Too Much Generosity or the Wrong Kind? Trust your heart

by cv harquail on October 8, 2011

Dear AuPairMom-

The posting from the host mom offering the fancy host family situation make me think of the choices that I made when I was matching with my host family. I talked to many different families. All of them had some different things to offer, cars yes or no, no Saturday nights, babies and bigger children, and different kinds of town situations.

I did feel that some families tried to impress me and other au pairs by offering very many things.

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Myself, I don’t come from a rich family, and yes all the benefits that host families offer are appreciated, really.

I don’t want to seem rude or have a lack in respect. There was this sense that maybe the families were not as nice as they told me they were, and that they were maybe trying to cover up for that by offering nice situations. It seemed like some families were talking a lot about the kind of car, how nice was the room, my own bathroom, but underneath they did not seem confident or warm in their hearts.

I know that we can’t really tell this from emails and skype, even with many interviews, but still we have to respect that inside sense we have of what is right for us.

I did talk to a few familys who really did seem like they had a kind of attitude where they could bribe or “buy” me. But I would not want someone who thinks can “buy me”. If a host mother talks a lot about “We are offering you this that and that how can you say no?” and also does not talk about how much se loves her kids and what kind of persons she wants to take care of them, this made me feel like I was being bought.

There are probably many au pairs who would like a very wealthy family, and that is fine. They have to find the right family for them. As for me I want a family generous with their love and their respect and their understandings. I knew that there were families like this to be found from looking at websites and from reading this blog. So I kept looking until I found a family that seemed generous in these ways.

Now that I have been an au pair for almost a year, I feel good that I made a good choice. My host family has many nice things that they share with me (and some nice things that the parents keep apart, ha ha like the fancy chocolate). But they are fair and honest and they love their kids with all their hearts. Even when we have had disagreements and not been happy with each other, we have been able to work things out.

So this is just to say — too many things can get in the way of what is really important for finding the right au pair for you.

MadeAGoodChoice AP

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Courtj October 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

Great post. As a HF we find the chemistry has to be right or it just doesn’t work. We hope that we are honest and open about our family life as we are matching. We our a host family because we want the cultural exchange, if an au pair is here to just party it won’t work for us.

julie October 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

Well said! Make sure you show this to your family, if you haven’t already. Our au pair returned to Switzerland three days ago and we booked the flight to visit her yesterday. We know she will be a permanent part of our family–and it had to do about how we treated each other and how she treated our children–not how much we gave her. (is saying “match for love, not money” too cheesy?)

Carlos October 13, 2011 at 3:25 am

That’s a very good question…

I personally believe that thera are families that actually do that. I keep getting an offer from a family in England that tells me they’re gonna pay me over 800 dlls per month plus car and other nice things. But they have no family pictures and they never mentioned anything about the couple being together or separated (I guess they were separated) and most importantly, the kids… I don’t even wanna know what’s going on there but its very weird…

My regional manager always tells me to ask questions to the families before matching because that’s how you’re gonna get to know them and have your expectations for what they actually told you it would be and what it really is…

Make your list of questions, then there won’t be any things that will get in between you enjoying the generosity of your host family and you doing your job and not dealing with things that you didn’t sign for

kat October 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

that’s probably a spammer rather than a genuine family, carlos. as soon as a ‘family’ starts talking about travel agents and travel documents, stay well clear! good luck in finding a good family for you!

NE mom October 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for writing this to the AP and thanks for posting to CV. As a family that is warm, loving, and fun, but doesn’t subscribe to the amenities arms race, it is heartening to see that some APs aren’t swayed by ridiculous perks and are focused on making the most of their experience with a wonderful host family. Thanks again!

kat October 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm

its a great post, MadeAGoodChoice AP! spread it amongst aupairs to be, if you can. even if it helps just a few to realise what they actually want from their host family, thats a good achievement :)

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