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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. Energetic Male Au Pair Lacks Judgment. Should we rematch?
  2. Open Thread: A Break
  3. When Au Pairs Plan In Advance Not To Complete Their Year
  4. Can an Au Pair Help An Anorexic Host Mom? Should She Try?
  5. Sheet Pan Suppers: Easy Meals for Au Pairs to Cook
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search AuPairMom
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Energetic Male Au Pair Lacks Judgment. Should we rematch?

Dear AuPairMom —  Our family has had au pairs since 2008. We had some amazing aupairs some mediocre and some terrible experiences that resulted in rematches. So one would think that we went through so many situations, we now know how to pick the right au pair and we know when it’s time for rematch. But NO.

Right now we have our first male au pair. He came 5 weeks ago and so much has happened and right now we are totally torn whether to go into rematch or not.

5048572114_388c1dc116_mWe have 2 energetic boys, whose fights and behaviours are not always the best. One is very competitive and the other one struggles with school work (slow to learn how to read and thus doesn’t like school).

We could immediately see that the au pair is a natural when talking to kids and playing with them. The silly boys jokes that the girl au pairs couldn’t really handle didn’t bother him but he knew when to say it’s too much. The boys listen to him.

I had high hopes from the beginning. Interestingly, my husband didn’t like his energy. DH said that when we skyped, the au pair seemed a bot hyper and in a too good of a mood.

As usual I took my time to train him and talk to him about everything every night for about 3 weeks. Mistakes were made, but I felt that is part of the training. He would forget things that I wrote for him in notes, told him few times and even texted him to remind him.

Then spring break came and I started doubting the Au Pair’s judgment:

One of the biggest topic of training was...

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Open Thread: A Break

Hi All-  Much excitement here at AuPairMom Headquarters this week. I fractured my scapula and two ribs on Sunday, by falling off a horse that spooked and started galloping towards the woods. My helmet and safety vest protected most of me, but the fractures, bruises, and etc. have taken a toll on both my ego and my energy.

IMG_1937Turns out, even if you’ve got all this ‘free time’ while resting in bed, and technology that makes it easy to dictate instead of type, it’s still hard to get out a complete thought whilst on paid meds and all. Therefore,

I’m officially declaring last week a ‘spring break’ and this coming week an open thread.

Please be especially nice to each other, since I won’t be monitoring comments too closely. Stay tuned for the return to our regular programming.



When Au Pairs Plan In Advance Not To Complete Their Year

Au Pair contracts, for both the au pair and the family, exist so that both parties are absolutely clear about what they can expect from each other.

A Host Family pays an agency fee that they expect to cover 12 month of service. Indeed, knowing that you can amortize the cost of finding and training an au pair over a full 12 months is one of the things that makes the program ‘work’ for families.

au pair breaks contractAnd it’s not just the money — we Host Parents want our children to invest in a caring relationship with their au pair, and we ourselves want to invest in a relationship that (as we all know) takes a lot of energy.

When your au pair doesn’t stay around long enough for either you or him/her to reap the benefits of these emotional, time and financial investment, it’s a real drag. To put it mildly.

But to find out that your au pair intended to leave early from the very start?

That’s even worse. For Host Parents, it’s infuriating. How else would you react when you discover that an au pair has entered into a match and a contract with you – a contract that  that formally specifies a year long commitment from both of you — when he or she has no intention of completing 12months as an au pair?

Falsely committing to a 12 month contract is a severe breach of ethics by an au pair.

If a host parent were to discover that their au pair had no intention whatsoever to spend a full year with them, this discovery would shake the entire...

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Can an Au Pair Help An Anorexic Host Mom? Should She Try?

When an au pair notices that the host mom is having some kind of personal problem, should the au pair try to talk with the host mom about it?

When I think about this question in the abstract, my answer is

“Of course! If the au pair cares about the host mm as a person, and they have a human-to-human connection, then if an au pair has a concern she should definitely bring it up.”

Bu then when I think about the actual situations that have been raised on the blog before and the ones I faced myself, my response is quite different.  

I do rather wish that the au pair who was concerned about my soul burning in hell had kept that one to herself.  

One of the hardest things about having an au pair in your house is finding a way to pretend that you have some privacy so that you can save face.  

You know you’re screwing up sometimes, you au pair can see you screwing up sometimes, and maybe it’s better to pretend that we don’t know they can see us? 

And at the same time, haven’t I wanted my au pairs to genuinely care? Haven’t I appreciated when they did?  

Ifau pair problems, host mom you were the host mom here, would you want you au pair to say anything?

Is there anything you could imagine her doing that might help?

Dear AuPairMom - 

I am an au pair for a family of two children and single hostmom. I have been with them for four months now.

I am becoming more and more concerned about my host mom as I assume that she is anorexic. She eats very little,...

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Sheet Pan Suppers: Easy Meals for Au Pairs to Cook

Sheet Pan Suppers for Au Pair to CookMom, this chicken’s a winner.” ~ DD1
You should email the cookbook author and thank her for that recipe.” ~ AuPairDad
Yay! You’re making the Spicy Peanut one again!” ~ DD2

These are all real quotes, prompted by a gift that Host Mom Page E. sent me– a cookbook called Sheet Pan Suppers, by Molly Gilbert.

This is the first time I’ve received a cookbook to consider on AuPairMom. I was excited to try it out to see whether these were recipes to recommend to you.

What tempted me was the comparison to the crock pot. ‘A one pot meal that’s roasted and crispy‘.

What sold me was discovering that every recipe Page had flagged with a post-it made my mouth water.

I’ve tried two of the Sheet Pan Suppers so far– Chicken & Broccoli in Sriracha Peanut Sauce, and Chicken & Cauliflower in a Mediterranean marinade.

I judge a cookbook on two criteria–
(1) is there more than one recipe that I’ll ever make? and
(2) Do things turn out well if you substitute, adjust, or not really pay attention?

Sheet Pan Suppers is a winner on both counts.  I’ve substituted different veggies and cuts of chicken so that I could use what I’d already purchased. And I measured and timed things in my own absent-minded way, and it all came out delicious anyway.   

See the photo, of last night’s adventure with Chicken & Cauliflower. Notice the empty space on the lower right,...

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