Weekend concerns of Au Pairs

Many of my recent conversations with families interested in the Au Paire Care program have included a common question – what will happen on the weekends, or in the evening?  Will our au pair spend all her time with us? Or will she be out with her friends all the time?   This is an understandable concern, yet one that families and au pairs of Au Paire Care usually find easy to navigate.
Our personal experience with Mia has been just this – we’ve had many au pairs visiting our home for short periods of time, but did not know what it would be like to have our first au pair from Au Paire Care living with us.  In just the first weekend, it became clear that she valued her space, but was always sure to include our family in her plans and thoughts.  Thus it is important to maintain a right balance. Neither should you involve Au pair too much in your activities that you don’t give them their own time nor you should leave them completely out that they should feel alienated. It is better to ask them directly if they have their own plans or if they would like to get involved in your plans.
In a typical week, Mia may attend one of our kid’s soccer or softball games and generally eats dinner with us.  Most nights, we chat over dinner and share our day, and then she heads upstairs to shower, Skype with family, or watch TV.  On the weekends, we let her know what our plans will be and offer for her to join on anything she would like.  We don’t spend much time together on the weekends, but we often share a meal or activity and she knows she is always welcome.
This easy going approach has been the perfect match for all of us.  We make sure that Mia is aware of events in the area that would be fun for her and do what we can to facilitate her getting the most of her experience.  If anything, the weekend/evening question has actually been a good thing for our family.  We plan a little more, take advantage of more local events and get the rich experience of seeing our everyday life through Mia’s eyes – something that brings as much joy to our family as it does to her. We face problems with our family too and should not feel Au pair case as a special one and should treat things on same merit. 

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