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Right, the new au pair starts on Saturday and my nerves are building...

(12 Posts)
Weegle Tue 08-Jul-08 19:19:53

It's been a long wait, I am a physical wreck, but Saturday is in sight. I have a good feeling about her but I'm starting to get really nervous after the last fiasco. DS has just about returned to normal and is now quite ok around strangers although immediately declares himself "a bit shy mummy", but sure he'll be fine given a day or two.

So, any tips or words of wisdom from you highly experienced AP hosts? I've done her a sheet with her hours, jobs, and general things she needs to know. But your tips to make it all go smoothly would be much appreciated and give me something to channel my nervous energy in to!

Simply Tue 08-Jul-08 20:59:21

I don't think I can be of much use to you as I have only had one ap so far.

My tips so far then. Get her room ready. Get in the brekkie things you think she'd like (whether this is a breakfast cereal or croissants or Nutella or whatever.) Have the bus timetables handy (but I'm sure this is in your welcome pack anyway.) Perhaps have a little hamper type thing of shampoo, conditioner, etc in case she has forgotten anything she needs. I don't know what else! Explain that you'll take her out and about to a few places for the first weekend or two so that she gets her bearings. I don't know what ages your children are but include their school or nursery, the house of your best friend (who can be relied upon to help in an emergency), any relatives you have living locally, the local hospital etc.

I hope it all goes well for you!

cheapskatemum Tue 08-Jul-08 22:35:53

Ask if she'd like to phone her Mum, to let her know she's arrived safely. Sorry, but I don't agree with the breakfast idea, or the hamper one. I introduce to all the English breakfast things in the house and show how we prepare them, that way I feel they're getting to know the English culture from day 1! Marmite is a good discussion starter! Just ensure that she realises it's nothing like chocolate BEFORE she tastes it! I ask if there's anything she needs and if it's conditioner, I'll show her where the local chemist is.

Weegle Wed 09-Jul-08 12:18:45

that's very true cheapskatemum - the disastrous one ate a whole packet of sliced ham every morning for breakfast - at £3.50 a pop that isn't going to happen!

We've planned a trip up to London all together on Sunday so hopefully that'll help settle her in.

katak Wed 09-Jul-08 12:33:28

THe best of luck to you. I've given up on the au pair route. Well, I've said that several times before, but at the moment, I'm sticking to my guns.
~What I really need is a cleaner/ ironer/ sometime child minder/ person who does not have to live in.

It was the sharing our home that never really worked. THat and the fact that I had au pairs who each had at least one excellent skill/ feature, but never enough in one au pair to make it all work.

catepilarr Wed 09-Jul-08 13:14:23

yes, ask her whether she wants to speak to here parents to let them know she arrived safely ( they are usually waiting by the telephone ;)). tell her she can ask you anything she doesnt understand or has a problem with. give her time to herself if she likes after you'd showed her the house and everything . it can be ovewhelming and she might need time pull herself together. i think its definitely nice to get her some toilletries to start with ( as long as you say its a welcome thing, not a regular supply). you can take her shopping to show you want she eates - you would be surprised how a familiar yoghurt can make her like easier ;). what country is she from? ask something about her country or family, that should get her talking :D

lindseyfox Wed 09-Jul-08 18:59:13

maybe get a few books from libabary on the area.

think welcome basket is nice could put a label on saying welcome love from xx in her home language. (maybe put in some toiletries, some chocolate, some bottled water? and also maybe a fruit basket.

Simply Wed 09-Jul-08 19:53:26

That's interesting cheapskatemum. I've always taken short stay students to the supermarket with me so that they could choose the food they liked for their breakfast and packed lunch the following days and given them the choice between say a chicken roast and salmon for tea. I've not done the same for our ap but knowing that she doesn't like cereals unless they are the sugary ones that I don't want to have in the house, I've always made sure that there are croissants or whatever here for breakfast. Funnily enough, I've never had Marmite (to the best of my knowledge) and neither have my children. smile

cheapskatemum Wed 09-Jul-08 21:12:21

I think I'd be different with a short stay student. Most au pairs say they want to learn about another culture and at least Britain has a breakfast to be proud of! We all love Marmite, can't say the same for all our au pairs, but some have developed a taste for it.

I'm obviously living up to my name regarding the hamper idea (wink).

ingles2 Wed 09-Jul-08 21:54:47

Wishing you Good luck this time Weegle smile
I don't do a hamper either or buy toiletries. Not being funny, you need to start how you mean to go on. I do get the ds's to write a welcome card and get a bunch of flowers for their room.
The first night, I usually am v. nice but by 8.30 next morning I've launched into my AP timetable, showing them how I want things done, when, what they can eat etc. Years ago I was far too eager to please the AP hmm and I was totally taken advantage of. Remember they live in your house, take your money in return for helping you. You are not doing them a favour.
(btw I don't mean I don't support them with college, help them find friends and stuff, I just don't let them take the mickey anymore grin )

Weegle Thu 10-Jul-08 10:14:18

Yes I think that's the thing: nice but assertive. I'm not doing the toiletries but have bought her a little welcome gift (London underground mug with some cadbury's heroes in it) and first thing Monday morning I will be doing the AP timetable thing. She's straight in with a tough week where she needs to help out as I've organised a weekend away with 40 people the following weekend for my birthday so she better like being thrown in the deep end! I'm sure it'll be fine, she seems good in all the dealings so far but you never do know till they're there, in your house!

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 11-Jul-08 18:31:11

Hello Weegle,

The best of British and all that!

After one dodgy (did £1k damage to the plumbing and was depressed) and one dreadful (did £7k+ worth of damage to my house and was a complete nightmare) I now have the best AP I've ever had!

It can happen, there are still great APs out there and I'm sure you'll get one this time!

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