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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. New Pregnancy Plus Mediocre Au Pair — How to adjust?
  2. When Au Pairs Get Gravely Ill — Kindof Open Thread /Topic
  3. Suing for Breach Of Contract?
  4. New Au Pair Has Whooping Cough and Will Be Infectious for Up to 12 Weeks!
  5. What Kinds of Relationships Do Au Pairs Want With Host Parents?
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search AuPairMom
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

New Pregnancy Plus Mediocre Au Pair — How to adjust?

Here’s a tweak on the now-classic:  “Mediocre Au Pair, Should We Rematch?” question….

Dear AuPairMom ~~     We have had our 2nd AP for about 4 months, and she is the definition of mediocre.

14923911084_26abd6c457_mTo be objective, she is a good driver and our toddler likes her. However, her English is very, very bad (I need to speak to her in her native language to have reliable communication), she does the bare minimum in her job, and is abusing her car privileges. She does not communicate with us….. and simply says that everything is “good, great” all the time.

She is terrified to get sent back to her home country (she desperately wants a green card), so does not give us honest communication about anything. We have not loved her from day 1, but we decided that we could make it work for the year and remain in a “good enough” situation.

However, now that I’m pregnant (due in October, 5 months from now), I’m rethinking whether or not we should just “make do” with this mediocre au pair.

I’m due about 6 weeks before her contract ends. This Au Pair is not infant-certified, so I know she will not be able to stay with us or extend (she desperately wants us to extend with her, which she asked for since day 1).

Given my pregnancy and the less-than-ideal situation with this Au Pair, I wanted to ask the group’s opinion.

Should we make it work with her until I have the baby, then look for a...

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When Au Pairs Get Gravely Ill — Kindof Open Thread /Topic

Over the past two weeks there’s been a whirlwind of conversation and consternation in the Au Pairing community, over a situation with an Au Pair at Au Pair Care who’s been diagnosed with cancer.

sick-teddy-bear I can’t even begin to recap the steps and the facts, but they include that she was accepted into an experimental treatment program in her host family’s area, her host family wanted to keep her for her remaining contract months while she got treated, her agency decided it would cancel her visa and “send her back home”, but her Host Parents started a petition to keep her and campaigned to have the Agency reverse its decision. And more.

I’m not sure how it’s settled out, or even if it’s settled.

I reached out to a few folks I know at other agencies, hoping to get some more perspective on what the Agency was concerned about, what the rules were, etc. but it seems this is too difficult and confusing an issue for anyone else to take a stand on what was right or wrong.

Meanwhile, the Au Pairs on Facebook were whipping each other into a frenzy, and the anti-immigration trolls took over the comments in the Washington Post’s article about the situation.

I don’t want to rehash the details here, necessarily, but I do want to invite the AuPairMom community to have a conversation about the situation if you’d like to.

So, here’s a kindof open thread–

Please keep it focused on the general situation of


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Suing for Breach Of Contract?

Apologies for being out of it this past week-– not to mention, avoiding any conversation about the controversy surrounding the Au Pair with the cancer diagnosis and her Host Family’s efforts to keep her in the USA for care.  I’ll post about that in a few days.

In the meantime, let’s vent about another contentious issue:

…  When your Au Pair breaks her commitment to stay a full year…  

and offers a frustrating reason for leaving, that’s unrelated to your family’s situation.  Legally-Blonde-2001-Promos-legally-blonde-14023182-609-609

A Host Mom writes:

I am tempted to sue my au pair for breach of contract. Has anyone ever done this successfully? 

We have always treated our aupairs very well and never had an issue with any, except for this last one. Our aupair has broken up with her boyfriend and has decided it’s too painful to stay anywhere close (they live 2 hours away anyways) anymore, so she is going into rematch. Trouble is this is her 9th month.

Our contract with both aupair and agency states there is no rematching after more than 6 month. Therefore, we don’t get any of our agen
cy fees back and only would get a small credit ($600) towards the new au pair who would have to stay a full year. Our kids are starting school this year so this was supposed to be our last aupair.
I am tempted to sue our aupair for the $1600  we are out because she wants to stay in the US and get married and a suit in small claims court isn’t too much of a hassle in my mind. I...

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New Au Pair Has Whooping Cough and Will Be Infectious for Up to 12 Weeks!

Seriously Host Parents — can’t you send me emails about dilemmas that can be announced with catchy headlines???

4500147224_716b7684b4_mVery rarely am I able to say — “I never heard of a problem like this before.”  While I like novelty as much as the next American, I’m not happy to see this problem now.

This is a doozy, because it touches on all sorts of issues — Agency screening, Au Pair health, Host Family needing support,  American Culture, and more  — all at the same time.

There are two levels of solutions that are needed here, too. First,

What should the Host Family do?

Longer term, what should be the responsibility of Au Pair Agencies?

If Au Pairs are not currently required to be vaccinated for pertussis, should they be?

(What if an unvaccinated and infectious Au Pair arrived in a home with an infant! Or a home with a medically fragile older child or adult?)

Dear AuPairMom — 

Our new au pair arrived one week ago from the rematch pool, and our children took to her immediately on the first night she was here.  We were thrilled!

The second day she came down ill and has been sick ever since.  She did not want to go to the doctor (she is not from a European country and has cultural views on seeing doctors), but we finally convinced her to go yesterday. The suspected diagnosis is whooping cough (pertussis).  

<cv notes: Pertussis is difficult to diagnose positively, in its earliest stages. So, they can’t know for...

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What Kinds of Relationships Do Au Pairs Want With Host Parents?

There are many different types of equally good relationships that we host parents can have with our au pairs.

6035628909_47a0886bb2_mGood host parent- au pair relationships can vary by

— their level of intimacy (e.g., seriously close or pleasantly distant),

— the amount of time we spend together (e.g., every waking moment or “I’m off duty, see you tomorrow, love ya!”),

— the roles that we play in each other’s psyches (e.g., Boss lady/ great employee, Big Sister/Little Brother, and Mom’s Friend From Back in College/ “like a niece”),

and more.

We host parents get a sense of these different dimensions when we have our second au pair.  The first au pair relationship always “is whatever it is”, but the second one is when you realize that– with each au pair — the form of your relationship will be different.

Also, we parents get to read on this blog about different forms of relationships, and generally have good sense of how very different au pair- host parent relationships can be and *still be good*.

For au pairs, though, I realized I have no sense of what they are expecting.    

  • Is there a dominant or most common pattern that Au Pairs are hoping for?
  • Is there a pattern that Agencies seem to suggest?
  • Or that doesn’t actually ever exist?

Curious Host Mom raises all these questions and more, in her email below.

I’d love to hear from Au Pairs, especially, about what you expect/hope to have...

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