Progress takes time, right? I agree, but sometimes am not as patient as I used to be, I think. I was just reading a blog post of my colleague, Summer Blackhurst, where she shared how she and her husband had changed over time as parents. I agree, and laugh to think of my first child, still dragging around a sippy cup at age four, when my youngest and child number six, now age 3, wouldn’t know what to do with a sippy cup because he never had one! To share another example, when I had only one or two children, it was easy to stick to routines and keep the chaos down to a roar, as we say in my house. Now that the crowd has virtually tripled, routine? what routine? Okay, not really, but it used to bother me to get out of my routine. Now it is routine for plans to be changed!
The same can be said of my house, which is still coming along, slowly. We started out with one plan and changed it a bit along the way, just like real life does to us. The trick is to make a tiny bit of progress each day, whenever possible. Keep this in mind with your au pair, too. He or she comes here with experience and skills, yes, but you know your kids best. Be patient as your au pair gets to know them and develops his or her own way with them. Naturally, give guidance and tips along the way. Encourage your children to interact with their new au pair and ask lots of questions. Make sure your au pair feels comfortable to ask questions or get something clarified. Remember, he or she is also still learning the language.
When you look back on your au pair experience, I hope you can laugh at some of your early days together and truly experience the joy that comes with a great match. When your au pair really feels a part of the family and your children love and respect their au pair, everybody wins! Your children grow in tolerance, acceptance and cultural knowledge. You grow as a parent and individual when you aren’t so stressed about every day tasks your au pair is there to complete. Your au pair grows in responsibility, independence and American cultural knowledge. Your family grows in more ways than I can list here.
Why not look into a cultural childcare experience for your family? You’ve tried other methods – daycare, babysitters, nanny services, friends and family – let au pair childcare take your chaotic life down a notch or two! Contact me with your questions or simply register online – don’t forget to tell them Joan Lowell in Providence, Rhode Island sent you!