Au Pair Appreciation: Showing our sons the way

by cv harquail on May 2, 2009

International Au Pair Appreciation Week

As shared by a Host Family

Our Swedish, male, au pair is a wonderful addition to our family. We wanted a young man from the start. Our very active 9-year-old twins need to have a high-energy au pair who can manage and channel their energy into positive activities. Daniel is self-assured, driven, extremely responsible, with a wonderful sense of humor, the perfect addition to our family.

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One evening upon arriving home from work, my son met me at the door dressed in a dinner jacket; he told me to close my eyes and then led me upstairs where I found my husband, who had the same treatment by our other son, Matthew. We were lead downstairs where Daniel and the boys had cooked us a gourmet dinner including hasselbackspotatis, a Swedish baked potato. The table was set beautifully with candles. It was a very special night and the boys were very proud of their accomplishment since it was the first time they had ‘cooked’ for us.

Daniel is great at getting the boys involved in activities and teaching Swedish culture. He spends time talking about how his life is in Sweden and explains things he did when he was the age of the boys.

He joins all our family gatherings and everyone considers him part of our family.

Our whole family agrees we have the best au pair ever, and Daniel says he has the best host family ever. It is a perfect fit. Daniel will go on with his life after the year with us is over, but I know that we will always be his "family" in America and he will always be the Swedish arm of our family.

— The Bennett Family

{ 6 comments }

pdxmama May 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I have thought about a male au pair for our three boys (eventually), but my husband is not so crazy about the idea. My boys are now 1, 3 and 5. I would love to hear from AP host families who have had male APs and what your experiences have been like and if the experiences have differed from those with female APs.

We live in such a climate of

CV May 3, 2009 at 1:22 am

pdxmama– a post about mannies is coming up this week :-)

Becky May 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I am the Host Mom who wrote the story above about Daniel, our Au Pair. We love having a male au pair. I got a lot of raised eyebrows from friends when I said we were going to get a male. Some of my friends said I was crazy and they would ‘never’ consider a male. All I can say is if you don’t even consider male au pairs then you are missing out on a wonderful experience for your guys – the kids and the relationship between your husband and your au pair. It is much more of a ‘big brother’ experience and exactly what my nine year olds need. I never had any doubts or concerns, just making sure th personality was right. I also think having a male au pair helps gets my husband more involved in the whole process rather than all the burden falling on me. It definetely breaks the mold of what men think of what an au pair should be, when I tell co-workers (men) that we have a Swedish Au Pair, they get this look and little smile (the classic young Swedish Girl picture) then I say it is a guy . . . pop goes the bubble. I think even if you have both girls and boys there is a lot a male au pair can bring to your family. It has been a wonderful experience for us.

Dawn May 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Becky, I loved reading your story. I actually thought about getting a male AP the last time we were matching — and I have two boys and a girl. I did have a momentary thought about whether it was “safe” to trust a male AP to care for my daughter, but then I thought, “that’s a bit sexist — I didn’t think twice about trusting female APs with my boys!” We saw a few great male APs while we were in the matching process, but ultimately we decided not to match with any of them — not because they were male, but just because their only experience was with older kids, and I wanted someone with toddler experience.

Jillian May 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm

This is such a sweet story, thanks for sharing!

AuPairCare May 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Thanks so much for picking up a story about one of our wonderful host families! Daniel was a runner up for our Ultimate Au Pair story for 2009 thanks to his great host family, the Bennetts.

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