Host Parent Confidential: Who do you confide in about your au pair relationship challenges?

by cv harquail on March 11, 2014

Supposedly, The best way to stay motivated is to tell people about your goal.

il_570xN.556454003_29ouSupposedly, The best way to get new insights is to talk about your problem with other people who have different perspectives.

So if you want to stay motivated to work on your relationship with your au pair, and you want to get different perspectives, who do you confide in?

Sure, we get to ‘talk’ with each other about au pair host parent stuff here on this blog, but that’s not the same as having someone you can telephone, or someone you can take out to Starbucks, or someone who can keep track of your own specific situation over time.

When we got our first au pair, I was lucky to have my best friend Jenny to call for advice. Even though she was miles away and never (sadly) met our first au pair, Jenny knew me well enough to listen beyond what I was saying and to offer me a new perspective.

Is there someone you talk to about your goals as a host parent?  

Or someone you talk with about being a better host parent?

… Even if you already know this, have experienced it a dozen times, hear yourself telling it to others, you’re likely to forget when it’s you right there in the thick of it. Leave it to say, it’s best to have someone else there with you sometimes. Which is why we always love to remind folks – hey, you don’t have to do this alone. ~ Jollana Shore

Who’s out there with you, helping to keep you focused, sane and optimistic?

{ 51 comments }

TexasHM March 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Other awesome host moms! NNTexasHM on here is a friend that lives nearby and over the last 3+ years she has been an amazing and supportive ear. I found that having a couple other host moms to go to lunch with every month or two and chat in the same tone as this blog (we all know that we want to have better relationships and thats why we are there) and being able to take it that one step further and offer local support (aka her new AP is a weak driver, I offer to have her ride along with my AP who is a great driver for a couple days). Over time each of us has been at the top of the mountain and the bottom of the valley. Luckily we have each cycled through so when somebody hit bottom the rest were there and available to support. We also tend to use this site as a resource (I often look things up at lunch while we are talking and send links) and we are able to bounce decisions and new ideas off each other before applying them so we get the real time aspect that way (vs emailing CV and waiting or posting onto threads). This is why I hope we can build profiles and contact each other on this site going forward – I feel like it takes an already awesome foundation and gives it a local shot in the arm. Plus the more HMs I know the more APs I know and the more introductions can be made and everyone wins. Building community!

AlwaysHopeful HM March 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I’m curious– are the HMs you know in your cluster, or did you know them outside of your hosting life? I ask because I would love to connect with some families in our cluster (I think?), but I don’t know where to begin!

To answer the original question, I talk through issues with my friends, but none are host families, so it’s not the same.

TexasHM March 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm

The first host mom I met was not in our cluster, but the area we live in is a tight knit suburb so everyone knows Kevin Bacon and when we introduced our AP to someone they mentioned knowing another family that had an AP. I immediately asked them for that persons contact info and I reached out asking if I could buy her lunch. We did it a couple times and then the next friend NNTexasHM was a new host mom joining our agency and she asked if she could talk to a current host family and got me, I invited her to join for lunch and the rest is history. Any time someone says they know someone that has an AP I just ask to reach out. I do the same thing with APs that crash over or come by. If they seem to have a nice family I ask if I can contact their host mom and get together.

TexasHM March 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

So, to be fair, we are not a large group by any stretch. For the most part its just the three of us that I mentioned. We have had a couple others come once or twice but like you said, either left the program or didn’t have the right mindset (constructive remember?) so they got fed up with us. :) This is why I am begging CV to let us have profiles and reach out so I can find more of you! It would also be cool to travel swap but I am WAY getting ahead of myself there. AKA – I feel like I know some of you and if you told me you had an awesome AP that really wanted to visit TX I would be open to the idea of hosting them for a weekend if my AP can come to wherever you are for a weekend, etc. Like I said – WAY ahead but stuff I think about.

OHM March 12, 2014 at 1:31 am

I think this is a GREAT idea!

Multitasking Host Mom March 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

“AP that really wanted to visit TX I would be open to the idea of hosting them for a weekend if my AP can come to wherever you are for a weekend, etc.”

Go Au pair agency offers a program similar to this. The host families are just asked to provide a place to stay (it sounded to me that it could be an air matress or a couch if you do not have a spare bedroom) and provide breakfast in the morning (once again could be casual). The host family can sign up if they want to participate (ie it is completely optional), and the au pairs are given a list of those who said they would open up their homes and can make the arrangements on their own. We never tried it, but it sounds interesting. One of the reasons we host is because we like meeting people from different cultures. Plus, I could see it being a big benefit to the APs since they save the cost of a hotel when traveling.

Host Mom in the City March 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

That is so cool. I would definitely be interested in this.

Momma Gadget March 12, 2014 at 10:11 am

This is a great idea! Although I think I like the idea of the AP exchange better since you know that you are opening up your home to another trusted AP.
Either is a much safer option than the “couch surfing” one of my previous APs used to do!

TexasHM March 12, 2014 at 11:15 am

Totally agreed. I wouldn’t want to just sign up to host anyone, I would want it to be a win/win in the form of AP travel exchange plus I know you ladies vet well. ;) This round I stayed in touch with a couple candidates we really liked that either matched with another family or the timing wasn’t right and I already connected my AP with those APs in the hope that they could arrange it but if I knew a couple host families in other AP attractive areas I would think this would be an awesome perk to joining our family. ;)

Taking a Computer Lunch March 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Most of my APs have stayed for free in other cities using CouchSurfing.com when they haven’t traveled specifically to visit a friend from home working in another city as an AP, APs from our cluster who have gone into rematch elsewhere, or visited family friends who live in other cities.

Emerald City HM March 11, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Mostly just HD, so not entirely helpful. I did get most of my handbook from a co-worker who has hosted two au pairs. I’ve also run some things by another (previous) host mom, but not a whole lot, just a few email exchanges. Most of the host parents I meet host for a year or two and then stop for various reasons.

It would be great to be have a nearby community of host parents to reach out to, and our AD does give us that info, but I guess I’m just too shy (along with being too busy) to pull the trigger and actually reach out. I kinda stink at making real life friends and all.

I’d love some helpful tips on actually starting something similar to what TexasHM does.

Old China Hand March 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I have a similar problem – mostly I talk with HD. Our AP has made good friends with someone else who has kids similar in age to mine and she is also Chinese, so I talk with her sometimes about specific things. But mostly I need other people to talk with. There is another family in town considering getting an AP (also from China!) and I’m looking forward to having them in the program. I talk with my mom sometimes.

Emerald City HM March 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I tried talking to my mom a few times, but I soon figured out she doesn’t really understand the spirit of the program.

Momma Gadget March 12, 2014 at 12:57 pm

My Mom is so jealous of whatever nanny/au pair we have had that she looks for things to criticize whatever childcare choice we’ve made… even though she knows deep down she couldn’t handle the boys ( or living with me) on a permanent basis.
My sister is a bit more helpful since she did watch them when they were younger. But even she does not understand the new challenges that teenagers present to childcare, or the nuances of the ap program.

Host Mom X March 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm

It is funny you say that! I have tried to explain the “spirit” of the program to my mom and others of her generation, and there often is really a block there. They always ask questions, when I am describing a hard week with the kids or the baby keeping us up all night, or something, like – “can’t the AP do that? Isn’t that what you have an AP for? Why not just have her get up with the baby at night so you can sleep a little?” Or – “when my best friend had an AP for her kids, the AP used to sleep in the bedroom with the kids – can’t you do that?” I think the State Department sponsored program that we all use started in the ’80s? So I assume my mom is thinking of what she must consider the “good old days” when APs were not regulated, and families just negotiated (or coerced) whatever terms they could with some “nice young woman from Germany” who was “just so sweet” and “never seemed to mind sleeping on a mat on the floor in the kids’ room.”

My mom also never had full time child-care. She either stayed home with me and my siblings when we were very young, or worked part time and had part time babysitters or other family members care for us / fill in the gaps. So I sometimes think that her comments come from fantasies of what her life could have been like had she had an AP in her home/ at her disposal (my mom raised us as a single mom for the most part).

Should be working March 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I thought I wrote a comment…maybe I got distracted.

The only 2 local families we know (through kids/school) with au pairs are not good interlocutors for me. One does it without an agency and the other treats their au pairs in ways I find unconscionable. Once in a while I notice a young woman I don’t recognize dropping off kids at school and ask if she’s an au pair, and she is. But maybe my kids are old enough that I don’t meet the families of the other kids so much, so I don’t even know who has an AP.

Host Mom in the City March 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm

No one :( I don’t have any friends that host au pairs. I know a few people that do in the area, but not well enough to confide in or even bounce ideas off of. I would love if our LCC encouraged host parent community as much as she does au pair community. I would really like someone IRL that I could discuss issues or concerns with or just commiserate with. I’ve found that if you haven’t hosted, you really can’t understand the experience even enough to give minor advice or sympathy. It’s such a different relationship! How do you all find your fellow host mom friends?

TexasHM March 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Ok CV feel free to edit me if I am hogging this conversation. :) So, there are other families in our cluster that I haven’t invited to lunch. I usually asked our LC about the other families and she was pretty good about letting me know which ones she felt like had their hearts in the right place and she vocally steered me away from a couple. We also have the geo challenge. The city we live in is HUGE and very spread out so the families in our new cluster (we changed to Interexchange recently) are all on the other side of the metroplex so I am going to have to get creative. I have recently started (thanks in part to our current awesome AP that everyone is impressed with) reaching out to friends and families from school and sports that I think would be awesome host parents and I am trying to recruit my own cluster. LOL I completely agree with above, I tried talking to parents (they are too close and get offended and tend to say fire them!) and non hosting friends (takes too much time to explain the rules and spirit etc) and the LC at the time (brand new) so my desperate plea to that other host mom was my lifeline (aside from this site of course). Unfortunately I think good families get spooked off by not so great family and AP stories they hear in the community so its really hard to find like minded awesome HFs to commune with. I already told my main two that they are never allowed to leave the program and even if they do I will still call them!

WarmStateMomma March 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

TexasHM – There are only two cities that fit this description. I live in the bigger one. Do you? I don’t know any other HPs because our current agency only had 1 other HF and they live an hour away. AP#2 arrives next week (!!!) and she’s with APC, which supposedly has 4 clusters in our metro area.

TexasHM March 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

LOL well just like most things about TX its up for debate and depends on where you draw the lines. We are in DFW.

WarmStateMomma March 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Bummer. We aren’t in DFW. I’m hoping to meet some like-minded HPs through the new agency. At the very least, the new agency has a real LCC in the area who has already been helpful.

Multitasking Host Mom March 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm

The last three host family events we showed up at (our agency normally hosts two a year), we were the only family that came. I was actually really disappointed! I would love to meet other host families in my area, but it never seems to workout. Everyone just seems too busy…which might be why they need au pairs in the first place;) I have thought about trying to set something up through meetup.com since I found a great working moms group through that site (although they all use different types of child care, and it is not the same as hosting an au pair.)
So to answer the above question…it is mostly just my husband who I discuss au pair issues with. And he is nice enough to at least pretend to listen.

Emerald City HM March 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

Our agency hosts one a year and it’s usually (all?) 3 clusters in the area. I find I’m too busy chasing my kids around to actually talk to other host parents, so while there are plenty of families there I haven’t found it to be a helpful arena to really meet other host parents.

Some of the issue where I live might be having to get past the “Seattle Freeze”. Also, Seattle is kind of tricky for meeting up anyway. Both traffic and parking are pains in the rear.

Momma Gadget March 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

2 weeks into our first AP, we, with all our newbee optimism and rose colored glasses, went to our first HF event. The very first family we spoke with was disgruntled , and (understandably)angry because their AP lay on the couch for her first 2 days after arrival, until a limo pulled up and took her away ( never to be seen again). This kind of shell shocked us. LOL.
These events are usually held at a church near the LC, and are generally geared towards the younger kids- face painting, petting zoos, and crafts involving a lot of glitter. We spend most of the time at these meetings fending off our pre/teens’ eyerolls and whining “can we go yet”; or, watching out the window to make sure that they are not skateboarding over people’s cars in the parking lot .( I’m exaggerating just a bit to paint the picture).
For some reason we are never at the same HF events as the families that actually live close to us. We usually sign in, greet our LC, eat a cupcake, wave to the few HFs that look familiar as they chase by after their toddlers, and then leave.
I do wish there were a local monthly coffee clatch of HM’s I could meet up with.

Host Mom in the City March 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Exactly. I’ve found the host family/au pair events to be pretty useless. Everyone’s running after kids and no one really seems to want to actually hook up. I would love to have regular meetings of the other host parents in the cluster and Facebook groups like the au pairs get :) I wonder why LCCs don’t do this?

Any LCCs want to weigh in and let us know?

Dorsi March 13, 2014 at 11:27 am

EmeraldCity: Ahh…. the Seattle Freeze. I know it too well.

I try to keep my location separate from my username on this blog (paranoia about my AP finding me), but this thread motivated me to reach out. I expected, 5 years ago, when we started in the program that we would naturally come to know lots of families. I have met exactly 0 through the agency.

I would love a kaffeeklatsch or wine&whine. Drop me an email: HMDorsi @ gmail.com (created just for this opportunity!) and we could set something up. I know that there is at least one other Emerald City mom on here — this invite is good for anyone in the greater Sound. I’ll coordinate if you reach out.

Seattle Mom March 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I was going to suggest the same thing :) – a coffeeklatsch or whine & wine would be great. I’ll send you an email.

I sometimes feel like I really need to talk to someone about an issue I’m having and come up short. I talk to DH but he doesn’t think about these things as much as I do, it’s not that interesting to him. My cousin has older kids and used to have an AP, but now that her kids are all out of the house and she’s 13 years older than me I don’t know if she’d really want to talk to me… and we aren’t that close anymore, as she lives on the east coast.

I know a family nearby with an AP who I enjoy seeing at meetings, they are both in my cluster and in the same religious group (that we both rarely attend)… but we’re all so busy. I would at least try to hook up our APs (since our older daughters are the same age) but their older DD is in full-time preschool, and their younger kid is too young for my kids. And I have two local friends who are considering APs… interestingly both of their DHs have reservations about the program.

Seattle Mom March 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

BTW I’m thinking about a name change, because I don’t want my AP to find me on here either. I can’t keep myself from blabbing other details. Maybe I’ll change to ex-DCist or something.

CAHostMom March 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I love this idea too!! Happy to coordinate for So California host parents as well. Feel free to reach out if you are interested: acahostmom[at]gmail.com

Old China Hand March 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I was looking forward to our one and only host family event of the year, but our LCC organized a trip to an outdoor concert that was so crowded we couldn’t get in (she gave us credit anyway) and wouldn’t have been a forum for meeting people. I was really disappointed as I wanted to meet other families.

Momma Gadget March 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm

We don’t even know any families that have APs in our town. We have met other families in our cluster though the HF event requirement, but our children are so much older than the rest of the families in our cluster, that our issues are quite different. At our LCs request, I once spent a lot of time talking to a new HF that was considereing hosting. Aside from the fact the we had little in common, the HM ended up being neurotic, and unreasonable/mean towards her AP. Our LC has been great as far as being a sounding board… I doubt we would have survived the program this long if we had a new or incompetent LC. My DH is good for driving into the city to pick the APs up. Other that that (bless his heart) he is useless as far as the program is concerned.. Unless the AP does something that annoys him then he dumps the issue on me to handle. This site and all the contributors have been my AP life line, my reality check and have really made me a better HM. So many thanks Au Pair Mommers!

Host Mom in the City March 12, 2014 at 7:54 am

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how helpful our LCC is – good point, besides you guys, she has been my sounding board. I really don’t even try to talk to anyone else about it. My mom is too close to us and territorial to be objective, my non-hosting friends don’t get it at all, I have no hosting friends, and my husband doesn’t really care to be involved more than the basics.

SingleHM March 12, 2014 at 8:56 am

I have joined a Facebook group or two of other hostmoms and dads. Some of us have met in person. I find this the MOST helpful…because the advice is shared instantly and it is a very cohesive group.

I also know a few local hostmoms, but we don’t really catch up often.

Tristatemom March 12, 2014 at 9:08 am

I talk mostly with my husband and a friend from work. She has a nanny though. Otherwise, the internet is my resource :).
In terms of managing the AP, I always aim to be respectful and treat her like I would like to be treated. Over the years I have also learned to trust my gut about what issues I can work out with the AP vs. those that require rematch. Have the battle scars to prove my cred :)

Emerald City HM March 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I’ve also found other problems with meeting “host families”.

There is a family who some of my friends knew and the mom would post all about her “au pair” and friends were like, “Oh, have you talked to so-and-so for advice? They have an au pair!” They didn’t host an au pair, she hired a young girl from another state, had her live in her house, and paid her a stipend, all under the table. Drove me crazy when she would talk about her “au pair”. It was always in a good manner and she’d talk about how great she was and stuff like that, but still I wanted to scream, “You don’t have an au pair, you have an under the table live-in nanny!”

Momma Gadget March 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

This reminds me so much of that movie “Grown Ups”, where Adam Sandler’s character was constantly trying to convince everyone that his live in nanny was an au pair.

Emerald City HM March 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I haven’t seen that movie. Did he have a motivation to do that? I totally just cannot understand why anyone would want to do that.

It’s way more difficult to explain an au pair than it is a nanny. Even our au pairs have admitted they just start telling people they are nannies because at some playgroups the other parents (or nannies) just don’t seem to understand.

Momma Gadget March 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm

His motivation in the movie was that he was embarrassed by his own wealth, and didn’t want to admit that she was a nanny to his childhood friends. Everytime she would come into the room to bring the kids or him something, he would hand her a school book and tell her to go study.
I can see SBW point below as a motivation too: ” Au Pair” is so ‘French’ so it must be fancier, more elite and expensive than a nanny… FTR that would make me crazy.

Should be working March 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm

ECHM, I think for some people “au pair” sounds more aristocratic. I had friends think that having an au pair was way more prestigious than having a nanny. Maybe because it is more a European thing, I don’t know. And they imagined it was way more expensive than a nanny as well.

Host Mom X March 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I didn’t know what au pairs were before we joined the program (i.e. that in the US they are a specific, state-department-sponsored type of childcare), and I find that most folks I speak to don’t either, even if they have kids (well, less so in my new neighborhood, where au pairs are quite common). When I use the term, many just assume I have a live-in nanny from Europe / that I am being super-pretentious (like Should be working says). I also work in a profession where long hours are typical, and therefore most families with kids have nannies instead of au pairs, so I always have to explain that our au pair is not in fact a nanny, that we can’t ask the same hours of her, and that the only reason I can survive on an au pair’s hours in my profession is because HD is NOT in the same profession and has more flexible (and less) working hours.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

When things are going badly, I take it out on 4 people: 1) the AP, 2) DH, 3) the LCC, and 4) my poor friends who have to listen to me gripe. Folks know when things are going well, becuase they know nothing about my AP (and when I have a great AP following a mediocre one, I often send my LCC a message – Look! See how great it can be! You haven’t heard from me in months!).

When my kids were infants and toddlers and my APs worked 45 hours per week, I used to know HF because my kids socialized with the children of their AP friends. I invited the kids, their AP, and their parents to my childrens’ birthday parties. When child #2 went to school that came to a stop – my kids formed their own friendships and socialized separately from the AP and her friends. My APs now work fewer than 35 hours most weeks, so they have plenty of time to socialize with friends.

Each AP is different – some hung out in my home with friends and boyfriends, others have preferred to socialize separately. I do hear about other HF in my cluster, but I never meet them. I must admit I’m an irregular attendee of the mandatory HF/AP gathering, especially now that my kids are teenagers and keep me running all weekend long.

OpinionatedHM March 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

One of the things I love about this site is that I can come here and get a huge variety of opinions without anyone caring whether I took their advice. That’s why this is my first stop when I have any questions.
My DH is of course my next stop. To be fair he’s my first, last, and in-between because we are living it together, so it’s almost not fair to list him.
My sister hosted AuPairs for a while so when I have a situation that requires an understanding of the program constraints and vagaries, as well as my own constraints and vagaries, she’s my go-to gal.
My parents live near enough that we see them every couple of weeks. They are my “reality check”. I go to them if I need perspective on whether I’m being too tough or too myopic in a particular situation. My parents almost always take the Au Pair’s side. They feel very sympathetic about a young girl on her own in a foreign country with type A host parents.
I’m afraid I’ve not had the best experience with the few local host moms I’ve met. I really am opinionated, and it’s hard for me to bite my tongue when people talk about asking the AP to babysit for extra money or who leave their AP’s alone with their kids for a weekend while they have a holiday. I can’t find any solidarity there. I even had another HM call me up to yell at me because my AP asked her AP to go on vacation with her and the HM thought I should have called her and cleared it with her first. Not a great experience. Seriously, A. I am not her mother and B. they are not 5 year olds arranging a playdate. So I would say that meeting like-minded parents would be nice, but it’s hard enough to “couple date” with my husband, adding “HP dating” to the mix might put me over the edge.
So thank you all so much for participating in what has become my lifeline. And thank you CV for devoting so much time to making it possible.

Should be working March 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Yes, the other HPs we have met don’t care about program rules and treat their au pairs badly, one family has “au pairs” without the agency and the other had the AP working *all the time* if she was home.

My friends here totally don’t get it when I talk about the AP and hosting, it just seems so weird to them. So I don’t talk about it much except for entertainment value.

Host Mom in the City March 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Same here. Any of the few host moms I have met don’t seem to act in the spirit of the program at all and also don’t seem to spend nearly as much time as I do thinking about how to make this program work in the best way possible for my family AND for our au pair. Maybe I’m the one with the problem :)

OpinionatedHM March 12, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Yes, the site should be retitled “Where Host Mom’s who have the problem of caring find support” ;-)

Emerald City HM March 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Haha! Were is that ‘like’ button. :)

Host Mom X March 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Yup, since most of my friends don’t have APs, I usually just use AP stories for entertainment value, and only occasionally will indulge in a whine-fest – but have to stop myself since the fest is always one-sided and I can see the eyes start to glaze over. Whenever I DO meet others with APs, I usually go into paroxysms of verbal diarrhea and go on and on and on about my AP experiences, because I have finally found someone who UNDERSTANDS. But it often turns out that the person actually doesn’t understand and comes from a “not in the spirit of the program” perspective, so after we each get our “ohmygodyouhadthesamethingwehadthesamethingisn’tthatbizarrefrustratingcrazy”-ies out, the conversation ends.

So it’s usually just me and HD for the big stuff, and as others have mentioned here before, we can tell when we have a good AP because we have so much less to talk about when we finally get some time alone together! ;-)

And, as others have also mentioned in this conversation, just finding time to spend with HD and one or two good friends is super-tough; I just don’t have the energy or desire to try to meet other host parents who I don’t already know. There are a LOT in our neighborhood, but if I’m not meeting them for other reasons, I don’t think I’d reach out to them just because they are also AP host parents.

TexasHM March 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

x 2!

CAmom22 March 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

This site is my lifeline! I’m on AP#4 now and I really don’t think that I would have been able to make it this far without all the amazing advice and insight I find here. My LCC is not particularly helpful and I don’t know many families with au pairs, so my husband is the person I mostly lean on but considering he has yet to really understand the rules of the program (no matter how many times I explain!! really!) it’s so so helpful to come here and find I’m not the only one who follows the rules to a tee. And to find I’m not the only one having a particular problem or another. I don’t chime in often but I can’t overstate how much I appreciate all of your collective insight and CV’s hard work. Thank you!!

CAHostMom March 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Ditto, CAmom22! This site has been so valuable to me over the years as well. We are also on AP #4. I wish I knew more HPs in my area so that I could develop personal connections with them and have an opportunity to meet face to face. Nevertheless, I am so grateful for this APM community!! Thank you all!

GingerMom March 19, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I also wish I knew more HPs IRL. I do have one friend who previously hosted – she’s very level-headed so she has become my sanity check. I don’t know why more agencies don’t provide a way for HPs to reach out to one another if they are interested in connections. Though in our case, it could be because we’d just get together and complain out our LCC (who is useless)!!! I would completely be open to having some option on this site where we share at least our home state for the possibility of meeting up. This website has been a saving grace for all of us, but there are times you’re having an issue and need real time answers, right?

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