What has happened in the last year that’s helped you learn to be a better host parent? Or if not “better”, just a wee bit wiser?
if you’re like most of us, you’ve felt delighted, relieved, frustrated, annoyed, grateful, and more — all because of your relationship(s) with your au pair(s).
As part of our families and as members of our households, but even more as partners in caring for our children, au pairs see us as we cycle through our worst and our best. And, our relationships with them influence how we experience our children, our parenting, our homes, and our dreams.
Our relationships with our au pairs can be windows into our understanding of ourselves as parents, spouses, family members, friends, and sojourners — if we choose to make them so.
Given that our host parent – au pair relationships influence us anyway, we can get a little extra insight about ourselves by reflecting on how our relationships unfolded over the year. While for so many of us it’s important to set new goals and strive to do better, it also helps to spend a little time understanding what’s already happened so that we might learn from it.
In that spirit, and with personal growth in mind, here are some questions to help you capture some insights from this past year with your au pair(s):
1. What was the most challenging part of your host parent- au pair relationship this year?
2. What caused the single biggest positive energy boost in your au pair relationship?
3. What was the best way that you used your one-on-one time with your au pair this year?
4. What were you able to let go of, and feel okay about letting go of, to improve your host parent – au pair relationship?
5. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally through your relationship with your au pair?
6. At what point(s) did you consciously reassess your expectations of your au pair and of yourself? (How) Did this help?
7. What was the biggest change in your relationship with your au pair over the year?
8. What was an unexpected delight regarding your au pair this year?
9. What was an unexpected challenge for you as a host parent of this particular au pair?
10. How did your experience as a host parent contribute to your relationship with your child/ren?
11. (If you’ve been a host parent before:) How did you put into practice this year your experience as a host parent with previous au pairs?
(If this is your first time as a host parent:) What was your first surprise about how having an au pair *really* works?
12. What was the best thing that you did for yourself to improve your host parent – au pair relationship?
I hope that you can take a moment or two or three just to think over this one relationship over this one year, and see how you’ve grown as a result of it. If any of your responses tickle you, or generate some insights you’d like to share, please add them in the comments.
Have a happy and sweet new year.
Image: This sweet owl pillow was made by The Sometime Crafter from a pattern by Badbird. Check out The Sometime Crafter blog for project ideas, patterns and tutorials — especially if you have a crafty au pair.