Countdown to One Thousand Posts on AuPairMom

by cv harquail on July 26, 2015

2283005370_d32d079ef4_mSome numbers are big. Some numbers are significant. Some numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

And some numbers are just around the corner.

For me here behind AuPairMom, one number– One Thousand — is rapidly approaching.

One Thoushand is big, significant, and just the tip of the iceberg all at the same time.

“One Thousand” is big because– heck, 1,000 is a lot.  Imagine what you’d do with 1,000 books. 1,000 pairs of shoes. 1,000 friends.

I would never have imagined, back when I started writing AuPairMom, that I might actually get to the point of having written 1,000 posts (not to mention, the resource pages to go along with them).  That is a boatload of words.

“One Thousand”  is a significant number, because you’d expect that after 1,000 posts, we’d have pretty much covered every last topic there is to cover about being a good host parent or a great au pair.

Hahahahah– one thousand laughs on me to even imagine we’d reach the end of our conversation about All Things Au Pair.

But “One Thousand” is especially significant when you think about the sheer amount of words and wisdom attached to those One Thousand posts. It’s an amazing accomplishment.

We’ve been carrying on this conversation for over 7 years. That means thousands of parents helped, thousands of au pairs appeased or encouraged, thousands of LCCs with more context to address issues faced in their clusters, and thousands and thousand and thousands of pages of knowledge for Au Pair Agencies to plow through for ideas about how to support Host Families and Au Pairs more effectively.

Props to me, and props to all of you, for making this happen and keep happening.

“One Thousand Posts” is just the tip of the iceberg.

Underneath this big number are some EVEN LARGER numbers that are rather astounding.  These include:


~ 673,000 users

~ 3.8 million page views*

*yeah, that’s in millions. That number with 6 zeros. Yep, that one.

 And that’s only from October 2008 when I started counting, not from May 2008 when I published the first post.

And then there’s number that always shocks me:

3,000 hours 

The approximate time that I’ve spent writing these posts. ***

Writing them on Sunday afternoons when it’s too hot to garden. On Tuesday nights at a kid’s volleyball practice.  In the middle of a weekday morning when I’ve been avoiding my work work.

Writing when I’ve been inspired by a kindness or horrified by a situation that must be corrected right away. Writing when I’ve wondered if anyone cared. Writing when I’ve thought- why doesn’t an Agency pay me to do this? Continuing to write as other au pair related blogs and sites have sprung up, disappeared, started charging for access, or plundered what I’ve written for posts of their own.

Writing, writing, writing. All the while never calling myself a writer. And darn it, never making the blog into a business.

** Does not include emails read, written or responded to, hours obsessing over emails not sent, time spent reading those 32,300 comments, hours spent anguishing over mean comments or mean emails. Or putting line breaks into very enthusiastic comments.

I mention all of this not because I want accolades (though, hey, bring some on! I’m human!) but because I’m reaching that point when I have to figure out what to do ‘with’ this blog, and what to do ‘about’ this blog.

I’ve never had a end game– or a plan for what to do when the time and energy required for the blog exceeded either what I have to offer or what kind of value I personally am getting from the activity itself. Or both.  I need a plan now.

Not saying this to scare anyone, but more to make myself press forward with some hard choices.

I’m starting to mull over possibilities.  I’ll keep you posted.  (– if you have any thoughts please email me at mom at au pair mom dot com.)

In the meantime as we count down to One Thousand Posts,

—  Take a minute to reflect on what the many moms, dads, LCCs, ARs, and Au Pairs have shared with each of us throughout all of these posts.

— Go check out the list of Previous Posts4502204837_f295c6e405_m and click on a random month to see what treasures are hiding there.

—  Add a random, piquant search term into the Google search box below right, and see what comes up.

One Thousand is a big number, but it’s barely 5%.  

5% of the 20,000 plus readers per month who contribute to the AuPairMom community.

One Thousand hugs to each of you.




Image of Thousands of Sunflowers from Larry Krause, on Flickr



Quirky July 27, 2015 at 7:02 am

Congratulations! I know it’s a labor of love and more work than anyone realizes. This blog is the best resource for AP families available, and I am grateful for all the thoughtful effort you put into it!

Rural host mom July 27, 2015 at 7:15 am

Complete newbie here, getting ready to welcome our first au pair this week! I binge-read the blog the past few months as we worked through the application, interview and match. I appreciate the tone of the conversations, the depth of topics, and the breadth of perspective. I hope I don’t have to revisit some of the more nerve-wracking posts this year but I’ll be glad the blog is here when I do! Thanks!

SeattleHD July 27, 2015 at 11:32 pm

That was us three years ago. It’s worked out great so far :)

Anon again July 27, 2015 at 7:17 am

Thank You CV

Texas5TimeHostMom July 27, 2015 at 9:57 am

Thanks for all you do!

Should be working July 27, 2015 at 10:17 am

CV, this blog is amazing! I don’t like the sound of the words “exit strategy”. If you need more help writing, more guest posts, even more help fielding emails, I’m willing to help and please ask other “regulars” here as well. What would we HPs do without this blog??

AlwaysHopeful HM July 27, 2015 at 11:50 am


Returning HM July 27, 2015 at 11:59 am


TexasHM July 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Ditto, I am in for whatever you need!

Host Mom in the City July 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

A thousand hugs and thank yous to YOU, CV. Without this blog, I would never, ever, ever have been nearly as successful and happy with hosting au pairs as we’ve been. I seriously have no idea what I would have done and I’m sure there are thousands of us who feel that way too. Totally understand that you need to think about the next phase in the life of this blog. Please let us know if we can assist in any way.

WarmStateMomma July 27, 2015 at 11:01 am

2,240 – the number of hours my daughters have spent in the care of amazing APs with whom we’ve had happy, healthy relationships since I found this blog.

What I can’t quantify is the amount of time I haven’t spent agonizing over issues with my APs since I found this blog. The issues with AP#1 actually led me to search for resources and this was the only useful one I found. My husband is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the blog since he no longer has to deal with AP issues or listening to me vent about them to him.

I can’t quite put into words how helpful it is to be able to get advice here from people not connected with the agency. I feel like discussing an issue with an LCC elevates it into an Issue that must be dealt with and I don’t enjoy feeling “managed.” The convenience of being able to get real-world advice anonymously and quickly is easily my best resource as a HM.

It amazes me that one person has put so much into this blog and I am grateful for all that you have done, CV. I’d love to give you a hand – you have my email address.

Taking a Computer Lunch July 27, 2015 at 9:35 pm

OMG – I can’t do the math! But thank you, CV, for being there when AP #5 (the first lousy driver, who scraped a vehicle pulling back out of a pull-in parking spot) tanked on us. I’ve relied on you ever since!!

And thanks to all the other AP HMs & HDs who post – because, quite frankly, what interests me is the variety of opinions – usually well-crafted and usually politely written.

Returning HM July 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

I hosted for four years without aupairmom and now for five years with aupairmom (I found the blog during our time away from hosting, just as we were thinking about coming back). There is no doubt I’m a much better HM in the latter stint of hosting, in large measure because of what I have read and learned here. THANK YOU, CV!

FriendlyConfinesMom July 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for everything! This blog has made all the difference for me in my first year as a host parent and now getting ready for our second AP’s arrival in 3 weeks. This is an amazing resource and community.

Host Mom DMP July 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm

So exciting! Congratulations! I’ve been on “hiatus” from the site for a while (after my kids have “aged out” of the au pair program), and only recently started popping back in. So glad that I’ll be here for this milestone! This site was SUCH an amazing resource and sounding board for me when I was in the thick of things. Can’t wait to see where you take it next!

Multitasking Host Mom July 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…one one thousand, two one thousand…” – Roger Rabbit paraphrasing Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Congrats CV on almost reaching 1000. Such an accomplishment. I have been reading this blog for about five years now…seems like such a long time to me. And when I think where I was back then…and where I am now. Wow! Because of aupairmom and CV…

A. I became a host mom. (Which has been the best form of child care for my children…and me.) I followed this blog for about a year before hosting our first au pair. This helped me decided that hosting au pairs would work for our family, let me know what I was getting into, and prepared me for what was to come.
B. I have the best written handbook (if I do say so myself). But of course I can’t take all the credit, because most of it came from CV’s sample handbook on the blog with liberal updating from things I learned from others on this blog.
C. After a so so year with our first AP, I have gotten much better at picking APs to match with (mostly from using interview questions found on aupairmom…with a few tweaks to make them relevant to our family).
D. I have learned so much and been so supported by everyone here on the blog.

Big Big Thank You to CV for building this wonderful community and creating a forum where we can all learn and have better HF/AP relationships.

And CV if you need any help, I will be glad to do whatever you need. I have some experience with blogs since I am a contributor to two others…purely something I do as a hobby since I love to write. Also, I will email you some thoughts I have about getting a little compensation for all the work you put into this blog.

SeattleHD July 27, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Congratulations and super thanks from me and the family. The blog has been a great resource – a lot of cautionary tales, a lot of support and great experience.

American Host Mom in Europe July 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

“…end game” — how to spark terror in the minds of your many faithful followers, who are regularly reassured, helped, advised, and guided by the wisdom of CV and many other contributors on this site. I’d never even heard of a handbook before reading here! So first — big thank you and kudos to CV for turning this into such great value for so many.

My impression from your post is that the effort is exceeding the value you get back, and you’re trying to figure out where to go with that. It would be such a shame to lose the network of community members here! I have been active in a forum for some years (for English-speaking moms in the country I now call home), and the forum owner was at a similar stage — so she asked a regular, active member (me) to take over as administrator so she could step away for a while. That worked for about 3 years, and then we recently shut the forum down because Facebook groups had become more prevalent and the site wasn’t as active. But it has been a terrible loss for many of us, who don’t post on FB groups because we appreciated the anonymity of the Forum. I think the same would be true of this community. Maybe migrating to a Forum approach with multiple moderators would work? Or stick with this Blog, but with multiple bloggers/administrators? Whatever you decide works best, I’m sure there are many of us who would be happy to help, and happy to follow along with you!

Washingtomom July 28, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Congratulations and thank you for the all the work. I wish I would have come around sooner! My first year as HP would have been much, much easier with the help of the wealth of information here. I like AHMiP idea of different moderators.

CrazyMomof3 July 28, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Congratulations and thank you so much for all of the insights. This is our first time having an au pair as well and your blog is really the only resource on the web we use as a first time host family.

JJ Host Mom July 29, 2015 at 11:43 am

I’m no longer a host mom but wouldn’t have made it through several tough situations without this blog. I know it’s taken you countless hours, CV, and all of us really appreciate all that you’ve put into this blog. You’ve touched countless lives through your work here. I hope you find a way to make it worth your while to keep this community alive.

Newish in NZ July 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Thought this was a timely moment to convey my appreciation – I’ve been reading your blog since we got our first au pair here in New Zealand a year ago. It helped us make the decision to rematch after a couple of rocky months, and we ended up with a fantastic au pair for #2… Advice from our agency alone wasn’t nearly as insightful, valuable, unbiased, useful and encouraging as all the posts and comments I’ve found here, so THANK YOU. Au pair #3 arrived two days ago and I feel so much more empowered and confident and relaxed this time – all down to your advice and your commenters’ valuable input, I reckon.

I’ve never commented before, and I feel a bit like I’ve been taking advantage; taking the goods and not stopping to thank you for them! So – THANKS!

old au pair mom August 2, 2015 at 12:49 am

Thank you, dear one, for all your time, your effort, and your soul. You share like the mom we all want to be. best wishes always

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