Gianna popped in with a question about seasons of the au pair year, and how these change when you decide to extend with the same au pair… I added a bit to Gianna’s initial question, to flesh out the whole picture:
It seems that the first year, for many people, the au pair relationship follows a fairly predictable pattern. There are ups, downs and periods of coasting, with a sense of beginning, middle and end.
But what happens when you au pair takes an extension? I would love to hear other folks experiences.
Extending with the same family:
- Do the phases of the cycle just get longer (get stretched out)?
- Does an extension year (or 6 or 9 additional months) have its own predictable periods?
- For a family extending with the same au pair, is it more difficult to say goodbye?
Extending with a different family:
- Do you go through the same phases of the cycle, just more compressed?
- Is there a cycle unique to an extension au pair with a new family?
Momto2 was quick to jump in and reply:
Our extension AP had some ups and downs the second year as well, but what made it easier was that the she was already so ingrained into our family, that we found ourselves more tolerant and forgiving. She definitely got more comfortable, and made some choices that we don’t think she would have made during her first year……(choices of friends/significant others, etc, social outings, etc.,).
Oddly, it wasn’t harder to say goodbye, b/c by the end of the second year, we knew it was time for her to go and move on with her life. At 27 years of age, and with a college degree, she was too old to be living in our basement any longer. The last couple of months of the extension year were challenging from the standpoint of getting the AP to hold the kids accountable. We could see that she was trying to make sure the kids would be fond of her after she left, and she did not want to give out any consequences.
What have your experiences been with the cycles of an extension au pair? Are there any patterns, or is each extension unique?
Image: ranunculus from citychiccountrymouse