At times, finding work-life balance can seem like a far-fetched dream. Working, commuting, caring for kids, finding time to work out and practice self-care, and managing a household can take its toll.
If you sometimes feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for everything, you aren’t alone. Many parents struggle with finding work-life balance in their busy lives.
5 Ways Parents Are Finding Work-Life Balance By Hosting an Au Pair
A good work-life balance is vital to self-esteem, the ability to focus at work, and your family’s well-being. Children can sense their parents’ stress, so a poor work-life balance can even contribute to child behavior issues. It can also impact your sleep schedule and exacerbate the feeling of imbalance.
Possibly one of the fastest ways to improve work-life balance is by hosting an Au Pair. Because Au Pairs can take on many childcare-related duties, they can significantly reduce the number of things parents have to do. Here are some common ways Au Pairs help restore the balance.
1. Driving the Kids Around
Do you sometimes feel like a taxi service for your kids? If so, you’ll be relieved to hear that Au Pairs can take on the task of driving the kids to and from school and activities.
For instance, if you have one kid at soccer practice and another in ballet at the same time, it feel impossible to get everyone where they need to be. You might feel guilty that you can’t attend both practices, or you might stress over finding a carpool for one child. But with an Au Pair, you can divide and conquer (the next best thing to being in two places at once).
Even if you aren’t being pulled in all directions, it’s nice to have someone around who can drop the kids off in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon so you don’t have to rush home from work.
2. Kids’ Laundry & Relevant Childcare-Related Chores
It’s hard enough staying on top of chores as a single adult or a young couple with no kids. But once you add in chores for the entire household, it can become a never-ending struggle to keep up.
Au Pairs can assist with childcare-related chores throughout the day. They can help wash and put away your kids’ laundry while they’re home alone with the kids (0r while everyone is away at school and work). If you have younger children, Au Pairs can keep toys picked up and enforce having the children clean up after themselves throughout the day.
It’s also common for families to ask their Au Pair to vacuum the kids’ bedroom or playroom, wash any dishes they use during the day, and help the kids make their beds.
3. Packing Lunches or Managing Breakfast
If mornings are a struggle for you, having someone around to manage feeding the kids and getting them ready for the day can be a huge relief. Not only does this give you time to get yourself ready without the stress, but it ensures your kids are actually eating their breakfast.
Many Au Pairs love to cook. If this is the case with your Au Pair, you might find your children getting more hot breakfasts than before. Au Pairs can also help prepare school lunches or after-school snacks.
4. Keeping You Connected While You’re Away
A big contributor to “working mom guilt” is the feeling that you’re disconnected from your kids throughout the day. You might worry that you’re missing milestones, or that your child is growing up without you while you’re away.
Au Pairs can alleviate some of this guilt. Often, Au Pairs send their Host Parents photos and videos of the kids. Because they love your kids like their own family, Au Pairs are more likely to want to share funny moments and celebrate your children’s achievements with you.
5. Homework Help for School-Aged Kids
Get home. Rush to make dinner. Argue and plead with kids to do their homework. Hold your head in your hands and say a prayer. Try not to do half their homework for them. Force feed them dinner and hurry them to bed. Late (again). Dread the grouchy morning you know will follow. Rinse. Repeat.
Sound familiar? It’s a struggle many of us are all too familiar with. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Au Pairs can supervise homework time so you can come home to a more relaxed household. Imagine spending quality time with your kids instead of fighting with them all night. (Plus, since Au Pairs can pack school lunches and help with child-related chores, you won’t have to rush as much to get things done).
6. Helping You Find More “Me” Time
Allowing your Au Pair to take on some of the above tasks means you’ll have more time for yourself. By hosting an Au Pair, you can find time to meal prep and eat healthier, achieve your fitness goals, and practice self-care.
Finding work-life balance starts with the little things. Take a bubble bath. Read a book. Have a grown-up conversation with your Au Pair (anything that doesn’t revolve around Paw Patrol).
You can even ask your Au Pair to watch the kids on an evening or weekend so you can go on a much-needed date night!
7. Take a (Relaxing) Family Vacation
All too often, family vacations aren’t that relaxing. You spend most of the time managing everyone’s whereabouts and taking care of your kids. By the time it’s over, you realize traveling is way more stressful than staying home (plus all the work that’s piling up for you while you’re gone).
Having a relaxing family vacation goes a long way toward finding work-life balance again. So instead of stressing, bring your Au Pair on vacation with you. Not only is this a wonderful way to contribute to your Au Pair’s cultural exchange experience and enable her to travel, but it allows you to schedule some overdue time for yourself during your vacation.
Interested in Hosting an Au Pair?
Ready to start finding work-life balance again? Au Pairs can work up to 45 hours a week, at a max of 10 hours a day. Often, depending on your location and the ages of your kids, Au Pair childcare is equivalent or cheaper than regular daycare. The best part is that the cost remains the same no matter how many children you need childcare for.
There are many things to consider before hosting an Au Pair. This includes the fact that they live in your home and need a private bedroom. If Au Pair Childcare sounds like the right solution for your family, you can register on our website now and start searching for Au Pairs as early as today!