Seeking Guest Editors for the Spring

by cv harquail on March 29, 2016

Hi Everyone-

I have a big commitment over the next three months — I’m working hard on a book, plus building a platform, writing a newsletter and starting some vlogging.  I have too much on my plate, and just not enough time (and typing energy) to keep all the plates spinning.


I’ve decided that I’m ready to try some crazier things to keep this blog and community active and actively helpful than if I just posted less frequently or slid into autopilot.

So, I want to know–

Who wants to take a crack at being a Guest Editor, for a month at a time?

I’m looking for a few folks (parents, lccs, au pairs, former au pairs) who will take the blog for 3 or so weeks at a time, between now and July.

I’ll give you all the secret passwords so you can access to the inside/dashboard of the blog. I’ll forward to you all the emails we receive so you know what’s bugging people in real time, and let you set your own writing schedule and focus.

You’ll promise to uphold the caring nature of the community, follow the commenting and community guidelines, and choose topics and advice that will help strengthen the au pair-host parent relationship.

Here’s a chance to jump in, take charge, and host the conversation for the community.

Let me know what you think, in the comments.



hOstCDmom March 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Sounds like a great idea –
I’m not in a position to help, but have paradigm suggestion.
Any and All guest editors must CC you on any correspondence with anyone (those HP and APs etc. that write in). NOT so that you can jump in or deal with it, but rather as a guarantee for folks out there that if they are communicating with someone whom they “don’t know”, unlike you, whom “they know”, that the correspondence is authorized, legitimate and transparent. Being required to CC you will act as a quality control for any guest editors; and if it is a CC, and NOT a BCC, then any recipients will know that the emails they are receiving from AuPairMom’s guest editor are from someone who is official and upholding the standards of AuPairMom.

Just a suggestion for the good of the community :)

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

I hadn’t even thought of that– Thanks for the suggestion — I want to make sure people feel comfortable even when the ‘behind the scenes’ expands.

Evelina March 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm

I think this is a great idea and would love to help you and be one of the guest editors! I’m a 24 year old previous extending au pair (2011-2013) and I’ve always had some sort of dream of being a writer so it would be a fun experiment :)


MGHostMom March 29, 2016 at 10:09 pm

Clicked your business link and just wanted to share with you that the title for your most recent blog post uses the word “paternal” when I think you wanted to use “parental” (as that’s what the content is about). Cheers.

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

Danm Yuu AutoCorrent!

thanks for the heads up fixing it now.

TexasHM March 29, 2016 at 11:10 pm

CV you know I’m always up for whatever helps keep this resource! Whatever you need/want you know how to reach me. ;)

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

Heh heh heh I KNEW you’d say yes, TxHM. More soon….

Should be working March 30, 2016 at 12:23 am

I’m available to do this for some 3-4-week stretches (and not others). I would love to see the kinds of correspondence you get, pick out a few good dilemmas, and write a quick intro (probably not as thoughtful as yours). Then I’d keep an eye on comments (which I obsessively do anyway). Is that “all” it takes?

I will admit I’m intimidated by the task of finding appropriate art pieces like you always have, and by any technical anything I would have to do.

Meanwhile thanks for linking to your generosity piece, what a great set of principles and practices you suggest there. I still wish you could monetize this blog and live happily on it alone. You deserve it, with all the assistance and invaluable support the blog has given me and many others. It’s such a niche, and you fill it. Generous!!

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:47 am


The illustrations are the funnest part, and not hard to find once you go past the literal seaches…. beyond “Image: Upset Teen”

Multitasking Host Mom March 30, 2016 at 6:07 am

I would be happy to help out. I have gotten so much great advice here over the years that I would be glad to contribute as a way to give back. I sent you an email with my contact info, CV.

Long Island Host Mom March 30, 2016 at 7:22 am

I would love to help out. I am searching for my 8th AP right now and friends with, and still in touch with, 6 of my past AP’s, not to mention some of their friends as well. I have been with 2 agencies. I have always found this place so amazing as we have an opportunity to hear all 3 perspectives. That of the host parents, the AP’s and agency rep. I might have even considered working for one of the agencies at one time. If I could help, let me know. Thank you for considering this as a viable option to keep this important site going while you are busy with your committments.

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:48 am


The illustrations are the funnest part, and not hard to find once you go past the literal seaches…. beyond “Image: Upset Teen”

cv harquail March 30, 2016 at 8:48 am

Thanks LIHM! I’ll figure out some basics of the plan and get back to you all (and anyone else who might want to contribute in one way or another– such as with a one time post).

Long Island Host Mom April 6, 2016 at 2:42 am

Great !

WestMom March 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

I am the end of the program, finishing our 7th year with a great AP. I am unfortunately not the right people to help because (believe or not), I am personally running out of topics to talk about. But I’ll continue to chime in to your guest posters threads!

Have you also considered starting a few ‘open threads’ as you did last year?

Also, side topic… I’d love to find a family for our current AP for her extension year starting in November or December. I am wondering how this group of people can share this kind of information (on this site, or elsewhere). I am less trusting of all these Facebook groups with random people… Any suggestion?

Should be working March 30, 2016 at 11:49 am

I have a fabulous bro-pair who is looking to extend in another part of the country. Any tips from anyone as to how to help him get a great new HF?

TexasHM March 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Westmom I will be looking in November! You can ping me at texashostmom at gmail…

WestMom March 31, 2016 at 11:11 am

Thanks Texas HM. I’ll sen you a note. Our AP is specifically looking for mountain areas, or minimally somewhere where nature is very accessible. She is very outdoorsy, and I think she would do very well in a small town because she loves to develop relationships with local people.

Anonymous in CA March 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm

It would be interesting to be able to connect regarding potential extension AP candidates. I wonder if there’s a way to facilitate that on this blog or a companion to it? I prefer extension APs. Anyway, maybe there are barriers to connecting in this way that I haven’t thought of. Just sort of thinking out loud. I’m looking for our next AP for end of September.

Taking a Computer Lunch March 31, 2016 at 9:38 pm

As someone who is at the end of her tenure hosting APs (happily AP #2 has expressed interest in extending, because The Camel will be turning 18 during the extension year, which is likely to be our last), I’d likely bow out. There are services for connecting APs to HF (besides agencies). I joined this list when AP #8 slammed into the side of a Hummer on her 19th birthday – after telling me that she didn’t come to the U.S. to be a “housemaid.” I needed the list then. Hope I have something to contribute now.

By the way, as much as I chafe at the expense of hosting APs (surpassed $100,000 a long time ago), I will sorely miss the entire experience of hosting young women from other countries and the flexibility to go to work when I want to. Medicaid will only pay for 5 hours of nursing a day. I cannot get a nurse to work the split shift (2.5 hours in the morning, 2.5 hours in the afternoon) that DH and I sorely need!

Kboys April 15, 2016 at 12:17 am

I’d love to know more– we’ve had a terrible string of rematches and issues – not even 2 years into being an HM(fist year was great and then 2nd AP totaled the car on her first day alone with kids and was afraid to drive), and we’re now on AP 6— anyway, I’m exhausted and starting to look for the next AP for August—

massmom March 30, 2016 at 11:04 am

What a great idea. You definitely deserve a break from providing this valuable resource…and it would be great to see more content from an au pair and LCC point of view!

Looks like you have good host mom coverage, but I’d be happy to put in a stint as editor or write a guest post…whatever you need!

WarmStateMomma March 30, 2016 at 5:47 pm

I’d love to help with whatever you need. Just let me know.

I also really like WestMom’s idea of bringing back the Open Threads.

TexasHM March 30, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Yes! Vote 3 for open threads! Maybe there’s a way to schedule guest posters/posts for each week and then open threads in between and then you don’t have to give access beyond moderation? I’ve heard some crazy stuff in the last few months I’m sure we could put our heads together and come up with a list of topics. Or – do like throwback Thursdays and pull old posts and repost as things have changed so much in the last few years and some posts are well beyond that. Lol – now this is an open thread because you didn’t really ask for all these ideas! ;)

WarmStateMomma March 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm

This is a great idea, especially since many of us weren’t around when the blog started and some of the earlier discussions were much briefer than they are now.

Mom2Jack March 31, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Make that vote #4 for open thread. And, I really like the idea of throwback Thursdays (Maybe we could get some votes for favorites). Writing (in your thoughtful manner) and editing are not my strengths, and I am pretty low-tech but I am happy to help in any way. Thanks for planning ahead.

Old China Hand March 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

I love this blog very much but am not in a position to help out with anything right now. Pretenure… two very young kids… back to teaching after 18 months… I’m pretty well maxed out but enjoy catching up on posts while exercising. :) [at the present moment my students are all diligently working on labs and final projects and have no questions for me…]

AuPair Paris April 1, 2016 at 7:06 am

That would be so much fun. Unfortunately I’m working 50 (unsociable) hour/week atm. Let me know if there’s anything to be done that’s less of a time commitment.

German Au-Pair April 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm

If there’s anything I can do, I would be glad to help!

I like the idea of a TBT, too! I have been coming back to this blog for 5 years now (what?!) and I know that at some point I checked some older posts and thought it would be great to revisit the question!

Cvh April 3, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Hi everyone — thanks so much for all your different ideas a spud offers! It will take me a bit to unfold some next steps, but expect to hear more after April 14 (when I back from a spring break trip to France. Woohoo.,

AlwaysHopeful HM April 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Hope you’re having a grand old time in France, CV! Like others, I would love to help, but find that lately I rarely have time to read and respond to posrs, let alone edit the blog. I like the guest editor and other ideas. Maybe there’s a way I can help out there… Hmm…

Jennc April 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

I have had a serious situation come up with my aupair of 4 months . It brings up the whole interview process and something we all need to think about when talking to these girls. I’d love to do a guest topic on this because it isn’t something most of us delve into . To say the least I’ve been left in a lurch by a decent aupair and have to find a new one fast sigghhh. Jen

Sleepytime April 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

To all potential guest editors: I would love to see a column about the discrepancies between host family’s reasons for rematch and the actual transition documents the agency creates. And add to that the discrepancy between a host family’s willingness to talk and the agency’s claim that the host family does not want to be contacted. I think a few of you volunteers are familiar with the data from host family discussion groups! I’ve been following your blog since 2007 and I don’t think it has been addressed.

TexasHM April 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Sleepytime I think the challenge in trying to collect data on that topic is that it would be a massive effort to investigate if it was all accurate even if you got the data. As someone that’s hosted two APs that were removed from bad situations I saw the HF directly outright lie about the APs and circumstances (like HF telling people that AP had a match before leaving their house and shopped up while I was working with LC to find her a family and she was crying herself to sleep every night praying to not be sent home). There are always at least 3 sides to every story and it’s a challenge for the agency as well to sort fact from fiction and unfortunately many/most families that end up in rematch throw the AP under the bus. Unless there is proof then I too would be hesitant to verbatim take the HFs story (again ive watched this play out multiple times now). I’m not saying I agree with how all agencies handle rematch – some are notably better than others – just saying in my humble opinion I think trying to tackle that would be akin to trying to boil the ocean plus I’m not sure collecting data with the intent to prove agencies are colluding against HFs (if that’s the intent it wasn’t clear above) is in the spirit of helping APs and HFs have a great year. I don’t disagree the system is broken, I just don’t see the good in the ask above so maybe you could clarify for me. I think dept of state should make rematch a single pool to make odds better for hfs and APs and should track repeat APs and hfs in rematch to better prevent some of the horror stories we’ve all seen/heard. I also think they should give contact info and all details in each case rather than trying to sort it out. Let us read it all and make a decision. Oh and world peace. ;)

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