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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 family and Au Pair Relationships, childcare, parenting and cultural exchange.

Host Mom Helper - Cyndi M. Frick   

Cyndi Frick - Host Mom & Guest Contributor

Cyndi M. Frick, COO at Paris Honoré, is a very busy mother of two amazing little boys.  If not for the flexible help that her Au Pairs afford her, she would not be able to successfully run multiple businesses at a time.  Follow along with this real-life Host Mom on through the ups and downs of her Au Pair journey.

 


 



 



Hosting an Au Pair Makes My Life Work

To say that I’m a busy mom is a vast understatement; lately, everyone in my house has heard me saying things like, “If I didn’t have to sleep, I could get so much more done!” or “I would rather work than take a break to eat lunch.”  Am I crazy?  Probably.  Sometimes I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish everything I need to accomplish.
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Posted: 2/11/2016 9:08:46 AM by Cyndi Frick

Younger Au Pairs Can Surprise You… In a GOOD Way

I know many Host Families believe deep down that younger Au Pairs require more work, aren’t the best drivers, and are a bit more needy, but I’ll tell you, going into my fourth month with my 19-year-old Au Pair from Ukraine, I can’t understand why more families don’t give the younger Au Pairs a chance.  No, we don’t need a driver, and obviously the first three months are the period of honeymoon, adjustment, and settling in to the dynamic of how the relationship will look for the remainder of the year, but in our present circumstance, we are on track to host the mythical “dream Au Pair” (it’s like a unicorn… people have heard of it, but does it exist?).
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Posted: 12/29/2015 10:04:43 AM by Cyndi Frick

Help for First Time Host Families: The Basics to Hosting an Au Pair

As a Go Au Pair MVF (Most Valuable Family), I have spoken with enough potential Host Families to know what they don’t know but need to know about the basics of hosting.  Having been a FTHF (First Time Host Family), I can attest to the depth of knowledge and understanding that you DON’T have when you are first starting to delve into the decision of whether or not hosting an Au Pair is right for you....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 12/16/2015 9:19:30 AM by Cyndi Frick

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?  
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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
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