I had driven 2 hours to pick up the new au pair a few days prior and the plan was for host mom to get me to the airport 1 hour away. 30 minutes before leaving, host mom suddenly unleashes on me. In front of the kids, husband, and new nanny. Telling me she’s no longer taking me to the airport and I need to find another way. Said I won’t get my last paycheck as I’ve been “slacking off” the last couple weeks and I’ve been nickel and diming them. I was a deer in head lights, tearing up at this point in shock. In hindsight, I wish I could have told her that 45 hours a week, two unruly boys and they ALWAYS came home to a spotless house. As far as the “nickel and diming”, she never had to ask me to do extra babysitting, leave me on an overnight, or give me extra projects. Not 5 min after leaving the house to hitchhike to my flight, she posted on Facebook about how” sad she is to see me go and how I had an amazing impact on the boys” I was disgusted and honestly considering canceling my next job.
Here’s the story of Cassie, an actual au pair
I am writing this to hopefully encourage rather than discourage. If you’re having doubts about being an au pair, I promise there is hope.
On paper, my first host family seemed incredible.
Cozy house across from a shark pond, two cute little boys, a puppy, a car to use at my disposal and reasonable pay. The first few weeks were fine, the boys were a handful, but I chalked that up to “boys being boys”. What I quickly realized is that these were little boys with zero discipline, their mother’s form of discipline was screaming at them (from 6am onwards basically) and the father seemed too afraid of the mother’s outbursts and kept quiet. She never lashed out at me (till the end) and always praised my work.
She knew I needed extra $$ so she always offered for me to babysit extra on the weekends and had me babysitting and cleaning for some friends. Every single thing that woman did was for show. I got super sick one day and she contacted my parents to find out what I like while I was sick. Seems kind, but it was all so she could post on Facebook about how awesome she was while she practically threw my soup at me. Fast forward to my last day.
Fast forward 6 weeks. I’ve never been happier. My new host family is warm, genuine and welcoming. I’m being taken care of and most of all, I’m APPRECIATED.
Moral of the story, don’t give up hope in the system. You CAN walk away from a bad situation and there is support out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.