Friday

In praise of the au pair.......

Received Friday, November 3, 2006
Please take the time out of your high-powered, “mover’n’shaker” lifestyle to recognize the maturity and caring nature of the new au pair that recently entered your families lives. She came to this country scared and was totally overwhelmed by the American way of life, and you never took one single moment out of your schedule to welcome or comfort her. I did and I still do. Instead of withdrawing, crying her eyes out, or having an utter breakdown, she has literally grownup overnight and is now successfully shuffling your children (who are not easy to deal with mind you) to and fro, keeping them safe, fed and entertained. Yet you barely acknowledge she exists…let alone the stellar job she is doing! Your callousness to a guest from another country (yeah, I said GUEST, I don’t care if she lives in your house and you’re paying her) is so embarrassing to me as an American, a mother, and a human being in general. I wish you could know how precious she is…but you won’t. Your loss.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Give me a break! It's not like this person was captured, put on a ship and forced to be a nanny. She is getting paid, right? I'm assuming she's aware of her job scope and salary. I don't expect my employer to provide comfort, friendship and a welcome basket. Adults should establish a network of caring friends and family for support, not a boss.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a very high horse you are on. Well, thank god we have you to watch over the moral fiber of this country! You are nearly perfect in every way, aren't you? The au pairs are lucky to have you on their side, by golly! You sure showed us! Though, your finger must be tired from pointing out how bad everyone else is. Do watch how you purse your lips...even botox can't smooth the wrinkles around your tight anus mouth.

L. said...

I agree with the poster. We were lucky to have a great au pair (who still lives with our family, though no longer as an au pair). They cost a fraction of what fulltime live-in help would cost, and there`s a reason: they`re essentially exchange students. They have a special cultural visa, under which they are reqired to take (and must show proof that they`ve taken) language/culture classes. Some people mistake au pairs for real professional nannies, but some of them are teenagers -- just kids, with all the problems that come with having an extra kid in the house. We got really lucky -- our experience has been great, but I know other people who had the "party girl" au pairs, the "homesick and weepy" au pairs who quit and went home, and even the "what was I thinking? I hate little kids!" au pairs.

Unrelated -- "...even botox can't smooth the wrinkles around your tight anus mouth." What a graphic image! Damn, I DO wish my lips were tight, but they`re wrinkly and flabby, just like the rest of me.

rdr said...

I am trying to imagine the OP, the OR and the person being blogged about. HA!

Anonymous said...

Ditto to responses one and two. Au Pairs are here to perform a job for a family. My boss does not lend emotional support to me or her other employees. I have no such expectation of her. If the au pair is unhappy with a particular family, she should contact the placement agency and move on. And just as a side note, I started working in this country (yes I am a foreigner) when I was 15. My first job was in a bakery, where I worked really hard from 3 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. without a break. I was treated like shit. All this and I had school in the morning after which, I went to my job at the bakery. When I finally had enough of my crap sandwich, I quit. No one held me against my will and no family could ever hold an aupair, nanny, babysitter of mother's helper against her (or his) will. I have had nannies for over 10 years and have had wonderful ones and others who were "not the right fit for our family". The ones who were not right, had to move on. In the real world, if you can't take the heat in the kitchen ... get out. just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Whoa Missy! The Au Pair program bring young women in to foreign homes at an unbelievably low wage- for example, $150 for 55 hours is not unheard of! The only reason they are allowed to get away with this is that they have agreed to ACT as a HOST to the au pair. What is wrong with you heartless btches?
If you want someone you don't have to look after, quit trying to save your cheap ass a dime and hire a real nanny!

Anonymous said...

as someone who has lived with an au pair after she left her host family, the best you should hope for is that they like your kids and aren't sleeping with your husband. you better treat them well, or who knows what is happening in your home when your are not around.

vanilla said...

Wowwww,some people here are just really mean, aupairs are not supposed to be workers and the host parents are not supposed to be the boss, I am an aupair and I live with a wonderful family that really understands what the aupair program is really about. When the aupair agencies contact the girls (or boys) in their home country they promised us that we will be treated like members of the family, NOT LIVE IN WORKERS , and yes, we do expect emotional support from the family we live with, most of us have never lived apart from our families and come from countries where family and family relationship comes first, we are not here to be your cheap nanny who you dont need to even talk with.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind the fact that we are talking about an au pair here, but it should be expected that any family should welcome their children's caregivers with open arms and support. If not for the sake of the caregiver, than at least for the children. As a nanny myself, I can testify that when you are treated badly, or just plain ignored by the families, it can definitely affect your performance. As in ANY job, the better the relationship between the the employer and the employee the better the work performance.

Tijuana Jack said...

Some of these comments are disgusting! An au pair is supposed to be welcomes in to your home and treated like a member of the family. If that isn't the arrangement for you, don't get involved with an au pair program. It sounds awfully lonely and cold to bring a young girl over here and leave her to fend for herself within the lonely confines of some ignorant high priestess's dungeon!

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments here are a good example of the ignorance about the au pair program that leads to unhappy placings. I think the agencies have to take some responsibility for this. They promote au pairs as cheap child care, rather than the opportunity to host a student from another country, and the benefits that experience can offer your children.

Anonymous said...

What benefits and exp. does an au pair offer?

Anonymous said...

Most families that hire au pairs are not looking for cultural exchange. They're hoping for a cheap nanny that will also teach their kids a foreign language. The agencies really need to let the families know that these kids (and most of them are just that--kids) are only supposed to do light housework and need time off. To work them more than 40 hours a week is basically indentured servitude.

Those who want someone to work more hours or do more housework should cough up the money and hire a professional nanny.

Anonymous said...

Usually no experience. But the cultural experience she brings to the family. An au pair is like an older sibling to the children and shame on all of you who mistreat these young people! I went to Belgium in 1990 to work as an au pair to a Belgian family. They paid me $150 a week (American), the bought all of my meals. They bought me a bicycle so I could ride around the town. They took me everywhere with them. To movies and shows and museums. Yes, I took great care of their little girlsbut they showed me their city and their country. It's supposed to be a two way street.

nectar of the Gods said...

I have a professional nanny and she doesn't lift a finger to do any housekeeping. If I leave a dish in the sink in the morning, it is there in when I get home.
I would pitch a fit about this but she really is the top tier of nannies. So what is more important? A clean dish or my child>

Anonymous said...

YOU SOUND LIKE MY OLD BOSS. GOOD FOR YOU. AND I BET YOUR NANNY TaKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR CHILD.I ALAWYS SAY TREAT YOUR SITTER WITH RESPECT.AND SHE WILL TREAT YOUR CHILD WITH LOVE.T&T

Annie said...

Why should your nanny wash your dirty dishes? She's not a housekeeper and she has more important things to do than clean up after you. (She SHOULD clean up after the children, but that's a separate issue.)

As one of those top-tier nannies, I'll tell you why many of us refuse to do minor housekeeping tasks like that -- give parents an inch, and they take a mile.

I've seen far too many nannies start helping out with little things and six months later they are doing ALL the cleaning. And they are berated if the parents don't approve of the cleaning job they've done. (Chores that aren't in their contract or job description.)

I have a great relationship with my current employers, and I'm happy to help out occassionally because they are appreciative and don't take advantage of my generosity. But in my last job, the parents were CONSTANTLY adding menial tasks to my list of expectations with absolutely no compensation or even thanks. So I stopped doing anything extra for fear it would be expected from then on out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with annie. The last family I nannied for put in my contract that I was to "help out washing the baby's dishes and bottles." and told me I would not be responsible for any other housework.
Well, a couple months after I took the job, I would come in in the A.M. every day to a sink full of dirty dishes with food on them (their dishes, not the baby's) and I would have to do them in order to get to the baby's dishes! It was so disgusting to reach into their dirty dishwater (they were real slobs) so I ended up bringing my own dishes, paper plates and cups for the child and teaching them to drink out of a cup. They seemed to think it was rude when they should thank me for teaching their toddler to drink from a cup and use a "big boy" spoon!