Warning: Please be indulgent because you may find some mistakes since
this story was written by a non-English speaker.
When I started looking for host families in the USA, I really had a crush on one in Florida. The mom was so kind & asked me after a few days if I wanted to join their family which delighted me : I said yes.
I didn’t really realize at that time but I’ve never exchanged any word with the dad, never seen him on Skype or anything. I thought maybe the mom was in charge of finding their au pair, so it was no big deal. Flying to Florida was exciting but I was very nervous, I didn’t even know who would be there to pick me up at the airport. When I landed, my host dad was there.
“He had no expression. He just said hello, no hug,
no handshake, pretty cold & I had a weird feeling.”
The mom & the kids were amazing & made me feel so much better & welcomed. The dad on the other hand was still hard to understand, one day he would be happy & say hi, the next day he would completely ignore me. Both parents worked from home & that made it harder he was always coming to check on what I was doing with the kids. It was very annoying & I felt like I couldn’t do my job as I wanted to.
Sometimes I would exchange with my au pair friends some of my thoughts & it was like he knew what I was saying.
“I started to feel he was spying on me & probably put a microphone somewhere.”
Did I mention he was a germ freak ? He was scared always that his kids would be sick. Florida has a pretty good weather all year long & he would force the kids to wear hats to cover their ears while it was really hot outside in case they would get ears infection. Imagine arriving at school in summer clothes but with a hat on your head, the teacher told me once & when I mentioned it to him his answer was “I don’t care about the teacher, I decide for my kids”.
He didn’t want me to bring the little one to the park & playground in case he would get sick because the other kids were around but I didn’t listen. I was working all day long, I needed to go outside with my host kid & take some fresh air away from the house. So I took him to the playground & after only 5 minutes there, my host dad showed up with my host kid’s hat because I didn’t take it. He was upset I didn’t ask him permission to go outside & told me I could only stay 30 minutes. I felt like he followed me & I hated it.
He always had to check on the guys I was dating as well. If he didn’t like one, he would just google him & tell me stuffs about him, like wow .. that’s creepy !!
But I was wondering how he could get those information ? My host dad used to work for a computers repair company & was really good at hacking devices. He mentioned once that before getting married to my host mom, he hacked her phone & laptop to see if she was dating other guys at the same time. So one day, after going hiking for few days with a friend, I found my laptop with the message “your laptop has been hacked”, I had no doubts it was him.
I asked him what was this message & the only thing he answered was “You probably got connected on the neighbors’ WiFi & they hacked you” excuse me ?? How do I get on their WiFi I don’t even have their password ?! Anyway .. you thought that was it ? Hang on here, the worst part is coming …
Most Florida’s houses have a pool & the patio was next the kitchen where I would enter quickly to change & remove my wet swimming suit before going to my room, trying to avoid putting water everywhere in the house. My host family traveled without me for a weekend, leaving me & the house for myself, I was so happy. I enjoyed the pool a lot. They didn’t want strangers in their house so I didn’t invite anyone & respected their rules. But my host dad didn’t trust me. When they came back, he asked me if I enjoyed the pool a lot & if I had fun having a party.
“I told him I didn’t have any party of course & he said
“I know, I put a camera in the house, in case …”
In case of what ?! He showed me the camera & it was right there, where I was getting undressed !! I was so upset, I told him he didn’t have the right to do that & started to yell at him. He told me he didn’t watch the videos recorded with the camera but how can I be sure ? I didn’t trust him. I felt so embarrassed…it was like a treason so I gave him a few weeks notice & left, I couldn’t handle this anymore. My host mom kept apologizing for his behavior but I didn’t care, I was just very sad for the kids that I truly loved.
Their following au pair arrived, they didn’t require me to talk to her .. but she asked once she was there & I told her what happened. She didn’t want to quite as everything was good for her but said that one day my host dad admitted fiercely while having dinner “I hacked the previous’ Au pair phone” ! So now I know for sure he did it !!! I respect so much their Au pair for staying knowing all of that. We can never be sure how the family we match with will be good to us but I can tell you .. be careful with your devices !
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Founder of “Au Pairs Chronicles” and author of the novel “#AUPAIRCHRONICLES”, my main goal is to help and motivate people, including au pairs to live their dream. My favorite quote is ” Be somebody nobody thought you could be.”