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What do you think of this as an au pair role? Realistic to look for slightly different?

(3 Posts)
romina Mon 01-Apr-13 14:07:56

I've had 6 au pairs over 7 years, all fine to good experiences. But as DS is now 9, I'm thinking that what I need has changed a bit.

I'm semi-separated from OH, (theoretically separated, but in practice nothing has changed - he works abroad and has only been home at (most) weekends for many years, separate rooms, separate lives, no major drama) and share house with my parents. Own separate living areas, kitchens etc. My mum has historically done most of the cooking etc for them, DS and au pair. Parents are around most of the time, but energy levels falling and Dad is getting forgetful...

I'm switching from full time with heavy commute to setting up own business, from home, so will be physically around more, but still working like a madwoman.

Past/current au pairs have done school runs, light housework (this has been the weakest area for most of them), after-school club runs and cooked tea once a week. They have all said their job is much easier than ap friends and we are still in touch with all of them. I'm too soft in many ways!

What I need going forwards is someone who will be able to take more initiative - help more around the house, see what needs to be done, help more with shopping, help my parents with their cleaning (not personal care), walk the dog etc.

Past aps have been 18-21. Will going older help with getting someone who can identify what needs doing? Has anyone tried a "granny au pair"? Would a boy be better at sporty games than a girl? (Tennis player, football kicker ideal!)

Am I just dreaming of pie in the sky?

Any ideas of where to find my paragon? Have used agencies, but only saw very "traditional" candidates. And AP world - but dreading that again...

Thanks very much indeed.

romina Mon 01-Apr-13 14:09:09

P.s. we do genuinely like people who are part of the family - I'm not looking for a domestic - more like a wife!

middleeasternpromise Mon 01-Apr-13 17:38:25

I dont think you should have a problem getting what you want - its just about being really clear at the outset. I also wouldnt always equate age with having more initiative, my oldest au pair at 26 was the least likely to do anything in the house, couldnt cook, couldnt do laundry and kept her room like a tip - she really believed her sole job was to 'manage' the children who at 6 and 10 were very sick of it and begged me to get rid. My best au pair was the youngest at just 18! I had some great candidates from au pair world last time I recruited it does mean trawling through a lot of inappropriate applicants but I think if you put enough detail in there about what you want done and insist applicants must email telling you why they think they are suitable that will sort out who gets it and who doesnt.

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