Probably the most common obstacle for any family considering an au pair vs. other kinds of childcare is the idea of having some other adult live in your house with you. People imagine that they’ll lose their privacy, feel crowded, feel constantly observed, never have time to themselves, and grow weary from no time ‘off’.
And guess what, these concerns are right on the mark. We Americans like our privacy and our independence.
Do you remember when you were first thinking about an au pair?
Was having someone live in your home a concern for you?
Although it was many years ago now, I don’t remember being as concerned about it myself. My DH was already away from home 2 or 3 nights a week; I remember feeling concerned about being alone at night in the house with babies while my spouse was too far away to help.
And, with our au pair room on the garden level and my own bedroom two flights upstairs, I knew that I’d have a place to retreat if I needed time alone.
Of course, I could just be making this up in hindsight, and fooling myself about how hard it was or wasn’t to invite an au pair into our home.
Because it’s true, too, that, each time we’ve chosen to get another au pair, I’ve had to go over this calculation:
Is having the company, culture, and convenience of an au pair enough to outweigh the psychological burdens of sharing our home with another adult?
Along this link of thinking, iMom sent me some questions that she’d love to for us to discuss:
- What were your biggest fears before inviting your first Au Pair into your home?
- How did you deal with these?
- How do you set up boundaries so that you don’t feel crowded by your au pair?
What are Host Dads afraid of? The Top 3 “Fears of the Host Dad” & How to manage them
Feeling Squished by Our Au Pair
Host Mom Advice Wanted: How to get more privacy and family time?
When you need some time alone … with your kids, without the Au Pair
When your personal, private challenges affect your Au Pair relationship