“There’s a lid for every pot.”

This wisdom was offered by HRHM four years ago, and it’s stuck with me. I love it because it’s just so TRUE when it comes to au pairs and host families.

No matter how weird unique your family is or how weird distinctive an au pair candidate is, if you meet the basic criteria of being kind, caring and qualified, you’ll eventually find your match.

Despite knowing that who we really are is probably just right for someone, we still traffic in fictions.

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Many of us– especially our first few times through the selection process — go out of our way to present our families and our home situations in the best possible light.  Like the people who take photos of apartment interiors for the New York Times real estate section, we are tempted to use a special lens when we show off our families, a lens that makes everything look prettier, tidier, and more tempting.

Describing only your family’s very best features can create expectations that you can’t live up to.

You set the bar too high, and it doesn’t help. You disappoint not only your au pair, but yourself.

No family can live at their absolute sweetest, easiest and best. Especially if they have kids. Human kids.

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Open Thread: April 19

by cv harquail on April 19, 2014

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 Welcome to our Weekend Open Thread!  

Open threads are for comments on any subject at all, including past posts, things we haven’t posted on, what you’ve been thinking or doing, etc. You can even let me know if there’s a topic you think I should queue up for the coming week.

Have you responded to our  Survey of AuPairMom Readers?
Please give us your ‘official’ feedback

=>   Click Here to Take The Survey!  <=

This thread will be open for a full weekend, from today until the evening of Monday, April 21st, or when we hit 100 comments, or when I get organized because– hey, it’s spring break and I may be busy eating Easter candy.

We’ll open up a new thread on Saturday, April 26th.

Be sure to follow our basic comments policy.

Also, tell me in the comments– is this open thread thing working for you?

 

Threads, Gareth Morgan https://www.flickr.com/photos/19025199@N00/8425203345

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Can you remember back to the first time you ever heard about the Au Pair program?

I can’t remember how I first heard about it (and I think I assumed I knew what an au pair was). But I *do* remember trying to explain the whole concept to my dad. And then to my coworkers, my next-door neighbors, my mother-in-law, and the receptionist at our pediatrician’s office.

Most people who aren’t or haven’t been host parents have no idea what an au pair is.

Because the term itself is French, people jump to two conclusions:

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First, they assume that an au pair is something only snobbish people do, because who else tosses in a french term when an English one will do?

Second, they assume that simply translating the term into English explains the whole thing.    [click to continue reading ...]

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When Your Au Pair Works a Second Job, As an ‘Escort’

by cv harquail April 16, 2014
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There are some ‘random, crazy and true’ au pair stories that seem like urban myths … … The Fox in the Henhouse, the au pair who disappears two days after she arrives, and of course, the au pair who gets a second paid gig in the ‘tourism industry’. When I first heard stories about au […]

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Concerned Student Seeks Study Participants

by Admin April 14, 2014

Dear Au Pair Moms, In two weeks, as part of my senior (undergraduate) research project, I need to present an analysis of the needs of AuPairMom readers. I’m very excited about what I’ve learned so far about the AuPairMom community, but I have a big problem:   I don’t have enough data. Fewer that 100 […]

33 comments Read the full article →

Open Thread: April 11

by cv harquail April 12, 2014
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 Welcome to our Weekend Open Thread!   Open threads are for comments on any subject at all, including past posts, things we haven’t posted on, what you’ve been thinking or doing, etc. You can even let me know if there’s a topic you think I should queue up for the coming week. Have you responded […]

95 comments Read the full article →

The Academically-Ambitious Au Pair: Options for serious education during an Au Pair Year

by cv harquail April 11, 2014
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The education requirement for au pairs can be a bit of a fig leaf. The requirement makes Au Pairs “look like” exchange students for the purposes of Homeland Security and Immigration, even while the au pairs are here for what amounts to a full-time job.   Most of the time, an au pair’s education is […]

35 comments Read the full article →

What Au Pair Agency Selection Process Works Best For You?

by cv harquail April 9, 2014
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A guest post comparing Cultural Care and GoAuPair, by MultiTaskingHost Mom On AuPairMom we spend a lot of time sharing tips for matching with an AuPair. It makes sense that we focus on the interview questions, how to evaluate experience in a certain skill, and how to interpret the vibe given by the potential au […]

74 comments Read the full article →

Photographing Host Children: What’s appropriate to shoot, and what’s appropriate to share?

by cv harquail April 7, 2014
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All children are beautiful. When we, our au pairs, our families, and our friends see our beautiful child, it’s oh-so-tempting to try to hold that image of beauty still, to want to preserve it as a memory forever. When we adore these children, when we are proud of them, when we love them, we want […]

42 comments Read the full article →

Open Thread: April 5th

by cv harquail April 5, 2014
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Welcome to our Weekend Open Thread!   Open threads are for comments on any subject at all, including past posts, things we haven’t posted on, what you’ve been thinking or doing, etc. You can even let me know if there’s a topic you think I should queue up for the coming week. Just be sure […]

122 comments Read the full article →