Frances Scher here again…
I’ve been brainstorming this idea lately, and want to get some feedback.
When we first started out hosting au pairs, my husband and I expected to meet a lot of other host families. Then we would know someone who had been down this road before and would be able to give firsthand experience how this form of child care really worked.
Being a host mom (and I am sure also…a host dad) is unique in many ways. You pay your au pair, but they are still part of the family…they take care of your children, but most also are growing from children to adults themselves at the same time…they come from another country and know many things, but still need help navigating this new place….etc. Also, I thought it would be great to make friends within this new to us AP community.
We showed up to our first agency host family event…and we were the only ones there. Several months later, we went to the next one, which combined several other clusters in our large metropolitan area. There were about 8 families there, but everyone was so busy helping their kids with the activities at this place, that I barely was able to even introduce myself to anyone, let alone have a “so how is it going for you as a host mom” conversation.
Now, after several more years of hosting, this pattern still seems to continue.
We recently moved to a new town, and I have finally gotten to know another host mom since our APs are best friends. When we run into each other out in the community, it’s been nice to chat for a few moments about the joys and pitfalls of hosting an au pair. So, that has got me thinking if I could extend this interaction another way…
This Au Pair Mom blog has been so valuable to me as I learned about how to navigate this whole being a host mom thing. But now I am thinking about taking this off line and into Real Life.
It would be nice to spend some time with other host moms just chatting. Maybe we could share more local information, like a good way for au pair’s to get their classes in our city or the perks or rules that other host families in my area have for their APs.
I’ve been a host mom for many years now, so I don’t know how much I would learn from other host moms (I think I would probably be the one giving the advice), but it would still be nice to talk to others who are experiencing the same thing I am.
I know host families are very busy. After all, that is why we all have au pairs. I am imagining sending out a message to other host moms in my area, and seeing if anyone wants to get together as a group for coffee one Saturday morning.
Of course, my big worry is that I will plan this and then no one will show up!
Has anyone else, gotten together with other host families in their area outside of the normal agency get togethers? Have you benefited from another host mom nearby to bounce ideas off of? Are we the only ones who have struggled to meet other host families locally?
Image from Good Reads