Why Extend an Au Pair Who Bothers You?

by cv harquail on August 18, 2015

What We Think vs. What We Know

This FrustratedHM thinks she should extend with her less than so-so Au Pair. But she knows that she doesn’t want to.

Why is it that so many times we ask each other for permission to do what we know is the right action?

taking my pictureAs if someone’s going to come and scold us for not doing what we think is the right action?

Maybe it’s that we each have a vision of ourselves as a Host Parent who can figure it all out.

We think we can find a way to get our Au Pair to pay attention. We think we can create checklists to help our Au Pair remember details. We think we can find a way not to feel resentful when an Au Pair disregards our generosity.

Here’s something I know:  

It’s perfectly fine to say

“We’re done with this relationship.”

There is no failure involved when you say

“We’ve changed our minds. We’ve realized that extending doesn’t make sense for our family.”


When I read FrustratedHM‘s email, I immediately replied to her: DON’T EXTEND!!  

What else should I have said?

Dear AuPairMom —  We’re having a lot of issues with our AP. She’s a nice gal and takes good care of my daughter but she takes everything for granted and she’s VERY forgetful and argumentative.

We share a car and I work really hard to make her feel comfortable. We gave her our spare bike and I always accommodate her schedule if she helps me for a few hours on the weekend. I give her an unlimited data plan for her phone. We share many meals with her and plus I also give her $120 a month for buying whatever food she needs as most of my meals are vegetarian. I even offered her flight benefits that I get through my husband’s job.

I give her detailed checklists but she often forgets many things on a daily basis.

She doesn’t remember basic rules like “Don’t come home at wee hours if you’re working the next morning”

For the first 4 months she barely worked for 30 hours a week as I had daycare and we had help from the family. We are moving and we are very stressed out. One of the weeks, during our move, she ended up working for 47 hours and she made sure to point it out.

My husband is gone a lot and our schedules are all over the place. She always negotiates and I end up giving so much more when I need flexibility.
She also plays us occasionally and tries to push her boundaries with us. She has, in the past, created misunderstandings between my husband and I.

When I try to address anything with her, she cries and gets hysterical and argues pointing out how much she loves our daughter and how much she does for her.

She has been with two other Host Families before us and that should have been a huge red flag for us. But we were so desperate to not send my daughter to daycare that we ended up hiring her.

I should have rematched a long time ago. It’s time for extension and we said yes for 6 months. She’s filed her papers and I still need to file mine.

We’ve been having so many issues in the past week and I feel like I don’t want to extend. ~FrustratedHM

See also:

Half-Full or Half-Empty? Extending the “so-so” au pair
What keeps you hanging on to a disappointing Au Pair?
Our Au Pair Wants to Extend and We’d Rather Not

Image by Movement Six on Flickr


AuPair_To_Be August 18, 2015 at 9:12 am


There are hundreds, if not thousands of excellent AuPairs out there, from all over the world who will love and respect you and your family. Why should you settle? She is obviously being manipulative by getting emotional and declaring her love for your daughter, if she was being sincere, she would change her ways and prove to you that she is worth keeping in your home and family.

Nina August 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

Why would any of you want to extend when the relationship has been that bad? You can change your mind and not file for extension. OR have a talk and tell her how you feel and the things you worry about and that you are still thinking whether to extend or not. Maybe thsi would help?

TexasHM August 18, 2015 at 1:12 pm

FrustratedHM, I would take this a step further and honestly ask, why would you keep her even for the remainder of her term? Not trying to say that rematch is always the answer because it is not, but honestly causing marital strife? Beating you over the head with a 2 hour overage when you didn’t have an option during a move? You are scheduling around her demands? Who is working for who here?

An AP is here to HELP the HF. Not cause additional stress and strife. You said yourself you “should have rematched a long time ago” – why on earth would you extend! And it’s not too late (to rematch)!

I am pretty sure if you told our AP (and many others) that they could get free unlimited smartphone, flight benefits and one kid to care for they would call that a cakewalk and line up on your doorstep! Your AP should appreciate her/your situation as the most basic level of consideration.

The biggest red flag for me is that she gets hysterical and can’t take constructive feedback. We had this a little with AP1 during her extension year and I told her the next outburst she would be packing her bags. Our kids are involved here. You HAVE TO be able to give her feedback. PERIOD. She wants to be treated like an adult she needs to act like one. I don’t know how many APs you have had up to this point but if you are newer to the program let me assure you – there are rockstars in the rematch pool that just want a warm bed and a family that makes a minimum effort to follow the rules. Really. I got one of those APs when we needed it most. You can too.

SKNY August 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Ditto in this. Time for rematch

Should be working August 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Of course this HF should not extend. Rematch might not be required–it sounds like this (maybe first-time?) HF needs to first better set boundaries, schedules and rules and stick to them in a more systematic way, e.g.:

Does “our schedules are all over the place” mean that the AP doesn’t know her week’s schedule or even day’s schedule in advance and can’t count on it mostly staying as originally stated? That could produce lots of resentment for an AP and end up making HPs feel like they “owe” the AP something.

Did the AP know she was joining a mostly-vegetarian household? If yes, no reason to give her $120 for other food. $50 would be ok, and so would zero. All these ‘extras’ could be producing lots of resentment for the HF and confusing the AP as to how well she is meeting HP expectations.

The AP can’t “play” HPs or produce misunderstandings very easily if the HPs are very clear with each other and with the AP as to what they expect.

APs can’t “forget” curfews if they are stated in writing, and certainly one infraction is time for a warning.

All that said, CV’s question was about why we ask others for permission to do what we know is best for our families. And I’ve been there, a lot of us have…it’s the frog-boil issue, things sort of settle in, we get used to it, rematch seems like such a hassle, there is just a weird inertia to the HP/AP relationship sometimes. So many of us have vented here and then weeks later head-palmed ourselves wondering why we waited so long to lay down the law or rematch or whatever. And once you say “yes” to something it is so hard to retract that for some of us. I get it. One solution is NEVER to say yes to anything quickly, but always to say, “Let me think about that, I’ll get back to you in x”, whether it’s about rearranging the AP’s schedule, or giving her a day off that she wants, or extending, or whatever.

HRHM August 18, 2015 at 8:18 pm


My default position with APs (and most others as well, now that I see how well it works for me) is to NEVER answer right away. I will sleep on every decision. It’s amazing to me the change this has brought about. I used to feel compelled to just say yes and then later would realize I had overcommitted or missed a detail or just felt pressured into it.

Now, I always say “let me get back to you tomorrow”. If anyone pressures me for an immediate answer, then the answer is immediately NO. If you are interested in consideration, then let me consider.

Host Mom in the City August 19, 2015 at 10:10 am

I love this. This was something I finally learned after three years of hosting too. My inclination (in all aspects of life) is to say yes to everything and then work it out later. I’ve had to learn that I need some time to think about things and most people are totally fine with “that sounds great, but can I get back to you tomorrow?”

TexasHM August 19, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Ok I have yet to master this. Like many on here I just hate saying no – except to my kids I don’t seem to have any issues there! :)

I even think our first AP keyed into this because she would sometimes ask for something that she knew was an absolute no go at the absolute worst time (I am making dinner with 6 visiting family members in the house and she breezes by in the hallway with an assumptive close about taking the car downtown when this particular AP didn’t even have highway privileges!). I think she honestly thought I wouldn’t want to say no (particularly in front of others) and that I would be busy/frazzled enough to just let it go.

Luckily those times were so ridiculous I just responded “did you talk to DH about this?” which is an instant deal killer because I know she would never pull that with him. I may use that same tactic now when APs ask (let me talk to DH about it).

WarmStateMomma August 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm

+1 to everything above. I think you’re dreading the conversation when you tell her you’re not extending, but you will feel SO MUCH BETTER afterward. Here’s one way you might frame it:

We have decided that we can’t extend with you. It’s clear you are not that happy here and you should look for a HF with whom you are a better fit.

My guess is that there will be tears and pouting for a couple of days, but you will spare yourself an extra 6 months of that. If she’s not doing the work on the checklist, she’s not doing her job. All 3 of our APs have bonded very closely with my kid(s) – even though they were not equally up to the challenge of being an AP. A wonderful AP is out there who will do the job, love your daughter and be a better housemate. Your family deserves better.

Should be working August 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I recommend making up another excuse for not extending, because telling her that she herself is the problem might make for some ugly, sulky, annoying last weeks/months.

For instance you could say that you absolutely need a full year for the next AP, maybe the matching season is better for you or something like that. Or that you want your daughter to learn French and so you need a French AP (doesn’t have to be true, just needs to get you through the last few months/weeks with this AP). Or you want someone who can play violin. You get the idea!

WarmStateMomma August 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

I think you’re right about the excuse, SBW.

NewAPMom August 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm

I would not extend if I were you. When we were looking for our next AP I had a couple days where I wondered if we should ask the current AP to extend (despite all her shortcomings), but fortunately I came to my senses. I realized certain things weren’t going to change, like the incessant texting, weird food requests, etc, and I was ready to be done with her and move on. In retrospect we should have rematched too (not that she was bad, just not the best fit for us). Our new AP is arriving soon, so I’m a bit nervous but excited.

WestMom August 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm

‘For the first 4 months she barely worked for 30 hours a week’

If you never expect her to work more than 30hrs, then that’s great. But if you ever expect her to work 45, then put 45hrs in her schedule. It is super hard to expect anyone with the cushy schedule to start to work more. She will be resentful. You will think she is entitled.

That aside- don’t extend! I think OP knows she should not extend. The extension is not just about AP and what she wants. It really should be about what your family needs.

Seattle Mom August 19, 2015 at 12:27 am

Yes, put 45 hours on the schedule (or at least 40) and then let her off “early” when you can/want. That way when you really need the 45 it will be business as usual. We almost never schedule for less than 40.

TexasHM August 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

You might even tell her that you will write her a positive reference for the next extension family IF she can muster up and perform her duties for the remainder of the term and then as SBW pointed out – be super clear about expectations and your requirements and it is not negotiable.

Host Mom X August 26, 2015 at 12:18 pm

This worked really well for our last rematch. We were super-nice about everything, super-understanding, and told her we’d “of course be happy to recommend you to another family who’d be a better fit for you, and we’ll just let them know the issues we had that we think wouldn’t necessarily be a problem for another family with different circumstances.” That AP made sure during her rematch weeks that there wouldn’t be too many more of those “issues” for us to speak to potential families about.

futbolmom August 18, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Agree with others that you should NOT extend and if you have >3 months to go should rematch. I think that the reason you are capitulating (and the reason you need a new au pair NOW) has to do with this sentance: “My husband is gone a lot and our schedules are all over the place.” I live this life too and my first two au pairs made my life EASIER by rolling with the changes and anticipating what needed to be done. My current one-not so much! Unfortunately, I started blaming myself for AP’s lack of initiative. If only I were more organized then it would all be smoother, etc. Reaching the end I realize now that current AP just does not have the skill set to cope with our family, NOT that I am a failure as a HP. Go find the rock-star AP you deserve who will make your life LESS stressful, not more.

Host Mom in the City August 18, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Ugh this so easily could have been me. My husband pressured me into offering to extend even though I’ve been somewhat lukewarm about our aupair since a month or two ago. She’s really starting the end of year slide quite early. Fortunately, she’s headed back to school and so isn’t extending. Agree with the others – don’t extend.

I would suggest going with the and that she herself doesn’t seem happy. “Au pair, I’ve been thinking a lot since we discussed extending and in many situations, you don’t seem all that pleased with how things are in our house. I’d love for you to find a great host family for your second year that is a better fit for what you want. Because of this concern, I’ve decided we shouldn’t extend with each other. Rather, I’d like to commit to helping you find a better fit for year two. What do you think?”

It’s going to be really difficult and awkward, but you will all be so so much happier.

momo4 August 19, 2015 at 1:19 am

I agree with all the above comments. This HF should, without a doubt, NOT extend with this AP. Life is stressful enough without having an AP who adds drama, doesn’t do her job well, and doesn’t respect the HP. Clearly this HF is very accommodating and are bending over backwards to please their AP and it doesn’t sound like she appreciates it. “Nice gal”? Sure doesn’t sound like it. She loves their daughter? So what. Little children are easy to love and no doubt their next AP will love their daughter too. And seriously, who uses something like that in an argument? There are many wonderful AP candidates out there who will love their daughter, take excellent care of her, not cause the HP stress and drama, and will happily respect house rules without giving the HP grief. There is absolutely no call for crying, arguments and hysteria from an AP and the HF should not have to be subjected to that kind of childish behavior.

Out of 8 APs, we have extended with only one. I would have been happy to extend with another, but she was going back to university. The question of extension is one I try to avoid for as long as possible. Early in the year there is a tendency for lots of mutual affection and offering to extend can feel like a way of affirming this. But things can change over the year, and your feelings about extending can change too, and telling your AP you no longer want to extend with them is obviously a lot more uncomfortable than never having made the offer to begin with. Also, I don’t want to put pressure on them either in case they want to extend, just not with my family (although that has not actually happened).

In any case, as others have pointed out in previous posts, even if the first year is great, the second is not necessarily going to be as good. Finding a new AP always feels daunting and provokes anxiety, but “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” is no way to decide who will live with you and care for your child as intimately as your AP will.

Seattle Mom August 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

This is so true! I generally want to extend around month 3 or 4, but usually by month 6 or 7 I am ready for a change. Even with great au pairs who are respectful and do their job well. There’s always some down side, and the hope that the next one will be better in that department.

HRHM August 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Yes. I highly reccomend not even thinking about/discussing extension until month 8 when the paperwork arrives. A tremendous amount of change occurs over the “seasons” of the AP year and I often think loving warm thoughts in month 4 that have evaporated (along with the APs effort, coincidentally) by month 7.

If, at month 8, I can honestly say “This AP just makes my life better”, then she’s a keeper. But just because I think she’s a keeper, doesn’t always mean she’ll feel the same about us.

Dorsi August 19, 2015 at 1:54 am

I think we sometimes cling to the idea that we need to overlook nearly everything because we don’t want to take someone away from our child – especially if they clearly have a loving relationship.

The OP doesn’t state how old her daughter is, but because of the daycare reference, I would assume toddler-ish. I have found my toddlers to be well-loved by all my Au Pairs – maybe because they are often more willing to return love whole heartedly. My children couldn’t love the Au Pair very much until after they were weaned. They were a little more guarded after they had been through a few transitions. But the two-year old? Pure, pure love.)

The good news is that the next Au Pair will quickly be able to form a loving relationship with your child. For small children, that is rarely an issue – of 10 stories on this blog about rematch, I would guess that 1 was about an Au Pair that didn’t have a good bond with a toddler/preschool age child.

I think the OP is reluctant to do the right thing here because she thinks she is helping herself but hurting the child if she chooses to get rid of the AP. However, the right thing is to create harmony in the home, a constructive relationship that allows everyone to flourish. Including the kid.

NoVA Twin Mom August 19, 2015 at 8:10 am

I guess we’re the one in ten that rematched because of an inability to “bond with/love” a toddler (and it’s nice to be unique!)- but let me tell you, the problem was apparent IMMEDIATELY. That au pair lasted three and a half days before I declared rematch – and she agreed. No arguments, nothing. Tears, yes – because she was afraid I’d be angry. Angry at the situation, absolutely. But not exactly at her, because I could tell she had no idea this would be an issue. A mutual agreement that her being our au pair wasn’t going to work and we needed to find her a new family FAST.

I agree – absolutely don’t extend with this au pair. Whether or not you rematch at this point is up to you – inertia would probably keep me with the current au pair but looking for the new one (while giving honest references about the current ones – there’s probably something you can say that’s positive about her). And if your new au pair won’t be able to bond with your very young child, you’ll KNOW. Very quickly. And can remedy the situation just as quickly.

NewbieHM August 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

We are having issues in the “bonding” area too. We extended with our AP and I’m starting to regret it. She seems burned out, but the worst thing is that one of my toddlers doesn’t like her anymore. It was fine the first year, but a couple of months ago he started saying every morning that he doesn’t like her and that she doesn’t like him either. He has even accused her of hitting, spitting, scratching him and jumping on him a few times (these are all things that the kids have done to each other and get reprimanded for which is why I don’t think he is telling the truth). Also, I asked his brother and he says is not true. I think he only says this because he doesn’t want her around.
Se was a good AP the first year but I think she is getting tired and it’s showing. We also give good perks so I’m starting to resent this. We still have 8 months to go.

To the OP- do not extend. Tell her you changed your mind, that’s easier than going into rematch. By doing this you are also being kind to her because with rematch she only gets 2 weeks to find another family unless you decide to house her longer, but if you tell her now she can start looking.

Dorsi August 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

You don’t have to have 8 months left! I would be sensitive to your toddler not liking your AP. It seems like it is time for a frank conversation. We all get burned out with our jobs at times — it should not be apparent to the people we work for/with.

FirstTimeHM August 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

If you as a mom aren’t happy with the au pair and the au pair isn’t happy being around you as a family, your kid will already have noticed, even if she can’t express it yet.
Please take care of your entire family and don’t extend. It’s perfectly ok to explain that you will have a new au pair every year and tell your current au pair that she can look for another family and you will give her a good reference on childcare.

eastcoastmom August 19, 2015 at 8:46 am

We have extended only twice in 7 years and I’m very reluctant to ever do it again. In my experience, any issues that were there before extension only get worse during the extension. There’s a tendency for anyone to get a little too comfortable and push boundries after they’ve been in a situation for a while. Don’t extend. Things could only get worse!

eastcoastmom August 19, 2015 at 8:46 am

Please excuse my spelling error! Boundaries!

NJ Mama August 19, 2015 at 10:05 am

I think part of the problem is when you run into a stretch where your schedules are particularly hectic, it’s really really hard to start a rematch (or sometimes even think about matching with someone new), especially if you have no family around to help. And if the au pair is good with the kids you start thinking, “Well at least she’s great with the kids. So maybe I need to offer her more money for food or have her do less laundry” or whatever to make her life easier, just so we can get through this stretch. I’ve been there.

Perhaps the thing to do here is to take a deep breath and take a look at how much time the AP has left. If as many have said it’s more than 3 months, then come up with a plan for backup care in case you are left short, and then start the rematch process rolling when the pieces fall into place. Once you break down the process into pieces (I can do X for morning care and Y for afternoon, or A for Mondays – Wednesdays, B for Thursdays and C for most Fridays) you’ll feel better. It won’t seem as scary.

Rematches are really difficult, and I have often gotten into a debate with my husband over this. I will point out all the different reasons why the AP isn’t working, and he’ll say — you’re right, but right now, I can’t take time off from work and you can’t either. Let’s hunker down and get through a few more weeks. At least the AP has the routine down — and there’s someone here for the kids. Sometimes that’s what you do. There are certain times of the year when our jobs just aren’t flexible. And an annoying AP may be better than taking time off to phase in a new au pair or having to patch together backup.

If you decide that for the next three months, you’ll have to live with the current au pair, then you do need to talk to her about the situation. Stress that what you need now is flexibility, and you and the kids are really counting on her. Say that she started out so strongly, and you want to end the year strongly, and you’re doing all these things for her, like giving her extra money for food and what not, and what you need in return is for her to fulfill her end of the bargain. It may improve things for a little bit, although in my own experience I’ve found it almost always slides back.

And most definitely do not extend. I imagine one of two things will happen — you’ll tell her that you see how unhappy she is and that an extension was not the right decision for both of you, and she’ll be relieved and step up her game. Or she’ll get ticked off and fall apart. But at least then you’ll know you’ve made the right decision. again, line up the backup before you have the convo.

One last thing – no matter how great the AP seems with the kids, the kids know. The kids know no matter what their ages are. They feel it. They sense when you’re upset and they notice when things aren’t getting done and the AP starts slacking off. Explaining to the kids in some ways is the easiest. The generic – she wasn’t following all of our rules, and you know how important those are — almost always works. In the end the kids are happiest when the parents are happy with the AP.

Mimi August 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

I agree with everyone else here about not extending. As a rule, we don’t extend because although the idea of not having to train someone and all the jazz that goes with it is very appealing, I agree with eastcoastmom about known issues getting worse. Additionally, we are a potential burnout situation (4 kids, rural NE, chaotic HH, traveling HD, etc.) so a year is about all I think is appropriate for us. If an AP wants to extend her year, we go out of our way to help them find a new family.

You have one child and the amount of negotiating/perks you are offering is more appropriate for those of us with the less-than-ideal situations. If she’s young, it’s entirely possible your AP doesn’t even realize how she comes off or that her behavior is inappropriate. Be firm, frank, and honest with her like WarmState Momma and HMitC suggested. Yes, this is going to probably cause some strife, but it will benefit you in the long run (and give you experience in dealing with these issues in the future!). There are many ways to frame it:
-“We need an AP who is more open to feedback without having such an emotional response.”
-“We need more flexibility and less pushback on the schedule.”
-“We need someone who can pay more attention to detail and complete the checklists.”

One of the reasons we host and that I enjoy working with the AP age group is that I know I’m seeing them in important years where they are growing as adults and the idea of helping them realize their potential is important to me. Sometimes, those years involve learning life lessons that at the time aren’t happy moments but that will benefit them for years to come.

SKNY August 19, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Agree and for what is with it, my au pairs cared for 3 kids 5 and under, worked 45hs. Did not have free data plan, and still completed their checklists

PhillyMom August 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I would not extend. She is a manipulator and hysteria is just inappropriate at working place. You do not want that person in your household. It will only get worse.

Texas6TimeHostMom August 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

No way. We did this once, AP really wanted to stay longer. In hindsight, it was not the best decision. Thankfully we’re past that and on to the next one.

ILHostMom August 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I can’t believe you’re even considering extending!!! You will be so angry with yourself if you do. I have had a very similar situation so I am very sympathetic. We had a very manipulative Au Pair who used her emotions as a weapon, and we totally fell for it. The whole reason we chose to go with an Au Pair was to have the flexibility, and then we ended up with an AP who complained constantly that she occasionally had to work a few hours on the weekend and that we couldn’t give her a schedule months in advance. Why does your Au Pair want to extend? There is a good chance it has more to do with your location, her local friends, no plan for when she returns, etc. An AP should be making your life easier and less stressful, otherwise you would be doing daycare. Several folks on here have suggested that you tell her you are not going to extend because she seems unhappy. My concern is that this opens the door for her to tell you just how happy she is, that she can’t imagine a better family, that the daughter and her are inseparable, etc., further manipulating you into giving her what she wants. What do YOU need? What do YOU want? I guarantee you, this Au Pair is not providing it.

QuirkyMom August 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Coming late to the party, but I would love to hear an update from OP. I agree with all the above posters about advising that under no circumstances you decide to extend — and I also agree depending on timing that you should strongly consider rematch.

Here’s my .02 (or 0.25 because I do tend to go on): we got totally burned by deciding to extend even though we were very much on the fence about it. This was with our first AP, who had had to return home for a couple of months to recuperate from a physical problem that prevented her from doing her job. We bent over backwards to keep her rather than just rematching, got a temp AP (who was awesome and we are still in touch with). We had to make the extension call not long after first AP returned.

She really put us in a spot and was (in hindsight) pretty manipulative about it, whether intentionally or not — rather than discussing the issue with DH and me privately, she declared at the dinner table that she wanted to extend, in front of my kids, the younger two of whom were ecstatic about it because they’d really bonded with her. DH and I talked about it privately and agreed to extend even given our reservations (she really had very few tools to deal with our oldest effectively) given a) how much our younger two loved her and b) the benefits of continuity and of not having to deal with finding a new AP with a renovation and move to a new house coming up. There were other red flags we discounted and we should have paid more attention to our instincts rather than taking what we perceived as the easier path.

Punchline — right before her one year was up, when she’d technically be in rematch for her first year, she announced the Friday evening after school had started that she wanted to go into rematch. I think there were a number of factors involved — our job wasn’t new and fun, her (few) friends were moving on, she wanted an easier AP job that involved younger children and not three of them. She really left us in the lurch — we had to hire a temp nanny at twice the cost for half the care, and my full-time second job became screening and interviewing OOC candidates. It was a much worse situation than if we had planned to end her term at a year and find a new AP. We ended up with a great AP who is concluding her year and we are really looking forward to our new AP coming in a month, but we’ve decided we are now firmly in the camp of “leave while the party’s still fun” and will be upfront with future candidates that this is a one-year max gig.

Moral — don’t assume that because you file extension papers that you will avoid the hassle of rematch. Your AP will have even less incentive than she does now to do a good job, and she can pull the plug at any time. Even if you don’t decide to rematch now, I would start looking for candidates and just commit to your decision not to extend. You deserve better and so does your family.

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