Do You Have Regular Weekly Meetings With Your Au Pair?

by cv harquail on January 5, 2014

Some Host Parents swear by the Weekly Meeting as The. One. Thing. (along with the Handbook, of course) that keeps the relationship running smoothly.

4403488062_9802418f85Weekly meetings have a lot to recommend them. Meetings that are:

  • Regular
  • Planned in advance
  • Agenda driven
  • Happen outside of the day to day rush or parent/au pair transition time

— let host parents and au pairs  feel confident that there will be time to talk about whatever’s going on, when no one’s feeling particularly freaked out.

That’s the idea, anyway.

When people ask me about success tips, I describe the weekly meeting as the one calm moment when the au pair and I (and sometimes DH) take 15 minutes to a half hour (of on-duty time) to sit at the kitchen table, each with a mug of tea, going over plans for the week, clarifying the kids’ and the au pair’s schedules, and looking ahead at bigger plans like vacations, family trips and birthday parties.

In reality, just as often as weekly meetings have been regular and useful, they’ve also been bi-weekly, rushed, not necessary, and/or staging grounds for the dropping of bombshells.

For us, weekly meetings have been much more useful at the start of an au pair relationship, when we’re trying to set priorities, teach our au pair about our kids and family, get to know each other, and nip problems in the bud.   I put these meetings on the calendar (and always during ‘on duty’ time) so that our au pair can plan ahead if she has issues to bring up herself.

After about three months or so, I’ve found that a bi-weekly meeting works better.

By this point, there is usually less of the routine stuff that still needs to be taught or discussed– we’re able to swap information during on duty/off duty transitions or even just while making coffee in the kitchen.  Bi-weekly meetings become a chance to talk about how our au pair is experiencing the US, how we’ll manage things when her best friend comes to visit, what we’re seeing as the girls grow, and more reflective topics.

I know that some people find the idea of a planned meeting to be a bit too ‘officious’– a bit too much of the ’employee’ rather than the family member. In the main, I like the idea of a meeting because it nudges me to pay attention and to approach the conversation with care.

How does your family handle sharing big chunks of information, talking about big issues, and carving out time to be reflective with your au pair?

Do you do anything in or with your host parent-au pair meetings that you recommend to other families?

Do you have regular, scheduled meetings with your Au Pair?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


image from Flickr AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by gautsch.


TexasHM January 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

We have a weekly mtg on the schedule but now that we are in year 2 about 80% of the time I end up just handing her the schedule and that’s it. We chat off and on during the days/nights so it’s all pretty familiar now but we swear by the importance of these in the beginning and during turbulence. The times we have gotten really lax are usually followed by some kind of an issue or surprise that we probably would have noticed sooner had we been meeting. At the bottom of the schedule we have upcoming important dates/events and AP action items so it’s really helped keep everyone on the same page, no surprises!

WestMom January 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

I’d love to me more regular about our meetings. Unfortunately, I have found that the only time that would potentially make sense is the worst time for me: Friday night! I have just finished the work week, we are getting ready for the chaos of the weekend schedule, and although I have a draft schedule of the following week already (shared with AP, online), the last thing I want to do is think about the week ahead. Ideally, we would sit down on a Sunday night, when everyone is calm and getting ready for the week. But our AP is off on Sundays, and I don’t feel I can ‘require’ that she be here for us to talk (although I have encouraged it, and the more homebound APs are happy to do this). So it usually ends up being a more ad hoc conversation in our case.

Also, after 5 yrs, I realize that the APs with whom we ‘needed’ to have regular meetings were the ones who would run out of the house as soon as their shift is over. In those cases, we used to schedule formal meetings, probably on a monthly basis, and unfortunately mostly to address ‘issues’.

WoodlandsMom January 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

We have weekly meetings on Sunday nights. It is on our au pair’s day off. We consider this as part of being in our family. The meeting can be flexible if either one of us has other plans in which case we meet on Monday night. Even if we meet for 20-30 min it has been helpful to keep us all on track with the schedule (especially since it sometimes changes week by week) and to smooth out any issues.

TexasHM January 7, 2014 at 12:07 pm

We do the same, its not during work hours because they are usually short and part of the training/assimilation process. We have found Sundays at 9pm work as our APs generally don’t go out Sunday night when they have to work early Monday. We do skip them or move them if they have plans or like I said, when they aren’t really needed I just email them the schedule because we text regularly during the week.

Host Mom in the City January 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

This is something I need to do better with. I have it in my handbook, but I’ve rarely stuck to it. My issue is mostly that I can’t find a good time for it – a time when our au pair is home and available, we’re home and available, and the kids aren’t running all around us. I almost want to have a weekly Starbucks meeting or something – then it would be more official. As it stands whenever I do it, I’m pushing the kids off, she’s waiting for me to stop talking so she can go out, everyone’s hungry and waiting for me to start dinner, etc. and we’re both like “everything good? yeah? yeah? ok – good meeting, thanks!”

Emerald City HM January 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm

This sounds just like us.

We are good about it when a new au pair arrives and then after about 2 months it slips off the radar.

valc January 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

We do not have an official regular meeting and sometimes it seems like our best exchanges are by text! The weekly schedule is handed over but details/updates sometimes come later. So we are generally exchanging info on the go. I like getting our au pair ‘s upbeat and insightful text notes.

We met a few times formally to discuss extending and major holiday plans. These went okay but it’s more us telling info than getting much from her about concerns or questions. I guess this is a reflection of our general dynamic and personalities.

Host Mom in the City January 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

Great point about texts – I agree that for both our current and our last au pair (both of whom have had iPhones) our best info exchanges happen by text. I think I’m more comfortable being direct over text and it gives both of us some times to process and think about what we want to say. In any of our “formal” sit-downs, none of my three au pairs has said much at all. It’s too bad because I’d really like to hear how they’re doing – I’m sure there were things we could have improved upon. Any suggestions for making the relationship more open for both sides?

Taking a Computer Lunch January 7, 2014 at 8:02 am

We try to follow the AP’s lead when it comes to communication when we’re home and she’s not or we’re in transit. One area in which I’m firm is that I will not text at work. My cell phone is turned off when I arrive and does not go back on until I leave. DH and I work a staggered schedule, so I’m at work before he leaves and occasionally call him with info for the AP. I did have one AP who complained about emailing me at work and having to wait for a response. Since I’m on the computer about 99% of the time at work, and DH is available 99% of the time by phone, my response was “Too bad.”

Boston mama January 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

I want to do this, but I haven’t been able to find a time. We have 3 kids including an infant and my husband and I both work FT, so we use up every bit of our 45 hours each week (unless there’s a public holiday). AP has off every weekend, and she’s very social & doesn’t usually come home til after we’re in bed. I don’t want to make her come home early from her plans, but maybe I need to? The day to day stuff gets communicated OK, but I feel the relationship isn’t nearly as good as I thought it would be, and maybe that’s related to the fact that she’s out the door as soon as her shift ends. Maybe we see her for 5 min. on Sat. or Sun. She sleeps in til 1 pm or so, while we are out doing stuff w/ the kids. We invite her to come, but she never does (not since the first month or so. We’re now in month 7.) My younger two kids (baby and 4.5 y.o.) are doing OK with her (baby adores her actually, and vice versa), but she and my oldest (8) have a poor rel. B/c of the oldest’s school hours, AP spends much more time with 4.5 y.o. and infant, and she favors them. I try to give AP and oldest time together to do “big kid” stuff uninterrupted by the baby or preschooler, but I don’t have nonworking hours to do that regularly. I feel like we’re putting on a brave face and just gritting our teeth through the next 5+ months. Nothing is terrible — everyone is safe and generally fine — but it’s not a good, comfortable rel. for the oldest, and I wish I could make it better. Sorry for the hijack! I’m a first-timer w/ no friends who’ve done this before and would welcome advice!

Seattle Mom January 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Hmm that sounds like a good topic for this blog- what to do when your AP has a good relationship with the young children but not with the older (school-aged) child. My kids are both little so I don’t have any experience to share.

I don’t know if having meetings would help when your AP wants to bolt out of the door at the end of her shift would help in your situation. It sounds like your AP really does not want to be part of the family.

Should be working January 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Boston Mama, I feel you. We have preteens who definitely have more turbulent, or indifferent, relationships with the APs we’ve had than our younger child. And it is hard to get the AP to see the older child as important to connect with. In fact, now that I think about it, only one out of our 4 APs connected consistently well with our preteens. Two were turbulent, one was terrible.

Great idea to send the AP to do something FUN with the older kid. If you have any extra work hours to spare, assign her the task of doing something fun, or cooking up an idea with the preteen. Gym/rock-climbing? Shopping? Movie? Skateboarding? I once assigned an AP to CONSPIRE with older child actively and do something I would never usually approve of. Like “we’re going to taste and rate all the chocolate cakes available at all the cafes in this town over 3 weeks”.

I do find that conspiracy is good for AP/preteen relations, but if the AP doesn’t have that creative, fun streak it’s hard to get her to do it.

Taking a Computer Lunch January 9, 2014 at 12:10 am

I take The Camel away one afternoon a week. The best APs use that time to engage with child #2, good APs made him follow the house rules, and the worst invited friends over and ignored him (which he adored – endless video games). As he gets older and gains independence, he believes that the AP is here for The Camel. That may change when he reaches an age where he feels a need to impress the endless stream of young women entering the house.

But, it takes a great AP to break through the shell of a child who has said goodbye to several favorite APs.

Momma Gadget January 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

“it takes a great AP to break through the shell of a child who has said goodbye to several favorite APs.”- Spot on per usual!

Seattle Mom January 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I need a tissue!


Should be working January 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm

This comment about the child having a shell after saying goodbye to favorite APs makes me really sad too–and worried. I do wonder sometimes if it is too much to expect for kids to get attached and say goodbye every year (sometimes sooner, ugh). Is it just too hard and painful? Does it jade them about these attachments in some way I don’t want?

JJ Host Mom January 15, 2014 at 1:23 am

I once worked with someone in her 20s who had au pairs growing up. She did indeed say that one of the hardest things about growing up was saying goodbye to all the au pairs she loved. The flip side of the coin is that she still kept in touch with some of her favorites, and that she grew up thinking of the world as her backyard, from being so close to people all over. Her job now takes her everywhere, talking with people from all over, and it’s very comfortable for her. So, I don’t know what to think. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Momma Gadget January 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

When your children have very different personalities, it is very difficult to find AP who connects equally with each of them. But that does not mean that they shouldn’t make an effort.

We had a hard time at first with our current AP because the kids adored the previous one so much. I put it to him point blank. “The lack of connection with DC1 is a big problem. It needs to be fixed. Do you want us to get involved or do you have ideas of your own?”.
He said he would prefer to try handle it on his own, and would come to us if he couldn’t figure it out. I think he just needed to hear that we expected him take at least partial responsibility for their relationship, and make a concerted effort. He in the end won over both kids. Though my youngest can still give him a hard time -their personalities some times just don’t jibe.

We have 3 more months, and then we will be taking a break from the program, which I have mixed feelings about. My youngest would prefer we host another. My eldest couldn’t care less- he says it is too hard explaining what an AP is and why we have one to his friends.Also now that his older friends have driver’s licenses, he doesn’t depend on the AP as much.

Busy Mom January 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I find that the older my kids get, the more difficult it is to influence/orchestrate the AP/child relationship. My teens have busy lives and even take for granted the level of convenience to their lives that an AP affords – lunches made for them, driven anywhere they need to be at any time they need to be which give them lots of suburban latitude in joining clubs/doing group projects/getting together with friends, healthy & hot meals for dinner every night, and transportation for their friends when they want to have someone over/go to someone’s house. (I made my teens make their own lunches for 6 weeks when we were in between APs and that helped them see the light… a little). Still, when the relationship doesn’t click, there are no longer easy fixes…like sending them to the park together, or out for ice cream, or having the AP play a game with them. Teens are too self-absorbed to pay attention to an AP.

I’ve discovered that the best way to my daughters’ hearts is to hire an AP who cooks well. We had 4 in a row who had the basic skills and brought a level of creativity to this task (okay, so one had trained in a restaurant), but the latest has fallen short and I’ve had to take away her choice and provide recipes each week.

This will be our last AP and, next fall, we’re going to experiment with an afternoon sitter for the younger two with the eldest driving herself.

Should be working January 14, 2014 at 1:09 am

I think JJ took a break and is back to APs. But maybe her kids are younger. I’ll be curious to hear how it compares.

JJ Host Mom January 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

We did take a break for a year and a half after a string of stressful matches, but I didn’t even try to find alternate childcare. I just stopped working for a while. We started up with au pairs again when my kids (twins) started kindergarten. The combination of having the kids in school and not having to make every hour count, and having a great, responsible, au pair, has made it a very different experience than we had before. I’m back at work now and happy about that too. If we can keep getting au pairs who are as great as our current au pair we’ll stay with the program. If not, who knows.

Boston mama January 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Thank you, everyone, for these encouraging responses! I love the idea of fostering a conspiracy between the AP and the 8 y.o. I’ll have to try that. It’s funny, going into this, I worried most about how the baby would fare: would the AP ignore him, let him cry too much, not be careful enough w/ an infant? And in the end, the baby is doing the best of all the kids. I underestimated how hard it would be for the oldest to have a new authority in her life, and one that she doesn’t get enough time with to really bond. Also, maybe it’s just hard for one person to be good with kids ranging from infant to 8 yrs. old…. Thanks again, all.

Taking a Computer Lunch January 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm

It is a great strategy with older children, as long as they are having 1:1 time with the AP. For an 8-year-old, book the AP to take her to the movies (within working hours) while you and/or DH care for the rest of the kids. One AP, who was particularly good at video games, used to reward child #2 with extra media time after cleaning his room while I was away with child #1. If you need the AP to work the full 45, then it’s harder to achieve this.

Because I have 2 teenagers, albeit one with special needs, I expressly look for candidates who have extensive experience with older children. I will say, as child #2 gains more independence, the AP increasingly becomes little more than chauffeur/check on abuse of media time/check on homework completion. It’s a boring role for the teenager, and I welcome tips for an AP who has the dual role of caring for a child with total care and one who needs modest supervision.

Should be working January 15, 2014 at 11:50 pm

TaCL, but what is extensive teen experience? Church groups 2 hrs/wk? Siblings.

Should be working January 16, 2014 at 12:33 am

That was supposed to be “Siblings?”

Should be working January 16, 2014 at 2:18 am

I am wondering these days if it is too much to expect an 18-yr-old to do well with a 13-yr-old. I’ve always liked the fresh, younger, used-to–house-rules APs but maybe it is time to go for older ones. But most German APs are young.

Taking a Computer Lunch January 16, 2014 at 7:53 am

Extraordinnaires tend to be older. German APs who have done an Educator Ausbildung have a variety of practicums with different age groups and abilities. That doesn’t mean they’re great with teenagers.

In general, the learning curve for caring for The Camel is so steep that our APs have tended to focus on her care, to the exclusion of child #2, who is an independent teenager (he rides the bus by himself to his local activities, but requires a “chaffeur” for those that would require two buses and a subway ride – although we’re reconsidering that, too).

Several of our APs have been fantastic with child #2 – and not necessarily the “sporty” types. In fact, some of our most overweight APs have been the most willing to challenge him in playing video games, stick fight in the backyard, and engage him when they’re not with The Camel. AP #8 (teenage, non-Extraordinnaire) had the potential to be fantastic with child #2, but she was too self-absorbed to share her interests with him. He has not appeared to have bonded with AP #9 – on the afternoons I have The Camel, I think she makes limited overtures and accepts the fact that they will ignore each other.

So now, I need to rethink my structure for the initial weeks, so I promote a better relationship from the start. The bottom line, however, is that the AP is hired to care for The Camel first and foremost.

Multitasking Host Mom January 6, 2014 at 11:27 am

When our au pairs first arrive, weekly meetings are essential. I do put them in the calendar as part of work time…ours are on Friday when I get home from work. They are a great way to talk about any issues that might have come up during the week, brainstorm solutions to any problems or to finalize schedules. It is also a way to keep the AP from bombarding me with things the moment I walk in the house when I am distracted by kids and the need to make dinner. I can say to the AP that I want to take the time to fully understand and concentrate on the issue, so let’s talk about it on Friday. At least for me, it is a way to set that boundary. (Of course, major issues/emergencies are discussed right away, but I am talking about waiting to talk about trivial things.) I must admit though that after a couple months or so, with things settled in, the weekly meetings become less weekly. I think it also depends on the AP. Our current AP is very much a free spirit and more on the spontaneous side of things. I learn a lot more from her and have better conversations if we talk when she hangs out while I am making dinner. The more casual setting works for her, as oppose to sitting down at the table with notes in my hand…which being the type A person I am is the initial way I conduct the meetings.

Taking a Computer Lunch January 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

We usually have one or two meetings when an AP arrives. The only APs who have required more meetings were non-Extraordinnaires (one over driving and language issues, the other with job coaching that went the length of the year). We have one meeting over the handbook, a follow-up meeting a week or two later, and then call them on an ad hoc basis. With the APs we have adored, we have often asked them to extend six months out (and been rejected), so they know how much we appreciate the job they are doing. I generally have one quiet meeting when we’re 8 weeks away from departure to remind them that in the chaos of their lives we still need them to work.

Some things I do to communicate – everything goes on the calendar – the AP’s hours, her days off, our appointments, the days DH or I are working later than usual or going out after work. Unusual events (other than the kids’ weekly activities) are circled so they stand out. I try to schedule the AP by the 20th of the month for the next month – and she’s free to tell me if there’s a particular evening or weekend day that she wants to be off. I don’t mind scheduling around great APs just like I have no problem in saying “No,” to mediocre ones. While I try to point out changes from our routine on Friday evening, the great APs notice the calendar.

I must say the opportunity for communication increased 100% when we went from being a 45-hour per week family with infants/toddlers/preschoolers to a 30-40 hour per week family with teenagers. It’s 100% easier to find 5 minutes to communicate on a daily basis because the AP is working before DH leaves for work and after I come home.

After 13 years of hosting, there are certain rhythms to which I’ve become accustomed, like warning the AP in early December that she’ll notice how different our holiday celebrations are from hers, which will make her appreciate her family’s celebrations even more. I also warn her to buy boots to keep her feet warm. Spring brings the warning to put on sunscreen and bug spray. I’m always urging the AP to take advantage of celebrations that are particular to our city. The end of the year brings the “I need you to keep on working” chat, but also acknowlging how hard it is to say goodbye to friends and us. I have never thought these took a formal meeting, just a quiet moment (easier to come by now that I have teenagers).

Should be working January 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

We start off structured and then drop it. But with departing AP I had 3x/week meetings for awhile to try and brainstorm to improve connection to my teens.

Momma Gadget January 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm

We had formal meetings each week the first month, after that it is really only during crisis that we sat down for a family meeting. We have informal chats like TACL describes so eloquently as “certain rhythms to which I’ve become accustomed” at beginning of the: Holiday season/summer/school or in the home stretch of the APs stay usually at the dinner table. We chat briefly about the events/schedule of upcoming week in front of the family calendar either Friday night or Monday AM. We text back and forth a lot also.
I feel like we’ve had good communication lines with our last several APs.( not including the 2 rematches) All spent a lot of time with us so that we had plenty of opportunity to discuss anything that needed to be discussed. If we had one of the disappearing APs (those who ru up to their room the second we got home), or one we had many issues with, we would probably feel the need to schedule official weekly meetings.

Seattle Mom January 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm

The only time we have had formal meetings was when our new au pair arrived and we knew we were headed for rematch. We wanted her to understand what wasn’t working, and give her a chance to improve.

I think it can be valuable though, and we have a new AP starting in 2 weeks. Maybe I will institute this in the beginning.

We had good communication with our first AP, without formal meetings- she ate dinner with us and was around in the evening and on weekends (but not all the time). Our current AP is busier and we see less of her, but we communicate well through our log book. Her english ain’t that great so face to face meetings usually result in some kind of misunderstanding- we need to have everything written down for her. Luckily she is fantastic with the children.

Should be working January 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Our new AP (out of rematch) starts next week, I’m excited and optimistic but I want to commit to myself to really do the meetings and not hold back on criticisms so that I don’t get resentful and things don’t slide into some half-baked situation. You guys are my witnesses, ok??

The departing AP [who talked us into extension last year and now is ending early for reasons I foresaw back then, and whom we have liked although there have been ups and downs,] is leaving this weekend and it’s seeming borderline whether things will end on a good note. Sad if it doesn’t, but I’m ready to move on in any case.

Host Mom in the City January 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I’m so sorry to hear things might end poorly. That really stinks after you’ve been together so long and presumably liked each other enough to have extended in the first place. I hope it works! And great that you found a rematch so quickly. Give us some tips for getting back your host mom mojo for a quick transition after such an experience!

Should be working January 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for all the good wishes, all. I’ll keep you posted on the new arrival next week.

HMitC, I was absolutely NOT up for a quick transition when this AP decided to leave. I was set on getting a no-drama babysitter or winging it with no help. I felt like I’d given so much emotional support to this AP and was just not ready to settle someone new for only 6 months (we get new APs in August after 6 weeks abroad each year).

Our fabulous CCAP local director totally understood my feelings and then tried out on me the idea of a LOCAL transition AP who had good reviews. Not our perfect candidate–we have needs in one particular language (actually two languages, but the second is less significant) that she doesn’t speak either of–but a mature, calm, already-settled AP who has friends and knows the area. We met her and said ok.

Here is my first hopeful clue that it will be good: I asked her what she wanted for her welcome dinner and she wrote back, “Make something the kids like so that everyone will enjoy it.” GOOD ANSWER!!

TexasHM January 10, 2014 at 12:56 am

Random question – do any of you find it hard to match right after an AP surprise finish (surprise rematch, extension then change of heart, AP has to leave for some reason before term)? We have been looking for a couple weeks now and while I’ve clicked with a couple I can’t seem to pull the trigger. Am I AP commitment phobe now that one just surprised me and this is normal or am I finding candidates that would be good for us but not our puzzle piece do you think?
How does anyone match during a real rematch?! At least our AP is giving us 90 days to figure it out. We’ve been talking to rematch APs and I’ve been shocked at the lack of response, the turn downs without much info – is it geo? – and the DEMANDS! Do these gals not see the big picture or do most of them end up matching with equally desperate families that bend to meet their wants? My mind is so blown by what I’ve heard and seen the last 2.5 weeks I could write a dozen new topic threads right now. My faith is running on fumes! Good luck everyone!

Should be working January 10, 2014 at 1:52 am

TexasHM, I am like you, looking now to match for summer while starting the transition AP. And finding myself not getting drawn into any excitement for any candidates. Have I gotten pickier with experience, or just more paranoid? The criteria I thought were good ones are starting to look less solid.

Example: big laughing sunny pictures seemed good last round, but in light of our recent experience they now ring bells of “more interested in making a good appearance than doing a good job”. Big family used to be a criterion, but now it evokes images of a conservative, strict countryside family that doesn’t impart gentleness as a value.

I really wonder about how all this messes with my “gut sense”. I don’t trust myself much with matching these days.

Host Mom in the City January 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

We have friends that are matching right now too and are really struggling. They are long-time host parents and tend to be picky anyway, but she said she hasn’t found any candidates she’s been really excited about in over a month. Could just be the candidate pool right now?

I say wait (assuming you can) until you feel it again. Have you in the past gotten that “this is the one” feeling about au pairs? You don’t want to rush in and take someone just because you’re worried that your radar is off. You want to go through the same thorough vetting process you do when you’re looking for an overseas match.

Hope you get that feeling soon! Good luck! And share those mind blowing stories if you feel like – always good to hear lessons learned and best practices!

Pennsylvania AP Mom January 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Sadly I’ve heard from a few AP’s that if you want to go home the strategy to use is to go into rematch and then be picky about families. If you don’t have a match at the end of the rematch period, the agency will then pay your airfare. I hope this isn’t what you’re experiencing, but right after the holiday’s is always a time when a lot of AP’s are homesick and ready to go home. On the other hand, I’ve been through rematch a few time in the 6 years I’ve been hosting and all of my rematch AP’s were phenomenal!
Good luck!

Seattle Mom January 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Good luck with your new AP!

Our new AP arrives in our home one week from tomorrow, fresh from her home country. I’m excited but nervous. This is AP #4 for us (counting one who lasted 6 weeks before she rematched).

Momma Gadget January 9, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Good luck with the new arrivals!
I hope everything goes smoothly for all of you!

CAmom22 January 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Good luck to all the new arrivals — we’re getting a new one too: my husband is at the airport right now picking up AP#4. Fingers crossed; we’re all excited! I do plan to have weekly meetings for the first 1-2 months and then we’ll play it by ear. After the first couple of months I generally do the meetings only when there’s an issue or important scheduling changes to communicate…. Fingers crossed…

Host Mom in the City January 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Good luck!!! We’re all praying for all of you that are starting fresh :)

JJ Host Mom January 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

Good luck to all the new arrivals!

American Host Mom in Europe January 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm

In the earlier years of having APs, when our home life was more complicated (I had two APs and was on maternity leave, with a travelling husband and three children under three), we had regular meetings – generally weekly, always during working hours, and usually at a pre-scheduled time. Especially with the APs I clicked less well with, this was critical — and a great opportunity to go through the calendar, things that needed doing, ideas for the children’s development, etc. In the past two years, where I’ve clicked better personally with the APs (and our life is less complicated – kids in daycare, I work full time from home), we tend to catch up as needed while making lunch, or after dinner once the kids leave the table. I think the need is very dependent on the relationship dynamic, although certainly in the first several weeks a regular meeting is really useful.

HRHM January 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

We do the almost-nightly chat at the table after the kids run off as well. The only time we schedule a formal sit down is when there is an “ISSUE” LOL. Then I make sure DH is present (he often misses dinner due to work) as I feel like he needs some skin in the game as well. But for the weekly schedule chatter, as well as keeping up to date on her life, my life, vacation plans, etc. our casual after dinner chat has been working nicely.

Busy Mom January 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm

We do an intense week of training/shadowing and then everything pretty much runs on auto-pilot. I write the schedule for the upcoming week in a lot of detail to make this happen. (keep in mind that with a tween and 2 teens, the schedule is slightly different every single week!) I do make a practice of having weekly meetings for the first few months, but they tend to be 10-15 minutes around classes, new things I forgot to mention during training. They tend to peter out after the first 6 weeks. After that, I state that we’ll have monthly meetings, which makes it easy to say “let’s meet this week” if there’s something to discuss. I always have these ad-hoc meetings when there are big scheduling changes coming up (like the start of softball seasson, or just before school ends)

JJ Host Mom January 15, 2014 at 1:28 am

And actually on topic – no, we don’t have regular meetings. I always intend to and it doesn’t happen. However with this au pair we’re both really good about bringing stuff up before it really becomes an issue. When the kids are acting out she’ll let me know and we’ll strategize. When I thought I smelled smoke in her car (she doesn’t smoke at all and I knew that, but was paranoid from past experiences) I texted her and she came home right away and we talked about it (turns out it was probably a neighbor next door smoking and it drifted into her car.) When we’re going through a stressful time, like me starting a new job, or her having visitors from out of town, we’ll make it a point to check in. That seems to be working well so far.

JJ Host Mom January 15, 2014 at 1:31 am

Yes and I should say that like Busy Mom, a lot is automated. I do her schedule a month or two in advance in Google Calendar, we have the bank mail her check every week automatically, my handbook is crazy long and accounts for everything from what pediatrician to call, to what our discipline system is. If that weren’t all automated we’d be talking a lot more frequently I’m sure.

Comments on this entry are closed.