Please could any of you with experience of having an au pair give me some ideas as to what to do with her during the holidays!!?? I've got a Finnish girl (19 worked in US as au pair before) arriving tomorrow but I don't actually need her till 7th Sept (when I am starting teacher training). This was the first mutually convenient date -- I would have preferred her arriving a bit later -- she wanted to come a bit earlier. Basically, I want her to feel like she's being useful but I really want to enjoy the last holiday in a while with the kids (ds nearly 7, dd 5).
I expect as she's lived in US and worked as an au pair before that she's going to hit the ground running so any advice on what we could do for the next three weeks would be REALLY REally USEFUL.
Sewing name tapes. Doing crafty things with the kids (nature walks collecting stuff then collagey-type things) 'Settling in' - maybe taking her round your kids favourite local haunts Cooking with the kids. things she wants to do with the dc's (she may have an interest or hobby to share)
Agree with Zippysmum about name tags - i have lots to sew in before term starts. Also once the children are happy with her why not let her look after one while you have some one-to-one time with the other and then swap. Also she could take them to any children's films that they want to see and you don't. She could look after them while you meet some friends for lunch/coffee/dinner or while you do some of the pre-course reading. Or you give her more time off during the day to sign up for her English classes etc in return for extra babysitting so that you can meet friends. I am about to start teacher training too and have an au pair arriving in 2 weeks, as well as missing the DCs I am also worried that i will not have time to see my adult friends once the course starts.
yes definitely get her doing all the boring pre-term stuff to free you up to spend time with the kids. But also give her time alone with the kids so that that relationship is cemented before the start of term. Get her to join you on days out so she watches from you how you handle discipline etc, and can just be an extra pair of hands so you can really enjoy the time. Also make sure she is doing all the housework you expect of her from the beginning else you will have a problem bringing that in at a later date..
Of course the good thing about an AP ConstantlyCooking is the babysitting, so with a bit of luck you'll still be able to catch up with your adult friends easily in the evening.
Spend time with her walking around town, showing her the kids favourite haunts as zippysmum says but also showing her some places she can go and meet people or hang out once she's met a few people. And let her know where amenities she might like are (gym, pool, library, info about clubs she might want to join, etc).
& on the tags... don't the iron on's fall off after a while? I used to always find myself stitching over iron on patches when I brought them as they fell off after a few washes...
Rather than resenting the extra time she's around, think of it as a gentle easing in time for your children - it will be a big change for them to get used to. Spend plenty of time sharing the care so that right from the start she can see your parenting style, etc. Try to have as much fun with her and your kids as possible so that they'll be looking forward to staying with her while you do your training - things like going swimming, doing crafty activities will be loads easier with 2adults:2children ratio!
well she's here! And thank you for all your very useful suggestions. I think I just need to relax a bit more around the whole situation. It's very strange having someone else in the house. She's very quiet but seems nice. Hopefully, will become a calming influence in this mad house.