I love, love, love romantic stories. Especially when I have some inside scoop. Though I have no idea who the fellow is who emailed with this question, I'm only posting it on the condition that we get THE REST OF THE STORY and at least a photo of the ...

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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. I Want To Marry Your Au Pair. Do You Mind?
  2. Our New Au Pair is Too Quiet: She Hardly Says A Word
  3. When Your Au Pair Lies About Mileage on the Car
  4. First Time Host Mom Wonders: Are her Au Pair expectations realistic?
  5. What’s the Real Ratio of Good Au Pair Experiences to Bad Au Pair Experiences?
  6. More Recent Articles

I Want To Marry Your Au Pair. Do You Mind?

I love, love, love romantic stories.

Especially when I have some inside scoop.

Though I have no idea who the fellow is who emailed with this question, I’m only posting it on the condition that we get THE REST OF THE STORY and at least a photo of the happy couple.

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But first, Romeo needs our advice.

My girlfriend is currently an au pair. I want to marry her, and I’d like to propose to her soon.

However, I want to be sensitive to her situation as an Au Pair. I don’t want my proposal (and — I hope — our engagement) to have any negative effect on her Host Family. We of course would not get married until her contract is up.

What’s your advice for proposing, in a way that is sensitive to her Host Family situation?
What should I consider, so that I have her Host Family’s support?

Happy Engagement Banner, available from SusysSentiments on Etsy

     

Our New Au Pair is Too Quiet: She Hardly Says A Word

We’re enjoying a visit from one of our former Au Pairs, and a friend of hers.  Although both of them speak English well, I’m aware once again of how challenging it can be to interact across language differences, as well as cultural differences, and even family norms.

With communication challenges, I always prefer it when folks try to “fix it forward”, by acting.  By saying something. By trying rather than by retreating. So I get where this host mom is coming from.

If she lived nearby, I’d give this HostMom a copy of Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. 

What advice would you give her?  Should she get adjusted to the World’s Quietest Au Pair? Or try to draw this new Au Pair into conversation, in different ways?

Dear Au Pair Mom —    Our latest Au Pair arrived 5 weeks ago.  During our interviewing process she was very engaged and talkative. But, when she arrived at our house, she was very quiet. As in, hardly says a word.

8107327940_943f0618df_mOur previous au pair was still around for a few days, so I thought it would get better when she left as the new au pair would have to interact with us more. Her English is excellent, so it’s not a language issue.

Fast forward to now and our new Au pair literally doesn’t talk to us.

We have tried and tried to have a conversation with her about anything and we get one word answers at the most. We invite her out to dinner, include her as much as...

Read the whole entry »

     

When Your Au Pair Lies About Mileage on the Car

Sorry for the long lapse in posting…I’m still recovering.  

To nudge me (and you?) back into the challenges of Host Parenting, here’s an email about a problem that we faced with our Au Pair too.    It was especially disappointing — and surprising — since this happened with perhaps our most mature, measured, and confident au pair….

11922754185_e5841fd683_mDear Au Pair Mom Community —
I have a question on a current situation with our au pair and would love community input.  

A few months ago our au pair told me she was taking my car to the mall to meet up with a friend to shop and get dinner.  The next morning as I’m coming downstairs for work she’s there to great me with some terrible news.  —

While she was at the mall her family called (she actually has family about 40 minutes north of us who emigrated to America in the 80s) to invite her over.  So she drove there (without telling me), and then on her way home got a flat.  She tried to put the spare on but broke a bolt and then called AAA and had the car towed home.  She did not call or text us once during this episode.

Obviously I was furious and we had a big conversation about trust and if  1) you have my car and plans change you have to tell me where you are going and 2) If anything happens to the car you have to call me right away.

But she takes great care of my son and she’s never done anything during working hours to make me not trust her.

Since this...

Read the whole entry »

     

First Time Host Mom Wonders: Are her Au Pair expectations realistic?

A new Host Mom writes to share her frustration – and concern- about an Au Pair who doesn’t quite seem to fit.

  • Are the mom’s expectations too high, she wonders? Or,
  • Does she just have an Au Pair who needs (even) more direction and motivation?

I’d like to think that I asked all the right questions, did my diligence in interviewing as many candidates as possible, but I’ll be honest -timing was an issue.  We wanted to have support in place as soon as possible after the baby was born.  I selected the candidate we thought was the most responsible, organized and could most easily communicate with.

F3584538017_2b0fb2da88_qast forward a month and a half into our experience and we are frustrated, confused, at times concerned, and always stressed. Being as this is our first time as a HF, maybe our AP expectations are not normal? 

Please help me; I have learned from the parents at AuPairMom that rematching is not something to put off…but perhaps our ideal AP does not exist?

I am a working-in-the-home mom.  Prior to the AP we had other support, 2-3 different women that did both childcare and housework.  We have a bright, well behaved 26 month old daughter, highly verbal and social. 

My vision was that the AP would primarily spend time with her at first, as I nurse and bond with the newborn, and then also begin to help me with the baby so that I can have a chance to exercise, have a shower and cook dinner in the evening.  I wanted the AP to...

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What’s the Real Ratio of Good Au Pair Experiences to Bad Au Pair Experiences?

Something I really don’t understand about the larger cultural conversation about Au Pairs is how negatively the Au Pairing experience is portrayed.  The Au Pairing experience is too often presented as being “bad” — where Host Families are demanding, irrational, and/or punitive, and Au Pairs are beleaguered, exploited, and powerless.

Meanwhile, here on the AuPairMom blog, Host Parents and Au Pairs share experiences that are challenging, yes.  At the same time, these challenges are understood to be a small part of the bigger picture. On balance, our stories and comments demonstrate that most often Au Pairing works well for Au Pairs, Host Families, Host Children, and their/our communities.2738582688_4a14ba78f5_q

What’s the disconnect? 

This issue is on my mind today because of an article in the Washington Post: Are au pairs cultural ambassadors or low-wage nannies? A lawsuit enters the fray.

There are already 160+ comments on the article which– even if you exclude the 40% that are anti-Hillary trolls whose comments are irrelevant to the article — is a lot of comments for a post that’s been up only a few hours.

I’m not completely surprised that some of the information in the article is presented in ways intended to bias the reader.

For example, the Au Pair’s “pay” is pegged at $4.35 an hour, and does not include the value of room and board a host family provides. There are some outright inaccuracies which, along with selective...

Read the whole entry »

     

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