Your Au Pair’s Guests: A few guidelines….

by cv harquail on June 17, 2009

I just love reading all these posts nodding my head knowing I am not alone in my feelings!

One topic that I think may have been covered lightly is Out of Town Guests. Our Au Pair is having A TON of guests! She has her Step Father coming, a single girlfriend, a married couple, her mother, another single girlfriend, and so far that is it. Needless to say I was getting a little freaked out. I mean with only 10 vacation days I wasn’t sure how it was all going to sort out. I was worried we would turn into “Heather’s Hostel”!

I have no idea if everything is going to work out but I know when we screen our next Au Pair to ask what they anticipate in the way of visitors.

visitr1.jpg

In the meantime, I wrote up a set of rules for out-of-town guests, which I’m attaching …

Best, Heather

Thanks so much Heather! Although we talked about the relationship implications of having lots of guests in the post on Your House Is Not A Youth Hostel, it always helps to spell out exactly what you can and can’t offer in terms of hosting guests. We did this a bit in the post "Setting guidelines when your au pair has guests … but let’s take it the whole way!

Out of Town Visitor Rules

Local transportation:

* Visitors will need to arrange for their own transportation (this includes transport to/from the airport, to/from the city, sightseeing during working hours, etc).

Staying in our home:

* You are welcome to have your single girlfriend stay in our home up to 4 nights during the month of August/September (please give us at least 2 weeks notice).

* You are welcome to have your mother stay in our home up to 7 nights (please give us at least 2 weeks notice).

* Visitors will stay on the lower level and use the lower level bathroom/shower.

* Visitors staying in our home during their visit only will be entitled to use our laundry facilities once during their visit.

* Visitors are not permitted to smoke in our home.

* Your other visitors should make alternative sleeping arrangements.

* Visitors staying in our home should not be left in our home alone.

* Visitors should shower at off hours and be respectful of hot water usage.

* The car will not be available for use on vacation days while visitors are here since a replacement childcare provider will need to use it.

* Visitors should be respectful of the kids schedule so quiet during Quiet Time and after 8pm.

* Food, beverage, toiletries should be purchased by visitor or au pair during length of stay.

* Host family is not responsible for cooking or cleaning up after visitors.

* Visitors are not permitted to drive the family cars.

* Visitors may use our phone only for short urgent calls and only if a calling card is used.

During Working Hours:

* It is important for you and your guests to be respectful of the time you are on duty. If a guest is with you, the main focus still should be first on the kids, especially when driving.

Does anyone have additional guidelines or advice to share?

{ 25 comments }

cv June 18, 2009 at 7:03 am

One important thing I think folks should add to their guidelines is an estimate of just how many TOTAL days/nights of overnight guests they can take. This AP is having MANY guests, and after some point even with perfectly considerate guests enough is enough. And, you might be okay with her sister and friend staying for a week, but what happens when it’s the 5th guest from her home country, for the 5th week?

I’d consider a limit of about 12 person-nights (e.g., 2 guests for 6 nights, 4 guests for 3 nights) not including the occasional overnight with another au pair. I think it’s important to limit the sheer number of days that your ap is ‘working’ while she has a guest and how much traffic you can stand.

Also, hosting guests is a privilege, so be sure she earns it as she goes and appreciates it rather than feeling entitled to it.

VA Host Mom June 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

Wow! This is good stuff. I just signed up to this website and I love it already. We had the same problem with one au pair during her year with us had 2 friends over for 2 weeks each, her bf came for 3 weeks and her father came for 1 month b/c he was taking english classes close by. On top of that, we had 2 of our previous au pairs visit, which I don’t mind but the total visitor for the year was just exhausting. We’ve just given a basic rule now that only 2 guests for the year is permitted. Because it also limits our ability to go somewhere, we do not like have visitors staying in our house while we are away. Plus if our previous au pairs want to visit, which we welcome, it just all adds up. Thanks for the advice on how to deal with this uncomfortable issue.

NjMom June 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

How about no out of town guests? I guess because our AP’s have been from countries where it’s impossible for their young friend (and even siblings) to get a tourist visa — Eastern Europe and latin America — this has not been an issue except for once (my AP’s mom visited for three weeks during her extension year) and I am not sure I would have the patience for it. We have a small house and I expect the AP’s to be focused on my kids not their houseguests. It seems like people are saying that it’s a given that we’ll have to host guests and I would not treat it like that. It’s a big privilege!

Mel June 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

@ NjMom, I am with you on this one. We live in an urban area where homes just aren’t big. I think our house is already full (busting at the seams) with three adults and a baby. Houseguests are just out of the question – we don’t have the room. Though I suggest being clear on this issue from the very start. I’d hate for a potential au pair to tell her friends and family to come visit her in America as she is saying her ‘good-bye’s in her home counrty only to find out that as soon as she got here she couldn’t host them.

Jillian June 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Great post! Having written rules are always a good idea. We didn’t discuss visitors with our first au pair until we were about to cross that bridge. Things turned out all right but I definitely wish we’d discussed beforehand. Live and learn!

PA Mom June 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

We’ve had a few house guests with our APs over the years. I don’t mind a single friend (girl) for a few days (though work always seems to suffer a bit), and we’ve been fortunate to have family with an extra room they lend to our AP’s parents when they visit. We’ve really enjoyed some of these stays though they can seem a bit overwhelming at times. Our APs have had both “sides” of the parents come with their 1/2 sibilings and the kids have been great for our kids. It’s is so neat to see other children try out their “new” school English – and even more neat to see my kids try to speak long sentences in another language just to communicate with their AP’s sisters who are the same age. More work – yes but an invaluable experience. In each case, the parents really enjoyed meeting us (and vice versa) and our relationships improved. The parents cooked a meal or brought some special food we might enjoy or a little gift for the kids. The younger siblings stayed at our house and played with my kids and share their culture. Really – never mind the work aspect – how can you miss that kind of opportunity. Even to see a teenage friend of the AP try Thanksgiving or Easter dinner for the first time – and to let my kids show her “how” to color eggs, or what sweet potatoe pie is like. Really – it’s eye opening. If you just become a hostel – then set rules – but if they are also spending time with you family – take advantage of the time and teach them to bar b que while they teach you their techniques.

Ann (from NE) June 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm

With our first AP, no guest situation presented itself (she went away to visit relatives in North America on her vacations), with our current, 2nd AP, we are trying two new versions of this visiting guests. The first was “swap APs,” i.e. we befriended a family with an AP from another East Coast city. In order to help both APs see both U.S. cities in their time here, each host family has hosted the other AP for a long weekend (and the “local” AP acted as the tour guide for the weekend). I let my AP have some extra time off to manage both long weekends, away, and as tourist host.

This summer, my husband, daughter and I will be going away for a week on our annual vacation, a few hours’ drive away. During that time, our AP will stay home because her parents will be visiting from her home country and staying in our home. The tricky part will be for the 3-4 days of overlap when my family’s vacation is over, we are back, but our AP’s family hasn’t left yet. I have actually taken several vacation days so I can get to know my AP’s family enough and show them some tourist sights and take care of my daughter to free up my au pair. It will be tight quarters in my home, and a bit confusing for my daughter, but because I expect to visit my AP and her family in her home country in the future, I want to make sure we can give them as warm welcome as we would like to get ourselves later on. We’ll see how it goes.

Busy Mom June 19, 2009 at 9:18 am

These are great, very practical guidelines. We set loose guidelines for our au pair (our first), but ended up feeling taken advantage of. To be fair, she asked and I agreed, but I had set up such loose guidelines that I didn’t feel that I could say no. Our au pair had 3 guests for a total of 31 nights in a period of 2 1/2 months! They were not family members and, in fact, I got the impression that they weren’t even close friends of hers. They ate our food, were picked up from the airport and chauffered around in our car, etcetera. Fortunately, we have the space, but it just felt like an imposition. I felt that I couldn’t ask her to babysit on weekends when her friends were visiting, so my husband and I never went out!

I like the guideline about transportation to/from the airport. We live in the metro NY area and I really don’t want my au pairs driving to JFK airport, and I don’t want to be picking up their guests.

Has anyone tried using restrictions like the ones listed above and how have prospective au pairs reacted? I am going to start interviewing soon for #2 and want to let her know the rules up front. I was considering allowing only immediate family members (parents, siblings), one at a time, for no more than 8 nights at a time. No guests in the first 3 months. No more than 1 guest per month. Reading this thread, I’d place a cap on total guests – 3 total for her year with us. I can always relax these guidelines. I would also be okay with an au pair friend (one at a time) coming for a weekend. All visits must be requested & approved in advance.

I don’t have that much of an issue with guests being left in the house. If the choice is accompanying my au pair when she is driving my kids and leaving the guest alone, I’d pick leaving her alone. However, I like the guidelines on where guests should be in my house.

Heather, you must have had huge issues to include the rules on laundry & hot water! Yikes! The phone tip is quite practical. I never thought about it.

My au pair came back from a visit with another au pair and described how the other au pair’s hostmom had made them a nice dinner, given her a gift. I felt guilty, but that just isn’t me. I don’t see myself treating (and frankly don’t want to) my au pair’s friends as my own guests. I guess I’m selfish, but I have such limited time for my own social life that I don’t feel like entertaining a stranger who is only peripherally connected to my au pair. I would make more of an effort for an immediate family member.

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this topic.

Hula Gal June 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

Well, my husband and I have been pretty strict on guests. We have even said no to having our au pair’s parents come to stay at the house during a time when we will be gone. If the au pair wants to have friends and family come to visit they can stay in a hotel. Our home is not a hotel. Now, I think our firm stance is more of a reflection on our relationship with our au pair than just a general objection to allowing an au pair to host guests. She is an average au pair and does nothing to help around the house. She is fine with our daughter, she is nice and not disrespectful but she is not thoughtful or interested in figuring out how to be helpful to us. So we have not felt the need to allow her the opportunity to host guests in our home.

IJC June 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

It’s your house and whatever you want to happen on the guests front is fine, as long as you let your au pair know before she accepts the job. For example, the first host family I lived with really wanted me to go to them, and told me I’d be welcome to have friends to stay. One day a friend of mine was in the city for a few nights and I asked if she could spend a night with me at the house and the host mum flipped out and refused. She thought I had a cheek for asking when she had said guests were fine before I accepted the job. If she didn’t want me to have guests in her house that’s fine, but she shouldn’t have lied about it to tempt me into taking the job. I think you should decide in advance whether the au pair can have guests. If she can’t, tell her so. If she can, tell her the limits in advance. If you don’t want her to have guests in your house, that’s fine, it’s your house after all. Just make sure she knows that in advance.

A-Mom-ymous June 19, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Never have I been more glad to have a crappy, tiny house!

My concern is that APs seem to get into car scrapes when they are driving on their own time or with friends. (I have an “n” of 3 incidents involving 2 different APs). So it seems that adding a lot of exciting visits with good friends could put my car at serious risk of damage.

I love the idea of sharing real, meaningful experiences with APs’ family and truly close friends. My favorite Thanksgiving was when our AP invited two other APs over whose families had gone out of town without them. We have a lovely Thanksgiving, and it really helped my kids understand what it’s about better, too. Even though my father-in-law said the usual stupid stuff and asked them, uh, direct questions, that was part of the experience, too. (If embarrassing family members aren’t part of Turkey day, I don’t know what is!) :-)

If ever there were a YMMV situation, this is it. With the right AP, having visitors could be a benefit, or at least not a burden. With a less thoughtful AP, having visitors (perhaps of dubious character) could be a big big problem. And there is no way to know the ability of your AP to judge people’s character until they’ve been living with you for awhile. So I guess the old guideline of starting with heavy regulation and loosening up later makes sense.

Otherwise you could end up in a situation like IJC describes. My thought on the event she describes is that perhaps IN THEORY, before the AP arrived, the host family was fine with a guest who would interact in a positive way with the family (probably thinking you meant family or close AP friends, nice cultural exchange kind of thing) but later were not comfortable with the specific proposal. They made a decision about whether guests were okay before they matched with you with insufficient data–people have to do this all the time–and then revisited that decision when presented with a specific situation and having more experience with you as an AP. It sounds like you asked if someone could stay that very same night, with little notice. That’s a problem, and it would give me pause, as well. I need time to evaluate a request like that, talk to my husband, ask you questions about this person, etc. Especially if I didn’t trust your judgment about people, I would be uncomfortable with being put on the spot like that. Perhaps their reaction (“flipping out”) reflects on the quality of the relationship the AP had with the family, and isn’t that the hosts “lied” at all.

Franzi June 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm

@ busy mom, i’d suggest you talk about your visitor restrictions during the interview process and explain why you came up with these rules! 31 visitor days in 2 1/2 months is way too much – also for your AP! she is there to do a job first and foremost.
i’m sure that if your AP earns your trust and you know that she is reliable you will losen your restrictions upon a case by case decision. that’s only fair and some incentive for the AP. a girl who only wants to spend her year with vacationing will not pick your family knowing about your rules!

Megan June 19, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Our au pair just had a friend stay for 2 1/2 weeks and right after that, her cousin was here for 2 1/2 weeks, and I am totally fine with it (after having to share her room with someone for 5 straight weeks, she was very ready to have her own space back). All of our au pairs have had family or friends stay with us. The only “issue” that I have had to discuss is the issue of their vacation time, given that they only rate 10 days, and I can’t always accommodate vacation days. We have had several times where they did their trips on the weekends and her friend/ cousin just stayed with her and the kids during the day or even accompanied her to take them to the zoo or Sea World, for example. Everyone who has come to visit has been great with our kids, and our kids really enjoyed the time spent with them. They have always been very gracious guests who bring gifts for us and the kids, and all of them keep giving me gift cards when they leave. They seems to truly understand how much money they are saving by staying here and do a bunch to help out around the house. Our au pairs cousin kept doing the dishes and trying to empty the dishwasher, which did lead to some confusion on my part when she guessed at where to put stuff away, but really, how could I complain? Our first au pair’s family spent Thanksgiving with us one year, when they came in to travel with her in her 13th month. They were going to be in town for 2 days before they traveled and then for another 3 days after they got back, but before they went to Germany. We made it work, even with her mom, sister, nephew and boyfriend all staying here. I really think that if they are truly part of your family, then these are things I am willing to work with. Our new au pair coming later this month has a long-term boyfriend, and I already told her that he is welcome to visit, as are members of her family. We have never had issues with our car and visitors or with feeling used by our au pair or her family/ friends. I guess if I felt that they were trying to take advantage of us, I might feel differently, but I have found that mutual respect goes a long way. I have always welcomed other au pairs to spend the night, as well. The only overnight visitors I have ever restricted is the randomly brought home male- just not allowed. Period.

IJC June 20, 2009 at 8:39 am

A-Mom-ynous, that is not what happened in my situation. Before I arrived they said I’d be welcome to have friends to stay. When I found out a friend of mine would be coming to the city in about 3 weeks time, I asked if she could spend a night with me. The host mum then told me that actually, I could not have any friends at all to stay, ever. It was nothing I had done that caused this. She said her last au pair had had 2 friends to stay and they had made a mess, leaving their belongings lying around all the time and she did not want that to happen again. So, she had decided since then that no au pair would be allowed to have any friends over. She had just blatantly lied (about many other things too, not just this) to tempt me into taking the job.

ma mom August 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I generally have not had a great experience with AP guests. They are usually quite nice and all that, but the AP wants to push the limits. My current AP was the worst so far. We agreed that her parents could stay a couple nights at our house and then they would be travelling around and would not need to. Their “plans” changed and she just had them stay with us, without asking. This put us and her parents in a no win situation. She is definitely one that would prefer to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. I am now stating that there will be no house guests, and I can change my mind if the situation seems controllable.

Lynn September 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

Oh no, I have comment for this too lol! We just had a friend of our au pair stay. It drove me nuts! They came in at 10PM and started cooking dinner and hanging out talking to my husband until 11:30. I felt so overwhelmed. I wanted peace and privacy back so much. My kids go to sleep at around 8:30, I finish my chores around 9, but I need to get up for work the next day and I don’t feel like sociallizing every night of the week. My husband and I both work full-time and with the kids our private time is limited. ON the weekend its not to bad but night, after night.
I will defenitely put more restrictions for the next visitor. Like if you are not home at our dinner hour, you need to eat out, and to respect our need for private time.

A host mom October 31, 2010 at 1:20 am

We are now on our third au pair and we finally wrote in our au pair handbook that no guests are allowed. We did not qualify this or detail if this pertains to family members, boyfriends, girlfriends, other au pairs. We simply say no guests. This has made our lives significantly better!

Our au pair now plans to meet her boyfriend from back home during her vacation in another city. She also has plans to travel with a girlfriend from her home country. We signed up to host our au pair but we do not wish to be a hotel/ train station for au pair friends and family members. We also have young children and we have no desire to have a bunch of strangers in the home disrupting their sleep schedules. This definitely means that our au pair spends a lot of time sleeping over at her friends homes on the weekends- those friends have separate entrances to the house or more private living quarters- and this seems to work out perfectly for us. As host parents we need to be clear about the fact that this young woman is a a guest in our home for a year and she does not have the right to have guests over- ie she is not a daughter to us- despite being a highly valued au pair!

BTW, the nice thing about having strict rules like ours is that we always have the chance to relax it if the right situation arises (ie outstanding au pair nearing the end of her year who asks for her best friend from home to stay with us for a weekend, we would certainly be open to discussing this….)

NewAPMama October 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Guest in your home for a year? Whew. Here I thought AP’s were meant to be treated like family members. Thanks for clarifying. I can understand not wanting random people staying in your home. But her own family? Wow.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I’m glad those strict rules work for you.

We just hosted our AP’s parents for a week (because personally we would not dream of asking them to stay in a hotel). While we cooked most of the dinners, they cooked two very nice meals for us, did most of the evening dishes, and repaired some things that were broken in the house. My son really enjoyed their cooking, as well as the hoodie and chocolate they brought to him as gifts. We had nice chats in the evening (I speak a little of their language and they a little English and we were able to make it work when our AP was not around for more exact translation). Because her parents were around, our AP opened up in a way that she had not before, and we feel that we know her much better now. One of my neighbors asked what was the age cut-off for being an AP – she had thought my AP’s mother was my new AP because she saw her walking with The Camel through the neighborhood!

Over the years we have hosted friends and boyfriends, and it has worked fine for us. Guest pitch in. The younger guests have generally played with The Camel and my son. We even had a house guest who shoveled snow for hours after a blizzard! We don’t feel like the guests are taking undue advantage of us (although a couple of APs in rematch have).

Each HF should set the policy with which they feel most comfortable and stick to it. If your AP questions why your policy is different from that of her friends, then you explain that everyone in America is different. Our LCC sends an an email once every year or so telling APs not to think that it’s okay to have guests, and that if it not spelled out in the handbook, to ask before inviting.

The only thing that bothers me is when my AP’s guests don’t make an appearance and talk to us. I like to be thanked for opening my doors and providing breakfast or dinner (food is meant to be eaten in my house – nothing bothers me more than throwing food away – so I don’t begrudge any food they eat). If you don’t permit guests and your AP is the constant weekend house guest of another family, you might suggest to her that she bring a bouquet of flowers to the HM once or twice. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

NewAPMama October 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

For me, this post wasn’t about whether or not guests should be allowed over. Every HF has the right to decide that. However, it was more about the tone of the post. I’m surprised the author didn’t use the word “the help” to describe her AP. As if staying with her family for a year is a priviledge, and therefore the AP doesn’t have the right to anything, including having friends over. That, for me, is part of the program. Yes, I get the childcare I need, but I also have the opportunity to make a young woman feel like a part of my family, and get to know her friends, culture, etc, and not just someone who is a “guest” in my home for a year. Perhaps you should consider a live-out nanny that you do not have to form any emotional attachment to, or consider her feelings. And if I was the HF that the AP was constantly staying with, I think I’d start to feel a bit used if things didn’t go both ways. Just my opinion.

Should be working October 31, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I felt like TaCL when my AP mentioned that her family was coming to visit in several months, i.e. I immediately invited them to stay with us. Only later did I find out that our AP had been beaten as a child, and even soon before coming to our family, and I regretted my hospitality to these people. Unfortunately that experience has made me rethink whether I would ever host an AP’s family again. They are AP’s family, but still strangers to me, and so I don’t know how I will handle this in the future.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 31, 2010 at 9:28 pm

DH and I have now aged sufficiently that we are the same age as many of our AP’s parents (what’s really funny is that DH and I could have had a child the same age as many of our recent APs, except — unlike their parents — the birth control worked. We’ve been together for 24 years. Let’s just say that The Camel and her brother are nowhere near that old. In fact DH and I were living in separate European countries while we did dissertation research when our current AP was born.) Only my European APs’ parents could afford to visit us, but even all of them have been working class.

While I would never do it, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with telling your AP “Not my house.” And I guess, “Should be Working” one should always ask one’s AP, “Do you want your family staying here?” (And to respect their answer if and when your AP says “No.”)

Last night, as my AP’s father lent her his brand new jackknife to carve her Halloween pumpkin, I said to him, “X has used your knife before you.” And the look he gave me when he said, “It’s okay” told me that his heart was sad that he was leaving to go home today without X. That moment, when I learned that my AP had been raised by a father who loved her dearly was priceless. Sure DH and I are happy to have our house back, but getting to see our AP with her parents was worth every minute in gold (and we were honest when we invited them back – they were fantastic guests).

Returning HM November 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I’ve dug up this thread looking for some updated advice. Our AP is about to have her BFH (boyfriend from home) visit for two weeks over the Christmas holidays, and he will be staying in our house. I encouraged AP to invite BFH over Christmas, as we are going away for 10 days and while she was welcome to come, I didn’t think it would be much fun for her to be up at my sister’s house with their family, with her not knowing anyone there and not being the sort to make friends and go out with local APs, the way some of our previous APs were. So now I’m facing two weeks with BFH (a total of five days will be with us home), and then mom and sister are coming two weeks in the spring and godfather for 10 days in May. So I need this visit to go well, or I won’t be feeling welcoming for the next visits.

I should put up front that we have had great and awful visits with previous APs’ families: Two were fantastic – parents, boyfriends, boyfriends’ families, etc all visited, lots of fun, great to have them. One AP, though, had her mom and sister for two full weeks, and for two full weeks i cooked and cleaned and waited on them – they were lovely people and we had fun but still I felt very overworked, but then on the last night, after I cooked them a big “goodbye” dinner, AP announced she was leaving the next day with mom and sister. Turned out this had been the plan all along – flight was booked – and AP’s mom and sister simply used our house as a hotel so they could visit the US before AP left with them. So you can see why I’d be a little gunshy with the visits this time around!

So what can I do to help ensure that this first visit goes well, so that I will feel happy about all those future visits as well? I have in the handbook now that anytime guests stay longer than 3 days, that AP should provide food (thanks to that AP mom and sister who cleaned out our fridge of food every other day but paid for nothing). I have in the handbook that no guests should drive our cars, and I told AP that there would be a mileage limit for the visit (again, from that other AP, who put over 500 miles on our car when the mom and sister were visiting). I have in the handbook that AP must take vacation day on any day that I would otherwise need her to work and so will have to get back-up childcare. I haven’t yet approached the question of sleeping arrangementswith BFH, but since AP has told me that when BFH stays at her house at home, he stays in her room with her, I was thinking I’d just put them in there. Should I set some rules about the bathroom (small house -AP shares bathroom with two children 7 and 9, and her room is on same floor as our bedroom)? What else should I be thinking of?

We like this AP a lot, even though she is young for her age and needs a lot of handholding. She is kind, respectful, helpful, and very much a part of our family, and I really want to welcome her family with open arms…but I need this visit to go well in order to do so with the additional guests who are scheduled to come (plus I should add that she has had weekend visitors a fair amount too).

Advice? Suggestions? Thanks very much.

Taking a Computer Lunch November 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm

We generally ask guests to cook a traditional meal from their country for us – AP and BFH can do this together. It’s a means to say thank you to the HF for providing hospitality and a free place to stay. I would take the AP aside, and mention that it would be nice if she did the dishes with BFH once or twice when you do the cooking for the two of them – not necessarily every night, but enough to acknowledge your gift. Same deal when mom & sister come.

Set expectations – when she’s working, she’s working. It’s easy enough to think that the children can distract themselves when friends and family visit, but they can’t. The kids might relish the extra attention if the guests have the language skills or your AP is willing to act as translator.

I usually give my APs an extra day off when friends and family visit as long as the kids are in school (so DH and I only have to take off an extra hour or two at either end of the day) or we intend to take the day off anyway. Whether you award your AP or not depends on your relationship. You need not do this when BFH visits, as you are leaving the house.

I feel fortunate that my AP’s guests (with the exception of some APs in rematch) have not taken advantage of our hospitality. In fact, it’s usually the other extreme – they go out of their way to cook and clean because they are so grateful for the chance to stay in our home. Our LCC sends an annual reminder to APs that few HF open their doors to guests, and to be very gracious when HF say “No,” and when they say “Yes.”

MommyMia December 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

TACL, you have a wise LCC indeed! I wish ours were so thoughtful and proactive, and I wish some of our au pairs’ guests were as grateful as yours have been!

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