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au pair advice

(5 Posts)
tholeon Sun 10-Jul-11 08:53:56

hi there,

i've got a 2 year old and am expecting another in December, when he will be 2.5. DH works long hours and can't help at all during the week and we don't have any family nearby. I'm starting to worry about how I will cope - I know people do it all the time but even so - and wondering if an au pair might help?

I think I would mainly be looking for someone to play with DS (he is used to a lot of one to one attention...) and maybe take him to the park sometimes. Perhaps put a load of washing on/ tidy up/ make a simple lunch but not heavy housework (we have a cleaner), some rocking of newborn and nappy changing but obviously I'll be around all the time so no sole charge. Would be grateful for any advice about this idea and places where it would be good to start looking for someone. I would think it would probably be worth getting them settled in a couple of months before the due date so am not sure when I would need to start the process...

MogandMe Sun 10-Jul-11 09:14:17

I would probably consider a mothers help - I would imagine that having a new person in the house albeit help after the birth would be quite stressfull and tbh your son will prob want you any way.

I would go for a mothers help - who could take him out and about and get a cleaner.

tholeon Sun 10-Jul-11 16:28:52

thanks. I was hoping that an au pair (or au pair plus) would be enough given that I will be around all day too. Could an au pair not manage the odd sole charge trip to the park or a music class with a two and a half year old? I wouldn't leave one with the baby.

I was thinking of getting someone a couple of months before the baby is due so that they can settle in and DS can get used to them before other major changes. We do have a cleaner.

fraktious Sun 10-Jul-11 17:50:30

The main problem I would see is the potential communication difficulties. Au pairs tend not to have great English.As you're around to supervise the play shouldn't be a problem and trips to the park would depend in the individual but an au pair would find it difficult to engage in complex imaginative play, leading to frustration on both sides, and could struggle to understand a 2yo's developing speech.

Also bear in mind that most are after a September start. Would you be happy with someone that far in advance? If so you need to move fast.

Au pair world, Gumtree, great au pair are your best bets.

Perhaps a newly qualified nanny/mothers help? Toddler plus newborn is an ideal job. It's a bit more expensive but they will work more hours and have more initiative. Personally I would say the added expense is worth it for the additional independence. Try nannyjob and netmums as well as the above.

How many hours were you wanting? The first thing to do is narrow down exactly what you want, particularly if you get an au pair who may never have held a new baby before. Then list what is non-negotiable, what is nice to have and what's an absolute no-no.

There's lots of advice on here about recruiting and employing an au pair and the things you need to think about (contract, house rules, general management).

Treeesa Sun 10-Jul-11 23:03:58

It seems like you have plenty of time to find the right au pair. There are plenty of good candidates with excellent English so I don't think you need to worry about your child's speech development - after all you are around yourself almost all of the time. Even if you did have someone who spoke their own language - Kids are very adept at picking up different languages - friends of mine at work have young children who already speak 3 languages - maternal/paternal and English and they can switch between them perfectly naturally.

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