What Do You Look For In A Male Au Pair?

by cv harquail on January 18, 2013

When we talk about how to choose an au pair, we’re usually talking about female au pairs.

Although I/we try to make advice on this blog ‘gender neutral’, most of the time we’re discussing how ‘general’ desirable characteristics get demonstrated by young women. 

And, while the characteristics we look for might seem gender-neutral, they are laden with our assumptions about what women are like and what men are like, and how general characteristics like “warm and friendly” or “willing to help out” get expressed by women and men differently.


Women and men demonstrate skills and characteristics in different ways, since they have gendered/different histories, opportunities, and work experience. For example, when we talk about whether to choose an older au pair, we’re assuming that a younger woman woman is likely less independent than an older one. Would this assumption hold true for a male au pair?

Even if you’re only looked for or matched with female au pairs, take the point of view of a family looking for a male au pair.

If you *were* looking for a male au pair, what specifically would you be looking for to determine whether he has the characteristics you want in a childcare giver?

    • Do you still look for someone who can cook (and by cook I mean ‘grill meat’, not ‘bake cakes’)?
    • Do you look for a young man who’s lived with sisters, or brothers? Who studied pedagogy and not geography?
    • Who volunteered at Sunday School or who was a camp counselor?

SAMaupair emailed wanting to know what host parents look for:

I would like to know your insights on a male Au Pair. I would also appreciate the insights of the Host parents that follow this blog.

I am 21 years old, working as a Financial Planner in South Africa. I have child care experience and absolutely adore children. I studied education for one year, whilst working at a day care, and did some tutoring.

I would really like to have the opportunity to work as an Au Pair in the USA. However, I have no idea how Americans feel about the idea of a male Au Pair?

Even though I am a man, I can still do all that is needed, such as cooking, cleaning, caring for children, etc. Another plus point about having a male Au Pair, is that we generally have more “authority”. Beyond that, I feel the children are to some extent safer with a male, because we will most probably be able to protect the children against any foreseeable threats like criminals etc. (Please, I am not in any way trying make female Au Pairs seem weak, just a thought about how a male au pair might be more usefule).

I would really appreciate some feedback, for I need to know the feeling towards this. Thanks so much!!


See Also:  Why is a good Manny so hard to find?
Male Au Pairs: When would you hire one? (Poll)
Our AP’s appetite is so big, we can’t afford to feed her!
Someone Else in Your House: Getting comfortable with the idea of an Au Pair


Image: Cam Gigadet & Daughter, from “Super Hot Dudes Holding Super Adorable Babies” feature on TheFrisky.com


Should be working January 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I would very much have liked to try out a male au pair, but my teenage daughter would be mortified. And I can understand it, her body is changing and all that, and a young man in the house would make her more self-conscious.

I would want a ‘boyish’ au pair if I went for a male, because part of the idea would be to get my young son some time with a ‘guy’. So yes on teaching soccer moves and all that, which I don’t expect our female au pairs to do, although I’m happy if they want to.

Othewise I figure I’d expect the same: basic simple cooking, like noodles; simple kids’ laundry; tidying capacities; safe driving; pleasant personality.

Never occurred to me that a male au pair would keep my kids safer from criminals. Of course the irony is that a lot of HPs hesitate with male au pairs because of the question of sexual predation. I will admit that I would hesitate for the same reason. Not that all, or even many, male au pairs would do anything inappropriate. But if the profile of child molesters includes getting into positions of being alone with and special to children, it is hard not to think about this possibility.

Momma Gadget January 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Ode to the Bro-pair!!!!!! We are dreading a certain mid April day .( No, not Tax Day) It is the day our extending male au pair extraordinaire, L, must go home after being with us for 18 months.
We have had, over the past 5 years, 3 (out of 5) awesome au pairs to take care of our 2 boys. L was our first male, and though ALL( even the ones that went into transition) were kind, loving people who did their best- L was the first one to really “get” them. He is not offended by their amusement with bodily functions and has the innate ability to understand the rough and tumble physicality boys seem to need. He engages them in their favorite activities and miraculously L can some how get them to do anything( with a smile) by simply addressing them as “Dude”. On L’s first day, I was shocked to see my normally shy and standoffish (then) 10 year old take L’s hand to pull him around the local park to show him favorite spots. Even my morose teenage son couldn’t help but exclaim “he’s an awesome au pair, Mom”. Each year as the boys develop they are full of surprises… Not all of them positive or pleasant. L seems to take each new development in stride, maturely,responsibly and without any drama. Some how the family car is always clean, the kids laundry is done,homework finished, rooms somewhat tidy, their schedules followed- and even the dog is happy! I think we Americans are very sexist- why is it we assume that only women can be caring , loving and cook? I loved getting pictures texted to me at work of the apricot stuffed,bacon wrapped pork tenderloin he was making for the kids dinner or pictures of the raisin bread he just made in my new bread machine. He always pitches in without having to be asked, is a safe driver and always, always is interested in what the boys are doing. There is not a pedestal high enough to put him on in their eyes.He just makes taking care of my kids seem effortless.I cannot express how grateful I am to this young man. I now have the daunting task of matching with a new Bro-pair. Though L can never truly be replaced, our agency (Interexchange) seems to have some great male candidates! I honestly don’t know why more families don’t consider Male au pairs.

JJ Host Mom January 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I have boys and would love to have a male au pair. I just think the energy and relationships between men/boys is different. I like seeing my husband with the kids and like the idea of a male au pair.

That said, we did try one male au pair and he didn’t work out. None of the reasons were specific to being a male – he smoked like a chimney and denied it, and spent all day on the phone with his friends. I hope we’ll end up at an agency that offers male au pairs so we can try again in the future. When we do, I’ll be looking for everything I look for in a female au pair, but in addition, some evidence of “seriousness.” I want someone who really wants to be here and understands the job for what it is, not just as a way to get to the US and party. Which again, is really no different than you’d look for with any au pair. I guess I just incorrectly assumed that male au pairs would be more motivated, since it’s harder for them to get hired, which in that case was an incorrect assumption.

JJ Host Mom January 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

On second thought I want to add something specific to the post above. If I were you I’d concentrate on the special relationship that guys have with guys. I’d downplay the parts about having more authority and being better able to protect the kids. First of all I’m not sure that’s true, but also, it comes across as a bit threatening to me as a host mom. Maybe because of that small irrational doubt that Having a Computer Lunch mentioned about how safe it is to have a male caretaker alone with your kids. My rational side knows that isn’t true but my irrational side doesn’t need reminders of power and threats when you’re trying to make a good first impression. Hope that comes across the right way.

JJ Host Mom January 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm

And once again -oops that was Should be Working! Should have checked, sorry.

Momma Gadget January 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

That’s terrible… But that sounds like just a bad au pair- I’ve had a female au pair who would left my kids alone while she went up to her room to skype with friends,or one who had an accident with my car the first week they were on their own.
I hope you try a male au pair again- even our LC says she”loves her boys (aupairs)”

JJ Host Mom January 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Yes I’d really like to, love the idea of male au pairs. Just curious, what agency are you with? I’m thinking I’ll register with Euraupair and APIA but not sure either one offers male au pairs?

JJ Host Mom January 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Never mind, I just realized you already said Interexchange. I’ll check them out.

I am really not reading very carefully today. CV if you want to cull out my spacy posts you are definitely welcome to do so. Sorry about that.

cv harquail January 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm

You’re fun when you’re spacy.

Momma Gadget January 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

It’s Friday! We’ve really been happy with them, and as a bonus we have a truly great LC.

Julie January 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I’m a host mom & LCC and we’ve had 3 male au pairs in my group. All really wonderful guys. Cultural Care has a lot of male au pairs (just let me know if you want to talk with any of the families who have them. I’m pretty specific in what I’m looking for with a male au pair. Feel free to reach out! http://jdye.aupairnews.com)

eugene May 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

hi there
We are two male APs that have never seen anyone like us.we adore children,can do cooking,cleaning,washing,the one is all into tecnology andcme myself am a singer.we have childcare experience and have been wanting to be set to a family that would’nt mind having two au pairs for the price of one.we are willing to share a room,do chores etc.our perspective on being the perfect au pairs.we think that any child deserves to be loved,cared , looked after, fed,have clean clothes on .etc….the moral is that you can get any aupair out there male or female.
But do they really want to be in a host family for the right reasons? and not just for being over seas wow asum!!!! we have been trying to find a host family for a few years now ,but can’t find a company that takes male au pairs.we considder ourselves lucky to be the guys we are.we can cook ,clean,do vasically anything a lady can do.we will always put in extra effort no matter what the case might be.if you are looking for the perfect au pair that you can be sure to have as part if your family than you have two guys wating for the perfect opportunity to become part of your family and shiw you what we can do!!!
PS: we have been scammed so muvh so i think having a fair chance in showing what we are made of is quite obvious.life is more to us than just being over seas, it’s about having a opportunity to make your life easier and be sure that your children have a super bright future before them.you can contact us on pewebdesigning@gmail.com
If interested may God be with you have a super fantastic day!!!! xoxo whe’re out.

Anna May 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm

If you want to have a real chance to find a family, you and your friend should look for one family each, i.e. not together. My current au pair left a boyfriend in Brazil, they are apart for a year. Would I take them both for the price of one? No way. This is more complicated than you think

Momma Gadget January 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

SAMaupair- One point I didn’t make in my “Blah, blah, blah” above is that most HP don’t hire au pairs for protection in the US. They hire them to keep their children safe from day to day issues- like wandering into the street, choking on a grape, drowning in a bath tub. They want to make sure that the kids are fed, dressed in clean clothes, given help with homework when needed, basically all the care they would give their children if they could be there 24/7. They want au pairs who truly care about and engage their children; Who help them grow and have self esteem. For our family, we have always seen au pairs as a multifaceted position in our family: Part Big Brother/sister, Part Guardian, Part friend. We have had both female (both South African BTW)and a male au pair who fit this criteria.

Male aupair host mom January 19, 2013 at 5:33 am

I have had 4 male Au pairs and one short lived female ap. love love my male ap. all have been hardworking enjoyed their jobs and two stayed for two years. They were fair and level headed with the kids and rarely complained if ever. I had a variety background guy guy to not so guy guy ones. They are special in their own way. I had to teach some to drive,cook,or clean but they did with gusto and learned quickly. I have two boys and one girl. My girl was 6 months old when first came the ap in our lives. She thinks men are their to cater to her I swear she is now six . Ifeel she may be high maintenance with boyfriends but choosy in a good way.i look for one that is willing to take on the challenge of my special needs with gusto and sense of humor

Male aupair host mom January 19, 2013 at 5:34 am

Btw go aupair and cultural care have male Au pairs

Rematching Host Family May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Which agency is known to have the most male au pair candidates?

Momma Gadget May 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

We are with Interexchange, and they had many male candidates when we were interviewing. I have also heard that Culture Care does too.
Good Luck!

Skny January 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

Male au Pair host mom, we have been considering a male Au pair. Have a 1yo girl who needs diaper changes. Did you have any trouble with your male Au pairs changing diapers or playing dolls with your girls? Or taking your girl to potty? Were they up to it?

Willian March 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm


I worked in the US as an Au Pair and both of my host families had girls. The first one was a 2 year old that I had to help potty training and that wasn’t a problem at all. Playing with her wasn’t a problem either. I remember asking her what she wanted to dress, doing her hair and all sorts of things (I don’t have a sister, but most of my cousins are girls, so I was pretty used to being around girls all the time).

My second host family has 2 girls and a boy, again, I didn’t find that hard at all. The girls were older 11 and 8 and the boy was 5. I had a lot of fun with them and I miss them a lot! :)

Skny January 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

Ps: would love to hear more about your aps relationship to your girls (specially as I have 2 here)

Anderson January 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I am a male trying to have an au pair experience for the first time.

I have a younger brother (so I know how to deal with young boys), I am independent, active, positive and cultured person (I like going to art galleries, theatres, cinema). But I think people don’t want me as their au pair because I am a man.

I’ve been trying for almost a year. Why is it so hard to find a host family that is not sexist?

Please tell me what I need to show the family that I am worthy and that they can trust me.

Thank you

anon for this one January 20, 2013 at 7:12 am


I wouldn’t call it sexist.

I can tell you from my perspective, 2 specific things come in to play when NOT considering male APs.

1) I have 2 daughters. My 8 year old would be MORTIFIED to ask a boy to help her with getting her leotard on or fixing her hair or any other GIRL tasks. I know that there are plenty of great male APs out there who are probably perfectly capable, but it’s an age/stage thing.

2) As is discussed in a previous post, there is a real fear among parents about male APs having the potential to be sexual predators, with host kids of either sex. Up to 90% of child sex abuse is committed by male perpetrators and >60% of child sex abuse is committed by someone close to the child – like a family member or care giver, of which an AP is both. And while I don’t think a male AP is any more likely to be a sexual predator than the gymnastics coach, science teacher or priest, I do think statistics say that a male AP is more likely to be a sexual predator than a female one. It’s just not a chance I’m willing to take.

Momma Gadget January 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

Anderson-I hear your frustration and disappointment.
Unfortunately parents willing to host male au pairs are only a small percentage of families willing to host au pairs at all. Like parents in any country we are first concerned about the safety of our children. For reasons mentioned by other HPs,
If parents are uncomfortable with a male au pair there is little chance you will be able to change their mind. It took a disastrous match with a female au pair (who was absolutely a wonderful person-just was an awful fit for our boys) to get my husband to even consider a male au pair. Even with our current success, he is still approaches every male au pair dossier skeptically.
So our candidates must have stellar dossiers. My only advice to you is to check your profile – does it really reflect who you are , a love of children and all you have to offer? For us that means a very experienced driver, experience with older children beyond a few babysitting jobs,have lived on their own ,speak strong English,have an energetic positive attitude, and absolutely have a sense of humor. We like to see photos that really show who the au pair is: with family, engaging with kids,participating in sports… Not a few staged pictures reading a book with a child. If it doesn’t happen… don’t take it personally… There are fewer bro pair positions, and as one candidate put it “you can’t choose us all”. Good luck!

Boys Mama January 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Our first male AP arrived last night. We have three boys so it seemed a natural choice for us even though the littlest is still in diapers and that generally made us think of a female for the stereotypical girl-loving-baby scenario. It’s too soon to judge this relationship practically, but personally we already adore him. Honestly, the resistance to male APs is all about fear of sexual predators in childcare. I have many friends who were agape at the idea of a male Au Pair, figuring that of course not all men are predators, but they are more likely to be than females are, so why take the admittedly small chance? Once my husband and I discussed it and decided to get over that and choose the best AP candidate, he was the perfect choice. I can’t think of anything different we were looking for in male applications than female ones, but I was sure to point out the laundry and cooking duties and carefully considered their reactions. We wanted someone happy and loving, high energy and fun, not afraid to cook and change diapers. Experienced driver, solid childcare experience with boys of the same age as ours… Nothing different than we asked the girls.

Thanks for posting this, I’ve been looking for this discussion but couldn’t find anything.

OCHostFam January 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

After one disastrous female AP (ended in rematch after she hosted a party in our home while we were out of town) we are strictly a male AP family. We are currently on our 4th. They have more energy, less drama, make friends easier, work harder and seem to want to be here for the right reasons. All of mine have been great drivers and at least decent kid cooks (pasta, grilled cheese ect). None have been great at the housework side of things but they got better with guidance. They have all been great communicators and don’t seem to play the mental games I see in the female APs that come around. I never had issues with them changing diapers and they have all played dolls, put on makeup and painted nails with our 3 girls and then built forts in the backyard with our son.

SKNY January 20, 2013 at 9:14 am

OC hostmom,
would love to talk more with you as we have girls only and are considering the idea of male au pair. Would you mind contacting me offline?

OCHostFam January 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Email sent this afternoon.

cv harquail January 21, 2013 at 11:15 am

Since you two have connected, I’m deleting SKNY’s email, so that she doesn’t get wierd spam. Hope that’s okay.

BoysMama January 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

OCHostFam – If your name is re: location and you are with CCAP, we just brought your male AP another male AP to play with :)

OCHostFam January 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

We aren’t with CCAP but seriously considering switching to them for our next AP.

Julie January 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I’m a host mom & LCC–If you want to talk with any of my families who have had male au pairs, just drop me a note or give me a call: http://jdye.aupairnews.com. I can send a few applications by you too.

The only negative I’ve seen with one male au pair is he was messy and with a single mom. I tell my single moms to find someone who likes to be clean because no mom wants to step over the belongings of her au pair! The other families have loved the male au pairs. Really easy to be with!

Rematching Host Family May 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Julie – We are with CCAP and seriously talking about rematching with a guy this time. We need someone really active. We were cautioned that it further limits the pool of available au pairs to do this, especially when you combine it with experienced driver and a certain amount of maturity. What are your thoughts?

Should be working January 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Jealous of the HFs with male au pairs! I have heard they are totally no drama, very hard-working and have to love kids or they wouldn’t be here.

Anyone have experience with a male au pair and young-teenage daughter (and much younger son)?

Taking a Computer Lunch January 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I would love a male AP, but I’m sticking with APIA, which doesn’t offer them. The Camel, now a teenager, is getting heavier (despite our best efforts, because she’s not growing any taller). Our typically developing child could use and energetic role model (sporty females don’t seem to want to match with my family, alas – and it’s too bad because The Camel is great for crossing training).

Momma Gadget January 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

Just matched with another male au pair last night , who will come to us early April.
I have to say I love Interexchanges new “passport” feature that once you complete the application process,along with suggesting candidates allows you to search All the available au pairs by experience, age, country etc… We started looking early because it usually takes us so long to agree on an au pair. Surprised it only took us 1 1/2 weeks to apply, review,interview and match!!!

JJ Host Mom January 21, 2013 at 12:13 am

Ooh I think I know who your new au pair is! I just joined Interexchange and was checking out their au pairs. There was one male au pair who was on view with someone else who looked amazing, and now he’s gone, so I bet you got him! If so, you really lucked out, congrats! (The timing wouldn’t have worked for us anyway. It’s really too early for us to be looking but I decided to take advantage of the no-application promotions and just go ahead and sign up.)

Momma Gadget January 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Yes! After skyping with him several times, we all have a really good feeling about him. Good luck to you- Hope you find a great au pair!

PA AP Mom January 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I have wanted a male AP since starting the program 5 years ago. We have 2 boys. Problem is, hubby travels for business and he thinks it would be “weird” to have a young male in the house while he’s gone. This is our last year in the program, but I know lots of families that have had male APs and say they would never have it any other way!!!

Momma Gadget January 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

But every time he goes away there are at least 2 young males home alone with you…. Ha ha ha.

It was hard for my husband to imagine also , though now I am actually older than my AP’s mother.(and really happy to admit that! :-p) It was hard for him to accept that a male could be caring and have a genuine interest in kids … Even though asked him to look in the mirror and tell me that men are any less caring of children then women are. He still is suspect of alterior motives…

But let’s be frank- we all have our own reasons and adgendas. We are not hosting an au pair soley out of the goodness of our heart either. We participate in this program because it can be a great, affordable solution to our child are needs. Since I had been an exchange student as a teenager, if one of the by-products of this is getting a multi-cultural experience for my children and au pair then great! It is a symbiotic relationship.

My eldest grew 10 inches last year and is now on his way to being a well over 6 foot young man; while my youngest is still a sensitive kid. Finding some one who is comfortable with both is no easy task. Having a male example who can show my boys that a man ( besides their father) can be kind, caring, and still be cool is really important to us and has been great for our boys.

It is sad to me that it took a disasterous “match” with a ridiculous amount of stress, and large auto body bill, and a huge vet bills, to get the hub to agree to consider a male au pair… But all is well and ends well…

Boys Mama January 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Should Be Working- your daughter maybe too young for this but in our cluster over the last few years there was a male AP who ended badly due to romance with the teenage girl. I don’t know whether it was requited but either way it wasn’t a good idea for that family.

Should be working January 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm


I wouldn’t myself be worried about romance (she’s too young and undeveloped) or predation (she’s old enough to know boundaries and speak up). It would be more the issue of her embarrassment, as Anon for This One says above. Hairdressing, periods, all the girly stuff.

And frankly with regard to sexual predation I would be more worried about my young son.

BUT if these weren’t issues, I would love to try a male au pair. No drama! No fake fingernails! No choking on perfume odor!

Boys Mama January 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

The perfume alone, seriously. CV should do an entire post to APs telling them what a humongous peeve that is for host families!

BoysMama January 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Just to show that gender stereotypes are fairly useless- our Male Au Pair I was so excited about flamed out before his orientation meeting. He was 24 years old and I felt that we had made the perfect match. I had zero reservations.

He showed up and literally froze. Homesick, missed his mother and his friends and his family meals… and had no idea how to care for children. He booked his own ticket home before his Orientation meeting. He was our fifth AP, we know how to read these applications and interview. So everything I thought I could assume about men and age… wrong.

I’m off to search for the Flameout post from a while back…

Should be working January 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I’m so sorry! How frustrating. Now you have to start over, ugh.

Looking back were there any clues he might freeze?

My cold comfort is that a flameout is easier on the kids than a slow fizzle. They won’t remember him once the new one arrives. Maybe also easier on you–no wondering if you are making the right move in considering rematch.

But still. Keep us posted. Thanks for posting this, even though it is maddening.

BoysMama January 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Thanks. Honestly… absolutely no clues whatsoever. I got to know this guy so well I considered him a friend before he arrived. The only thing that stands out now (aside from still living at home at 24, but that’s not so uncommon) was that the majority of his childcare experience was in a summer camp situation, and he played down the fact that it was a team of adults working together and he was never alone with a group of kids. The rest of his experience was with nieces, same ages as our kids, and he spent a lot of quality time with them but now he says they “aren’t like your kids”.

We asked everything you can imagine and he always gave the right answers. He appears to have anxiety and perfection issues that we could never have identified without seeing him directly interact with our kids. I’m envious of those of you who have kids who will sit in front of Skype during interviews.

I was reduced to feeling really bitter as he walked out the door in his I Heart NY sweatshirt from our gift basket and the $200 from “working” two out of seven days in his pocket. But you are right, there is no doubt that ending quickly was the best possible outcome.

We found a replacement through rematch who will arrive tomorrow. Hopefully we will become one of those families who gets our best Au Pairs that way.

Should be working January 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Good luck, and keep us posted. A lot of au pairs come with just summer camp or kindergarten internship. And they look energetic and kid-friendly and mature. Sometimes you just can’t know.

CA Host Mom January 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Good luck, BoysMama! Keep us posted on how your new AP works out.

Momma Gadget January 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

We ended up with our current awesome Bro- pair when we had a similar “Flameout” with a female au pair. I felt the exact same way! We spent so much time skyping and emailing. I was so sure that she would be an awesome addition to our family. Instead she left us scrambling for a rematch with car repair bills ( for both our and a neighbor’s cars), a stressed out pooch, and Cold Play concert tickets. In hindsight, I realized I disregarded one of my key requirements that our candidates must have lived away from home before. I also added a new consideration that they have more than institutional (where they have other staff to fall back on in difficult situations)childcare experience. Please don’t get me wrong, She is a lovely person and ended up successfully rematching with a family with younger more compliant children.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason- even if it is to show you what doesn’t work for your family. Had this not been such a stressful “Hot Mess” (as my son calls this brief stint) we never would have met and matched with our current au pair… in him we all feel like we have made a lifelong friend.
I have had many heart to heart conversations with our current AP. With his imminent departure coming up, we were waxing nostalgic about when he first arrived 1 1/2 years ago. He recalled that it was in orientation that it first and suddenly hit him “Oh sh*t, I am really going to be here for a whole year!”.
I confess I am a bit nervous about our new match….worried that once again I was too sure… Even so, past situations have shown me that those who foresee catastrophe suffer it twice. I know we will be able to get through it no matter what. The worst case will give us something to laugh about….some time way off in the distant future.
Good luck to you in finding the great au pair your family deserves.

JJ Host Mom January 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Oh no, that’s too bad! I hope your replacement au pair is wonderful. Actually our last au pair came to us in a similar situation and she was great!

I do notice that a lot of the male au pair candidates have strictly camp experience. We’ve hired two au pairs who only had institutional experience, and were always working with other caregivers. Neither of them worked out. So I think you may be onto something there. I’ll keep that in mind as I select our next au pair.

Host Mom in the City February 1, 2013 at 10:13 am

We’re considering a male au pair for our third (although we won’t even start looking until the summer). I’ve met a couple of male APs lately that seemed awesome. We have a boy and a girl and they are both young enough that the gender of the au pair doesn’t matter. But I feel like it would be awesome for my son to have a cool older “brother” to hang out with. This year, our au pair seems to get along better with my daughter – not that she’s not great with my son, but she definitely just gets along better and likes to do the same things my daughter likes. I’d like to have a year where my son feels special too.

I admit I am concerned about WHY a guy would want to be an au pair – is he a sexual predator? I asked the two male au pairs recently why they wanted to be au pairs and both of them gave the exact same answer that any of the girls I’ve met give – it’s an awesome opportunity to travel, learn english, live like an American. And both acted kind of confused as to why I would ask – like “duh…it’s a great opportunity…” So that made me feel better. It IS a great opportunity – why wouldn’t males want it too?

I’m seriously thinking about it…. would love to hear more experiences. Did you screen better/differently? What experience did you look for? How was it different to live with a male?

Returning HM February 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

HMitC, we are going through matching right now. We’ve been in the AP program for 6 of the past 8 years, and always had females. This year we are planning to get a male AP.

We also have a boy and a girl. Our son is 7, and our daughter will be 11 when the next AP comes. As our children have gotten older and wanted to engage more in physical activities after school, as opposed to doing crafts or playing with blocks and legos, we have found that our female APs, who are wonderful in other ways, don’t really want to kick a soccer ball or actually jump on the trampoline or ride a bike with the chldren. Sure, they are happy to WATCH all those activities take place, but even those who billed themselves as very sporty at home — and who go to the gym regularly here and otherwise are in good physical shape and seem to enjoy physical activities on their own – don’t seem to want to actually PLAY games with our children. So we decided we would try a male AP this year and screen for one who plays a variety of sports (and also teaches and coaches them).

So far in matching I am finding the applications for the males very similar to the female applications. Their reasons for wanting to be APs are almost identical: “I love children, I love spending time with them, I have a lot of babysitting experience, I want to travel, and I want to improve my English.” In some cases, esp the males whose applications are in now for summer arrival, they are super-qualified for ANY au pair candidate: Serious childcare experience that is more than the 1 week in a Kindergarten that one often sees, and more than the “I watch my cousins sometimes on Saturday nights.” One thing I have found is that many of the males are very eager to show you that they are learning about housework and cooking and other traditionally “female’ tasks, so as not to be thought of as APs who can’t do this. Another thing I’ve found, which interests me, is that many of the males I’m considering, all of whom are 19 or 20 yrs old and most from European countries, have gotten their parents very involved in their matching. Nearly all have reported to me that their parents have read our file with them and are supportive. I’m not sure whether they were told to show that their families are behind them in this someone non-traditional endeavor, but I’m finding it kind of interesting how eager they are to show that they’ve got support from home (and this goes for the few APs who don’t live at home as well).

Of course I can’t tell you what it will be like to host a male AP, since I don’t know yet. And honestly, I’m starting so early this year with matching because I’m not sure that in the end, I’m not going to decide that *I* can’t host a male AP. I tend to have very close, very open, very warm and sort of huggy relationships with our APs, and I’m a bit daunted myself by how it will feel to host a young male. OTOH, I teach this age (college) males (and females) so am pretty familiar with having them around, and I think I can get used to it…but we’ll see. Also, possibly, given our daughter’s age, it could be the only year we could do this, but again, who knows.

For now, our children are REALLY excited. Last year our AP’s boyfriend came for a two weeks visit (for which many of you advised me on how to set parameters – thank you!), and that was a highlight for the children, having him around to play with, so I think they are really going to enjoy a sporty male who genuinely wants to PLAY soccer or catch with them and not just watch them play it…

CA Host Mom February 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I am really interested in following your journey through the matching and eventual decision making process, Returning HM. We will start looking this summer for APs and are seriously considering a male AP. Thanks for sharing!

Host Mom in the City February 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Me too. Thanks for posting!

JJ Host Mom February 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Me three!

Returning HM February 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm

A few people asked to be kept updated, so I am writing to say that we did it! We’ve taken the plunge and have matched with a male AP! He is Swiss (our first from that country) and will be 21 when he arrives in the summer. The first time I read his application, I *hoped* I would end up liking him as a person, because his experience is just so unbelievably great given what we were looking for. The first time we talked, he was very shy and reserved, and although he answered my questions well and smiled a lot, he didn’t ask many questions in return, which can often be a red flag for me. He later admitted after our second and third skype date that he was so nervous speaking English, all he could do was focus on all the mistakes he knew was making. By the second time we skyped, though, and then in subsequent talks when DH interviewed him and the children had separate skype dates with him, his sunny and positive personality just came shining through. It’s ridiculous how excited the children both are to host him.

I had started the matching process really early (for a late summer arrival), to give me a chance to decide that, after all, I couldn’t host a male AP and still have time to find a good female AP. After our first skype interview with another candidate, I thought that might indeed be the case because I suddenly feared all the testosterone in the house (DH is kind of a “guy’s guy” too). This fear was compounded when I looked up that other candidate on Facebook and found all these male model-ish pics — so NOT what I was looking for. And I started to worry about hosting a male AP who might wreak havoc and heartbreak among the female (or other male, for that matter!) APs, and that got me worried! But when I skyped with the candidate we ended up picking, I didn’t see or feel MALENESS as a major entity: He was just a great candidate for our family. So I stopped thinking in terms of “this is a MALE AP I am interviewing” and instead focused on “is this the AP we want to live and work with us?” and that made it all easier.

I now have a question for the HMs of male APs, esp those who (like us) switched from hosting females: In what ways, if any, did you prepare your friends, your relatives, your children’s friends’ parents, and your children’s teachers, etc, for the fact that a male AP would be coming? I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, both because I don’t think it’s a big deal and also for fear of suggesting to people that it SHOULD be a big deal, but on the other hand, I know it IS a big deal to many people (I’ve encountered all sorts of reactions from people I’ve told so far), so I suspect that some “managing” of this situation is in order. I’m sort of worried, too, about how the HFs of nearby APs will react when a male AP wants to come hang out for DVD night, etc. We live in a very au pair-friendly area, and the German-speaking APs have lots of gatherings at each others’ houses. I’m hoping our male AP will be included in these as well, if of course he wants to go. Anyway – I’d love to hear advice and guidance from those who have BTDT on how, if at all, to try to manage this process in advance of arrival.

Thank you very much in advance, and I hope others will share their experiences here as they too go down this sort of new road of hosting a male AP!

JJ Host Mom February 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Congratulations on your match! He sounds wonderful.

When we hosted a male au pair I did get a lot of pushback from friends about whether we were sure we wanted to do that. Some of the points I countered with were: “My husband is so great with the kids, so I’m sure the right guy will be just as great” and “I had a lot of great male teachers growing up and there’s really no difference.” But ultimately people will just think what they think, and there’s not much you can do about it. Hopefully once they meet him and realize how great he is they’ll realize they were wrong.

Momma Gadget February 21, 2013 at 12:18 am

Congratulations! I hope both your family and your new Bro-pair have a wonderful year together!
I didn’t get any push back from anyone who knows us or our children. Any one who is not close with us and has any negative assumptions/judgements about hosting a male AP, I couldn’t care less about.
Many of my boys’ friends are actually jealous of their cool Bro-pair who drives them around, helps them with home work and gets involved with their interests.
I think your attitude of having chosen a great AP who happens to be Male is a great one, and will get you though any doubters.
Socially there have been almost no issues. He has been able to make many friends easily. I think most of the other HF are happy he is friends with their AP as it gives them peace of mind that he will be with the group when they go into the big city on their free time.
He is also great about entertaining himself- whether it is going to the gym, researching things on line, fixing other AP’s computers or perusing my cook books for new recipes to try.

CAmom22 February 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I have also always had females. But I’m on my first male AP right now (4 mos in). I did it because my son was begging for it after our last AP who was fantastic with my daughter but had a great deal of difficulty relating to my son. Add to that that my son is the only male of all his cousins (even extending to second cousins!) and it really makes for a lonely situation sometimes. In any case, that is what put us over the edge and made us decide to give it a shot with a male AP. And so far it’s great. Absolutely no issues with “traditionally female” home related tasks (in fact he’s a better cook than all my previous female APs!!). And yes, he is more active with them. He doesn’t do the arts/crafts stuff with my daughter but he plays basketball with her and I think that’s great and so does she. Home dynamics don’t seem to have changed much at all in my opinion (other than I’m more careful about shutting my bedroom door when I’m getting ready in the AM :-)) The one thing I was pretty worried about was that it would be difficult for a male AP to find a solid group of AP friends since, at least in our cluster, there are few, if any, male APs around. This is a little bit of a bummer for him but he is engaging well in the community so am hopeful that he’ll soon have more male friends. HD and I wouldn’t have considered a male if it hadn’t been for our son but now we’re thinking we will likely stick with males for a couple years anyway until my daughter gets older….

CA Host Mom February 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for sharing this, CAmom22! I am encouraged by your experience! My boys are 3 y/o and 10 m/o presently. We won’t be up for a new AP until Dec of this year when I will have a 4 y/o and 18 m/o … do you think that it is too early for the little one? My only concern is (perhaps unfounded) that a “Bro-Pair” might have trouble relating to and nurturing the little one. I am not even sure where that worry comes from, honestly … would love to hear from a family that had a male AP with little ones. Thank you again for sharing!

Momma Gadget February 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Even with 2 same sex siblings, I think it is difficult to find a care giver who clicks equally with both. It have two boys, as disparate in personality as they are in age. Of the 9 caregivers(non related)we have really only had 2 (one being our bro-pair) who managed to give equal attention to both… I think that is more related to personality than gender.
Although our society tends to see women as the nurturers, it doesn’t mean that men don’t adore children just as much. It is easier to buy the “I want to be an au pair in the US because I love children” from a female candidate because of our own preconditioning. Call me cynical No AP is here exclusively because they love children. English fluency is a huge marketable skill that can give them a leg up in finding a job in this difficult economy. Travel is expensive and visas into this country can be tough…especially to stay here any extended amount of time. The motivation is really the same for male & female au pairs. look at my husband, or the fathers of our kids friends who volunteer countless hours to coach the kids in sports, or teach them in boyscouts etc.
Since our standard poodle and I are the only females in the house, neither of us prance around in nighties. I feel totally comfortable with L when the hub is away, and it is nice to have another adult male around when there are muscley things that need to be done. He pitches in without being asked and is a great example to our kids.
He is a good cook and takes more thought and effort in preparing
the kids meals than any of our other APs. He is better at keeping the house tidy than I am. He tidies his own room once a week another great example for my boys.
Did I mention that my boys worship him? Mainly I think be cause he takes the time to engage them. He works out at the gym with my eldest, and takes the younger one fishing at the park. On rainy days, and sometimes on his own time, he will have Xbox tournaments with them. If one or both of the boys are having a grumpy bad day he never takes it personally and is actually often able to turn it around.
We no longer need to go to the testosterone infused movies (ie transformers) we dread and the boys love, because L happily takes them for us.
Most importantly we come home to a happy relaxed home after work.

Momma Gadget February 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Hmmm it looks like I accidentally deleted something there…
I meant to make the point all the other men in the boys lives are proof positive that men can be just as nurturing and caring with kids as women can.
Also we don’t look for anything different in male vs female APs aside from the fact that my 14 year old wrestler hit 6 feet,- a petite flamboyant bro-pair might have a difficult time relating to him.

CA Host Mom February 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I should have read on before commenting above … thanks for sharing this feedback. It makes good sense and after reading it, I think that my worries are founded in that pre-conditioning that you mention above.

JJ Host Mom February 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I have a question about age for male au pairs. My initial thinking was that men mature slower than women, which led me to look for older male au pairs. However I’m not sure that’s necessarily the right thinking – I see that a lot of the male au pairs who are currently being interviewed are younger. Any thoughts on this?

Momma Gadget February 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Funny you should ask … As this was a big debate the hub and I had while choosing our next Bro-pair. Since our boys are older (11&14) we prefer older au pairs. Ironically, our current au pair, who just turned 23 is the youngest we’ve had.
In our recent search we narrowed it down to 2 bro pairs,Even keeping in mind there is a significant car insurance increase for males under the age of 25, we ended up choosing the younger one. Mostly because he seemed more qualified, well rounded and flexible, but also because he didn’t seem as set in his ways. Though we do like an au pair who has lived independently, we almost felt the older AP was too independent, and might have issues taking requests from us… That is how it panned out this time. I really think maturity levels are influenced more by can more by an individuals personality/values/experiences than their
age. Though personally I feel 18-19 is too young for any situation besides a mothers helper.

SpanishAuPairs February 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi to everyone! As someone who works in the Au Pair and Nanny industry it has been very interesting and informative to read everybody’s comments about male au pairs. I understand it may not be the right decision for everyone, especially parents of teenage girls. But many families are very happy with male au pairs. Just like female au pairs, they are all so different and have such different personalities and experience that you really can’t make generalisations.

Male au pairs are often the right choice for afmilies with boys, as they share the same interests and can bond a lot better. Males can often be a stronger authority figure when girls tend to be more shy, this is what some parents are looking for that have very energetic children or rebellious boys that need a firm hand. A lot of single mums also hire male au pairs so boys have a male figure in the household and someone they can relate too.

It may not be the right choice for everyone, but i could be for you! If you think you are interested, we could be of help. We are a Spanish au pair agency that have been operating for many years, through partner agencies in the UK. We are now expanding business and placing au pairs directly with families, with no charge to the families. For more information on male au pairs or to see profiles and full files of candidates, please get in touch. fay@spanishaupairs.com
Many Thanks!

Momma Gadget February 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

If that were posted during Super Bowl it would have cost you 40 million dollars!

CA Host Mom February 7, 2013 at 12:13 am


Momma Gadget March 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Ahhhhhhhh! My new bro pairs visa application was rejected!!!!
We are all crushed…

Lina March 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

What? Why? Where is he from? I’m sorry..

EastCoast HM March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Any indication/sense why? Can you share country? We too are awaiting a bro-pair who has a visa appt later this week….

Taking a Computer Lunch March 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

We had a female AP who had her first visa application rejected and her second approved. If your bro-pair has the financial ability and time to reapply, then arm him with a letter from you detailing the amount of time you have hosted APs, how they have returned to their native country, etc. Your LCC and headquarters should be able to help you with language for the letter, but make it personal. A form letter will be rejected by the embassy. Then, ask the agency to contact your bro-pair and coach him on how to conduct himself in the interview. If the embassy felt that he was an illegal immigration risk, then he needs to be prepared to talk about ties to his country that will bring him back home after his year (don’t have him talk about extending!). The second visit when very smoothly for AP #3 and she joined our family for a very successful year plus extension time.

Momma Gadget March 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

Thanks for this detailed info, we tried this to no avail.
The agencies are looking into it further. It seems there are some unusual circumstances-not sure if we will ever know the real issue.

Momma Gadget March 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

The only information we have is that they felt he was a risk to illegally immigrate…. My boys are soooo bummed!

DCAuPair March 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

He can try to re-apply? Even at an embassy in a different city?

JJ Host Mom March 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm

That’s so sad!

BoysMama March 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

That is beyond crazy! What did the agency say about it? Isn’t there something they can do for you?

Momma Gadget March 8, 2013 at 12:49 am

The agency is looking into it…along with the agency overseas.
They are not optimistic that it can be resolved any time soon.
So we are forced to look for a new au pair… Which is really hard since we were already emotionally ready for this ones arrival.
Hope fully they will be able to straighten it out,and we may be able to have him next year….

Au pair March 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm

That happend to an other au pair as well. After that the agency sent someone with him, and he got the visa!

Momma Gadget March 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

So we matched with another Bro Pair over the weekend that we all really like! Our Agency is doing everything they can to ‘fast track’ this.I am very happy with how they have been very supportive in all areas ( matching, paperwork, our LC…)

But we feel so bad about having to release the other 2 candidates we skyped with… they both seemed awesome in their own way. I hope another family picks them up!

Momma Gadget May 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Update- Our new bro pair arrived a couple of weeks ago. So far so good. The boys adore him already. He seems mature, responsible, and kind hearted. His cooking and domestic skills are acceptable. His English is good and improving daily by leaps/bounds. He is a good driver. He also is exceptional at helping my youngest with all his home work, and engaging both boys in outdoor activities. In general He is just a really nice guy.
My only issue is that he is so good looking! I am more than a bit embarrassed by the comments/questions the mothers of my boy’s friends have been making/texting (some of whom I would only consider acquaintances).Obviously I need a new eyeglass prescription because I did NOT notice when we skyped. I hope that his admirers don’t become a big problem. I guess I will have to reinforce all the door hinges just to make sure :-)

Pokermom May 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

I so hear you on this!!! I noticed he was attractive when we skyped but when he got off of the plane…. My friends all comment on his muscles and we tease him about all the female au pairs who want to hang out all the time, which is a stark contrast to our previous au pair. I don’t think the admirers will be a big issue for us, given some of the chats we’ve had but you never know! Good Luck! (and get some new glasses!)

Momma Gadget May 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

LOL- Thanks! I already scheduled an appointment with my optician.

Returning HM May 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Oh my. I went through the same thing during the matching process. As I wrote above (or below? not sure where that part of the thread was), when we were first interviewing candidates, there was one whom I was really interested in after a bunch of emails. Our first skype call threw me, though. I wasn’t expecting him to be such a “hunky” guy! And then I looked on his FB page and realized – wow, he was really good looking in a sort of show-offy way (lots of male modelish pictures). And I started thinking about lines of other APs with broken hearts…male and female…strewn around the block after this guy was done with them. Not to mention whether my rising 11 yr old girl would suddenly discover an interest in boys! Anyway – SO not what I wanted to deal with, so we kept interviewing.

But I do hope someone else (maybe one of you guys?) picked him, because I really do think he’ll be a great AP. Funny because I would never exclude a female AP for her looks, one way or another. We have had beautiful and we have had not so pretty at all, and looks haven’t mattered one bit. But in this case, with the overwhelming good looks for our first male AP, it just seemed like a bit much. I guess that’s a double-standard.

Anyway, I hope I didn’t miss anything like this with the AP we did pick. I mean, he is nice looking and works out a lot, but I hope he isn’t the male model scene of the one I didn’t pick!! We’ll be brand new in the town we will live in when our next AP arrives, and all I need are the other moms in the neighborhood thinking that THIS was the reason I hired a male AP!! Eek!

Momma Gadget May 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

As terrible as it sounds- I doubt I would have matched with our new BP had I realized how hot he is. He even inspired my 72 year old mother to propose- “so he can get US citizenship”….I’m not so sure she was kidding.:-)
Our last bro pair came to us from an abusive HF situation. He evolved over his stay from an overwhelmed kid to a confident buff man-with a string of admirers. But he is a really humble good soul,and I never worried about him carelessly breaking hearts.
I am not so sure the new BP isn’t a bit of a player… time will tell.

Host Mom in the City May 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Does he look like the “bro pair” at the top of this post? If so, I can see why you have an issue! :)

Should be working May 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Yeah, I love the pic that CV put up there–especially how the baby has a “tough” look on its face that matches the hunk’s face! Why are there no pics like this on the agency websites? All the girls are SO cute and lovely (but carefully un-sexy, interesting how they finesse that).

Momma Gadget May 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

If CV’s picture guy were blonder and much more buff- then he would resemble our new bro pair.
I can not tell you how embarrassing my friends’ reactions have been after meeting him.
He is great with My boys, and a really nice person… I hope that once he becomes more of a “fixture” here, that my friends and family will get used to his appearance and calm down.

Pokermom March 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I don’t know how I missed this thread! We just had our Bro-pair arrive at the beginning of the month and I am already thrilled with our choice. We had a great female au pair, that we all loved dearly, but the energy level is already different in the house, in a good way. He can pick up my 9 year old and our rough and tumble 3 year old girl and then turn around and play dress up with her. She’s got him wrapped around her little finger and the boys love having someone they can be physical with. He actually runs with my son when they hike. However, I will say that even he likes to douse himself in cologne, so it’s not just a female thing! I am so so so happy that we choose a male this time around and I think we will solidly be a male au pair family until we don’t need to have an au pair anymore.

CA Host Mom May 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I love seeing this feedback! I think we will consider following suit next time around …

Pokermom May 2, 2013 at 2:44 am

CA Host Mom,

I know my husband had some doubts and he’s completely on board now. We are two months in and it’s been so great. He is a good driver, he has a social life, he’s respectful, he’s great with the kids. He also does not get offended when I correct something. In fact he seeks out approval and wants to know what he can do better. He is very easy going and so easy to live with. If you have any inkling to try a male au pair, I would say go for it! You will be very pleased I think. Good luck!!! Male Au Pairs rock!

Skny May 6, 2013 at 8:37 am

I sooo wish I could get hubby on board! I thought I had but once I started showing him some profiles he said (and I kid you not): I am the alpha male, no male au pair”. Urghhhhh

Eric April 30, 2013 at 5:05 am

Hello all,

I am a 23 year old male who lives in a family of 4 children, including myself. My two younger sisters are aged 11 & 18, and my older brother is currently 24. All of us reside in the same home with both of my parents (who work) so I have managed to do my fair share of housework and parenting to my siblings, as my brother is of no help! I am a junior in college pursuing my bachelors degree in Psychology (which I’m not sure is a plus or not) and was turned on to the idea of becoming an au pair through a male friend who had an amazing experience oversees in Europe. I stumbled upon this great site while conducting some research into becoming an Au Pair and took notice that nobody has commented on one thing. My one question is how do most people feel on the idea of a male au pair that is gay, as I am. I would love some serious feedback from all of you. Realizing that we live in a world where not everybody is okay with that way of life, I understand that I may automatically be crossed off the list of some families. To clarify, when I say gay I don’t mean that I am a stereotypical flamboyant male by any means (nothing against that, whatsoever). When I told my parents and many friends and family at the age of 20, they were shocked. I happen to be a typical guy fully capable of all tasks entrusted to men and women, whether it be laundry, cooking, cleaning or wrestling around with the kids, playing sports and showing them how to be the best at Halo (my sisters favorite game)! So, thoughts?

Eric April 30, 2013 at 5:08 am

^ In addition, would you be any more inclined or not to accept a male au pair on the grounds of sexuality. This can relate to a parent’s perception on the safety of there child as well as sexual abuse with either gender children, which appears to be a valid concern with each parent and why or why not? I am just looking to explore every possible speedbump in the road to becoming a ‘bro-pair’ which you all seem to love so far!

Returning HM April 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

I can’t pretend to know what other HFs would think or how they would react, but for ourselves, I don’t see how our au pair’s sexual orientation matters in whether he or she is a good au pair for our family. We have had female APs for six years and this summer will welcome our first male AP. With all APs we interview, when we ask about whether they have a special someone at home, we phrase this in an inclusive way (as in: do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you will be leaving at home? If so, how does he or she feel about your plans to be away for the year?). Our handbook, which we share upon arrival with our AP, is also phrased in the same manner, to show our AP that we are open to him or her being involved with whomever he or she wishes. What matters to us is that the AP conduct any relationships in a mature and respectful manner and that we not be put in uncomfortable situations based on those relationships. As I said to one AP whose boyfriend spent the night, I just don’t want to be put in the situation of hearing any noises I should not hear or having to explain anything to the children before I’m ready to. Nor, I should add, am I interested in an AP bringing home a serial list of boyfriends/girlfriends. But if there is a special someone our AP is involved with, then I would be happy to know about it and happy to welcome him or her to our house, irrespective of the gender of the person or gender of the AP.

What matters to us is that an AP be a good fit for our family and comfortable in his or her own skin.

Good luck finding a great host family, and just focus on what will make you a great AP and what you’re looking for in a great HF.

hOstCDmom April 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

Returning HM – I LOVE your description of how you feel about this — it exactly captures how our family feels, on each point!

Eric May 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Wow, I would just like to say thank you for the kind words and great response. I can’t believe people like you exist! I think that your method would be the absolute best way to approach the situation and it would make me feel extremely comfortable for a HF to ask questions in such an inclusive way like that. Also, it had never even crossed my mind that it would be allowed or appropriate to have somebody spend the night so serial boyfriends or anything of the such would be not a problem and almost out of the question for me. I would never want to put any family nor their children in an uncomfortable situation.

JJ Host Mom April 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

Sexuality wouldn’t matter to us. I agree with what Returning HM said about not wanting someone who would bring home serial girlfriends or boyfriends, but that would be the only deal breaker. IMHO it doesn’t make any sense that being gay would even be related to sexual abuse.

You sound like a great au pair. Good luck finding a great host family.

CA Host Mom April 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I agree with all of the replies that you have received so far, Eric. Good luck to you – you sound like you will make an awesome AP.

Eric May 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thank you both very much, I hope so and I look forward to having a great experience!!

Momma Gadget April 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm

My brother was gay(RIP). My boys worshipped my brother ( who was not flamboyant either) It was an especially devastating loss to them when he died from a rare and aggressive cancer.
I work in the fashion industry and have many friends and respected colleagues who are gay. Although I think a person’s sexuality is their business and only a small part of who they are as a whole-I would not hire an openly gay bro-pair to take care of my pre-teen and teenage boys because of the unique challenges males of this age face.
I do not think that a gay man is any less capable, nurturing or poses more of a threat of predation, However; At this age boys are so concerned with proving their masculinity. School and social acceptance cause more than enough stress without the added pressure of handling teasing from less accepting peers.
If I had girls or younger children, I would not hesitate in hiring a gay au pair/ bro-pair who was a good match for us.
I am sorry if this sounds harsh- but I think it kinder to be honest, and give you another perspective.

JJ Host Mom April 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Good point. My boys are still little so I have no perspective on what their needs might be when they’re older.

HRHM May 1, 2013 at 3:41 am

As a correlary to this, I would be more inclined to hire a gay Au Pair if we decided to go with a male, because I have 2 daughters. As they age, I would be concerned about the possibility of romance between a straight male AP and young teen HCs. Knowing that any crushes wouldn’t be reciprocated would make me feel a lot better!

Returning HM May 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

Funny – My daughter is turning 11 this year, and I had the same thought.

Eric May 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Agreed, that is very funny because those were my thoughts exactly!

Should be working May 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I feel the same way about wanting a gay male au pair–to avoid any worries with my young teen daughter! But she would still feel pretty awkward with a guy around, washing her laundry, dealing with probably the arrival of her first period soon. I would have to take over washing her bras and underwear, I can imagine. For now we’ll stick with female APs but I really would love to try a male.

hOstCDmom May 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

This is interesting to me as it seems one sided (i.e. only related to male au pairs around girls)– and makes me very curious…

Do folks feel the same way about having female au pairs around their pre-teen/teen sons? (maybe they do, but I haven’t seen this issue come up in the way it has with respect to male APs (gay or straight) and female host kids).

Are HP worried that their pre-teen/teen sons will be uncomfortable with a female au pair washing their laundry/underwear? Or being around them as their bodies change? or that their sons will have crushes on their female APs? Or that the (straight) female au pairs will reciprocate with their sons? Would HP of boys only hire lesbian au pairs to avoid this?

Personally, I would not be concerned about how my daughters felt about a male doing their laundry/being around them as they mature, in the same way that I wouldn’t worry about my sons having a female AP (I have 3 daughters and 3 sons, some of each of which are pre-teens/early teens). I think I am pretty neutral on this point re male au pair with my girls vs female au pair with my boys, and would tell either gender child that they need to “get over” this issue/adapt/get used to it the same way their brothers/sisters got used to having a female/male AP, respectively.

(Before someone flames me, I am NOT saying this isn’t a valid concern, and every HF should absolutely find the AP that matches best with them and their children, including re gender and sexual orientation — I am merely interested in how this issue seems to come up in a different way in respect of female host kids and not in respect of male host kids. Interesting.)

Eric May 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Momma – I do not think your response was harsh in the slightest bit. I posted in hopes that people like all of you guys would give me your honest opinion and I couldn’t as for me. I 100% understand your point of view because this was actually a concern of mine when telling my 12 year old sister. As it is she has enough social anxiety’s of her own so I could only imagine how mortified she would be going to school and having another student mock or tease her for having a gay older sibling. I would NEVER want any child put in that situation. This was actually going to lead my into my next question, which was whether I should even disclose it or not. Like I said, I never even thought about the idea of bringing somebody home to my HFs house out of respect.

CAmom22 May 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Eric, you sound like a great future au pair and I agree with all comments above. To respond to your specific question above regarding whether or not to disclose I would vote for disclosure. Not because it would matter to me or my family or many others, but because it likely would matter to some (for any range of reasons from what MG described above to religious beliefs) and I should it it is best to deal with it upfront rather than stressing about how or when or if to bring up once you are there. Best to choose a family you know upfront will accept you than ending up with a family whose values conflict with who you are.

CAmom22 May 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I should *think* it is best….

HRHM May 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I agree – If a family doesn’t mind/care, then it wouldn’t matter anyway. But if they would reject you for it, you want that family off your list ASAP! You don’t want to spend a year listening to them disparage gays and trash talking and teaching their kids to hate while you silently stand there and hide in plain site. Our first AP was Muslim and lied on her app (said she was nothing). When I realized, I was excited because it was a great teaching opportunity for my kids. But I asked her why and she said she was afraid that she wouldn’t get a family. But how terrible would it have been to get a family that hated Muslims and have to pretend all year to be something your not?

Host Mom in the City May 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

Our au pair’s sexuality wouldn’t matter to us either. In fact, I’d prefer to stay out of all aspects of my au pair’s sexuality entirely ;) We have a pretty open friend policy, but are clear that non-au pairs need serious vetting before they can come over to our house too much. So as long as my au pair (male or female, gay or straight or whatever) wasn’t bringing home new dates all the time, I wouldn’t even think about who they’re dating.

I personally wouldn’t mind a bit if I found out after the fact that our au pair was gay (whether male or female). I don’t ask my au pairs if they’re straight (though I do ask if they have a boyfriend, so I guess I am asking!). But I do think you should disclose – I agree with other host parents that you want to know if your host family is homophobic BEFORE you arrive. That could be a disaster if you happened to match with a family who actually did care (and there will be some who do). Best of luck Eric!

Eric May 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Very true, I did not even think about ending up in a home that bashes gay people. Would definitely make for an uncomfortable situation I would imagine. Disclosure seems like the way to go not that I mind at all! Thanks for all the great feedback!

Pokermom May 2, 2013 at 2:55 am

It wouldn’t matter to me at all. In fact, even though I have a straight male AP at the moment, I think he may have some challenges understanding my oldest, who I think may be gay. I have wondered since he was 4. It’s hard to say though since he has autism and he could just be unaware of his mannerisms and interests not being “male” or appropriate for a pre-teen boy. I think someone who is gay, may be able to relate a little better too on the feeling like you don’t fit in front that my boys deal with being high functioning autistic. They know they are different and they don’t know how to fit in. Having someone who has lived their own version of that may be a help to my boys.

I’d be totally fine with it, but I can see where some families would not be due to religious beliefs or fears about predatory behavior.

It’s all about the fit for every family. Just like every family has a different style, every family has a type of AP that will work best for them. The thing to do is strive to find that person, and for you to find that family. You sounds like a great candidate. Good luck with your potential match!!!

Eric May 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I like your take on the whole situation because it was exactly what I had in mind. I guess you could say that since I’ve grown up being different, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges and have come out on the other side SUCH a different person, albeit better I’d like to think. If only I could go back to high school now, knowing what I do!! I would love to share some of the confidence I’ve gained with HF children who may face similar situations, whether or not it concerns sexuality.

HRHM May 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

You all make me want to start looking for Male APs! Are any of you with male APs a “daughters-only ” family? What country do most of the Male APs come from?

Eric May 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Now that I have a lot of really great information and feedback from all of you here, I was wondering where most of you guys start your search for an AP or which websites you guys typically like the most. I definitely want to get a profile up and running on my downtime this weekend in between finals!

Returning HM May 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Eric, I activated our profile on greataupair.com this year, looking for a male AP, but I didn’t get a single response from that site (by contrast, in previous years when we were looking for a female AP, I got scores of replies from activating a profile on that site, so I know it’s well used in general…maybe just not with male APs?). Anyway, as a result, we just searched for an AP using the profiles that were registered with Cultural Care, the agency we are going with for next year.

Are you in the U.S. now and looking to go abroad? Or are you in another country and looking to come to the U.S.? If the former, then I suggest you find out which sites HFs use in the countryor countries you want to go to next year. If the latter, then I suggest you register with Cultural Care Au Pair or one other other agencies that bring over male APs to the U.S. (Au Pair in America, our current, agency does not, though I did speak with the director and encouraged her to reconsider this decision, so who knows whether this will change at some point the future….).

Good luck in finding a great HF. And BTW, count me in as another HM who thinks you should disclosure during matching. Not in the first email or two, I don’t think, but when it’s starting to get serious in the matching process, that is an important piece to share for the exact reason others mentioned: you don’t want to live with a HF who won’t be comfortable with your sexual orientation and thus with you as an AP.

Au Pair Australia May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Personally, I would not take a male au pair, he could be wonderful, but dealing with the house is different, I have had some feedback from host families saying that their male au pair does not do housework, they arrive without knowing how to do things, and some of them do not make even their bed, I think that women are more used to help at mum in their own home, and therefore happier do continue doing it when they become an au pair

HRHM May 18, 2013 at 8:13 am

I disagree totally! This has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with family dynamics. Most of my female APs have come here with little to no experience doing any household tasks. The more money their family had, the less the knew how to do. Their Mom or the domestic help did everything. My 20 year old Serbian’s Mom still made her bed every day!

In most modern European families, if the parents require the daughters to help, they probably require the sons to help too. This really is something that needs to be sussed out person by person. And as one enterprising Brazilian AP pointed out on another thread, just because you didn’t have to do it at home, doesn’t mean you can’t be trained to do it and do it well here in the US. Hire for attitude, train for skill…

Pokermom May 19, 2013 at 1:15 am

My male au pair does a great job with housework. We were very clear that Laundry was a big part of the kids care. He had lived on his own for several years during university and he has been great with doing the laundry and he keeps his room very clean and the bathroom clean. I have no complaints. I think it really varies person to person and culturally.

Tom May 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

Hello everybody.
I call Ailton Pereira, 18 years old, and I live in São Paulo, Brazil. At the moment I am in college Fashion Design here. This is my second year living away from my family (they live in the interior of Brazil); Sai home at age 17 because, as I finished high school, wanted to discover the world out there, learn, gain knowledge, etc.. It was very difficult at first because I felt really miss my parents and my dear niece, and my dogs and cats that had to stay … Here I share apartment with three college friends. They also have stories similar to mine. I consider myself dreamer, and it makes me go further, I do have the courage and strength to achieve my goals, and one of them is to be a future Au Pair. I will finish college in 2016, but I’m chasing all the paperwork to organize the trip, my English course, and other things I need. I confess that I am scared because I heard rumors that families do not like male Au Pairs. But this is not reason to make me give up. I am confident, because while you want to take care of a child and teach him about life, I also want to speak English fluently and make a major in Fashion Design.
I am intelligent, dedicated, and I relate well with people. I’m hoping you’ll be alright.

Host Mom in the City May 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

What are you doing to gain experience in child care?

Returning HM August 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I need some advice from other HPs of male APs, please! We are welcoming our first male AP in two weeks. I just sat down tonight to update the handbook and quickly ran into questions the minute I started on the “friends and visitors over” section. With our female APs, we have had a very open-door policy around guests. APs could have female friends over any time they wanted (and most did – a ton), and they could have female visitors spend the night whenever they wanted. We have hosted male guests too, including one AP’s boyfriend from home for two weeks. So we have been pretty liberal about visitors and friends. But I am wondering if, and how, this might change with a male AP. I mean, do I really want to invite him to have female APs over at any time? I’m not so sure about this!

So I would love to hear from HPs of male APs about how they phrase their visitor and friend policies. Do you welcome male APs over at any time or do you have limits on number of males or the hours they are over? Do you welcome female APs at any time, including in the AP’s bedroom? We have a finished basement that is set up with a big comfy couch and a large TV, and we are hoping the AP will entertain female visitors down here rather than in his bedroom, but I don’t think this is something I want to mandate. We know that our male AP may face situations where his female friends are not allowed to have him over, so we want to make sure he has a place to entertain at our house. But I could really use some help in how to phrase this out — any guidance?

Thanks very much for any input.

Momma Gadget August 9, 2013 at 10:11 am

You must have quick fingers!:)
Our visitor policy for both female and male APs has been the same. Friends are welcome to hangout any time we are home or ,if we know them, when we are not. Friends of the same sex are welcome to sleep over if we are home. They should ask first, or if it is a late night spontaneous thing-shoot us an email ( so we are not surprised in the AM). Only relatives of the opposite sex are allowed to sleep over. I don’t want my boys witnessing a parade of conquests running up and down from the AP floor.
Honestly, if any of our APs had a steady GF/BF,I wouldn’t mind them sleeping over during off time. This is an allowance we would make once we were settled and the AP felt part of our family- But we do not state this in our handbook.
Our female Au pairs always had friends hanging out or sleeping over. Aside from friends/ family from their home country, this has not been the case with either of our male au pairs. They seem to “compartmentalize” their relationships: they either hang with us ( even on days off ), or they go out with their friends.
When I have invited either bro-pairs to bring a friend along when we are doing something fun or novel, both have been reluctant. They seem much more conscious of costing us “extra money”.
Good Luck with your new Bro Pair! I hope it is as rewarding an experience for you and your family as it has been for Ours.

nick August 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

are there any good people or au pair agencies that hire bro pairs besides culturecare interexchange. i am the quintessential example of a bro pair and I would like to hear from open minded people who think positively of male aupairs. thanks

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