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Hiring an Au Pair

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience hiring/hosting au pairs?

My wife is pushing us to make a change in our childcare arrangements and to have an au-pair for the next year.

We currently have a live-out Nanny who has been with us for 5 years. She takes good care of our kids but has become complacent over the years. I know the kids are safe and cared for (we get unsolicited feedback from friends and aquaintences regularly) but she is lazy and I am positive it is time to make a change.

Going with an au-pair has positives and negatives. The positives are it will cost approximately half as much as I am paying now. If we choose well we will have someone who will want to be active with the kids and play with them regularly etc. And we will have someone who is willing to help out with little things around the house that our nanny has been avoiding doing lately.

The negatives are I am not sure about having someone live with us and I am not sure I am ready to basically be a parent to a 19-20 yr old girl. (I thought I'd have over 10 yrs before I'd have to deal with that). As well as after one year they leave and we start over again.

Does anyone have any experiences they can share or advice? (besides the anticipated response of make sure she's hot, etc etc.)
post #2 of 36
Make sure she's super hot.

You won't be the one getting with her...but you would be doing your community a huge disservice if you did not bring over a super hot au pair.
post #3 of 36
I have several friends who worked as au pairs, and out of the 6 I can think of only one who didn't sleep with the father. I know its a cliche, but having a young, broody female in a house where there is a successful, powerful father figure who is not unavailable (because of the incest taboo) is a genuine risk. "faithfulness" can only overcome the will of horny teenage girl for so many months.

Having said that; a good choice of au pair who is maybe a little older, on a short term basis (one year) can make for a good experience. Someone to help around the house and to be on-call 24/7. Worst case scenario is that you find you hate the whole experience and decide to switch back to a semi-permanent sitter.
post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

I have several friends who worked as au pairs, and out of the 6 I can think of only one who didn't sleep with the father. I know its a cliche, but having a young, broody female in a house where there is a successful, powerful father figure who is not unavailable (because of the incest taboo) is a genuine risk. "faithfulness" can only overcome the will of horny teenage girl for so many months.
Having said that; a good choice of au pair who is maybe a little older, on a short term basis (one year) can make for a good experience. Someone to help around the house and to be on-call 24/7. Worst case scenario is that you find you hate the whole experience and decide to switch back to a semi-permanent sitter.

I won't mention the first part of your response to my wife. Although, if she was worried about that there is no way she would have hired our current nanny.

Regarding the second part, I think we are both looking at the situation similar to how you put it. We think someone who is a couple of years older would be better. If we hate it, it only has to last for a year.
post #5 of 36
Holy shit, I've gotta get an au pair.

No srsly, I'm looking forward to replies to this thread, as we are in a similar boat. Considering one.

A friend of ours who has had several (they stay for 1 year I guess) (and this is the wife, btw) said specifically you want a hot one. You want one who goes out at night and has a life outside of the home, within reason, rather than the slovenly homely one who wants to sit on the sofa all weekend in her sweats with a tube of pringles.

That's the only real data point I have. Her husband was winking and giving a thumbs up behind her back while she was saying all this as well as some gesture where he was putting his fist near his face and pushing his tongue out one cheek but I'm not sure what all that meant.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post

I have several friends who worked as au pairs, and out of the 6 I can think of only one who didn't sleep with the father. I know its a cliche, but having a young, broody female in a house where there is a successful, powerful father figure who is not unavailable (because of the incest taboo) is a genuine risk. "faithfulness" can only overcome the will of horny teenage girl for so many months.

My wife was an au pair when she was a teenager and you made me run through my memory quickly. Thankfully, she was in a home that was only a doctor mother and daughter biggrin.gif

Anyway, it could be a great situation. My wife was a great candidate as she was smart, attentive, well-behaved and responsible. Her household had strict rules and she adhered to them. I don't know what the candidate pool is like but I prefer to think that many are of the same mindset.

I just wrote a letter of recommendation today for a young guy that wants to be an au pair in the US. Naturally, he said that he's facing an uphill battle since he's a guy. However, he has experience taking care of his siblings and took his zivil-dienst at a kindergarten and has worked there for over a year. If I had children, I'd trust him to take care of them.

Those are only two close examples that I have, but you are bringing a 19/20 year old into your house. You can imagine what could happen in that type of situation including drunken nights and drama. You're honestly not hiring a professional which is part of the reason it's half the cost. I would say that you should be prepared to take charge and enforce the rules of your house from day 1. If you don't think you can do that, pass on the idea. If you can, you're on your way to making it a rewarding experience.
post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansderHund View Post

...but you are bringing a 19/20 year old into your house. You can imagine what could happen in that type of situation including drunken nights and drama. You're honestly not hiring a professional which is part of the reason it's half the cost. I would say that you should be prepared to take charge and enforce the rules of your house from day 1. If you don't think you can do that, pass on the idea. If you can, you're on your way to making it a rewarding experience.

We have no issues creating rules and enforcing them, particularly my wife. I also think after researching online we'd be a good family to work for. Reading what some families admit to regarding how they treat their au-pairs was shocking. As long as they are appreciative and take good care of the kids we are very generous. That is the issue with our current nanny. All she does is complain about stupid trivial issues. We give her a lot of leeway and freedom and all we hear are complaints. She will be in for the shock of her life when she goes to work for a new family!

We have had a few phone interviews with candidates so far and have mixed reactions. We have a skype interview scheduled for tomorrow morning with yet another candidate.
Edited by topcatny - 8/16/12 at 6:09pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by topcatny View Post

We have no issues creating rules and enforcing them, particularly my wife...

bounce2.gif
post #9 of 36
when our kids were younger we went through 4 or 5 au pairs over a 6 or seven year period. BTW, they can extend their term by a year which is a nice option if things are working out well. Although now that I think about it maybe the second year was not part of the formal program...but it's quite common. It's almost impossible to get an accurate sense of the au pair from the phone interview and application. It really is hit or miss. We were given advice to request someone from Brazil...warm, outgoing, active people with a strong family-oriented culture. In general I found this to be true. I wouldn't worry about them moping about the house...the au pairs tend to socialize together. The only major issue we had was one au-pair totaled a car....she rear-ended a truck at a stop light. After that we modified rules about how late she could stay out with the car. Also we took one au pair with us on vacation....that was a mistake. And try to select somebody that is a but older and has lived on their own away from their family. Good luck!
post #10 of 36
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidboy View Post


Lol! A manny is definitely not an option!
post #12 of 36
I had three different ones take care of me when i was young. One put my head through a wall (can't remember what I did) and the other crashed our car heh. Third one was a young french lesbian from Grenoble. I really wish I'd been old enough to really appreciate what that meant bc I do remember he showering with her friend once lol. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

Anyway, choose carefully.
post #13 of 36
I'd rather have a male one - seriously, I don't need a hot teenage girl running around my house.


my boss has been using them for more than 10 years, she's happy with her agency. if you want a contact pm me.


they also seem to hang out in groups - I bet if you went to a park you could find a group of au pairs and ask them about their agency.
post #14 of 36
^ very different here with hired nannies, having your traditional au pair is very alien to us.. its an interesting concept.
post #15 of 36
I've had an Aupair for 4 years. Contact
Me and I can give you all the information and advice you need. Email me at pamelaann1013@yahoo.com
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