Maybe I’m more obsessive than the average bear, but I recall thinking I was as ready as I could be when our very first au pair arrived. And, that was back in the days when Handbooks were merely a suggestion, and life was much more simple.
I also remember feeling pretty alone. Although there were other au pairs in our town, I didn’t know any of them or their host parents. Our LCC was inept and of little help. So, I winged it.
I bet that, in all honesty, I probably felt like this IrishMum — optimistic, but without a clear plan.
I am just wondering what exactly should i expect from mu au pair.
She has arrived from Australia and is 24 yrs old so obviously we have no language barrier which is a bonus. She has just arrived, she came a week ago and I’ve got no problems with the idea of letting her settle in and get used to the time difference and jet lag.
But I do wonder– When should I expect her to “start” as such? She plays with my son, he’s 6 1/2 mths old and has put him down for a couple of naps and has given him a couple of bottles. However, I’m still at home and not due back to work for another 3 weeks. I expected to stay on leave that little bit longer so she could see our routine and how we work things here….
Should she be getting my son up in the mornings or am I still expected to do that? Right now, he wakes about 6.45am ish each morning, I make all the bottles and do the washing and sterilising of his bottles and she doesnt seem to make much of an effort to help. She’ll pick up a finished bottle or plate and place it in the sink and leave it there. I don’t know what to make of this.
I know she has just arrived and is getting used to her new surroundings… Should i just wait a little while more and then if she is still the same, talk to her about it? I really don’t know what to do and am at a loss so any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
In the absence of a schedule, a plan, and reasonably clear expectations, your au pair is likely to be as confused as you about what to expect. My advice would be to set up a ‘training schedule’ as well as a ‘work schedule’ and begin right away to turn over some responsibilities to your new au pair.
1. Start by checking out the posts on Orienting your Au Pair and Training.
- Go to these two first:
- Then, look at this page: http://aupairmom.com/category/phases-of-ap-year/welcoming/
- Use the category links (midway down the right sidebar) to scoot around different particular topics.Print out some of the pages and give them to your au pair to read.
2. Enlist the help of your spouse or other host parent, if you have one.
Even when one parent takes primary responsibility for childcare and au pair relations, all adults in the family need to become knowledgeable and aligned.
3. Create a clear picture of your ultimate goal.
Create the schedule of what the ‘ideal week’ once you are back at work. This would show your au pair what will be her regular hours and duties so that she knows what she is training for.
4. Create a list of all the things you need to teach her.
Start with safety and basics of childcare, and household routines. Don’t ignore off-duty behavior & expectation, but make ‘kid basics’ your focus week one.
5. Create a training schedule for the next two weeks,
where you plan which topics you’ll cover– and which topics she’ll master — so that you can pace yourselves and record your progress.6.
6. Demonstrate what you want with role modeling and direct explanation.
You may have an au pair who is holding back waiting to see what you want (as opposed to jumping in and doing things her way). Assume first that this may be her style so that she doesn’t offend or interfere, rather than assuming that she’s not willing to work.
The sooner you get your au pair doing the things you need her to do, even as she’s still learning, the better off you’ll be.
More advice? Chime in!