Many au pairs send me messages asking advice on how to refuse certain things to their host parents. As we all know, not all families respect the rules but the funny thing is that these families usually expect the au pair to be perfect (but this is another story). Everytime I receive these kind of messages my heart breaks and knowing that all au pairs have different personalities, I thought it would be great to write an article about 5 different ways to say that little word “No” that is so hard to pronounce.
1) The upfront kind of way
Some au pairs are really confident and straightforward. They are not afraid to speak their mind even if their host parents might not appreciate it sometimes. After all, if your host parents ask you to work more than 45 hours per week, why would you waste any time? Most of the time these au pairs are the ones that have the best au pair experience because they consider themselves a priority too.
2) In a polite/shy kind of way
These au pairs honestly deserve applause. They are pretty different from the straightforward au pair as they are shy and very polite. They may be afraid to bother their host parents but when they feel that something is not right, they will speak their mind. Their voice might tremble and they also may hesitate before speaking but at the end of the day, they will say “NO”.
3) Go through the LCC kind of way
Not all au pairs are confident enough to speak their mind which is totally understandable. It’s not easy for some au pairs to say “NO” to their host parents knowing they’re deemed as a role model or an authoritative figure, like the one tyrannical teacher that we all had at school. So they accept certain things but then change their mind, realizing their mistakes and contact their Local Child Consultant (LCC), hoping to find a way to go back in time and remind themselves that they promised to put themselves first and to not make the same mistake again.
4) “We need to talk” kind of way
She takes it over and over again, enduring many things like host kids bad attitudes, schedule changes and many other things but this time, host parent’s have gone too far. So instead of mentioning just one thing, this au pair will decide to say everything that she has on her mind in an effort to change things going forward. Smart move but risky.
5) Queen B kind of way
Or more like my way. One day, my host dad asked me to clean up after him. His wife was away and he left a lot of dishes in the sink during the weekend while I was off. Anyway, I saw it and I was just waiting for him to dare ask me to clean his mess which went like this:
Host dad: Could you clean the dishes?
Me: Sorry, I can’t, I need to go out and meet my friends (smiling in a bitchy kinda way AH AH AH AH )
Host dad: (confused) But…I need you to clean it…
Me: And I can’t, sorry (semi-bitchy apologetic smile).You may have forgotten but I don’t have to clean after you, the only ones I have to clean after are the kids.
Host dad: (acting pissed off, about to kill me in 1-2-3…) Really? Well, I’ll make sure that you work 45 hours from now on.
Me: (smiling, whereas I wanted to punch his face) Okay, anyway sorry, I have to go. See you later.
Host dad: (Speechless!!!)
Eventually, he came back to me and apologized. To be honest, I could have done it.Like all au pairs, I sometimes had to do more than what I was expected to do because this is how I think a relationship between an au pair and good host family should be.However, I dislike it the most when host parents assume that they can ask you to do whatever the hell they want. If I want to help out more, it should be my choice, not the host parents.
No matter which method you choose, the most important thing is that you say it. If you want to improve your relationship with your host family, grow up and be happy… You need to be daring, you need to learn how to say “NO.” It may be difficult the first time but afterwards, you will ask yourself,
“What was I so afraid of?”
Let me know in the comment section which way you prefer and tell me your story ‘cause I’m looking forward to hearing from you. CHEEEEEERS!!!
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.”