’s my DH) but in this case I do. He was reading this post over my shoulder and felt compelled to chime in himself. We’ve been lied to by our AP – check. We’ve had our AP feed our kids junk against our wishes – check. We’ve had our car totaled – check. We’ve had our AP have a guy we had not met over to our house while we were out and she was on duty – check. Some of these things were the same AP and some were not. Of course we were upset, but we never yelled or behaved irrationally toward her. I like to save those little outbursts for in private with my DH (poor guy).

Host Mommy Dearest July 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Sorry, more to add on this and in general. While my DH is quite level-headed and has a good way of taking the emotion out of things, us mamas kick it into overdrive when we perceive our children/family have been put in to harm’s way or slighted in any way. It is understandable to be really mad, but I just think it is better to take a step back and think things over before reacting.

MTR, was your 6 weeks overseas AP was coming from a different agency? Maybe if you were not following the protocol – going into transition for 2 weeks – the LCC didn’t see the need to do so either? Otherwise, wouldn’t you just go to the agency to make sure a transition took place? I think in general it is hard on everyone when you say it’s not working out and you’re moving on. Things are usually hard during a 2 week transition period, so for you to tell her she’s not cutting it then expect her to work as your AP for 6 more weeks is a bit unrealistic.

Furthermore, once I decided my AP was a safety concern, I went into transition immediately – and did not have her work – my kids are just too important. Take a sick/personal/vacation day to get on the horn to line up plan B – I know those days are precious but kids are more precious. I housed our liar/safety concern AP for the 2 weeks b/c, although I did not feel safe leaving her in charge of my kids alone, that does not mean there is a safety issue to house her for 2 weeks. If she showed violent tendencies to your family or threatened you or played with fire in her room or something, THEN I would say she’s a safety concern. Otherwise I think we as HFs committed to housing the AP either working with pay, or not working (no pay) – and even if the AP doesn’t hold up her end of the bargain I plan to hold up mine.

Last thing – I didn’t do anything I’m not proud of at the end of an AP relationship, nor did I treat the AP differently than I would want someone to treat my daughter, however, if my daughter were a liar and used people etc, I would be mortified and disappointed. How will she ever learn it’s not ok? I guess some people never learn how to treat others so maybe our job is to lead by example regardless of immature actions by the AP? Pay it forward?

[Moderator: This is a really great example of criticizing the questionable behavior in a helpful way. Not accusatory, but instead is inquiring and trying to be sympathetic. Gets her point across in a kind way. Let’s see more disagreement like this.]

Gianna July 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

When you all have a moment or two , check out an entry on Would You Ever Use A Nanny Cam. There is a comment there on April 29, 2010. It appears to be from the same lady who posted above saying that she had little alternative except to drop her aupair off at the LCCs home when the LCC wasn’t there.

[moderator: This sentence takes the conversation into something more like a witch hunt … you can’t bring in a comment that “appears” to be from someone, or continue to speculate out of hand. Please focus on the issue– why was the action wrong/not wrong.]

This will be my last post on this topic – the comment of April 29th says all there is to say. I am writing this final post because I think this scenario happens alot. I also think that we are afraid of appearing judgemental of each other because we all understand where this lady is coming from ; we have all felt pushed to the edge by difficult aupairs , bosses , neighbors, etc. We cannot lock our boss out of the office or put our neighbor’s house up for sale. We do have an advantage over an aupair who gets on our nerves. It is wrong to give in to that urge. I believe that we are ill served to encourage each other to give in to our worst instincts. [ moderator: good point]

Depositing an aupair at the LCCs home puts you at risk with an agency of losing your money or being walked out of the agency. It gives rise to gossip among the aupairs who feel they are looking out for each other and it reduces your credibility with the agency and the arbitration board if you want a refund. Many of us want to be fair and see the other

A regular July 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

CS Nanny,

if you are so disappointed in us, then why are you still here?

You know what, I bet MTR is not the only one who may have removed AP from her house, but she was brave enough to tell us about it. Right, wrong, or indifferent it was obviously done with LCC’s knowledge.

In reality, I read all of MTR’s old posts and really, I cannot understand how she managed to keep her AP for as long as she did. I would’ve had that girl out of my house long before.

CS Nanny July 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Why am I not surprised that you defend her actions? And yes, there are times where aupairs do not work out, and need to leave. However, the way she went about it was just plain wrong. And I’m sorry if what I said earlier offended you. Sometimes the truth hurts. And I am here because I enjoy this blog, not because I necessarily like the people who post.

[ moderator:
1. Whether anyone likes or dislikes another commenter is immaterial. All other commenters should be treated with respect, regardless of how you feel about them.
2. The truth hurts when someone is mean in telling it. Better to say “I disagree” than to declare, without complete information and without compassion “It was just plain wrong”. ]

Michigan Mom July 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Look, no matter how mad you get an au pair (and I got really mad at our first au pair), it’s not okay to leave someone on a doorstep for several hours. It’s dangerous, and it’s scary, and it’s really an unacceptable way to treat someone who you agreed to bring into your home. And it’s a really bad example to set for your kids.

I do think that Gianna makes a good point that we seem to set much higher standards for au pairs than we do for ourselves. If an au pair doesn’t take pictures of the children, a host mother is encouraged to rematch [ moderator: This is an unfair and inaccurate characterization of the conversation about photographs. A more appropriate thing would have been to say “we seem quick to suggest rematch when we are annoyed”] but we don’t want to judge whether it’s okay to leave an au pair at the LCC’s house when you don’t know when she’ll be home? Really?

Jan July 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Oh, I thought about responding when I first read the post and then I read several responses that were a little too catty, and I didn’t want to get involved. The first responses have since been removed.

I think her scenario is a good case study, and I have thought about what I learned from it: a.) if you have on-going problems with the au pair try to get it off of your chest and get it worked out; b.) if they are deal-breaking issues, go into rematch before you get resentful or PO’d; c.) have a back up plan for childcare; d.) try to maintain a good relationship with your LCC or else she might do things behind your back.

I researched some other posts by MTR, and I think she was pushed to the edge by the au pair. She thought she had agreed to a six week time frame but got home to find out that no, it’s tomorrow. She probably felt panicked thinking “WTH am I going to do now? Who’s going to watch the kids? You wanna leave, you can leave tonight” and felt betrayed by her LCC. I believe this was her first au pair so she probably didn’t know what was/was not normal and maybe didn’t have the skills yet to deal with an au pair. I also think she had on-going problems with the LCC, and who knows what the au pair told the LCC. Everything coalesced and emotions overthrew good sense.

More research has revealed that MTR has gone on to have a good relationship with an au pair who went into extension. I just think she had a bad experience. Who knows, I might do the same thing in her shoes.

[Moderator: The whole idea of “research”, while well-intentioned, is not a good strategy. You cannot be sure that a person is talking about the same au pair and/or the same situation — and if you assume something incorrect, and bring it into this conversation, it gets treated as fact (which it may not be) instead of as speculation (which it is). Careful with this, please.]

cv harquail July 31, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Sat July 31, evening:

Folks, I have temporarily taken down the last 15 or so comments on this post. Several of these comments were out of line in terms of the way that the commenters dealt with disagreement, and were accusatorial in tone.

When I have a chance to read through the comments carefully I will correspond with the individual(s) who stepped over the line of what I think is appropriate. Then, I’ll find a way to put the comments back up and/or summarize the disagreement, with case-specific learnings and also guidelines for future conversations where people disagree with one another.

NewAPMama July 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I personally feel that for an aupair to agree to 6 weeks (which is excessive to begin with) before rematching to wanting to leave the next day, my guess is is that there is something that MTR isn’t telling us. Which is why my guess is the aupair felt mistreated enough to want to leave ASAP. And as Gianna pointed out, MTR herself said she didn’t feel like her kids were in danger. So obviously the aupair couldn’t have been that bad.

PA AP mom July 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Ever heard the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” For me, it applies to this situation. So, I chose to say nothing. Doesn’t mean I agree with one side or the other.

darthastewart July 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I think she lacked judgement. I would have been livid had that been my daughter. But- the LCC said to leave her there. IMO, there’s lots of bad judgment going around.

Pa host mom of Two Au-pairs July 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

I have read the comments above about the overlapping, HD and I have overlapped in which AP #1 was excellent with training the New AP she also left a notebook of her daily tasks & care of the children before she departed.
Since I am a host mom of two au-pairs I feel alot like CCDC Mom:
I have had one AP poisoned by another au-pair in my home and I often feel a bit of stress and concern when hosting two at the same time. In fear that if one is unhappy she/ he will make it miserable for AP #2
When contacting the agency to have AP#1 removed from my home, AP # 2 was so poisoned that she wanted to leave too. So for all you HP that have had bad experiences with overlapping I feel like this daily, Even the LCC came to me and said she was posioned by the AP #1 complaining all the time.
If AP #1 is having issues that she complains to AP#2 or vice -uh verse… Its even worst if they are from the same country. Since experiencing this with past AP’s I dont know what to look forward to in the future!

Aupairgal July 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa….POISONED?!?!?!? Uhhh, where the police called? Please elaborate cause this situation sounds almost unbelievable.

JBLV July 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

“Poisoned” can be used as an idiomatic expression and logical fallacy. The entire phrase is “poisoning the well.” In this case, the first au pair told the second au pair that there was something bad or wrong about the host mom or host family, making the second au pair believe that living with the host family is not going to be very nice. The first au pair discredited the host family.

Host Mommy Dearest July 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Poisoned in this scenario does not mean she fed her bad food. It means she poisoned her mind (sort of brain washed the AP by telling her bad things about the HF) so their relationship was doomed.

Aupairgal July 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Oh man I feel silly. I’m a native English speaker that hasn’t spoken much English in a long time. I feel really blond right now. : )

cv harquail July 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Careful, some of us are blond too.

Aupairgal July 27, 2010 at 5:06 am

Oh I am too, but I just felt cliche blond.

AnonHostMom July 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

We had a horrible experience hosting an au pair during rematch. She told the children many lies (which even months later we are still attempting to undue). We were the au pairs second host family. Things didn’t work out with her third host family. They put her up in a hotel when they wanted her to leave. Really wish we had done that. It would have been costly and it would have left us in the lurch, but it would have been better for everyone all around.

JBLV July 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

AnonHostMom, that seems like one of my dreaded nightmare scenarios. Telling my children lies would break my heart. I consider myself a reasonable person willing to work out kinks here and there. However, if someone poses a safety risk to my child, or is not trustworthy, that would automatically break any kind of actually or metaphorical contract I have with an AP. She would be out of the house immediately.

After reading your post, I got to thinking where I would drop her off if I had an uncooperative LCC. There are lots of cheap hotel rooms where I live, but even the cheapest place (a youth hostel) would cost $232 for two weeks. And that’s on top of arranging alternative care for the children. Ack! Does anyone know of other options? Or have suggestions on how to assert yourself with the AP agency?

JBLV July 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Erm, that should read “actual or metaphorical contract.” Pardon me. Pregnancy brain at work.

Pa Host mom of Two Au-pairs July 26, 2010 at 10:44 pm

My reply to JBLV ~~ I found that CC doesn’t not follow through on their end when it comes to the program rules and guidelines. I know my one au-pair was to remain in our home for the two weeks to find another family and they allowed her to go with another AP friend and her host family until she found a new family. The program rules do state that an AP is not allowed to stay with another host family while in transition. Many of things with CC I have been unhappy about because I feel they don’t uphold there standards when it comes to the policies of their own agency.
Another example, I recall is when HD and I went into rematch the au-pair requested for a new host family 12 hours after she was caught lying about taking the car out of the area. There was no two week mediation being done they honored her request that she was “not happy” wonder why?? When you caught lying and illegally drinking a driving and within two weeks she was gone. I feel strongly that you have to be vocal and rude at times to get your point across to the agency, holding them accountable for not following their own agencies rules and guidelines. I was upset many of times with the lack of program rules not followed by the LCC or the program director.
We switched agencies while in a rematch and I have been very happy with the new agency. We have learned so much that should have been taking place with the prior agency.

MommyMia July 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Who’s your new agency, may I ask? We’re about to do so as well, so I’m curious.

Pa Host mom of Two Au-pairs July 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

The new agency is Au-pair Care and we are very happy with the level of service that has been given to us. We still have one au-pair from CC because the one au-pair left after six month and the replacement au-pair we ask to leave after 6 month. So the agency has almost a year of our funds and they won’t refund it. When this au-pair finished out the year, we will use Au-pair care for both of our au-pairs in the future…..
When we switched I was able to speak to someone from Au-pair care agency, fill out the online application, speak with two local area directors and have my home study done in a matter of 4 days top! by day five, I was screening for a new au-pairs with many to select from! It took CC 7 days to put a Au-pair in my account to screen. I made it very clear when we went into a rematch that we needed somone to be placed into the account immed. After I seen nothing on day 2 I called to complain, that didnt matter as I stated above 7 days passed before I was able to see anything… I was heated… That is when I started searching for a new agency.

NewAPMama July 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I’m sorry, but your post lost me. What are you referring to?

Hula Gal August 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

The way this blog entry spiraled out of control is really disappointing to me. I’ve been reading this blog since the very beginning and it has been great to see how it has grown but I miss the supportive, family environment that this blog started out as. Now the community has become large, less friendly and less supportive. I do feel that there are a few bad apples that tend to spoil an otherwise friendly environment. I have always regarded this blog as a place for support when I needed advice but now it feels like a place where I will face judgement and criticism instead. I’m not suggesting that we should all agree with each others actions, but rather when we disagree it should be done in a respectful way. I am grateful that when I needed help it was back when we all were willing to give help instead of a lecture.

First Time HP August 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I too am grateful for cv hosting this blog and have found it very useful. I unfortunately feel there is there is a double standard at play when it comes to criticizing a HP vs AP. You can look at recent posting under “Fox in the Henhouse” and see that an AP was called “pathetic” yet that comment remains and there is also a track called “He’s wrong, you’re right” so if we are not supposed to criticize others maybe it should have been called, “A helpful tip on AP/HD boundaries”. I do understand that this wasn’t criticizing someone directly but seems like a subtle difference, and it some ways it feels more responsible to confront someone directly than to criticize someone who can’t even give their side of the story.

I don’t want this site to become a big mudslinging back and forth either and in most cases a helpful suggestion is all that is really called for. I think in some circumstances when the offense really crosses a line its hard sugarcoat something. That seems to be the litmus test used when others criticized an AP or HD that are crossing over into an improper relationship, which I understand as this is a serious issue and is hard to address lightly. I felt that putting someone is physical danger was a similar situation.

I do appreciate cv’s effort and will try to follow her advice.

Hula Gal August 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I totally agree about the Fox in the Henhouse posting. It started out perfectly fine but got reinvigorated later on and sadly declined in quality. I was getting very uncomfortable with where it was headed and frankly stopped reading. There was nothing supportive or helpful in the last posts on that blog entry. Unappealing to say the least.

NewAPMama August 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm

You said it perfectly, First Time HP. Thanks.

PA AP mom August 3, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I called the AP in that post “pathetic” but later on, in another post, I tried to let her know that I found her actions pathetic and just felt sorry for her that she had feelings for a man who obviously was using her. I also encouraged her to find someone else who was good for her and not the host dad who was clearly using her for his benefit.

I wasn’t proud of my comments to her so I tried to let her know that I hadn’t meant to be so harsh.

First Time HP August 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Fair enough, I stand corrected.

PA AP mom August 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I wasn’t correcting you First Time HP. I was just pointing out that you were correct. My words were not appropriate. I couldn’t take them back, so I tried to apologize for them.

Thanks for understanding!!!

Gianna August 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I looked forward to hearing CV’s editorials and found them intereresting. I am looking forward , too, to the case-specific learnings which she anticipates offering us. While I have not changed my mind about content matter, I do appreciate CV’s suggestions in terms of how to phrase responses. This takes practice and who among us has time on out hands. Still and all , it is a skill worth developing as a matter of self-interest. How anyone phrases something makes all the difference in the world. During the past several days, I have accessed one of the blogs on the blog roll : Conflict Zen. I found this blog to be enlightening ; specifically , I refer to the article on ” deals that fall apart “. I suggest that anyone who has an interest in non-confrontational negotiation read this. It can only be helpful in many professional situations.

CS Nanny August 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Good website recommendation, Gianna.

Rematch in AZ August 5, 2010 at 11:39 pm

When we went into rematch we really did not want the aupair hanging around the house for the next two weeks. We gave her the option, you either stay here, work and get paid, or you leave, stay with a friend and get paid. We knew she would pick the latter because of her poor work ethic. It worked out for us.

AZmom November 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

So we tried for 2 months and are now going into “transition.” We have our meeting Thursday (had to wait due to work conflicts) and our AP knows. She’s okay with the kids, helps around the house, but she’s a 100 percent Debbie Downer. Now that she knows she’s leaving it is even worse. 18 potential more days is going to drive me bonkers. I work from home full time and oh my, her sad face and her facebook comments about how everyone else has everything better than her, to our conversation regarding culture shock and how she believes she never had it… She’s now going through and ” breaking the rules” and I”m not sure if I should even say anything at this point (ie, eating in her room, then this morning back to ignoring my 2 year old and folding clothes instead of interacting with her, which was our “big” original issue).

Any ideas on what to do to make these next two weeks bearable?

Should be working November 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

If you can somehow, any how, do it, don’t have her work. Get a babysitter or whatever. She’ll have no reason to hang around if she’s not working, and if she’s in her room, better for you.

azmom November 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

We can definitely manage with out her help. The only issue time is when my daughter has her gymnastics class but I can ask a friend to take my son for that period. She needs the money, but I feel duped by her. She’s been an “actress” (extra) back home, so I feel that she had plans to force a rematch from the beginning (she actually had asked LCC about it on day 3!) since she’s not in a city she wants to be in. I can take a few days off work, DH can as well, and we have our old baby sitter who can still fill in on all days except one. Will I be starting a war though?

sad au pair October 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I am not in rematch and I have to say that my host family is nice and warm but where I live there is nothing to do. Seriously nothing. the closes city is 45 min away but I can’t use the car because they do not want me driving. There is a bus that goes from one block away from here to that city but it has an schedule and the last bus departs from that city at 10 p.m. everyday (week days and weekends). so I have to catch it if to arrive home by 11:25 p.m.
However, the parties, concerts, events, performances (everything fun that a 23 year old would love to do in her off time) starts by 10 o’clock so I miss everything.
I don’t have au pair friends because I am the newest one and mostly all of them are about to leave and dont talk to me so I always go by myself. But i dont really have friends and I am sad because in my country I had tons of friends, my own car without curfew or rules, and so much fun (and of course responsibilities). Don’t get me wrong and dont think that I am the party -all-the-time girl because actually I don’t like party. I am more the theater events kind. I talked to my family about that, I even suggested them to see how do I drive so they can judge better. But they definitely don’t want me even smelling the car. I am really sad because as soon as I get off I will have to go downstair and be bored stuck at home because of the lack of transportation. Is it unfair to want to have fun when I am off and see something different appart from the walls of my house? ….I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT MY VACATIONS. IF i go back home way before my year finishes will I have to pay my own ticket? It is easy to find another host family that let me drive in my off time? I HAVE BEEN DRIVING FOR 5 YEARS and not automathic cars (c’mon I know how to usea a freaking car)!!!

please I am soooo desperate. what should I do?

German Au-Pair October 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm

If you are feeling that unhappy -and I get that!- and there is no way of finding a compromise with that family, then I’d suggest rematch.
Yes, you would have to pay your ticket home if you didn’t find a new family. And no, it shouldn’t be so hard to find a family that actually lets you drive (most families NEED you to drive).
Before I’d end up completely unhappy and alone, I’d rematch.

AnnaAuPair October 12, 2011 at 2:49 am

sad au pair – I can understand that you’re unhappy with the situation. This once more proofs how important it is for AuPairs to inform themselves about the area they’re going to live in and about transportation. And it shows how important it is for Hostfamilies to 1. inform future AuPairs about transportation and 2. PROVIDE transportation. I think there is already a post here about providing transportation.

Anyways, this doesn’t help you right now. As always, I’d suggest having a talk with you Hostparents where you state exactly how you feel. Then talk to your LCC, if your hostparents don’t offer you a way to get around the transportation-problem.
If nothing changes, you have to decide if you can be happy there or not. If not: rematch! It’s neither good for you nor for the kids who have to live with an unhappy you.

I just want to add something else: I know quiet a lot of AuPairs who didn’t have a car or didn’t drive at all (I was one of them). A car is a priviledge!!! You say there’s a bus – so you do have a chance to get out (I don’t know how often the bus goes, so this depends). Maybe you should get to know some AuPairs from other agencies via the internet – there are a lot of forums out there – who could pick you up? I did that and it worked out perfectly. And last, but not least: your hostparents don’t want you to drive, but maybe they would be willing to drive you every once in a while? There are a lot of ways to make this work – you just have to figure out what works for you and your hostfamily!

German Au-Pair October 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Yes, a car is a priviledge, the use of a car however was one thing where I actually told myself I couldn’t live without.
I’m wondering if they ever talked about this before the match.
I really think that when you are 23 you just need some kind of freedom to be happy. I know for sure that I couldn’t live without being to use a car here. How will she be able to enjoy her freetime when she can never stay anywhere longer than 10? It’s not about partying, but about everything else.
And trying to make a match worked based on the HOPE that someone else might drive you just doesn’t seem right to me. I think it’s just not fair to ask someone else’s au pair to drive you all the time, considering the distances in the US. I know I’m annoyed when I’m asked to pick up and bring home a friend here who lives 15 minutes past all the activities we could do.
If you happen to find someone -great! But don’t base your decision whether or not you will try to make it work on that. If you decide to stay then do so under the given circumstances (no one to pick you up, only the bus).

Taking a Computer Lunch October 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

It is uncharitable to complain about going 15 minutes out of your way. When I was in grad school, DH and I were fortunate enough to each have our own car. We drove friends 30-45 minutes out of our way (and never dreamed of asking for gas money – because we wanted the pleasure of their company). What they lacked in wheels was more than compensated by other gifts they offered. The trick of being a good friend, is to give and receive.

And yes, APs who have access to a car do drive their friends around. If you don’t think it’s fair, then don’t drive your friends. It will be a good test of how much the friendship means to both of you.

And the opposite also holds true – if you can’t ask a friend for a lift, then that person isn’t much of a friend.

German Au-Pair October 13, 2011 at 12:12 am

I think you missunderstood me here.
First, do we actually mean the same? What I mean is that fa friend lives 15 minutes out of my way from the place we would meet. That makes 15 minutes to get the friend, 15 to get back the place and the same procedure afterwards. That adds up to one hour.
Did you mean the 30-45 TOTAL or actually 4 times like explained above? (If you actually meant driving 2 to 3 hours extra just for an ordinary movie night or something like that, then you have my deep respect! I would never do that on a regular basis!)
It seems unreasonable to drive one hour extra for spending half an hour at Star Bucks getting a coffee for example. For the occasional night out -no problem. But I would not do that every day.
Also my hostparents pay for my gas and I would always feel like I’m taking advantage of that.

Also: for a close friend you would be more likely to do that. But you just don’t become friends instantly so at the beginning there is no friendship to test. You have to get to know a person and if your only chance to get to know this person is by driving her around all the time…I imagine that could be difficult. (For both of them…I’d be totally uncomfortable if I had to ask a person I’m just getting to know for a ride all the time!)

But what my post was really about: I wouldn’t base the decision to rematch or not on what MIGHT happen to me if my not yet existing friends A: have a car and B: are allowed to drive me around. When that happens it’s great but I would base my decision on the given facts and that are taking the bus and having to take the last bus at 10.
Everything else will -IMHO- lead to great expectations and probably resentment.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 13, 2011 at 7:25 am

No, we disagree. DH and I have driven over an hour out of our way to drive friends home from gatherings and bars, and we do it out of love and respect for friends and because we had a car and they didn’t. Now, if one of my son’s friends needs a ride to or from our home, I don’t hesitate. I drive out of my way to pick up children for baseball and soccer practice because I am able. In my opinion, a good friend doesn’t complain about driving 15 minutes out of the way, even if it adds up to an extra hour of their life.

I had one AP who used to make her friends take the bus, sometimes for over an hour, even though she had free access to a car and could have been there and back in 20-30 minutes. It irked me endlessly, to begrudge a friend in that way, and yet they liked her company enough to put up with it. Most of my APs have driven friends without quibbling, and I think that’s what surprised me the most about AP #6’s behavior.

However, in saying one has to think outside the box – driving a car is not the only solution to getting around. One of my APs, who wanted to party, took taxis with friends. Yes, it was expensive, but it gave her the freedom to come and go as she pleased without the worry of a DUI ticket.

Finally, I think sad au pair’s issues go far beyond the ability to drive. I think her own isolation is the issue. She may have dreamed of a big city life in America and found herself in the suburbs (which, by the way, I imagine is where 90% of APs end up). The trick is, can she make a life for herself, knowing that she has a great HF, or will she mope endlessly hoping that 1) her HPs cave and let her drive, 2) someone else will find a solution for her isolation, or 3) rematch and take her chances with another family that will let her drive a car (personally if I were interviewing her and found that her reason for leaving was over driving privileges, the I wouldn’t be interested).

Melissa October 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

I do think that an AP’s situation is unique because it is not HER car. While giving rides to friends who need it is one thing if it’s your own car, such as if I choose to pick my friends or my kids friends up whenver they need a ride, an AP has to consider that it is not her car and she can’t use it however she pleases. As German Au Pair seems to be saying, it is all about finding a balance. Occasional rides out of your way to pick up an AP friend without a car is fine, such as a weekend outing or night out at the movies. But adding a couple extra hours driving and mileage each week for multiple Starbucks or mall trips is unreasonable in my household and with my car.

Also, while I understand that some HFs do not need or want their APs driving their car, it is not reasonable to expect that other APs who have access to the HF car be responsible for driving them around. Again, it’s all about balance. We give our APs pretty generous use of a very nice 3rd car. They’re welcome to pick up their friends, but not on a constant basis. We have another thread on this somewhere, but it is unfair to those HFs who provide cars if their APs become the taxi drivers for others. If you do not provide a car to your AP, which is fine of course, it is up to the HF to ensure that she can get around somehow. Unless the area is really rural, I think there are usually some forms of transportation around that enable her to get to basic activities (coffee places, gym, library, stores, church). If there really is no way to get anywhere, then the HF needs to rethink their transportation policy or be willing to drive her on a regular basis.

German Au-Pair October 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Thank you Melissa, that is EXACTLY what I meant!
I don’t mind driving an extra hour when we are actually doing something and my hostparents don’t mind that either.
But I hear about many au pairs who spend a lot of time during their off hours with friends at starbucks or just meeting for lunch somehwere when the kids are at school.
And for me it wouldn’t seem reasonable or fair to my hostparents to add an extra hour (and the miles that go with it) to a simple activity like that on a regular basis.

EmmieJane October 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

The key here in both the situation above and the situation where au pairs are driving other people is that the HF communicates expectations about the car. For prospective au pairs, you need to ask in advance as well about transportation.

We wish our au pair could drive and have a car available for her to drive, but she is struggling with the actual driving. I give her rides as much as possible when asked. We live in an urban area, so buses and taxis are very available. That said, she gets rides with friends a lot. I have absolutely no control over this; I assume that if a HF does not want their au pair to be a taxi, they will make this clear to their au pair. It never occured to me before she came (our first au pair) that she would get as many rides as she does.

I’ve seen other comments expressing frustration with HFs for using other au pairs for transportation, and honestly, I have no idea what the HF with driving au pairs would want me to do about it. I am not involved in any way. We have a car and if she was an acceptable driver, we would let her use it. We live in a big city and there is plenty of transportation, but usually she works it out with a friend. I can’t tell her to take the bus instead. Most of the time, I don’t even know where she is going or who is driving her.

It is clear that these are tough issues, and I just think HFs need to be clear. I also think au pairs need to understand before they arrive whether or not they will have access to a car. If they won’t, ask what realistic options there are for other transportation.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 12, 2011 at 7:06 am

I would suggest that you talk with your LCC. She should be able to match you with some au pairs in your cluster that share similar interests or contact LCCs in nearby clusters who have APs that would be interested in meeting you.

If the family does not want you to use their car, then you must abide by their wishes. Every family has different guidelines as to how they want to live with their au pairs.

You don’t mention how long you have been living with this family. Is it weeks? months? Some families choose to start off strict and then relax as their AP gains their trust.

If you like your HF enough not to want to risk throwing away your year (yes, you could make a very good match again, but remember there are far more young women that want to become APs than there are American HF who can afford to host APs), then you need to figure out how to compromise. If you hide in your bedroom pouting because you can’t have the keys to the car, then you are not going to develop an adult relationship with your HP nor are you going to meet any APs or Americans who do have cars who might share your interests.

Anna October 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I think this is a test. A test of your character and flexibility. It is a new country, a different society, a different family, different rules. You sound like you are here only recently; every new au pair goes through a similar lonely phase until she makes enough friends. Give yourself two-three months to make more friends, other au pairs, students, people your age, etc., and you will have your free time filled with outings with friends, who will be happy to pick you up and drop you off.
Use internet resources, volunteer websites, attend church or whatever religious group you belong to, meet people in the gym, join local sport groups (runners club, pickup volleyball in a park, etc..), sign up for the library… go to a local Starbucks… opportunities to meet new friends are endless, the only question is the drive and desire to explore them. If there is a will, there is a way. Get out of the house after work, even if it is just for a hike around the neighborhood.
If you like your family and kids, you are risking a lot by asking for a rematch.

Dorsi October 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

We don’t have our APs drive because we don’t need our children driven anywhere, we have access to public transportation and the expense and risk associated with having an AP drive is totally not worth it for us, right now. We are quite upfront about this in the matching process. It has nothing to do with our level of trust with the au pair, nothing to do with whether we think she is a good/safe driver, nothing to do with being strict and relaxing later. We don’t want or need someone in our cars. I think we are kind and generous in many ways; just not transportation. If an AP does not like that idea, she should match with another family; we are not right for her.

I think sad au pair might be a bit melodramatic. Maybe she lives in a part of the country whose demographics I don’t understand well. Where I live, if there is bus service, there must be some urban area. Are there other 20-somethings that live in the town you live in? Do they all go to the big city for all of their socializing? Are there no coffee shops/bars/theaters in the area you live in? I think this is unlikely (however, it may be true in some parts of the country — but in my experience, places that don’t have bars don’t have bus service.) Maybe sad au pair is looking for a certain type of interaction that is only available in the big city — a club scene more like what she left at home. Maybe you need to readjust your expectations of what a year in America would be like, and do more of the things that the local people do. Join a church group? A sports team? Book club?

I am honestly curious why you matched in a town that seems to have nothing to offer you and to a family with no car. Did you know either of these things when you matched? Did you think you could change them when you got here (find new family, convince them to let you drive, etc.?)

Should be working October 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I know APs that have accepted matches not realizing what things like this would mean:

a. curfews of 10pm weekdays/11pm weekends
b. no use of car and living 2 miles up a steep, winding, dark hill 3 miles from a lively urban area
c. work schedule that includes weekend days and evenings, and time off is during the week (when other au pairs are not free)

Why do they accept these matches? They don’t know to ASK about these things; they don’t understand how in many parts of the US public transport really is not a good option; they are so excited at the time of matching that they don’t do the reality check.

And honestly, I can see how this happens. We HPs KNOW what all this means, matching and rules and curfews and cars. For young women who have never been anywhere else, they really don’t know what it means to choose a year of life in a very different situation. They have stars in their eyes, and the agencies do not give them the strongly-worded reality check that they need. They are so excited to get a match, and often have not had enough matches to compare, that they don’t understand the range of options.

It seems to me that the agencies could provide the AP candidates with a bunch of fictional “match profiles” so that APs could understand the kinds of things they need to pay attention to in order to know whether they would, in real life, be happy in those situations.

Obviously some of the APs, e.g. more mature ones or sometimes ones from W. Eur. countries who may have more a sense of life in the US, will do this homework and think it out. But the agencies might take more responsibility in educating the naive ones.

southern HM1 October 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

This could also be a financial issue for the family. Maybe they did not realize the expense of adding an AP to their insurance policy and are not willing to do so if they don’t need you to drive the kids. In other words, it may have nothing to do with your driving skills, age, or level of maturity. You won’t know until you discuss it, but I am wondering what your understanding of the driving situation was when you agreed to match with this family? Also, it does sound like you are dealing with bigger issues related to adjusting to a new country and I agree that speaking w/ your LCC might go a long way towards helping you feel more connected to the AP community.

MommyMia October 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Also, there is the educational component to factor in. If you you are going to complete this requirement, you need to discuss with your HF how you will get to the necessary classes – will they drive you, or will your schedule be adjusted so that you can fit an evening class and still make the last bus departure home? Don’t forget to mention this when talking with your family and LCC.

Dorsi October 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

It is not at all clear that there is no ability to take classes close to home. Or that there is no ability to socialize close to home. The only thing that is clear is that the events that the au pair wants to do are not close to home. So, she can change her expectations or change her home (with what appears to be very little regard for the family she matched with or their children).

cv harquail August 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Okay, I’m now going through them one by one. (Fun? Not!) I am adding commentary as the ‘moderator’, in italics. In some cases I am showing you how I’m changing words to make the comment fit the comment policy guidelines better. To protect the identities of the people who have veered over the line, I have deleted their names and emails.

This is not a perfect system, but I don’t know of a better one. This whole situation is really bumming me out.

And– I’m NOT DONE! Please hold off on the criticism until I have waded through the 10 remaining comments…. then we can discuss. Sorry if it wasn’t clear that this is (re) work in progress…..

NewAPMama August 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I went over the comments, and with all due respect, it is frustrating that you pretty much condone what that woman did. CS Nanny was out of line in the way she presented her arguments, but you pretty much gave that woman a free pass, and inadvertantly have shown that it’s okay treat your AP anyway you want provided you’re upset enough. While I am sure that wasn’t your intention, I feel you only looked at this in a one-sided manner. While I love this blog, and am grateful to you for hosting it, Gianna was right when she said that we hold our AP’s to much higher standards than we do as HP’s.

Anna August 6, 2010 at 12:30 am

CV, great idea.
I wish you did it in another thread where CSnanny attacked me in no less vicious way.

PA AP mom August 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I have to disagree with you that CV condoned the behavior of the poster in question. She simply said that the way in which a lot of posters responded bordered on, or crossed the line, of civility and proper posting etiquette.

I didn’t agree with the poster’s actions, but I have no way to know what was said to her by the AP, LCC, or anyone else involved. Could it have been handled differently? I am almost certain that it could of, and should have, but it’s over and done. Accusing the woman of “abuse” and saying the AP was “likely mistreated” prior to that incident is just plain mean. It is possible to disagree strongly with the actions and posts of another and not cross that line into pure hostility.

My 2 cents August 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I respectfully disagree. Deleting commentaries that are offensive is the only appropriate way to keep the conversation a conversation and not a shouting match. If that ends up deleting those posters that feel a certain way, so be it. It is not giving the opposing viewpoint a free pass. You and others should feel free to re-phrase in an appropriate way.

I feel bad for MTR and the way she was slammed. I really don’t think her decisions and actions (albeit rash) were that crazy. But then again, I have a very low tolerance of underhandedness and manipulation and yes, that does have to with my own personal experience. I do think it changes your perspective once you’ve had the experience of such behavior.

Melissa August 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I disagree. It seems to me that CV comments were specifically responding to the appropriateness of the posts and how they adhered to (or didn’t adhere to) the posting guidelines, not on the subject matter itself.

Anna August 6, 2010 at 12:45 am

You don’t know the whole story.
The au pair was brought there with LCC’s full agreement and knowledge after all was said and done; she agreed to wait there, she was dressed for the weather (unlike MTR’s preschooler children in the grips of last vicious winter, watched over by the au pair who didn’t forget to put on her own shoes, hats and mittens..)Yes, it probably disrupted LCC’s plans for the day… and MTR’s plans for the day.. and au pair’s plans for the day. . but it nobody threw anybody out, the au pair was not left in the middle of nowhere; she was safely DRIVEN, with all her belongings, to the home of a person who was planning to take her in. She wasn’t asked to take a taxi without money, map or an address, and no time to pack. She was not put in harms way. It just happened one day earlier. There is no real tragedy in waiting for a couple of hours at the home of the LCC who would house her. She was not “thrown out” to nowhere. In fact, all considering, I think she was taken care of pretty carefully.
Otherwise the au pair would be “rescued” by the LCC from MTR’s home the next day, without her prior knowledge… imagine that scene.
So could’ve it been handled differently? I am sure it could. Would it have been better? Who knows. There was no “better” in that rotten situation.

My 2 cents August 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

CS Nanny, this is an example of the type of inappropriate posting by you that has conjured up multiple inappropriate posting that have to be delete in order to bring this site back to order, and the way it was before you arrived.

Please stop. If you can’t, then please leave the site like you said you were going to. We are all tired of fighting with you.

PA AP mom August 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

CS Nanny:

I think that it all comes down to the fact that this is a site for Host moms (and dads)! We like the input of au pairs (and nannies) but ultimately sometimes it is a place where host families need to vent their frustrations about their AP, Nanny, or a specific situation relating to them. Fair or not, that’s the way it is. We host parents often seem to stick together. It’s like a little community.

When you, as a nanny, post attacking comments, it is not very welcomed by host families. If you want to post mean comments about host families, there are lots of au pair run and nanny run boards to do so on.

I like your input into many topics that are discussed, it’s just that a lot of times you come across very harshly and a lot of posters are put off by that.

cv harquail August 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

Folks, I have emailed CSNanny and asked her to refrain from commenting on the blog. I have also asked her to look at the commenting policy under the “first visit” tab.

I apoligize to all of you who have been put off by her comments , many of which have been too mean. It’s okay to disagree, or to criticize a behavior. And it’s NOT okay to be mean to another reader/commented

again I apologize for not being more proactive and for allowing the conversation to be soured

CS Nanny August 9, 2010 at 11:55 am

I have read the terms of this blog, and I apologize to those people that I hurt or offended by my tone of voice when posting. I will refrain from sarcasm and instead post with respect.

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