What is it really like when an au pair first arrives in the U.S. and joins her host family? One of our families in New Jersey recently shared the experience of their beloved au pair Charlotte’s first few days in her new home. In the words of her host mother:
“There was a lot of anticipation and excitement as we awaited the arrival of our very first au pair, Charlotte. We had nannies before to help take care of our children, but we’ve never had someone live with us and be part of our daily lives. As many families experience, there is always the worry about what if it doesn’t work out. What if it’s not a good fit? Or what if they want to go home?
The minute we picked Charlotte up from Newark Airport and drove her to our town in New Jersey to have family dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, we knew we had hit the jackpot. Charlotte has an energy and a warmth about her that’s infectious. The kids liked her right away and she was just easy to be around. That first weekend we kept her busy and helped her acclimate to her new home. She was a little weepy those first couple of days as I’m sure I would be too if I were in her shoes. I always tell her how brave I think she is for doing this program. She later told me how homesick she was that first month, but she put on a happy face when she was with the kids and us. And she just dove right in to her new life as an au pair in America.”
Adjusting to a new culture, language, and people takes time and patience, and before long, Charlotte was a full-fledged member of her host family. She really engaged with the children while caring for them; “they would read together, do arts and crafts, make obstacles courses, work on writing and math, and so much more,” according to her host mother. She quickly proved herself to be indispensable and handled every challenge that came her way with grace and poise, including an episode where her host child suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts and required Charlotte to administer an epi-pen and take him to the hospital.
Reflecting on Charlotte’s imminent return home after two years with her family, her host mother says,
“Most importantly, Charlotte became a member of our family for life. The love my children feel for her is palpable….I know she will always be a special part of our lives. Looking back two years ago to those first couple of weeks when Charlotte first arrived, we can see how much she has grown and come into her own since she’s been here. She has blossomed into an even more amazing young woman, and she has said that she owes all of that to the experience she’s had in the Au Pair in America Program.”
Is your family ready to welcome an au pair like Charlotte into your lives? Get started today at www.AuPairinAmerica.com.