We are a busy household with two full-time working parents and four high-energy children between the ages of three and nine years old. We have had three au pairs before having Dylan join our family. Before having an au pair in our life, it was a daily struggle managing the needs of our children, their school drop-offs, pick-ups, and activities. Just the overwhelming logistical challenges made it hard to enjoy our time as a family. Before we had an au pair we had babysitters and daycare and we still do have one in daycare, but we never had the flexibility we desperately needed. Having an au pair changed all of that.
Dylan was the first au pair candidate we interviewed this past year. From her profile, we saw that she had volunteered in an orphanage for children with medical needs and listed skateboarding as a hobby. We have three young boys and a little girl so we not only wanted someone who really wanted to care for children, but also we knew we needed someone who could get outside and run around and keep them active and engaged. When we video-chatted it was clear that she had an easy-going, relaxed manner from the start. Our children felt she was “cool” – which is what every child wants in their caregiver! Hers was the first profile we reviewed and the first person we interviewed but we knew she was the one for us and did not need to interview anyone else after her. We really were confident that we found the right au pair for our family – it was just a sense we had in our interviews and email exchanges. After Dylan arrived it was clear that we were absolutely right! Dylan had such a calm and comfortable demeanor from the start that she immediately fit in as part of the family. She picked up on everything so quickly and adapted to all the changes readily. She asked appropriate questions and clarified when she needed to. She just jumped right in with the kids without any hesitation and the kids definitely think she has that “cool” factor even after four months together!
What makes Dylan unique is her patient demeanor in combination with her desire to problem-solve and improve. She takes our three boys on the subway after school and they are often rambunctious and can definitely get rowdy. For most caregivers, this would be a dreaded situation. Dylan meets with us weekly to talk about the week and how things are going. On weeks that the boys have been raucous, she asks for suggestions and feedback on how to manage them. She appreciates the feedback and tries the suggestions but on her own has come up with ways to engage them, calm them, and make sure everyone has the best experience together.
She is the first au pair we have had who has truly run around with our boys playing chase and ball with them on the playground until they are out of breath. But Dylan is just at ease playing pretend with our three-year-old daughter and feeding food to her stuffed animals in the playroom. No matter what, Dylan is always eager to help and jump right in with her sleeves rolled up! These important life skills plus her mature and gentle nature are real attributes we admire in her. Because of all this, we want our children to see Dylan not only as their friend, caregiver, and family member, but also as a role model.