I wanted to seek your advice and/or opinion please. DHs neice 18 is staying with us from Europe. she arrived end Nov to stay with us and helps us with our DS and DD prior to au pairing for our friends. Prior to her arriving we didnt discusss what was expected of her, after a few days here i had a chat and told her when she was here i wanted her to help with the kids, i didnt specify what i meant by help, i told her i didnt want her to clean but she needed to keep her room and ensuite clean and tidy. We stated we might need her to babysit an odd time. We started off well and she was good with the kids, but as she got more comfy in the hse, say two-three weeks here I wouldnt see her before midday and she would go back to bed for a nap in arvo, she didnt particularly help with the kids. I introduced her to our neighbours daughter also 18 and they hit it off i was delighted untill neice would get up at midday and just head off with neighbour to the beach etc.. She would get up announce she was going out with neighbour and make some sandwiches for herself and go... Also the pattern of going to her room between 5-7 ( most hectic time) emerging after 7 when kids were in bed and then would skulk around the kitchen to see whats cooking. So i started to feel like we had another child living with us who basically ate us out of house and home. I bit my lip as she announced she was going travelling for 4 weeks prior to going to our friends to au pair. I was delighted when she left. Just as an aside we did pay her an allowance at the beginning but when she stopped really helping out we stopped giving her money - we figured since we had seen a rise in our grocery bill of approx $100 a week, we didnt need to pay her. Anyways off she went travelling and upon returning she came to ours for 3 days prior to going to our friends. Almost the minute she came in the door she went strraight to the cupboard to create a feast for herself, then dowstairs to catch up on sleep... DH was home after spending a few days in hospital, he had a canula in his arm, i was exhausted and was prepping dinner, neice sat on the couch reading a book whilst DH with canuala in his arm tried to pick up DS who was screaming on the floor. Always the peacekeeper he just let it pass. The day before she left for our friends neighbour was here, both girls were planning their weekend and i heard neice saying hat she would be back at ours friday through to monday every weekend.. I explained to her she needed to check with us every weekend if it was ok to stay, she needed to clean her room at the end of every stay, change bed sheets etc and help out more than she had been, i told her she would have to do more with the kids and babysit once in a while, also she was to help out with dinner an odd tme. She said oh yes yes same as before.... Unknownst to me DH had the same convo with her, and she advised him i had chatted with her already. I felt like none of this sank in. Anyways she came back today from our friends, she wen straight to the cupboards to see what she cold eat and proceeded to make sandwiches for herself, then asked me to bring her to the bottlo to ge sme drinks for tonight as she was going out with neighbour... The down to her room where she emerged 20 mins before going out, made some more food and off she went.
Now i know i should have been clearer from the start what was expected, but i didnt expect she would treat my house as if i was her mother. DH and i are in agreement that she cannot treat our hse as some halfway house but don k ow how to approach the subject without causing family issues.
On the other hand DH and i agree on everything usually and perhaps we are just being too harsh?
Would welcome your opinions/advice.