Our previous two posts,
have been set-ups for this next question, from SanJoseMom.
SanJoseMom is a first-time host parent and trying to organize her expectations and establish a foundation for a successful au pair year.
Hi AuPairMom –
I live in CA, and We will be getting our new au pair in Mid September. She is from Scandinavia, and is 19 years old.
I live in a suburb, so there is public transportation but its not very good. Near our house there is only a bus line, and BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit which takes on to SF, is about a 20 minute drive from my house one way, there is a light rail near a mall which is about 10 minutes away by car.
I am wondering what do families do when they don’t let their au pair drive their cars.
Our 2 cars are brand new and very expensive cars, and not something that we would like an au pair to crash by accident, so we are hesitant to let her use either of our cars. Since its our first au pair, we don’t really want to invest the money buying a used car or to spend over $1000.00 per year to insure the au pair on the used car.
I am a stay at home mom, so we are only living on one income, so I don’t have a huge budget to cover a car expense for an au pair.
That said, how do other families handle when an au pair doesn’t have a car, if you don’t live near good public transportation?
Do you give the au pair a bike, and have they ride the bike to the nearest bus stop? Do I need to put my baby and my toddler in the car, and give her a ride to her class whenever she needs to go somewhere?
Please let me know if you guys have any ideas for me here? In a nutshell my questions, is how do you
1) keep an au pair who has a license and knows how to drive happy, without giving her a car,
2) how do you handle her getting to where she needs to go?
3) if there are very slow buses near our house and not much else, how does the au pair get to class?
4) meet up with her friends,
5) go to her au pair monthly meetings, etc.
Thanks in advance for any tips that you have. SanJoseMom
I’m sure that there is lots of advice for you in the previous two posts. Readers will give you some specific suggestions, too, as they comment below.
And, there is one ‘big picture’ suggestion that I also want to offer you:
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective au pair.
Imagine yourself being 19 years old, and on a year-long work/play adventure in California. What would you need to be happy? What presents an appropriate level of challenge and what might be too much for you to bear?
Your ability to put yourself in the shoes of your incoming au pair, and empathize with how the experience might feel for her, will be critical in determining how well your relationship will unfold.
Okay readers– Ready for your ideas!