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Single moms seeking advice

Your comments to my last post about the anniversary of the my separation blew me away. Your insights and warmth and honesty never fail to amaze me. But the comment from Kellee829 just about broke my heart. She shares the fact that her STBX has basically disappeared from her children's lives. He even changed his number! Jerk. (Kellee829, I hope you don't mind me saying that, but seriously, it's taking every ounce of tact I have not to call him worse!) They're really struggling, so please take a sec to read her note and if you've been through something similar or just have good thoughts to share, please post them here.

As for the other mom seeking advice, well, that would be me. And for once, it's on a more practical matter: childcare. For the past year, my STBX has been taking care of Miss Monkey pretty much the same as before. He picks her up every day from school and hangs with her until I get home. Which means I have to see him every single day as if nothing has changed. It's grown old. Very old. Plus, there are days, like this Friday, when I have to leave the house really early (I'm catching the first flight out for a work trip). This means that he's going to have to stay here. There's no other option, but I worry so much about how confusing this will be for our daughter. Which is why I told him he needs to "leave" like usual and we'll tell her that Daddy will just "be here" in the morning. I may even make him sleep on the couch instead of in the guest room. Ridiculous, yes, and probably won't work, but at least if he's downstairs I won't have to hear him snoring from across the hall. In our old room.

This is a long wind up to my question: Has anyone ever had an au pair or had friends who've used one? I didn't grow up with babysitters or nannies (my grandparents were right downstairs), so having "live-in help" makes me a little uncomfortable. It feels pretentious and extravagant and not me. That said, having an au pair would relieve an enormous burden...emotional and otherwise. So, I'm taking an informal poll and want to hear your experiences, good or bad. Anything you can share?? xo, Evie