Your Valentine Reminder…

by cv harquail on February 12, 2009

rules for your au pair au pair hosting No matter how your choose to celebrate it, remember your Au Pair on Valentine’s Day.

Etsy nicholaslandon Your Au Pair has been surrounded, bombarded even, by messages that Valentine’s Day is worth noticing.  Show her that Valentine’s Day is about something other than High School Musical Hologram Valentines Cards, waxy chocolate, and freaky pink teddy bears at CVS.

Valentines Day doesn’t need to be confined to romantic love — wouldn’t that leave too many people we care about out of the celebration? Take charge, and use Valentine’s Day to show some affection, some appreciation, some recognition, some kindness, and some gratitude. Valentine

You know that your kid(s) will love a chance to make something fun for your au pair. Go ahead, break out the glue sticks. Maybe even let them use the paper doilies in the sideboard in the dining room. The grown up ones.  While you’re at it, get out the glitter too. What the heck, you’re creating another happy memory!

(added later:) I’m reminded, too, that experiences make us happier than things. Think about giving her that valentine along with a family happiness celebration, or with a song from your 6-year-old.

Celebrate what’s good and loving about your au pair and her relationship with your family.  Find a way to loop your Au Pair into this American cultural thing that we call Valentine’s Day, and do it in a way that reflects something special about her and about your family.

I love you

Necklace from Nicholaslandon at Etsy


Alma February 13, 2009 at 2:44 am

How on earth did you know that my doilies were in the sideboard in my dining room????? I agree that making the extra effort for an au pair can be very special. Our Thai au Pair got very into Valentines Day and started giving us gifts after a year of being here. I think keeping it to cards is a good idea because we don’t (or i don’t) want to set a precedent for either one of us. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

cvh February 13, 2009 at 4:09 am

Alma, honey, ALL of us keep our doilies in the sideboard (or its symbolic equivalent). Not that this stops anyone under age 12 when she has a craft project in mind….
Cards are especially sweet b/c the words can stay w/ you forever. I have cards from my APs in my treasure box …

HM Pippa February 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm

After a long winter correcting, suggesting, threatening and generally haranging our disappointing Au Pair into shape, I forgot why I ever chose to bring her into our home in the first place. With Valentine’s day around the corner, I’m looking for some brilliant ideas to freshen up the love.

What I’m going to try: 1) Read over her application again to see what characteristics drew me to her, and then notice and compliment her when she displays these characteristics. 2) Identify one or two of the interests AP listed in her application, and so something in support of those (get her tickets to a musical? find her a book about ultimate frisbee?). 3) Smile. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,” Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Manufactured love is better than no love at all.

Any other brilliant suggestions for appreciating our Au Pairs as the days begin to lengthen and the au pair year gets shorter?

OB Mom February 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

HM Pippa:
Your email made me laugh. I’m going through a similar thing. Feeling a lack of enthusiasm for our current situation. And a lack of engagement on her side. Not severe enough to cut the cord, but just enough that I need something to help me look at the cup as ‘half full’. I like your idea of pulling out the photos/application. (But my DH is quick to remind me that she is NOTHING like the applicant we read about and saw on her application video (or on the phone)).

Perhaps I’ll tap into the kids and ask them to tell me the 3 favorite things about the AP. OR make her a Valentine’s card to see what they like. Perhaps I’ll be able to overlook the failures for a while and get into spring.

Looking forward to seeing if there are other good suggestions.

AFhostmom February 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

So this midwinter stuff is normal? Or at least not abnormal? I am really doubting our decision to stick this year out…and it sucks.

HRHM February 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I don’t know that it’s normal, I just think that there are more than a few HPs that find that as the year progresses, there are enough irritations and dissapointments to make the relationship less than “honeymoon-like”. We are in the same boat, with our AP leaving soon and her birthday in a couple weeks, I am having a hard time wanting to give presents with the way her behavior has been. This is not new, I gave cash at Christmas because I just couldn’t muster the love to bother shopping. The only reason we stuck it out was because I’ve been forward-deployed since August, otherwise there’s no way we would’ve made it.

I plan on letting DDs do the picking for Valentines and Birthday gifts. They will probably do the best job since they like her just fine.

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