Mom@AuPairMom.com gets lots of interesting emails.
Some are from crazy people who can’t spell. Some are from crazy people who don’t speak English. Some are from crazy people who want me to hook them up with an au pair, especially a tall, pretty one.
And some are from you — host moms, host dads, au pairs, and future au pairs — each with a different take on the same fundamental question:
How can I make my au pair – host family relationship stronger, better, smoother, happier, and warmer than it is right now?
I wish I could respond to every single person who emails AuPairMom asking for advice. I’ve tried to do this via return email, at the very least to acknowledge that I’ve seen your message. But even though I’ve spent a lot of time answering these emails, worrying over these problems, and wondering what might help you, most of the time I answer your questions in my thoughts & prayers and hope that they prompt some useful advice when I eventually sit down to post.
When I can, I’ve posted your questions right here on the blog, and the generous and wise members of the community have offered you their help. Sometimes (especially in the earlier years) I have been able to find time to generate “original content”– advice that comes out from my heart and my experience, gets filtered through a few management theories and reflections, and ends up here as pretty direct “How To” advice.
Sometimes I don’t respond because I suspect–either erroneously or not–that a particular email might be a fake. And, sometimes I don’t respond because an email is rude, or mean, or asking a question that was just addressed three posts ago. Most of the time when I don’t respond or get your post up on the blog it’s for one pretty simple reason– I just don’t have enough time.
And so your email falls through the cracks, and nestles down for a nap in the deep, deep file drawer of my inbox.
Please understand that I do not earn money from AuPairMom. I probably should try to monetize the blog — my husband keeps begging me to — since the 25,000+ visitors a month could generate enough ad views to keep me in double soy lattes for a long long time. And, I probably should try to sell the blog. After all, there are thousands of pages of really great advice in here! That should be worth something, right?
But AuPairMom is, for now, a labor of love (no matter how neglected at times). I probably should love it more, but as you know my efforts are erratic. I fit the writing and the basic maintenance of the blog into those little slivers of time that appear, unscheduled, in between working, being a parent, being a friend, being a wife, and doing my best to become a better person. (Which, of course, are the same slivers of time in your lives when you all are reading and commenting!)
I wish I could do more. Like catch the nasty or clueless commenters, update the theme, fix the categories, make searches easier, write an ebook, create new posts from insights shared in the comments, start a side page for au pairs, and on and on with the great ideas…
So why don’t I just let the blog go, you ask? There are millions of dormant blogs out here, silenced repositories of wisdom, and they are still useful to people who are searching for help.
But I don’t let the blog go, I can’t let the blog go, for one reason.
Because of you.
You mostly women and a few men who contribute 95 comments in 24 hours to help out some parent or au pair in need of advice. Because of TACL and The Camel, ShouldBeWorking, CalifMom, Dorsi, DarthaStewart, and the many others I know by name or ip address. Because of the 19,917 comments to date.
I hope you understand.
What happens after the words “Dear AuPairMom”?
All of you chime in with your wisdom, and help each other make this world a better place, one host family at a time.
Thank you for that.