About Us

Welcome to AuPairMom.com!

AuPairMom – as a blog and a community — is here to help change the world, one host family at a time. We gather and share advice, insights, tools and support with host moms and dads who want to have a great relationship with their au pairs.

I know a little something about being a host mom.  I’ve had 11 au pairs, some have been wonderful while others… not so much. I have done my best to make each relationship the best it could be. I started this blog to share my own experience and also to get advice from others, so that together we could really enjoy being host parents.

I’m joined on the blog by a community of active commenters, guest bloggers, and readers. As a group we’re committed to keeping this a positive and helpful conversation, even though we gripe from time to time.

You may not agree with the advice that gets shared on the blog, but at the very least you’ll have another perspective to consider along with your own as you manage your relationship with your au pair.

Some basic information:

cv cville color headshotI’m married, straight, feminist, mom-of-a-certain-age, with 2 daughters and a dog. We live in Northern New Jersey in a town full of Starbucks that are full of Au Pairs.  I work half-time as a management professor and consultant, and I write about my academic work at AuthenticOrganizations.com  My expertise in management and psychology as well as my personal politics, values and life experiences all influence my approach to family, caregiving, and au pair relationships.

To respect the privacy of my family’s au pairs, I don’t mention them by name here on the blog. I also use pseudonyms for host moms that I  talk about. And, I generally don’t broadcast my name and address on the blog– I usually go by ‘aupairmom’.

Get in touch with me by emailing mom@aupairmom.com .

Please offer your suggestions, questions, ideas…. let’s get busy!


Carolina September 11, 2008 at 8:32 am

Hi Au Pair mom!

I love your blog! I was an An Pair for 2 years for the same family and I had a great time during my program. I had my own blog where I’d share my experience as an Au Pair and I’d also read blogs from other Au Pairs, but I’d never read any from a host mom! It’s great to see the other side of the experience, and just from reading your blog I can tell you’re a great host mom.

Everything you say is true, you have great ideas (I love the one about sending the new Au Pair a welcome package at the hotel during orientation)!

Keep up with the blog, it’s helpful for many first time host mothers!!!

cvh September 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Hi Carolina-

Thanks for your comments! I’m glad that you had a good 2 years with your family… it makes some of the hard stuff feel more wiorthwile when you know that your au pair has gone home with more good feelings than bad feelings.

I wish I could find a few more Au Pair blogs to link to– I think it would be helpful for host moms to be able to see a little bit of the au pairs’ side of things. If you have any ideas of where I should link and/or look, let me know!

Also, any ideas on how I can find some more host moms? I need to get more conversation rolling on this blog before I run out of ideas!

One last question– is there anything that you wish host moms knew? Maybe a tip for us?
all the best, cvh

Marguerite December 19, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Hi all,
As a counselor ,I appreciate this blog because it helps me to better understand my host parents. I have no difficulty listening to anti-agency and anti-LLC comments. Aupairs are not disninclined to express their issues and families should have equal time. It is also very helpful for me to hear about practices of other agencies.
I would love to hear the candid opinions expressed by aupairs. Recently , an increasing number of aupairs tell me that they are accessing internet sites prior to arrival. I am also told ( by host moms ) that in our locale , a number of aupairs have their own
” independent ” cluster meetings without benefit of counselors. Anyone know anything about this ?
Happy Holidays

Sophie May 3, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Hi AuPairMom,

Being an au pair I often visit your hp to get a different perspective and have – when I had to go on vacation with my first host family for an example – enjoyed reading HM’s concerns and advice so I could adjust my own and in the end hopefully making it much more pleasurable for both my former HF and myself.

I had to change HF after 5 months and am soon ending my year with the 2nd. I am my current HF’s 1st AP and would like to help them in the matching process as they found it very frustrating the first time… I know it will be stressful for my HM who is a single parent and am therefore asking:

… How can your current AP help you match with your next AP?

I am looking for advice on what is HELPFUL and constructive wanting to help but at the same time not confuse or complicate.
– Would a written recommendation/what-a-day-is-like-for-the-HF’s-AP be useful?
– Should I offer to let the AP candidate speak with me on the phone?

As much as I want to help I also want to keep a distance respecting the relationship that my HF and the new AP are building the foundation for during matching and make sure that the new AP and my HF will match because they really “click” in real life – NOT through my accounts on either of them!

Thank you
Sophie, FL

Carrie May 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm

My previous au pairs were under the age of 21 so this was never an issue. Our year is up and we have selected an au pair that is 27 years old. How should we handle the issue of drinking? Given, no drinking and driving, but should we offer a glass of wine if we are having a glass with dinner and she is not going out? How about a beer at a BBQ in our backyard? What about if we take her to a restaurant with us and we order a bottle of wine? Should we share it with her?
Some advice on how you would handle would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Dawn May 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

Carrie, that is completely up to you. In our family, our rules about alcohol are (1) no drinking and driving, no matter what (and including if she needs to call us in the middle of the night to pick her up), and (2) no serving alcohol to under-21 friends. So yes, we do offer her a glass of whatever we might be having, and she’s also welcome to help herself to whatever is in the house, and/or to offer it to friends as long as they are over-21 and they are staying in for the night. But I also know of families who have a strict no-drinking rule, even if their AP is over 21. So as I said, I think it’s ultimately up to you. (But personally it would feel weird to me to tell a 27-year-old that they weren’t allowed to drink, unless we were an entirely alcohol-free household.)

Dawn May 5, 2009 at 10:31 am

Sophie, I think it’s great that you want to help your HF match with their next AP! I don’t think I’d personally want my AP to do something as formal as a written recommendation, but I think that offering to talk to a prospective AP on the phone would be most welcomed by both your HF and the prospective AP. (This can be particularly helpful if the AP speaks your same native language, as it will give her an opportunity to ask questions and absorb the answers without frantically translating in her head!)

I think you’re right on the mark with wanting to be sure that the HF and AP “click” on their own as opposed to through your “mediation.” So my suggestion would be to wait until your HF has one or more APs that they are just about ready to match with before talking to the AP on the phone. Your input can be more of a “final screening” as opposed to happening at the beginning of the process. Mainly, I’d suggest just answering any questions the AP has about the HF, and then later giving the HF your general impressions about her personality, enthusiasm, etc. Of course, you could also ask any specific questions that your HF might suggest.

The other thing that might be helpful is to ask the AP what kind of HF she is looking for, and what kind of AP-HF relationship she is hoping to have, and then letting her (and the HF) know honestly whether you think they’d be a good “fit.” There’s obviously a huge range of “styles” of HF-AP relationships, and if each party has a different expectation, then both will be disappointed. (i.e., some families want an AP who doesn’t spend much time with the family outside of work hours, while some want an AP who is truly a “member of the family,” and the same is true of APs. Obviously an AP who wants more of a “welcome to the family” experience will be unhappy with a more distant family — and the family will struggle with the fact that the AP is “always around.” Or on the flip side, a more “independent” AP may feel overwhelmed by a family that pursues more of a relationship than she wants, and the family may be hurt that she retreats to her room or out with her friends as soon as she’s off duty.)

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