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24-09-2018, 15:20   #1
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Now ye're talking - to an au pair

Today's guest has worked as an au pair in the past for five years altogether with different families in Ireland. She cared for children of various ages, at one time including a new baby and was also a live-in carer for an elderly woman for a year.
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24-09-2018, 15:36   #2
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Is it common in Ireland to sign an NDA? Do you have many dirty secrets on families?
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24-09-2018, 15:42   #3
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We'll leave out the porn scene questions, thanks. Couple of posts deleted there.
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24-09-2018, 15:59   #4
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Is it common in Ireland to sign an NDA? Do you have many dirty secrets on families?
Hi, I've had quite a lot of friends in the aupair circles over the years, and I've never heard of anyone signing an NDA.

It's more of a common courtesy really. You live with the family, you get to see everything. You get to see the parents at their best and at their worst, you hear everything that's going on, you hear them gossiping about the neighbours, their jobs, their boss, so you would have quite a lot of material to hand if you ever wanted to get them in trouble.

However, what you have to remember is that it goes both ways and they get to see you at your worst as well.

Also you can't forget that aupairs rely on the host family, they usually don't have anywhere else to go, they usually won't have much money saved up, so you want to keep things in the house peaceful.

I remember there was one aupair who arrived to the family and about a week later it turned out that she was taking pictures of the house and was showing it to random people and to the neighbours to complain how messy the place is, of course the mom found out, turns out that the aupair was already doing this from her second day in the house.

The hostmom gave her money for a flight home, paid her for her time there, told her to pack her things and get out the same evening. So the aupair was gone, but the reputation of being the ones with the messy house stayed in the neighbourhood long after.
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24-09-2018, 16:06   #5
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Are you free for a few hours Fri night?
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24-09-2018, 16:13   #6
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Are you free for a few hours Fri night?
Have a look on Facebook, lots of aupairs looking for babysitting opportunities
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24-09-2018, 16:18   #7
miamee
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Are you really made to feel part of the family or more like the hired help?

Have you had any bad experiences or outstandingly good experiences? A friend told me about a wealthy family he knew who, when their au pair was leaving, they gifted her the relatively new car that she had been driving the kids around in all the time - very generous!
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24-09-2018, 16:32   #8
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Are you really made to feel part of the family or more like the hired help?

Have you had any bad experiences or outstandingly good experiences? A friend told me about a wealthy family he knew who, when their au pair was leaving, they gifted her the relatively new car that she had been driving the kids around in all the time - very generous!
I was in 7 families altogether, and I can honestly say that every single family made an effort so I can feel welcome.

There were a few occasions though when I was wondering if they realise that I am a human being and not an equipment. This was a problem in one family in particular. They were lovely and looked after me well, but sometimes the mom would call me downstairs in the evening when her friends were over. I think that the idea was to introduce me to them, but they way she said it "This is <name>, she's my aupair. I have an aupair now" made me feel like I'm just a new thing she got and she's showing me off.

Another thing that quite bothered me was when I wanted to be alone in my free time. I would go to my room and either read a book, or do something on the laptop. Sometimes the moms just assumed that I can help them with things, since I'm in the house and I'm not going out. I didn't mind it at the beginning, but when they made a habit out of it and asked me to mind the kids for two hours every Saturday afternoon while they go to the shop, it became quite annoying. I was basically working in my free time, for free. It bothered me and I was dying to tell them that it's my time off, but I used to be quite a chicken when it comes to standing up for myself, so I just went with whatever they wanted anyway.

I believe that if I told them that I don't like it, they would stop, or would only ask when absolutely necessary, because I was always very lucky with my families.

I know people who weren't that lucky though - there was an aupair a few houses up from me. She was from the same country and we had some shared interests, so we spent a lot of time together. She was an aupair for a single mom and her two kids. The mom was an alcoholic and very paranoid. The aupair wasn't allowed to close the door to her bedroom under any circumstances.

One night, at around 2am, the mom stormed into her room and started yelling at her, accusing her for stealing her diamond earrings. She took her passport and told her that she's not allowed to leave until she returns the earrings. I was contacting the guards on her behalf to ask for an advice and they told me she needs to report it immediately.

She got out in the end, she didn't report it to gardai, she just took her passport when the mother was passed out drunk on her couch and left. I remember sitting behind McDonald's, connected to their WiFi and trying to book a flight so she can get away.

Never heard of a family giving anyone a car, that's amazing! One of my families bought me a used laptop when my own laptop broke. They would also often pay for my flight home for Christmas. That's always nice.
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24-09-2018, 16:47   #9
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Wow, that was pretty awful for your friend! I take it that she (and maybe you too) got your jobs on your own rather than through an agency or something?
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24-09-2018, 16:48   #10
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How was your wages, thinking of an au pair but no idea what should be paid, do perks help a lot like weekends off, use of a car, evening off that kind of thing. Have you had some very cheap people or some overly generous.
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24-09-2018, 16:55   #11
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A friend of mine worked as an au pair in Ireland when improving her English. On her last visit approx 12 years later she met up with the children of one host family which she had worked for as they had stayed in contact over all the years apart.

Do you find it difficult when it's time to move on to the next family? I imagine it's emotionally difficult where you have a bond with the children as they grow up and another possible down side of that bond could be jealousy from the parents?
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24-09-2018, 16:59   #12
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24-09-2018, 17:19   #13
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Wow, that was pretty awful for your friend! I take it that she (and maybe you too) got your jobs on your own rather than through an agency or something?
I tried to convince her that we’ll find her another family, but she was decided that she’s going back home. We fell out of touch after she left, but the last time her name popped up on Facebook, I saw she runs her own business and is very happy. So I suppose it all happened for a reason. Maybe if she stayed here for the extra few months, she wouldn’t be where she is now.

You’re right about the agency - I found it much easier to find someone on my own. The agency just puts you somewhere, while when you’re looking for something yourself, you can find a family you click with, and you don’t have to pay any fees for it. There used to be websites specifically for finding aupairs/families, but now it’s all running through Facebook.

There is a group for every county, so for example you can find a group called “Aupair in Kilkenny” and post an ad that you’re looking for an aupair/family. That’s the easy part - making the decision who to go with is the most challenging bit
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24-09-2018, 17:23   #14
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Where are you from?
Is this your career choice or just a stepping stone? What do you want to do ultimately?
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24-09-2018, 17:27   #15
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How was your wages, thinking of an au pair but no idea what should be paid, do perks help a lot like weekends off, use of a car, evening off that kind of thing. Have you had some very cheap people or some overly generous.
I left aupairing in September 2015, so my info might not be up to date anymore. I used to get between €90 and €120 a week. It always depends on what you agree on with the aupair. It also depends on how many children you have and how many hours would the aupair be working every week.

Perks definitely help! Free weekends, en suite bedroom, car, phone, Leap card/bus money... definitely put everything you offer into your ad if you’re looking. From my own experience, the biggest ‘perk’ is a family in town/city, in the walking distance of a city/town centre. These families always get snatched first

Edit: Forgot to add - if you’re thinking of getting an aupair, I recommend finding a host family group on Facebook and talk to other people who currently have aupairs, it would definitely help you get a better insight.
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