I have a theory: Every new host mom starts off with a vision of herself as being one of three types:
The SecondMom, or
The Bestie is the host mom who wants to be her au pair’s good friend. She treats the au pair like a guest, buys her treats, aims to make her happy, and loves to stay up late in the kitchen chatting about Channing Tatum.
The Bestie goes shopping with her au pair, shares her clothes with her au pair, watches Clueless with her au pair, and uses her relationship with her au pair to drive out loneliness and bring in fun.
TheBestie’s worst fear is that her au pair will laugh at her behind her back because she’s so uncool.
The SecondMom takes her ‘in loco parentis’ seriously. She watches out for her au pair, aims to guide her in her adventure, wants to teach her how to cook, and thinks up things to do that would be ‘good for the au pair’. She sees the au pair as a ‘junior adult’ or ‘parent in training’ in the household.
The SecondMom’s worst fear is that her au pair will not appreciate her.
For The Boss, it’s all about the time ‘on duty’. The Boss makes things official, has a really thick family handbook, knows all the rules, and emphasizes training and feedback. She wants her au pair to do a great job with the kids, but disappear for her own au pair adventures when she’s on duty.
The Boss’s worst fear is that her au pair will resent her.
A Great Host Mom
A great host mom is a blend of all three types. Even though we start from one of these types, we end up realizing that an effective and happy host mom finds the sweet spot between being an employer, a nurturing adult with a bit more worldly wisdom, and a friend who wants the au pair to have some fun.
As I think about the AuPairMoms who contribute a lot on the blog, I’ve pegged a few as one of these types.
But are there any types I’ve missed?
Is one of these types you?
Also, how adorable is that little cirrus cloud!