Dear AuPair Mom– We have a lovely, responsible Au Pair whose parents miss her dearly. They have decided to visit twice (twice!) during the year and want to stay with us in order to maximize their time with their daughter.
I’m apprehensive about the whole thing, because hosting parents is not the same as hosting a sister or a friend.
In the past 5 years, we have welcomed sisters, brothers, and best friends, most without hiccups. Our home is modest in size, so we do feel the extra bodies around. That’s why, when a previous au pair’s parents came to the USA, they preferred to find their own accommodations. Whenever our au pair has someone visiting from home, we host a dinner one night in our house so that we can get to meet each other.
But the thought of hosting her parents staying in our house is worrying me.
I feel a lot more responsible for making her parents feel welcome and comfortable. Even with other kinds of au pair guests it has inevitably ended up feeling like an imposition. I’m concerned that with her parents visiting, my sense of responsibility combined with the feeling that it’s an imposition will make this difficult for me.
In our Family Handbook, we have clear guidelines regarding Out Of Town guests, devised from some suggestions from this board as well as personal experience.
Typically, we accommodate up to two people twice per year for a maximum of one week each time. We also specify details around transportation, food, sleeping arrangements, etc. to make sure these visits go smoothly and don’t impact our family life. It’s begun to feel like a bit much for me to handle. Since it’s in our handbook I don’t think I can take away the privilege this year, but I am considering not offering the option to host Out of Town guests in the future.
I would really love to hear from other host parents who’ve hosted their Au Pair’s parents for a visit.
How have you handled visits from parents?
What should I expect?
How do you host Parents in a way that feels reasonably welcoming but isn’t overwhelming?
Thanks a bunch, WestHostMom