When making the decision to host an au pair, families usually have an idea of what they require in terms of child care—their weekly schedule, the au pair’s experience level, etc. The amazing thing about au pairs, however, is the way in which they fulfill needs that their host families didn’t even know they had! Au pairs quickly become indispensable members of the family, providing genuine warmth and affection for the children as well as peace of mind for the parents. Such was the case with Tabea, an au pair from Germany whose host mother recently shared about the lasting impact that Tabea has had on her family’s well-being:
“Sometimes in life you meet people with personalities that just shine… people who seem to strike a perfect balance between confidence and humility, who always put others at ease, who manage to roll with the punches and always be optimistic, thoughtful, and kind. People who have wisdom and maturity far beyond their years, and the ability to always put a smile on your face. Tabea is one of those rare people, and we are so glad that she will always be a part of our family!
As our first au pair, Tabea joined us just a few months after we moved in to our new home following the birth of our third child. It was a tumultuous time of many transitions and adjustments, but we bonded with Tabea immediately. Despite our anxiety about having a teenager in our home, we very quickly wondered how we had ever lived without her. Tabea fully immersed herself in our family, in learning about American culture, and in every aspect of the Au Pair experience. Within 18 hours of arriving at the airport and meeting us for the first time, Tabea was helping us decorate for our oldest daughter’s 8th birthday party, warmly greeting our guests, and chatting enthusiastically with our entire extended, blended family.
Tabea quickly bonded with each of our children, catering her approach to their unique personalities and bringing out the best in each of them. She helped us through the transition as I left my last baby and returned to work after maternity leave. She changed countless diapers, helped potty-train our middle child, and was there for our youngest son’s first tooth, first words, first steps. She kissed boo-boos and soothed colds and reasoned away fears. Tabea supported and encouraged the children (and us as host parents) through many difficult situations, from overcoming fears to first days of school to our oldest daughter’s 10th emergency brain surgery. Her reliability enabled my husband and I to be better parents and better employees; we went from using up all our paid leave by mid-year between the kids’ illnesses and snow days, to carrying over the bulk of our leave at the end of the year.
Although we all miss Tabea terribly, we stay in touch by FaceTime, texting, and e-mail. Despite our children’s occasional lack of consideration for the time difference, she is always glad to hear from them, and continues to support them from afar. We’re forever grateful that Tabea is a part of our family, and we can’t wait to see her again!”
We hope that Tabea and her American family are reunited again soon!
Is your family ready to find out how an au pair could enrich your lives while providing excellent child care? Get started with Au Pair in America!