I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see my relationship with my Au Pair develop into something very much like a sister or daughter.
My sister and I have never been what most would consider “close”, and when we were young and were constantly bickering, people would say to us, “You just wait; when you get older, you’ll be the best of friends.”
I waited and waited, but unfortunately, it was not meant to be. However, as luck and fate would have it, hosting my Au Pair has had an unforeseen benefit for me…
She’s kind of like the sister I never had.
Trying to get together with friends my own age with children my children’s ages is great. But, coordinating that kind of one-on-one friend time is almost impossible, especially when it includes trying to convince the husbands to watch the kids.
It’s so nice to have another female around the house for spontaneous “girl talk” and to share in the misery and joy of spending every day with two children under the age of four, from a woman’s (and caregiver’s) perspective.
When I asked my Au Pair if she’d rather be like a sister or a daughter to me, she said “sister,” and I’m okay with that.
However, in some ways she is also like the daughter I will never have. I want to go on record to say that just because I have two sons, that does not mean that I “have one more chance” to have a daughter.
In what world does having two boys mean that you should all of a sudden want three children? It doesn’t. I’m done.
And so, I will never have a daughter to do girl things with, to get our nails done together, to shop with… But those things I am able to do with my Au Pair, and we have a good time doing it too. It’s kind of like a step-daughter relationship without the family drama or the stereotypical hatred and disdain.
Regardless of whether she is more like a sister or a daughter to me, she’s a friend who’s keeping me young.
(No, I’m not trying to be that mom who doesn’t know she’s not in her 20’s anymore. But being able to go shopping with her and having conversations about things that the “kids” are talking about these days is so much fun and keeps me from feeling too old).
I even gave in and let her teach me how to use Instagram! (I felt like how I assume my mother felt when I tried to teach her how to use Skype, as I rolled my eyes and silently lost my patience).
Let’s face it. I’m not a teenager as she is.
But we have the same sense of humor, and my husband says we sound like little teenage girls at a sleepover – giggling so hard about nothing, our faces start to hurt.
When you’re a mom with other mother-type friends, it’s hard to find a time when both moms are free and can hang out together kid-free. Sometimes, though, during my Au Pair’s free time, we go shopping or sit at a coffee shop to talk.
That adult time with another woman helps keep me sane and happy.
When you think about your Au Pair as a member of your family, you can enjoy benefits that go beyond what the program promises, and you will both have an amazing experience.