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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. English Words That Every Au Pair Should Really Understand
  2. Creepy, Crawly, Contagious Things- What if your Au Pair catches them too?
  3. AuPair in Rematch? Best Places to Find a New Family Fast
  4. Open Thread: July 24
  5. When a Host Family Takes Advantage of ‘Pitching In’
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search AuPairMom
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

English Words That Every Au Pair Should Really Understand

It’s easier to relax about your new au pair when s/he demonstrates a real command for the US version of the English Language.  

I was thinking about this as I was perusing something called the “Academic Word List”, a list of 570 words that researchers think people should know if they plan to study at the tertiary level. Or something. I didn’t quite understand it. Which is interesting because I know a lot of words.


But the list made me wonder–

What words does an Au Pair need to know to understand life with children and a family in the USA?  

[[ I've been wanted to create a glossary of Au Pair Program-related words (e.g., 'rematch' and 'part of the family' -- so let's save those words for another post.]]

Even when you know the literal translation of a word or phrase, you can be wrong.

For example:

Baby Changing Station: A table area usually in a women’s rest room and increasingly seen in men’s rooms too, that’s designed to make it easier to change a child’s diaper.  Often has straps for anchoring the baby into the table. Please use a pad underneath the host baby because who knows how clean these things are?

(Note: this is not a place where you can drop off the baby you have and get a different one. Also, it is not a place where you can take a baby to have someone else teach him/her how to stop crying.)

Have you ever noticed a word that your au pair really didn’t quite ‘get’?...

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Creepy, Crawly, Contagious Things- What if your Au Pair catches them too?

Gdaisy hair(Reposted from our archives, since an Au Pair Asked…)

When I became a mom I knew that that I would need to become accustomed to dealing with things that, pre-motherhood, had completely grossed me out. I’m talking about poopy diapers, vomit, bloody noses, fart jokes, and public belching.

These were things that I would have to deal with, gross or not, because I was “the mom”. The one in charge. The person with answers. The person with strategies for everything. Except for the things that I never imagined I’d have to deal with … like lice.

Lice are one of those ‘creepy, crawly, contagious things’ that completely gross me out.

Whenever we would get those flyers from the pre-K or the YMCA day camp telling us that some little one at school or camp had head lice and that we all needed to check our kids, I’d shudder at the suggestion. Then, I’d toss the flyers in the trash, and congratulate myself that these gross little things would never, ever find their way home on my daughters’ heads.

The universe guffawed at my naiveté.

Dragonflyshollow Jenna

And then, during what seemed to be a never ending barrage of head lice handouts, I finally got the call from the school nurse. One of my girlies had to be sent home for “treatment”.

If you’ve ever read those handouts from the pre-K (you don’t just toss them out, do you?) you’d know that if one person in the household has head lice, you can pretty much assume...

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AuPair in Rematch? Best Places to Find a New Family Fast

Sharing from behind the scenes here at AuPair Mom –

I often get emails like the one below from either AuPairs or Host Parents hoping to help someone make a rematch quickly.

As we all know, au pairs have only two weeks or so to find a new host family before they get ‘sent home’ by their agencies.  Sometimes even the most terrific au pairs get sent home because the supply and demand of rematch families is so unpredictable. 3811864581_5b18b901ea_z

Dear AuPairMom,

Yesterday, I was contacted by an Au Pair who is in re-match and desperately looking for host family.

She is with APIA and living in the Northeast for a month. She comes from a country where there is much civil unrest, and she has lots of promising qualities.

I would like to help her to find host family , because otherwise she will be send back to her home country where things are dangerous.

Is there any way we can advertise her with aupairmoms or is it against site policy?

What should au pairs do to maximize their chances of finding a new family fast?  

I don’t think I want to add re-matching to ways we use the blog….  Beyond listing oneself on  websites like Best AuPair, or hassling ones Local Counselor, what else can au pairs do?

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Open Thread: July 24

Maybe you can tell it’s been a busy work week over here?

I was actually afraid to sign into my blog email to see what was going on, and how many new threads had been started by impatient folks needing immediate advice. 210258035_0a52ab2be7_z

Fear not, here is a chance for you to lob in anything at all. Since it’s been a long and post-less week, I’ll open this early and close it rather late. Enjoy!

Image: Fishing nets in Greece, by Miemo Penttinen

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When a Host Family Takes Advantage of ‘Pitching In’

Readers- Here’s the email that prompted my earlier post about defining what it means to “pitch in”. Clearly, someone in this Host Family has a different interpretation of what that means.


Hi AuPairMom,

I need your help in forming an opinion for my self regarding dishwashing.

I am working with a family of 2 parents, 2 grandparents and 2 host kids.

I came in February and within a week time I picked up some family chores. I helped my hostmom cleaning up the dinner table and whiping clean the counters, box up leftovers and sweep the floor. Second week, I started to help cleaning the dishes by hand for breakfast and lunch.

I am working for an Asian-American family and they cook their noodles and rice every meal a day so pots and pans are used for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Their dishwasher never worked since I am working for this family and they only use it to stock up their chopsticks and china.

Soon enough my hostdad stopped cleaning the morning and afternoon dishwashing altogether and left it for me to clean by hand. My hostdad works from home and usually takes a nap while I clean the dishes.  

Then in my 4th week my hostmom asked me if I could take over the dinner dishwashing so she could have time to play with her girls in the evening. I told her we could see if that would work out. I didn’t say yes since I was not happy by the thought that now cleaning the dishwashing was made my full responsibility. So, over the day I spend about

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