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About the Authors:

Summer Blackhurst - Au Pair ExpertAu Pair Researcher - Summer Blackhurst

Summer Blackhurst is the Press Coordinator and Au Pair Researcher for Go Au Pair. Summer has extensive experience in working with the Host Families and Au Pairs and has interviewed more than one hundred families and Au Pairs to find out what really matters.

She specializes in Host Family / Au Pair Relationships, childcare, parenting and cultural exchange.

Host Mom Helper - Cyndi M. Frick

Cyndi M. Frick, Cyndi Frick - Host Mom & Guest Contributorauthor of The Most Unlikely Mother Unfiltered: An Overshare of Embarrassing Truths About Motherhood, is a freelance graphic designer with her own company called FrickNGraphix, Inc. and is a mother of two amazing little boys. 

Cyndi never planned on having children, but then her heart changed. Follow along with this Host Mom on her Au Pair journey, catch her truth-filled, sarcastic blogging at, and read her book on




New Territory: Helping a Shy Au Pair Be Successful

Because our first Au Pair was very outgoing and extroverted, we weren’t prepared for the extremely shy and reserved personality of our second Au Pair.  And even though I thought some things would be easier this time around, with a year’s worth of experience behind us, managing a shy personality proved to be quite the challenge in the first several weeks.  What wasn’t being expressed but was being felt?  Was she just trying to be nice, or were there things that were really bothering her?  How could I help her make friends?  Was she going to freak out and go home?...Continue to Full Article
Posted: 11/4/2015 11:38:35 AM by Cyndi Frick

My First Au Pair Transition – What Really Happened

Starting weeks before my first Au Pair transition, I began to lose more and more sleep every night as I struggled to control the uncontrollable.  A whole flock of other Host Moms had warned me that no matter which type of transition any Host Family chooses (to overlap or to have a gap), it will not be easy on the children, and that’s what I dreaded the most.  Sure, mulling over all of the impending training stressed me out, but there’s just something about the unrelenting cries of a toddler in transition that can bring a parent to near-aneurism status....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 9/29/2015 2:16:02 PM by Cyndi Frick

Sleepless Nights with Less Than a Week until Transition

With only four more days to go with my first Au Pair from Germany, and only six more days until my new Au Pair from the Ukraine arrives, I find myself completely distracted and unable to focus on anything other than worrying about getting things ready, wondering about how we will get along with the new Au Pair, and stressing out about how the kids will handle someone new assuming the role of daytime caregiver.  ...Continue to Full Article
Posted: 9/17/2015 10:01:27 AM by Cyndi Frick

Au Pair Curfews – a Highly Debated Topic

We all remember back to when we were living with our parents and the word “curfew” was an instant kill-joy… well, when I way “we”, I mean you (like when my husband says “we” painted the house, but there was so actual “we” involved) – I was one of those weird nerdy kids whose angelic behavior never warranted a curfew.  Nevertheless, when it comes to hosting an Au Pair (of any age), we as Host Parents inevitably see them as our responsibility, and with that responsibility comes decisions to be made around curfew: Should I set one?  What time is the norm?  What are other Host Families doing?  
...Continue to Full Article

Posted: 9/7/2015 11:45:33 AM by Cyndi Frick

How to read between the lines of a candidate’s application when matching

We all do it. Why do we skip over one candidate’s application, but we are instantly excited to speak with another when in reality, both fit our requirements? It’s a gut feeling - or intuition as some may say – that enables us to read between the lines of an application. In my case, most of the time my gut feelings about a candidate have proven to be the right answers.  However, there can be instances when intuition can fail you: when you are tired, when you are in a rush to match, when you are fresh out of a bad experience and are looking for the opposite of the prior match, or when you are blinded by a candidate who has qualifications that you prize highly but then overlook an important clue....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 9/1/2015 2:47:11 PM by Anna T, Host Mom

To Gap or to Overlap: Which choice is best for you when transitioning from former to new Au Pair?

After having a great experience with hosting thorough our first year, we decided to host again; however, the new territory of transitioning from former to new Au Pair will be upon us in less than a month, and transitioning can be done in only one of two ways: overlap or gap.  Never having done this kind of transition before, I wondered, “Which way is best way?  Which way is the easiest?  What do most families do?”  
...Continue to Full Article

Posted: 8/31/2015 1:12:51 PM by Cyndi Frick

Au Pairs Can Be a Major Benefit When It Comes to Back-to-School Time!

Even though many parents look forward to autumn and the promise of sanity and a quiet house (ahh, the little things), back-to-school time can be stressful for parents when they think about all of the changes in schedules that they will have to manage.  Au Pairs, in general, are supposed to “make our lives easier”, and having live-in help when it comes to bring the children back to school definitely can make your life easier....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 8/24/2015 9:09:35 AM by Cyndi Frick

Social Media and Its Effect on Au Pairs’ Attitudes

When it comes to hosting an Au Pair, social media can be used for good… and for evil.  While many Au Pairs will use social media easily and effectively to communicate with loved ones back home, that same resource may also contribute to comparing their (or a Host Family’s) situation to that of others in the same social circles....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 8/17/2015 11:00:00 AM by Cyndi Frick
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