It can be kindof amazing when a former au pair comes back to visit.
You remember her when, and she remembers you, and now everyone has grown and changed (usually for the better!). Depending on how things were when your au pair departed, and where you are as a family and as a parent, your au pair’s return can be easy, or stressful.
What can you do to make your au pair’s visit great for everyone?
I loved it when one of our au pairs came back for a month-long visit.
She was on her way to a summer job as a camp counselor, and wanted to spend some time in her old stomping ground seeing old friends. We were without an au pair at that point, as so our former au pair just moved back into the au pair room, and nearly picked up where she’d left off two years before.
Her visit was wonderful all around — she had a place to stay and a home base for lots of visiting. She pitched in with a bit of babysitting. (Unpaid, and her effort to repay us for “all the Diet Coke she was drinking”.) Hosting her was also pretty easy– she already knew where things were, how things unfolded, what she could do to help, and more. I was happy to let her use the car, and I honestly didn’t mind when she came in late at night and creaked up to the third floor. The kids loved having her around and were excited to show off all the things they’d learned and all the ways they’d grown up.
That we had no other au pair for her to crowd out, overshadow, or coordinate with, and that we had the space, were part of what made her visit easy. But, truth is, I loved having her company, and I was sad to let her go again.
When we got this email, below, from HerFormerHostMom, I wasn’t able to think of too many expectations I’d want to set. It sounds just like our situation was, which was so smooth that I can’t even imagine any hiccups that I might have had to prepare for. But, I expect it’s not that easy with every returning au pair.
Dear AuPairMom —
Our fantastic au pair left us last summer after her year was up. We loved her and miss her very much. She has just let us know that she has a month off in the summer and was wondering if she could stay with us for a bit.
We are thrilled that we’ll get to see her, but definitely would like some tips on how to set up the visit and manage expectations. She was very responsible and I suspect would not take advantage of us in anyway, but I know that I would like to set up some expectations before the visit starts.
Does anyone have tips for when an au pair comes back to visit?
What advice would you give this mom, as she prepares to have her former au pair visit?