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Au pair contacts for new au pair needed

(15 Posts)
Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 18:36:01

Hi all,

I have a new au pair, who is lovely but very homesick, and cries nearly every day. We don't want to lose her as she is everything we hoped for. What advice can other host mums/families give me to help her feel at home. We live in a rural area and I don't know any other families locally with an au pair. We have suggested she join some local groups which have an interest to her which she has done, but it's early days. Is there anything else I can try? Has anybody done anything differently to help their au pair feel settled and at home? Any advice gratefully received. Thanks x

Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 18:56:21

Anyone, please?

middleeasternpromise Tue 22-Jan-13 20:24:33

Skype and copious internet is probably best thing. There are a few facebook pages for au pairs to chat to each other and make friends that might be helpful for her to at least find out that its normal. Might be able to find some friends she can join at weekends - what nationality?

Lostonthemoors Tue 22-Jan-13 21:13:21

I screwed this up with our first ap. she made no friends and was really miserable. We also live rurally. With our next ap I did the following:

Got her to immediately look for Facebook ap groups for close by major towns and join them
Send a message on those introducing herself and suggesting a meet up at somewhere local and likely to be popular - eg 'next sat I'm going to visit xxx clothes market, does anyone want to join?"
Got her gym membership and encouraged her to go to classes
Strongly encouraged language school
Got her to join a local sports team

Might be worth saying where you are then people who have local knowledge can help more.

Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 21:13:22

She is Dutch and speaks great English, she is a go getter, but is bothered by getting so emotional. It happens at tea time every day, you can set your watch by it.

She Skye's every day with either her mum, sister, boyfriend, dad, sometimes some or even all of them. It helps, have also suggested Internet and fb pages which she has tried.

This is only her second week, so am hoping things will straighten out, but if there are any host mums on here that have au pairs who could do with getting in touch with ther au pairs that would be great.

Lostonthemoors Tue 22-Jan-13 21:18:15

Where are you, op?

Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 21:20:40

Lostonthemoors , I am in north Devon. I also screwed this up with our first ap, had sort of assumed that she would find her own social life, and she didn't and was miserable. Tried harder with our second ap, and she did make friends through a fb page, but still only stayed 2months (it rained too much in England apparently). So we are now on our 3rd ap, and don't want her to go home early. She is great. I have taken her to the library and identified a couple of groups on the notice board there that she is trying. She is also going to Zumba on friday at the local gym, and is volunteering in the local theatre on Sunday. I feel sure that she will find her feet, but wonder if there is any more we could do.

I had no idea that hosting an ap would require so much input from us, it's been a steep learng curve for sure smile

Virtuallyarts Tue 22-Jan-13 21:26:07

Did your ap come via an agency? If so they may be able to put her in touch with other au pairs as well - even if they're not that close it might be nice to e-mail.
Is she musical? If so maybe there's a youth-ish orchestra or choir nearby? it sounds from what you say as though she is happy to 'have a go', so it may be a question of trying several things out,

Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 21:34:42

Virtually arts - she is into crafts, knitting, sewing. So she went to an arts and crafts group today, which was mostly elderly ladies. All very lovely but not perhaps what she needs? She is also going to volunteer for the Mayfair committee who are asking for help in costume making, i think this will be ideal and should introduce her to mums with young kids.

But she also needs young unattached friends, possibly in the same situation as herself...?

Virtuallyarts Tue 22-Jan-13 21:51:22

Hmm -where do young unattached people go - have to admit i have no idea! Maybe gym based aerobic/dance type things (or am i stereotyping?) Worth looking at art classes as well, perhaps?
I also would think the language school would have a lot of young people if your ap's going to classes.

Imabadmum Tue 22-Jan-13 22:10:02

I have no idea where young unattached people go either! Not my living room, that's for sure. Kavos I think, but that's none too helpful. wink

Her English is far too good for language classes, but we are planning to check out the local college for other types of courses that would give her access to young people (god that makes me sound like a pensioner).

Lostonthemoors Wed 23-Jan-13 07:39:36

Imabadmum, tell her to check out the CAE exam - my last ap was training to be an English teacher in Germany. She was almost totally fluent and took the CAE course and exam offered at our local college which was great for her cv. It's a high level English qual.

Newtothisstuff Wed 23-Jan-13 20:10:13

Definitely get her to search Facebook. I had no idea there were so many aupairs in our area.. She meets with 14 every weekend!!

NumericalMum Fri 25-Jan-13 22:14:33

I asked this a while back and someone posted a link to a site. My AP now knows 100s of APs which is great. She is still a home bod though and rarely goes out. I think they all Skype each other too grin

Ask at your DC's school as well. And Facebook. And perhaps try an English course? Mine has just started one and made more friends!

CestTout Sat 26-Jan-13 22:47:03

I was an AP and found that one of the worst things I could do was Skype home- made it so much worse. That could easily be me though!

Any guide/rainbow/brownies groups locally that she could volunteer with?

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