We are welcoming our first au pair in about 3 weeks, and we are very excited.
Your blog really helped us decide that this was the right type of child care for our family. We need someone with scheduling flexibility, because we have an always-changing, somewhat odd work week.
I have to leave for work at 6:00 am to get to the hospital in time for the start of my shifts. My husband travels a couple days a week for work, so he is often not home overnight and thus not able to take on ‘early morning’ childcare.
It’s been very difficult to finding someone to come to our house in the early morning. It had come to the point where we were begging, bribbing, and hiring less skilled child care providers just to get someone to be in the house before I left for work in the morning.
A big reason for choosing an au pair as a caregiver is the flexibility of having a live-in person. It’s so much easier to be ‘on duty’ in the early morning if you can be ‘on duty’ in your pajamas.
My concern, though, is whether I should wake our au pair up before I leave for work.
In the past, I liked seeing the sitter’s (tired) face before I left for work. I could be sure that someone was there, and I could quickly go over what needed to be done that day. Now that we will have someone living in our house, I am not sure if I really need to have her awake and ready for the children as early as 5:45 am. Our children (ages 6 and 8) don’t normally get out of bed until 7:15 am, so the only reason for the au pair to be awake that early is for me to confirm that she’s home and that’s she’s up.
I want to be respectful of the au pair’s needs — and I’m not sure she ‘needs’ to be up at 5:45.
But, if I don’t see her in the morning, how do I know she is actually home?
- What if she stayed out all night and hasn’t made it back?
- What if something hast happened to her?
- What if she sleep through her alarm and the kids are late for school?
I know totally irrational thoughts probably, but I have heard a couple horror stories.
– Should I just have her call/text me when she is awake and ready to start her day about 7:00am?
– Should I make a curfew so I know she is in the house the night before?
– Should I just make her get up at the crack of dawn and hope she doesn’t hate me?
I already made sure that our new aupair is a morning person. Of course, I hope I am getting a wonderful, responsible au pair, but I can’t help being a bit cautious before she gets here, and I get to know her better.
I would love to hear how other host moms and dads handle this situation. ~ EarlyBirdMom