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[personal profile] star_invention
Apparently, I have been nominated into the hall of fame of best au pair host moms in Tri State area.

From quick conversations with our au pair Cristina over the weekend I learned that

Her au pair friend from France has invited her to come over on Friday night to hang out and then spend the night since they were planning to be out very late and she lives kind of far from us.  This was previously agreed with other host family.  Once Cristina got there, the host mom decided that she was uncomfortable with another girl in the house, that Cristina and her friend were making too much noise, and that it wouldn't be a good idea for Cristina to spend the night.  So girls went out to the local bar to spend some time and then Cristina took train home at 2am.  French au pair's room is apparently very small and is right next to host parents and host kids' rooms.  No privacy for family or au pair.  Bleh.

On Sunday she asked if she can invite another one of her friend's over to spend the night at our house.  I said that of course she can.  Turned out she invited two friends and asked if that's ok.  Sure.  No problem.  I gave them extra blankets, pillows, and air mattress.  Girls came over, politely thanked me for letting them stay and that's the last that I saw of heard of them.

One of the girls who spend the night at our house is working in family with two 11-year-old twin girls.  Those two twin girls are not allowed to do anything around the house or for themselves.  The au pair has to do all of their laundry.  The au pairs has to clean up everything after and for them.  The au pair has to set the table and clean the table for them.  They au pair has to...  well, you get the point.  Host mom there is a school teacher and every day she comes home and sits down to do all school work with those two 11-year-old babies.  

In addition that mom is not happy when her au pair goes out in the evening or on the weekend, or... horrors... stays out all night (like at my house).  She tells her that her house and not a hotel.  Sorry, I'm just not getting this.

According to Cristina, her two friends are amazed that Cristina is

1. allowed to spend her free time as she wishes
2. allowed to bring friends over to visit or over night as she wishes
3. is NOT allowed to do Hannah's laundry with out Hannah's direct help
4. is NOT allowed to set and clean the table for/after my kids
5. is asked to help Hannah clean her room, but is not lynched if instead Hannah makes a huge mess in there and theyn they spend two hours drawing pictures of Eeyors and bunnies.
6. is not yelled at if not all homework is complete and she is still finishing something up with Hannah at 8pm
7. is not disciplined if she forgets something on our schedule and girls miss an activity
8. has been offered wine and beer by us at the dinner table and holidays (she's 24, she's not a kid)
9. was not sent home back to Colombia after she had a minor fender bender in our car (no kids were in the car, thank god!)
10. is not required to keep calling me though out the evening to make sure I don't want her to come home right away at 10pm on Friday night.

Any way, I am the coolest Host Mom around and apparently I am an envy a lot of local au pairs.

BTW, having had past au pair from Brazil came in handy last night.  I was still at work at 9:30pm and had a document from a client who invests in Brazilian corporation.  The contract they sent me was in Portuguese.  After playing with google translator for half hour I gave up and called Sabrina. Sabrina, bless her heart, spend 40 min on the phone with me translating for the document.  When people in the office asked me who I got to translate for me, they couldn't believe it was my ex au pair.  Love! :)

Date: 2013-03-13 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vg36.livejournal.com
Sometimes people feel the petty need to control someone else's life.

Date: 2013-03-13 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elarbee.livejournal.com
Exactly! Like they're not employees but slaves, just because they're younger and in your home!

Date: 2013-03-14 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
This whole concept of families wanting to control au pairs is just beyond me. I can barely force myself to check up on my own kids, I much prefer people who are independent. If I were to feel that I need to be checking up on my au pair I would send her packing. I simply wont be able to do it. So those families that feel that need to control these girls (actually, young adults, who traveled half way across the world) is just crazy to me.

Date: 2013-03-14 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elarbee.livejournal.com
They are probably micromanaging their children, too. This is echoing what I just wrote about crazy Chinese caretakers at the class we just started.

Date: 2013-03-14 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
Oh, I didn't see that. I'll take a look later tonight.

Can't stand micromanagers.

Date: 2013-03-14 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elarbee.livejournal.com
I can be a micromanager when it comes to the business side of life, but only if I can't trust whomever I'm delegating to. And I can be a bit of a micromanager around the house from Andy's POV because I like some things just so. But I can't really imagine how one would micromanage a kid without fucking them up!

Date: 2013-03-14 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
Crazy pathetic people. That's all I can say about them.

Date: 2013-03-13 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kushka.livejournal.com
У нас был скорее негативный опыт, поскольку опер смоталась вечером оставив смску что типа сорри, хев ту го. Несмотря на то что мы с ней вели себя так как ты описываешь, хостили у себя ее подружку пока она не нашла себе другую семью, отпускали постоянно аут и на выходные в НЙ, и уж понятное дело не контролировали ее. Правда детки у нас были маленькие, и я думаю ей все равно было тяжеловато с непривычки. Но у нее видимо изначально был план свалить, потому что были налажены контакты в Бостоне и "побег" готовился почти с самого ее приезда.
Очень обидно.
После этого я долго не могла решиться, но сейчас вроде готова опять взять опэр. У нас там понятно осталась нехилая сумма денег в компании (cultural care). Да и дети выросли и уже ходят в школу и частично в сад.
Так что если вдруг у твоей опэр есть хорошие опэр связанные с cultural care- буду благодарна за рекомендацию.

Date: 2013-03-14 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
We had two negative au pair experiences and then two positive. My first au pair only lasted with us 4 months, and then we both initiated rematch. I should've send her packing much sooner. What I didn't realize back then was that just because she was a decent au pair, didn't mean that she was a good match for our family. It was a classic personality clash.

The second girl came to us from rematch, after the first one left. She barely spoke any English (big mistake on our part), and turned out to be a complete and total idiot. We had tons of problems with her and eventually she lied to our coordinator, and got pulled out from out house with no notice to us at all. I came home from work one day and she told me that coordinator is picking her up that evening. The agency refund all money we had left with them though. I had few choice words for the agency and coordinator and as result got black listed by the agency. Oh well.

Then we switched agencies, with much better local coordinator, learned how to better interview and screen au pairs and now are with our second good au pair. First one stayed with us for two years, then got married to a guy she met at the end of her first year and now lives 10 miles from, comes over for dinner when she feels like and generally is a friend and family member to us.

The current au pair with us only since December. Very nice girl, working out really well. We all, her including, seem to be happy.

Between these two good au pairs we tried babysitters and it was one disaster after another.

Have you tried getting your money back from cultural care? I've never used them (using AuPairCare now, first agency was InterExchange).

I think the trick is to learn what's important and how to interview for it. But, like with anything else, nothing in life is guaranteed.

Have you read aupairmom.com? it's a blog for host parents with tons of interview tips, different problem areas, positive experiences, etc.
Edited Date: 2013-03-14 01:23 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-13 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-inch.livejournal.com
Майя, прямой вопрос: как ты находишь своих au pair, и сколько это стоит, вместе с расходами на агентство и тп. Можно по имейлу или google-talk.

Офф: я еду в Вашингтон, unless some kind of emergency happens, but I hope it won't :)

Date: 2013-03-14 01:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
Pryamoi otvet:

I use au pair agencies. This is the only legal way to have au pair. There are about 10 agencies in the country. They all charge similar fee, between $7.5K and $8.3K or somewhere around there. They have slightly difference search engines and may have some differences in rematch policies, etc, but over all they are all the same and have to follow federal guidelines.

After agency fees, once you get an au pair she is paid $200 per week, plus $500 per year for her college credits. She gets two paid weeks of vacation (so same $200 per week during those weeks). She has to have private room with door, window, and closet. She doesn't need private bathroom and can share with the family. She's allowed to work up to 45 hours per week, up to 10 hours per day and is required to have 1.5 days off every week (not necessarily on weekends, though it's preferred), and 1 full weekend off per month. She can be responsible for all child related tasks and some very minor house chores. She can’t clean your house or do anything parent related (like your laundry, etc).

There are other nuances, but this is the bird’s view of the program. We should talk on the phone and you can ask me anything you want.

Date: 2013-03-14 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-inch.livejournal.com
thank you!

Date: 2013-03-14 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-invention.livejournal.com
Still not sure what will happen with my Wash trip. Will see when it gets closer. Work has been a bit crazy, good and interesting, but crazy. :)

Xorauguynangzbd

Date: 2013-07-16 04:31 pm (UTC)
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