A few weeks ago I raised the question: How Have Au Pair Host Parents -As A Group- Changed Over Time? BeachTown HostMom wrote to pose the other side of the question —
(How) Have Au Pair expectations changed over time?
I’ve started to noticed some changes in the au pair community and wondered if you or others have noticed as well.
The situation: We’ve been a “successful” host family for many years now. We’ve had what is considered great matches with great au pairs. And for the most part we’ve been very happy. We’ve met some great young ladies. We’re been attempting to match with our newest au pair for the past couple months through one of the large Au Pair Agencies and I’m beginning to reconsider: …is any of the pain associated with hosting an au pair worth it?!?!
This is a surprising realization for me, since our family hasn’t had to deal with any major au pair issues. No car accidents, no rematches, no stealing….
Every year that passes the expectations of the au pairs I encounter seem to grow. They all seem to know someone who knows someone who got “x.” “X” gets bigger and more elaborate every year.
And I get it (and have seen it written on aupairmom before!) [cv note: this post from…2008: Host Family Advice: Resist the Amenities Arms Race].
Manage your au pair’s expectations. Yada yada yada.
I’m not sure if I can afford to pay more to keep up with au pair expectations.
We live in a beach town, au pair has a car, au pair has a private suite, only has to work weekday hours with a consistent schedule, etc… and yet… that appears to be too much for most young women I reach out to interview.
I’ve been told by multiple au pairs that they would not consider a family that did not live in NYC, Florida or California, three kids was too many, other families were paying more than the stipend, etc.
Entitlement, defn: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
All of this entitlement has put the spot light of some of the reasons I really dislike the program. I’ve had to “break in” every au pair to remind her that kids are hard work. Every single Au Pair has needed to be reminded that independent use of the car is a privilege and not a right.
I appreciate that there will be people that say this is a great way to weed out bad au pairs. Driving, weak English, culture shock, homesickness. None of these are the major issues frequently discussed by the large Au Pair Agency we’ve worked with …they are just normal issues associated with hosting an au pair.
Basically, I’m tired. I only have some much energy at the end of the day. I like the idea of the program, but I’m not sure anymore. Combine that with the complete lack of help from the agencies (our LCCs have been no help. The Agency matching coordinators have’t helped much either). And that’s a shame.
Our family is well suited for hosting au pairs, but we don’t want to be a part of a program anymore when the “me me me” attitude just seems to be growing.
Is anyone else noticing a growing sense of entitlement?
The au pairs we’ve had have been great, but it’s a lot of work for us to get everything to hang together. (It’s been tough for the au pairs too).
Combine this with how few decent applicants I’ve seen and I think the program is gong to squeeze out good host families.
I myself have just signed up for a local nanny agency and afterschool care.
Then the program will really only be left with all the bad host families that all of the au pairs seem to complain about.
Experienced Host Parents, what do you think?