When you host an au pair with Au Pair in America, our goal is to place someone with you who will become a part of your family as they provide day-to-day support for both parents and children. But what will you do and how will you feel when your au pair leaves once their time on the program is over?
We caught up with host mom Jean in Connecticut, whose au pair, Maria, extended with her family after their first year together, during which time they created an unbreakable familial bond that crossed cultures and traditions. Their strong relationship made saying goodbye after two years that much harder, but the memories they’ve made will last a lifetime. Read on to learn more about Jean’s experience:
Our au pair, Maria, left today to return to Brazil after being part of our family for two years. People often talk about how the transition will impact the kids, but I think we need to talk about the impact on parents, too!
I’m sad. There, I’ve said it! Maria is a part of our family and is now gone from our every day life. As the only other female in my house (I have three school-aged boys and my husband), it was kind of nice to have some solidarity around debates and discussions on such things as burping etiquette, rom-com vs. action films, and sports vs. home improvement shows.
Maria likes to say we were the perfect host family for her. Not the perfect host family (we’re not, who is?), but we worked together over the rough spots.
We’ve hosted three au pairs in five years and each one left an indelible mark on our family, and each time I’ve said goodbye, I know exactly why the au pair program is different from any other type of child care. They know us, and we know them! Warts and all!
As we await the arrival of Steff from Costa Rica, I can only hope we are her perfect host family.