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New au pair - bittersweet!(10 Posts)
I am torn at the moment as our current lovely au pair is leaving at Christmas after spending a year with us. The children adore her, and all start weeping as soon as they remember she's leaving in a couple of months.
But - BUT - we have just Skyped with another au pair who may join us in January so am feeling all relieved and excited about that too.
Is so bittersweet to say goodbye to au pairs. We've had 4 now and I have been so fond of them, it's like watching my eldest daughter leave home.
Just thought I'd post here as obviously 'the woes of having a new au pair' is such a first world problem that I can't share in other places without being derided ;)
I completely sympathise! My first au pair is leaving us in the middle of December. Once I had got over the initial 'OMG, I have to do this all over again'! I got back on to au pair word and within two weeks I have found someone who appears to be really fabulous!
Although, I am sad about our current au pair leaving, it has given me the opportunity to learn from my first experience and think about doing things a little differently. Like you, I am really quite excited about the new au pair and also very relieved at finding someone I feel so happy about! I do feel a bit guilty though and feel like I need to be a bit careful about what I say!
Do you use an agency or search yourself? I quite like searching myself, but found it easier this time as we seemed to have more interest. I think it might have been because we were no longer new to having an au pair or maybe it is a better time of year?
Our current au pair will be leaving soon, and I'm very happy for him as he will be getting a full time job and staying in our city, but the DC and I will miss him so much. He's our fifth au pair and he has been with us much longer than any of the others (others averaged about 10 months, he's been here for two years). As the OP has said he has sort of come to feel like an eldest child as he fits in so well. I was surprise at how annoyed I was on his behalf when his partner broke up with him, in much the same way as I feel when someone does something mean to my DC.
He has some friends in his home country who would like to be au pairs and who he thinks would fit into our family, so hopefully one of them will work out. Otherwise it's back to Au Pair World again.
I am in exactly the same situation! Our first au pair is leaving at Christmas after staying on for an extra few months over the original planned year. I am currently in the midst of getting a new one and have some interviews lined up for this weekend and next week.
I am much more relaxed about it this time and agree that i have had more interest on au pair world - perhaps becasue we have had a positive experience. I am slightly worried that we have had such a good experience that anyone else won't quite live up to it!
I also feel a lot more confident in dealing with potential new au pairs now though - i have been making mental notes of certain small issues that i would try and avoid next time - the most pressing being that i might ask them to make sure they do their laundry in the week so i can use the washer for mine and DH stuff at the w/e. Is that unreasonable do you think? and that she does the kids laundry on a particular day.....
I find au pair world good an di like to search myself as well although i did ask my current one if she knew anyone as a personal reference would have been nice...
I hope it all works out for you all!
We've had lots of aupairs and our last one let 2 years ago. The children still talk about her constantly and we often go and visit her at work, she works now in the local shopping centre and lives with her boyfriend. About to go down that route again, I can't really be bothered to find someone and get them trained up but I know that long term it's worth it as we will hopefully meet someone else we love
This is such a lovely read as we are in the midst of organising our first au pair!
It's daunting but exciting.
If you have any tips for choosing an au pair or for making the experience of having them a great one (as you have all clearly managed to do) I would love your wisdom.
So far, gut feeling from some Skype calls seems to be the best measure of people...
Gut feeling from Skype has worked best for me. I usually have a short-list of about 4 that I do Skype interviews with, almost every time I haven't taken to any of the first lot and do a second short-list to interview. I always let the DC come in for part of the interview and ask questions. I think that if the potential au pair can engage with them over Skype then s/he has a much better chance of getting on with them in person.
Thanks TimTam - glad to hear it! We've also asked for references where possible. Not sure how valuable an email from an old "babysitting family" is tho.
Gut feel worked best for me too. We use an agency (we use Busy Bees who were recommended to us by someone we know), but I know lots of people on here use Au Pair World with great success.
Handmini - I spend a lot of time worrying before an au pair arrives but I've found each one brings her own strengths and you quickly can't imagine life without them.
I will be so very sad when our current one leaves, though we've loved previous au pairs none have felt quite as much a part of the family as she has. Still - she plans to visit and we are planning to visit her as well. <<sniff>>
It's lovely to hear they all have their own good points as we're currently really torn between a few candidates who all seem great but are each v different.
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