Where do I start? writes 2K1BabyHM
I’ve scoured your site for advice (and found tons!). I’ve made notes of tips and things to discuss with my new AP, but I still have some questions and I wonder if AuPairMom readers can help me out…
AP3 has just started – nearly a week ago – but I feel a little like I’m hosting for the first time.
AuPair #1 ended in rematch, and AuPair#2 was AMAZING. But AuPair#3 has the hardest job yet. In addition to looking after my 5 and 3 year-olds, we have a new baby who’s four months old!
Our previous AuPair#2 had what now looks like a massive advantage — just the two big girls to care for. AuPair#2 had the girls’ routines down pat, was super efficient and organised. She was a neat-freak (yay). She also had whole afternoons and even days on duty with no kids at home where she could do all the child-related chores without interruption.
Our new Au Pair has two girls plus now a baby to look after! She won’t have the same kind of open time during which she can do child-related chores without needing to mind the baby.
Our new AuPair is on duty for the full 45 hours a week. She has to get the 5 year-old to and from school each day and the 3 year-old to various activities and preschool on the other days. Plus she’ll have the 4 month old in her care all of that time.
So… what can I fairly expect of our new Au Pair?
- Is it too much to expect her to load all three kids into the car in the morning, unload them all at school to take child #1 into her classroom, then load the two little ones back in etc?
- Is it fair to ask her to make the older two girls’ school lunches for the following day while the baby sleeps?
To add to the mix, I work from home. I am sometimes but not always able to step away from my work to help her out when she really needs a hand. For example, I might be able to help with feeding baby at an awkward time, taking eldest kid to school when it’s raining, etc. Other times I’ll need to stay focused on my work.
My AP is 19, from Germany, has a driver’s licence, speaks excellent English, seems sensible and energetic, and is an ‘au pair expert’ (she has extensive experience with disabled kids). I have high hopes for her.
I would love the advice and thoughts of any host mums (or au pairs) who have had a similar situation – two older kids and a baby, with a new AP supposedly in sole charge of all of them.
- How did you ‘figure’ the new system out? Did it take extra time?
- What did you allow the AP to ‘let go’ of first so that the baby was priority? – kids’ laundry, meals, general cleaning etc?
- Did you need to spend more time than usual settling her into the family routine?
- Was there anything you insisted the AP shouldn’t do with baby?
Thanks for your wisdom! ~ 2K1BabyHM
Supercute baby photo by Jereme Wong on Flickr