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For certain families, au pairs are a perfect answer. A motivated, up-beat and mature individual can become a valued member of your family.
May your decision be blessed! Keep in mind you are dealing often with rather younger women whom have had rare opportunities living away from home. And in contrast to truly loving kids, some might focus on Australia through beach party eyes so be wary throughout your decision process.
Letting an Au Pair into your house
By Jack Stanson
My wife and I had just become the parents of our third child and we were very happy to welcome our daughter into the world. She was beautiful and so cute and such a bundle of joy to behold! Our other children were also very young; in fact we didn't have a child over the age of four! So as you could imagine things often got a little bit hectic in our household from time to time. Both my wife and I worked full time as well, so it often made it hard to get the kids off to day care, or find a babysitter who could come over and look after the kids at some moments. Living a little bit out of the city and close to the ocean also made things a little bit more difficult as you really had to look around for the people who were willing to travel a little bit just so that you could get a bit of help. And now that we had a newborn, things were only going to get worse. My wife had taken some time of work but she could only get about a month off, so we found ourselves in a bit of a sticky situation when it came to looking after our kids when we were at work. I decided to do a bit of research online as I had heard about hiring nannies from other countries to come and live in your home for a while and help out with things. I soon found this was called an Au Pair and I did some deep research into what it actually meant and how I could go about hiring one to help out with our kids. I did speak it over with my wife as well as she had actually never heard of an Au Pair, so once I explained to her briefly what they would be doing, she liked the idea and then it was all about trying to find somebody to come and look after the kids. The fact that it would also be saving us some money too was a bonus, as we would only have to pay the Au Pair a little bit each week to allow them to get some food and basic supplies. Everything else we would pretty much just buy for them and they would eat at our house and use things like our internet and phone. It didn't take us long to find a suitable candidate either! Her name was Agelika and she was from Austria, and she had a lot of experience in looking after children. She had worked in day care back at home and she had also done a few Au Pair jobs in various different countries in Europe which was also great. She had a fantastic level of English which was also good and she seemed extremely friendly and polite. We spoke to her a few times on the phone and on the internet and before we knew it she was on a plane to Australia to commence her job.
We picked her up from the airport and took her back to our place where we showed her to her room. She seemed to like it quite a lot as we had made sure it was quite large and that she had ample space to put all her belongings away and be able to find her way around the house and get to the kids when need be. After a bit of a tour around the place we sat her down and told her what we expected of her. As well as looking after all of our kids, we wanted her to basically clean the house and do some basic things to keep the house in order and tidy. We have 2 dogs so we also asked if she could look after them by taking them for walks and feeding them as well as making sure they were groomed and always looked after which she agreed to. It was soon coming to the first day where we would have to leave her alone and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little bit nervous about it. But it actually turned out to be perfectly fine because she was extremely talented in all her tasks and the first day my wife and I came home the house really was spotless! I'm talking spotless from head to toe! All our kids were also extremely well behaved and you could in no way tell that they were being looked after by somebody that wasn't their own parents! She had even managed to cook us dinner for our return which was amazing, because it was a delicious dish that really made me want more and more! The first day really had started off well! A few weeks went by and things were still running smoothly, although there were a few little things that did happen to annoy my wife and I bit. She had the tendency to use a lot of internet and phone, which we actually had to sit her down and ask her to curb her usage as we didn't have the most expensive plan for either which meant we would often get high usage costs involved when it came to getting our phone bills. She would also spend a lot of time going to the beach in her spare time which was fine, but we had to make sure she did all her tasks and sometimes a little bit extra in order to satisfy our contractual agreement.
Overall though it was an absolutely pleasure having her in our home and the fact she did such a fantastic job really made my wife and I very happy! We were actually very sad when she had to go home, and we nearly hired another Au Pair straight away! So if you are an Au Pair reading this then remember some of the things we have said for your next visit, or if you are a family wanting to hire an Au Pair, I highly recommend you doing so!
An Au Pair as a night nanny
By Michael Webber
As soon as we welcomed a new baby into our lives we knew that we wouldn't be getting much sleep. And boy is that an understatement! Given that both my wife and I work very long hours during the day, it's important for us to get as much rest as possible, so we did find it quite difficult with our new child to get some good sleep as he really seemed to be a little terror when it came to the night. No matter what the situation he would cry and he would never get more than an hours sleep at a time which of course ended up being quite frustrating. We thought it was time to finally get some help so we soon began looking around at the options that were available. We looked at some potential night nannies in our area but there really weren't any decent choices when it came to prices, so we thought we might look outside the box a little bit and try something different. That's when we decided to hire an Au Pair from overseas and have them work their magic! And after a bit of a search online, we soon found a suitable candidate and boy oh boy did they work their magic! It was actually a guy which I found a little bit weird at first but soon caught on to the idea and he came all the way from Germany. He was highly recommended to us by many other families he had worked for so all we had to do was wait for his arrival to see if all the kind words we had heard about him were true! We also made sure that our child was placed in his room at night time so that he could easily care for him, and to make things very easy for him as soon as he arrived. And before long we realised the day was here, so we went and picked him up from the airport and prepared him for all the tasks that we required of him.
He did fit in quite well, hardly asked any questions and seemed to be a natural with our baby. Given how much our child would cry through the night it was amazing to see that our Au Pair would never complain about the situation and always get straight into his tasks at every possible moment! And the amazing thing is that he never even looked tired in the morning, despite not getting much sleep at all! We made sure that we moved his room down the other end of the house so our restless nights soon became very well rested nights, and it was amazing to finally be able to get some sleep and go into a work day nice and relaxed and ready for everything that would be before me! Given that our Au Pair would have a few naps through the day, he would usually base his sleep patterns around that of our sons, which actually made a lot of sense to us as we thought about it more. And it really worked, because not only would our son seem to get more sleep, but our Au Pair would also seem a lot more refreshed and competent during the day as well as preparing himself for his night nanny duties. What was even greater about the situation too was that in no way did he become demanding or expect anything more than to work, and he basically never took any time off which was something that my wife and I had to step in to make sure he had some free time to himself every now and then! He certainly was a very strong workaholic, and we really did appreciate that!
So if you are finding yourself a little bit lost and not sure how you can go about getting somebody to look after your children, then you should consider getting yourself an Au Pair as they really aren't there just to baby sit your kids when you go out at night. Take advantage of the many services they will provide and you will find yourself happier for it! And potentially with a lot more sleep too!
Afternoon Au Pair care and dog walking really helped us!
By Melissa Stone
It's actually pretty amazing when I think back to the time that we had no help in our house and that things were done entirely by my husband and I. Incredibly amazing actually. You see we have four very young children, and as soon as they get home from school they are, how can I put this nicely, A TERROR! They run around the house, hyperactive from their day at school and really make it a pain to find a babysitter who will come and look after them while my husband and I are at work. The funniest thing is that you know things are bad when even your own mother will refuse to come and look after them! It was soon time that we needed to look elsewhere and find somebody capable of looking after our little 'angels'.
One thing we also needed at the same time was somebody to take our big Rottweiler dog called 'Brutis' out for a walk, because he was getting a little bit restless at being left at home all the time and never having being taken for a walk on most days. So we really needed somebody who could help out on a lot of levels. I did a bit of a look online to see what I could find and the most common 'answer' that seemed to pop up all the time was that of an Au Pair. I knew a little bit about Au Pair's as I nearly became one myself when I was younger, so it actually surprised me a bit that I didn't think of an Au Pair sooner.
The fact that Au Pair's seemed so popular, especially in Europe, really tickled my fancy. I always liked European people and had some very fond memories of travelling through Europe in my youth. So it came as no surprise to me that I would the find myself actively seeking out a European to become our Au Pair.
We narrowed down our choices to a few different people and made sure we did some thorough phone calls with them to really scope out their needs and wants for becoming an Au Pair. One such girl who seemed fantastic on her application was completely different as soon as we spoke to each other on the phone, so it really was a great way of taking down the potential duds and sorting out the winners. We then had two 'finalists' essentially who then almost had to 'compete' with each other for the position of Au Pair in our house.
And you know what? We were so happy when we finally landed our 'winner'! She was from Italy and an extremely lovely girl with a bubbly personality. And the best part about it was that not only had she had experience in looking after kids, but she also was a professional dog walker in her spare time so it really did make it a bit of a win win situation for us! It was all then a matter of waiting for her to arrive and to really get things started to see how she would actually cope.
As soon as she arrived I smiled, because I was just so happy at the prospect of having her in our home and getting the help that we so urgently required! And she was exactly the way she was on the phone and just a pure delight to have to deal with! I was just hoping that when we got her home she would the same and get into her tasks in exactly the same way that she presented herself in person! And well, luckily for us she sure as heck did! We firstly introduced her to 'Brutis' and she immediately took a fall for him and loved him completely which was great! She even offered to take him for a walk as soon as she arrived, but it was nearly time for the kids to come home so we thought it would be best that she meet them first and then we could arrange some walking time for Brutis.
As the kids came home they seemed a little bit nervous but our Au Pair took control and you could tell that the kids liked her. They soon got out of their shells a little bit and opened up with her, and then you could tell that they would be as much trouble for her as they were with us! We let her get settled in to her room and then take Brutis for a walk, while we explained to our kids that they had to be on their best behaviour at all times for her during her stay. Well the first test then was about to arrive as we went off to work the next day and left her in charge. She kept a little journal saying what she had done during the day which was at our request, and we were pleased to see that she would consistently fill it out each day as to everything she did.
She would always take Brutis for regular walks during the day when she was waiting for the kids, and as soon as the kids came home she made sure that they did their homework and cleaned up after themselves, and prepared for dinner when we would get home. And although she did report a few little 'issues' at first when it came to them listening to her. She was happy to report that after a while things got better and that our kids were respecting her and actually behaving. It was like all our Christmas's had come at once! It was amazing! And I still to this day had no idea how we even coped without her.!
So what I guess I am saying is that if you find yourself in a bit of a jam at home and need some form of assistance in order to get things back in control, then definitely consider hiring an Au Pair so that you can get things on track and have a bit of time for yourself! Doing a fair amount of research helps and I would definitely recommend doing some phone 'interviews' with potential candidates so that you have a possibility to actually 'meet' them before they arrive in your home. You really though won't be disappointed with the experience and I hope you get somebody as good as we did for your Au Pair!
Finding that special Au Pair for night nanny caring
By Russel Branston
When people said that we would have a difficult time in raising triplets, they really weren't kidding! There were moments that having three babies come along all at once can be more of a pain than any form of love can overcome, and the hardest part is finding the time to do things yourself and have any form of time to yourself as well. We tried all different things in order to help us out, from hiring specialised babysitters to taking them to specialist day care. We even got many of our family and friends to come and help out, although they weren't too happy when we asked them to stay late at night or sometimes even overnight to really help out! We soon realised that with both my wife and I having to head back to work soon that we really would need some form of outside care, so it was important that we looked around at our options and did some decent research into how we could best get our babies looked after and assistance around the home.
The most important thing to us was getting somebody who would be willing to look after them at night, as I swear our babies were nocturnal! They would pretty much sleep all day but come late at night they would awake and really control things in the entire house! It was a bit of a pain to be honest! So we did look at night nurses in the area but they were actually a lot more expensive than we had bargained for. So one of our options we had discussed was that of getting an Au Pair to come and live with us, just until our babies got on their feet and were capable of requiring limited amounts of care.
Our babies required that little bit of extra care as well because they were all very premature and they needed a lot of supervision at night, even though they were awake for most of it! After ringing up an Au Pair agency and doing a bit of research, we soon were connected with a few potential Au Pair candidates, all of whom were very well qualified with their professions and all very capable in doing the jobs we were after. We soon settled on a girl from Poland, who had some great qualifications and even better experience when it came to looking after kids. It was almost a shame that we weren't paying her because her experience really did deserve a lot more credit that she would be getting for doing some work with us for essentially no wage. She organised with us a time that she would fly out to Australia to commence her stay with us and we mad sure we had everything prepared for her impending arrival. We made her a room that would be hers for the time she was with us and we made sure that she would be very close to the babies at all times, especially given that she would be staying up very late with them all the time. And before we knew it the time was here for us to go pick her up at the airport, so off we went and prepared ourselves for the Au Pair coming into our home!
I could tell straight away by just meeting her that we had made the right choice! She was just so downright friendly and outgoing that it really made things a pleasure! We got her home, showed her to her room and then introduced her to our lovely babies, and you could tell by the look in her eyes how much she adored them. She would pick them up one by one and shower them with love, and we could tell how much she liked them just from an initial meeting. It was great!
The first night though would be the test, and given that she was a little bit jet lagged, made things a little bit more interesting. The first night with the kids, she did better than I thought. We actually managed to sleep through the entire night without even being disturbed by what was going on, and she gave us an extremely detailed report as to what happened EXACTLY through out the night. And I do mean detailed.
She kept a journal of everything that happened, from how many times they went to the toilet, right through to how many minutes of sleep each individual baby got. It was actually quite incredible the amount of detail she put into each baby. I had never been so amazed in my life at how much care and attention she put into her work. And the best thing is that she did this EVERY NIGHT!
So I would often find myself waking up and going straight to the kitchen to read her 'reports' on how the babies coped with everything from the night before! And it was even a blessing to see her sleeping and getting some much deserved rest from her night shifts! It made it all the more easier too in those initial first months of the triplets lives as they settled in to their routines and made sure that they were always well prepared for everything that would hit them over the course of their baby lives. My wife and I had to ensure that we rewarded her for her efforts, so towards the end of her stay we took her on a bit of a trip to Sydney and Melbourne to experience what some of the major places in Australia are really like, and she really enjoyed experiencing those cities! It was something that she definitely thanked us for, but there was in now way any further way that we could truly thank her for the time and effort she put in with our kids.
If you find yourself urgently needing somebody to come into your house and look after your kids, then you should really consider getting yourself an Au Pair because trust me when I say they can really change your lives. I honestly have no idea where we would've been if we hadn't of had the assistance we did and it can really make a difference to have that free time on your hands after you have come home from a hard days work, knowing that everything is being looked after in your house. So do a bit of research online, find the right Au Pair for you and then experience it first hand for yourself! You really won't ever regret it!
Our Experiences in having an Au Pair in our home
By Janette Collins
A lot of people will ask me about the time we hired an Au Pair and what it was really like. Well to answer that nice and quickly, it was great and we loved every moment of it. But you want to know lots of details right? You would prefer to know more about exactly what happened during their stay in our home and how it made us into better people and how they helped look after our kids? Of course you do! Well let me first start by painting the picture of our family situation and why we needed an Au Pair in the first place. We had a difficult family, it was very large and very much a family that was in dire need of help. There is no nicer way of putting that because trust me, it was true! We have 5 kids; all of them under 6 so you can see straight away how we would struggle a little bit can't you? Don't get me wrong, I love all my children to bits, but they really can be a pain in the butt sometimes and given that I was dying to go back to my job, it really was time that I looked in to getting some help. So I sat down with my husband and spoke about what possibilities we had and how we could make the situation a little bit better for both of us. The first idea that came to mind was childcare. We could drop our kids off at a nearby childcare centre and then pick them up when we come home. Well that didn't really work for us as childcare is expensive, and multiplying that by five really would've been very expensive indeed so we decided to scrap that idea altogether. Then we thought about hiring a full time nanny. Again though this worked out to be too expensive, and given that most nannies wouldn't actually live in with you, it would make it fairly pointless as there would be times where we would want them there at night as well as during the day. Another option that came to mind was that of an Au Pair. I had actually read an article recently about Au Pair's and what exactly it was that they did, so I got fairly excited at the prospect of having an Au Pair in our home. It wouldn't really cost us that much money, just a little bit extra for some extra food in the house and giving them a bit of money so that they could live off and get themselves some treats here and there to make their time with us a little bit more comfortable. And we would also have somebody living with us all the time and experiencing a new culture as well by having them at home with us, so it was pretty much a good situation for us to be in! So with my husband we did a bit of research online and then put our names down on a website to see where we could get an Au Pair from, and after only a couple of days we soon had a few different people from around the world messaging us wanting to come and do it for us! There was one person though that stood out for both of us, and he actually was a boy! We had thought that we would have to get a female Au Pair but we were very surprised to find that there were a few guys doing it too! His name was Ralph and he was from London, and his experience was amazing so we corresponded with him for a few weeks before finally employing him to come work for us! It was getting very exciting as the day got closer for his arrival, and when he arrived we made sure everything was ready for him!
After we picked him up from the airport, we showed him around the house and gave him a basic tour before introducing him to the kids. And let me tell you now I was so amazed and happy with his reaction to the children and the way he acted around them! He was so professional yet so calm with them and you would almost believe that he was their parent the way he acted! It was amazing to see! I straight away felt like he was almost a member of our family and after I finally found myself a job it was a great feeling to be able to leave the house in control of somebody who I knew would keep things in order! And the way he was with the kids, wow it was incredible! It was almost like the problems I said we had with our family didn't even exist! My children were so well behaved and clean that it was like coming home to a new family every night! It certainly was amazing to think that in the short amount of time that he had been with us that he had done so damn much to make things a better place! And after the 12 months had passed and it was time for him to leave, my husband and I were actually very sad for it to happen. We tried to entice him to stay a bit longer but he couldn't, although he did promise he would be back in Australia soon and he would come and visit! So that was at least something to look forward to!
So if you think you are struggling with your kids and your house and are even looking to going back to work, you should definitely consider hiring yourself an Au Pair to come live with you because if you get someone half as good as Ralph was then you will always be smiling and looking forward to coming home from work each day! Give it a go now and you won't ever look back!
Having an Au Pair in our house was one of the greatest experiences of our lives!
By Sandy Carlton
I had always wanted to travel the world but never had the money or the time to be able to do it. It was a dream of mine to go around and experience other cultures and places, as well as to meet other people and experience their way of life. I think that this was the major drawcard for me to these other countries; the people. It just fascinated me that I could go around the world and meet other people from other countries and they would be, how can you say it, 'different' from the way I am. It just fascinated me. I would always find myself talking for hours to foreign people I would meet out in public, no matter where they were from it just interested me. But these dreams always end up being put aside after a certain amount of time, especially when you find yourself having kids. And having kids is something that I really seemed to be good at! In fact right now I can tell you I have six kids! It's not something though that I regret, I do love all of my kids and it's something that I am extremely happy to have gone through life, knowing that my kids are pretty much the most important thing to me in the world. And one day I will travel with them and let them see the world and experience all the different cultures that I want to experience as well. But you know I have actually found another way for our kids to experience different cultures, as well as allowing me to meet other people from around the world and have them actually live in our house at the same time. These people also are able to look after our kids when we go to work and provide us with a great level of care that we could've only previously dreamt about. The way we did this I hear you ask? Well hiring an Au Pair of course! I was first given the idea of an Au Pair by a friend of mine who had actually done some Au Pair work when she was growing up. She had managed to travel the world and see some fairly exotic places, so not only was I actually very jealous of her but I was also extremely intrigued as to what the job actually really was. I had her come over one night to have dinner with me and my husband and she told us all about it and suggested that we look in to hiring one for our kids so that I could then work more hours and potentially even save up to go overseas myself. Well this got me quite excited! I jumped online that night and put our names down straight away looking for an Au Pair. And it did take a few days until we got a response but when we did I immediately got even more excited! And within a couple of weeks we had even made arrangements for our first Au Pair to come and stay with us! She was from Germany and seemed lovely, and I soon got really excited at the prospect of having a German girl come and stay in our house. I counted down the days, and before you knew it she was here and ready to start her job.
I actually wasn't overly sure as to what tasks I should ask her to do and what tasks she would probably refuse to do. So I spoke to my friend a little bit more about what I should expect of my Au Pair and she helped me draw up a bit of a 'contract' in order to really get things going. I presented this contract to our Au Pair and she basically agreed on the spot and wanted to get straight into working which was fantastic! One of the things that really drew us to her was the experience she had working with children. She had been in childcare back in Germany for five years and the rapport she had with our kids really was amazing. I was even a little jealous at times as it seems as though the kids liked her more than they liked me! One thing I did find also was the fact that I would often distract her from her work by always talking to her about her country and experience in travelling! She didn't really seem to mind though which was good, but it was funny that I was almost getting her into 'trouble' from my husband for me talking too much! It was just so good to have somebody like her in our house and have the ability to always find out all this stuff, it just made me even more passionate for some global travel! I soon found that with my working hours that I was earning lots of money and my saving up for my trip overseas was gaining momentum, and it really was down to actually having somebody in our house who was from overseas themselves, so it was working out quite nicely! After a six month stay our Au Pair had to leave, so it wasn't the most pleasant experience having to say goodbye to her. But it wasn't too long before we would welcome another Au Pair into our home and experience some more cultures, and it's something that we have been doing now for many years..
I am also pleased to report that I finally got my dream of going overseas, as my husband and I took the kids over to America and Mexico to experience those amazing countries! It really was amazing too to experience the beauty of those places and the fact that I actually got to finally step foot in another country was simply incredible. So I do have to recommend you get yourself an Au Pair into your house as soon as you want to, especially if you find yourself immersed in culture and other countries as much as I am! It really will open up your mind to many different cultures and allow you to meet a wide variety of people who really will fascinate you in to their way of living! You will also then find you have a lot of extra time on your hands to work more and then save up more which, as it did with me, gives you the potential to see the world and experience these people and places first hand! As you can tell I wasn't kidding when I said it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I really think you will find that too if you give it a go! So if you find yourself needing that little bit of extra help around the house and are prepared to be witness to all different amounts of extra culture and people, then give yourself time to visit some Au Pair sites and look around in to what you can do to get yourself an Au Pair! It's an experience you won't regret!
Thinking about being an Au Pair? Read it from the other side's view!
By Michelle Hilton
I think it's pretty easy for somebody who wants to become and Au Pair to just jump online, do a bit of research and find out that it is the job for them. And that's great because an Au Pair really is a great job for you to have and for you to experience. The only problem though that I think is around is the fact that you really do find a lot of people with very limited experience who find it possible to land themselves an Au Pair job on the other side of the world and sometimes waste their host families time. I know that you probably don't know how much experience you have and how you will cope in the situation of living with another family until you actually experience being an Au Pair first hand, but I do think that sometimes it's important that you actually have a good think about your role and what you will be doing before you do put in your application. You see as somebody who has hired many Au Pair's over the years, it's really hard a lot of the time to actually gauge a true respect for the profession if you are constantly being bombarded by dud candidates who should never have gone for the job in the first place! I don't actually have the largest of families, I actually only have three kids. However my three kids I will admit can be a bit of a handful which I suppose can make it a bit difficult sometimes for the Au Pair's when they come to stay with us. Having said that though, it should be within the nature of an Au Pair to really expect the unexpected, as I'm sure that not every single child who an Au Pair looks after is well behaved or has the ability to remain well behaved the entire time they are with an Au Pair, and if there is well I would really love to meet them! So I think it's important that today I tell you about some of our experiences with Au Pair's so that you potential future Au Pair's out there can understand what frustrates us parents sometimes and what we are really after when it comes to hiring you to look after our kids. We do realise that you aren't getting paid a full time wage by doing your job, but we are providing you with free accommodation and food for your trouble and I think it's the least you could do; provide us with a decent level of care and commitment that will really show us off your skills. And I think for the casual observer of this, you too can also make up your mind as to who really has it better or worse off, because remember I'm only giving my point of view on this so you too can make your mind up about it.
The first few Au Pair's we hired weren't really any problem. They did their jobs well and showed a great deal of respect to me and my husband during the time they were here. We did however suffer our first problem from a girl from Spain. She seemed fine in all the interview processing as well as when we first met her, but she actually had a basic fear of babies. And at the time we had a baby in our home, so you could see the potential for a problem here can't you? She would literally avoid our baby at all costs and never even associate with it, which made it extremely difficult for us to be able to tell her to do her job when it came to things like feeding our baby or cleaning it or changing its nappy. It was actually quite ridiculous. And to make things worse she really had no other skills that could make up for her lack of respect towards our baby. After a few complaints to the agency they sent out another Au Pair who this time had no skill for discipline! Remember how I said my kids were a bit of a handful? Well it does become extremely important to have an Au Pair who can remain in control of a situation and really control the kids when they are being a pain. Well this Au Pair couldn't even do that, and our kids would literally run straight over them. And I really do mean literally, because at one point they had fallen over and the kids ran straight over their heads and even caused a bloody nose. It was quite embarrassing but almost expected given the situation. We then would find ourselves another time with an Au Pair who didn't speak basically any English. Obviously they had gotten their mother or another person who could speak English to fill out their application form, although I guess you could blame me too for not actually doing a proper phone or Skype interview with them to actually chat things over with them before they flew out to Australia. It did though make things very difficult to communicate, although they actually did do a pretty good job without having to be asked. It's still the little things that you notice, and the little things that do annoy you.
So basically what I am saying with all of this is that you should always make sure that you tell the truth on your Au Pair application, and if you find yourself not wanting to do the job for some reason or you have some silly phobia such as a 'fear of babies', then you really should reconsider even applying. I don't get why you would want to waste people's time for something that you obviously have no interest in actually doing. It's very offensive to us when you show up and show a complete lack of respect for what we are asking so we do just ask for a little bit of help when it comes to getting on with our lives and helping around the house. If you follow those basic principals then I'm sure you can become a better Au Pair and make a good career out of it if that's what you want!
Hiring an Au Pair isn't easy!
By Peter Lewsom
A lot of people assume that when you decide to get yourself an Au Pair that it is actually an easy task and that you will be automatically gifted with somebody who will be a blessing to your home. Well I am here to tell you now that this isn't always the case! I think it's very important that all people wanting to become an Au Pair read this as it will give you some tips as to what not to do when you start a job as an Au Pair and really give you some great advice as to how not to annoy the family you are staying with. Because trust me when I say this, you can easily become more of a burden on a household than a positive influence! We have had at least two occasions where we have had to send an Au Pair home due to their bad behaviour and lack of job skills, so I think that if you want to become an Au Pair you should always ensure that you can go into a job ready! I'll start back at the beginning though. My wife and I had just had triplets, and we also had an older son who was 8. It was a long time between babies for us and with both of us working full time, it became a little difficult for us to be able to find adequate care for our new children, and combine that with our 8 year old when he got home from school. So we decided to get some help and we thought it would be best to get an Au Pair. I had recently seen a story on Au Pair's on TV so I had a good feeling about them, and I decided to do a bit of research online about them and then I found some websites where we registered our details. Pretty soon we were getting responses from all around the world, and we knew it would take us a few days to sort through them all and find a suitable candidate for us. There were even a few male candidates and I was actually unaware that men could even become an Au Pair. We rang a few of the candidates up and spoke to them on the phone and pretty much reduced our list down to around three. One of the girls was from France, another from America and there was also a boy from Canada who had some amazing experiences that I definitely felt would come in handy in our house. It was becoming a bit of a difficult choice though, as my wife really liked the girl from France and I really liked the boy from Canada. We did a bit of a discussion and decided to go with the girl from France, and well, let's just say that straight away that was our first major mistake! As soon as she arrived things would soon turn pretty bad, so let me tell you about it so that future Au Pair's know what NOT to do!
The first thing that we noticed as soon as she arrived was the smell. This might sound really petty and even a little bit mean, but she didn't have the best body odour to deal with. And having somebody living in your house that smells bad isn't a great thing to have to live with. Anyway, we ignored this at first and introduced her to our children. She didn't seem overly receptive towards them and essentially treated them like 'business colleagues' which didn't really sit well with our kids as they were really looking forward to meeting and working with her. We also noticed her English wasn't as crash hot as we thought it was, so it was sometimes a little bit difficult to communicate with her at times. Again, these all seemed relatively small and we just simply passed on them at the beginning. The first really downer though was when we had left her at home for the first time and returned. NOTHING had been done! And I really do mean nothing! We found her sitting on her bed reading a magazine and listening to her music. We asked her what had happened during the day and she gave the excuse that she had spent all day controlling the kids and making sure they behaved. Well this may have been all well and good, but really, she hadn't even done that properly! Other things we noticed over the time she was there was her complete lack of respect towards us and things we told her and the fact that she would use so much internet and phone and not even care about it! It was almost like having an instant teenage daughter who just didn't care about us at all! We couldn't stand it any longer so after only 2 months we phoned the agency and had her removed from our house. If only that was to be the worst experience, but it wasn't!
We hired a few more Au Pair's and this time they were completely fine, until we hired a boy from Switzerland. Well his profile was basically one big lie after another, and we soon found out that when we picked him up, that even his appearance was different. And he was worse than the girl we spoke about before! He would do nothing and he hated children, and he was basically just using us for a place to 'crash' while he would go out and party all the time and bring random girls back to our house! It was an utter disaster! We had him sent back home after only 3 weeks, it really was that bad! The agency had to send us another apology, and trust us, having 2 apology letters from an agency should never be a good thing!
Since those occasions we haven't had any other issues, so it really was a simple isolated incident with both of them. So I would really recommend out there to future Au Pair's to be entirely honest in your profile and don't bother becoming one if you really aren't in it to work. Parents out there that need Au Pair's really need reliable people to come and work for them, so please don't waste our time when it comes to getting in contact with us! And for parents out there looking for an Au Pair, always keep your wits about you and do a very strong screening process to avoid any trouble like we had! Trust us when we say it will save you a lot of hassle in the future!
A large family with a large Au Pair experience
By Kira Roberts
When I was a young girl I had always planned on having a very large family. It was in my blood. I grew up in a home with 6 sisters and 4 brothers, so being one of 11 I always knew that was exactly how I wanted to live my life. I would always dream of the day that I would have children and I just knew that as soon as I did have kids, that I would've achieved the dream that I had been hoping for some time! I first made in roads for this when I met who would become my future husband at 15. We met at high school and it wasn't very long until we started dating. We were engaged at 17 and I was pregnant at 18. My first baby was a boy and I was so excited about it! We got married when I was 20 and as my husband also came from a fairly large family and wanted the same as I did, we began planning for even more children! By the time I was 25 we had 6 kids, and now that I am 30 we have got 8 kids which to me is a pretty amazing achievement! I am so happy to be a proud mother of all these kids and I love them all to bits! One thing though that I never planned for was the fact that I actually would get myself a career. You see I always assumed that my only career I would ever have would be that of a stay at home mum, but how these things changed. One day when I was at my husband's office they offered me an assistant job to his boss, so I thought "why not?" and took it. From then on though I found out how much I loved it and soon rose up the ranks to get my own office and have an assistant myself! This was pretty great, although it did of course create many a headache for when it came to looking after our kids. We first started putting them into childcare which was fine at first. But as time went on and more babies came along, it became more and more expensive to keep our kids there. I soon then was told be somebody at work about the job of an Au Pair, and saying that it would be the perfect job for us to get somebody into our home and look after our kids. Well I didn't like the idea of letting a complete stranger from another country fly all the way to Australia, just to look after our kids and be in our house. But my husband did like the idea, and in a way that I swear only he knows how, he talked me into it and we hired our first Au Pair to come and look after our kids. By that state we only had 3, but it was still something that we really needed to do and it's something we haven't looked back on since. We in fact hire a new Au Pair pretty much every single year, so it does make for excellent work load free stress every time we have one staying with us. But let me tell you about some of our Au Pair's and some of our experiences with them.
The first Au Pair we had was a lovely girl from Germany. She was only young (17 I think) but she was just so nice and friendly. She would be polite about the smallest things and she was fantastic with all our children. She would care for them just like they were her own and she would always ensure that they were clean, fed and happy, all at the same time! She stayed with us for 6 months so it was great to have that experience straight away. I wanted to go for somebody a little bit older next time though as it did almost feel as though we had another child in the house that we had to look after, as being under 18 there were things she couldn't do and needed our 'supervision' in order to do them. We decided that after a few more months when I had another child that we would hire another Au Pair, and this time we went with an older girl in her early twenties from South Africa. She too was lovely although she wasn't the most outgoing of people. She was very quiet and reserved but she still did provide some great entertainment in the house and was great with our kids. She was particularly great with our newborn as she was a mother herself so she knew how to take very good care of our kids. And my oldest son just loved her accent, so it made things really easy around our house when it came to that. As I had more and more children and got further along in my work career, we soon decided to hire Au Pair's more regularly and make them stay for a lot longer. We would pretty much find ourselves with an Au Pair in the house that would then leave and have another one coming to stay with us within a couple of days! It was like the revolving doors of Au Pair's in our house, it was very funny! There were some very memorable Au Pair's though, including an ACTUAL cowboy from America (he was so charming!), and a gypsy from Romania and even someone who claimed to have done some backup dancing for the Spice Girls! You certainly get an eclectic bunch, especially when you do a bit of 'shopping' all around the world!
So in closing, I think that you will see that getting an Au Pair into your house is something that you should easily experience, especially if you are after somebody to take care of your children while you go back to work. It's a great experience for not only you and your partner but also your children as well. My kids have learnt so much over the years from all the different cultures that have been let into our home, and we have even put up a map on our wall that shows all the different countries where our Au Pair's have come from! It's pretty amazing seeing the diversity of the many cultures that have been allowed into our house! And I actually can't even to this day recall any issues we have had with any of our Au Pair's! So what are you waiting for? If you want to get involved then be an Au Pair today! Or at least hire one so that you really can experience the joy of having an Au Pair in your house!
Getting an Au Pair at home for the hard jobs
By Carley Lamble
Our family was no picnic. That goes without saying. To have five children in your household is a real burden sometimes. We had twin newborn babies, a five year old, a seven year old and an eleven year old and I swear it was like Grand Central Station at times, it really was. To add to this, our five year old suffered from Aspergers Syndrome, so that made things a little bit more 'interesting' around the house at times. We would often find ourselves having to really struggle in order to get things fully under control, and it only was about to get worse when I was offered my old job back at my office with double the salary. How could I refuse such an amazing offer? Well the truth was I couldn't, I had to take it, so we then had to work something out so that we could have the kids looked after. We did a bit of research into what was possible and what was available, and we were going to hire a live in nanny from a local agency. The only problem about this was the price. It was extremely expensive to hire one, so much so that we actually couldn't believe that they were willing to charge that much just for somebody to come and live in with you in the local area. So we had to look elsewhere and find another solution. It was around about this time that we discovered the profession of an Au Pair. I had actually never heard of this profession before and neither had my husband, but it intrigued us in to exactly what an Au Pair is and what an Au Pair does. We soon found out that it was essentially a live in nanny that comes from another country, and that you don't actually pay anything to them (except a little bit of 'pocket money' each week) and yo just let them stay in your house for free. It sounded almost too good to be true! We looked around some forums and did some further research and finally decided that hiring an Au Pair was the right way to go. We went through a few different websites and put our names down for people to contact us about becoming an Au Pair for us and we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of responses we actually got straight away. Within a day we had five emails in our inboxes with people expressing an interest in becoming an Au Pair. From those people, 3 were from Austria, 1 was from Italy and one was from South Africa. We made sure we contacted each of them back and we even arranged a few Skype calls with some of them to really get a chance to talk things over with them. It was actually a pretty easy process, and we soon found that the best one for us was a girl called Sam and she was one of the Austrian ones. We made some arrangements for her and she soon booked her flight and prepared to come to Australia.
We met Sam at the airport and straight away we were amazed at her presence. She really had something about her that presented well and she looked like a very well educated person who would be of great help. She in no way came across as somebody who would be demanding and difficult and my god was she polite! We took her back to our place and showed her to her room and let her get a bit settled, while we then made sure our kids were ready to be introduced and the hard work could start. We soon introduced her to our children, and our child with Aspergers didn't really take too well to her, but this really was to be expected. We actually then found out that Sam had some experience working with mentally disabled children during her time at a care centre back home, so she actually handled the situation pretty well. She would give some very special care and instructions to our Aspergers child and although sometimes it failed miserably, other times it actually worked a treat. The big test I knew would be when we had to leave her at home when my husband and I went to work, and that day came sooner rather than later. As soon as we had left I straight away felt a bit nervous, but I really had no need to be as she really did an amazing job! We said that she would only need to work for five hours a day, but when we got home she was still working! She had actually cooked us all some dinner, and all our children were either sleeping or quietly entertaining themselves while she prepared the food for us. It was like I had stepped into a new household altogether, I was so amazed! And you know what? The food that she cooked us was simply AMAZING! It made things all the better just for having her in the house! We had Sam with us for only six months to trial it out, but we asked if she wanted to stay another three months and she accepted! It really was amazing to have here in the house for that amount of time and be able to actually have the assistance there so that we could go through our daily lives and not have too much disruption in it!
So I think that the moral of this story I tell today is for people who are looking at hiring somebody to come in to their house to look after their kids, then definitely consider hiring an Au Pair. It is a fantastic profession that I really think will amaze you at how great it is, and for people out there looking at becoming an Au Pair themselves then I do recommend you put a lot of hard work into your work so that you too can have a glowing review written about you like I have for Sam today! Since I have written this we have even managed to hire a couple more Au Pair's, and while they don't match up to the standards of Sam, they are still fantastic and amazing to have in our house! Give it a go today, you won't regret it!