Before our au pair, Marjone, joined us, we were a family of 4 and happy, but after school care was becoming increasingly stressful. My 7-year-old son has ADHD and struggled with communication and was often misunderstood when incidents occurred, and no adult had seen it. I was being called during important executive meetings and asked to pick up my son because of events that were very unlike his character. It was disruptive to my career, and emotionally unsettling for the family.
I’d heard about au pairs from a former co-worker and decided to investigate the option. We quickly began to scan profiles and reached out to a few. Upon skyping with Marjone, we felt like she was the one and little did we know, she felt the same. We interviewed a few more, but in short order returned to ask Marjone to be our Aupair. She accepted with excited tears and we waited in anticipation for her arrival.
She was a natural fit into the family and my only fear is what we will do when she returns to South Africa. We are definitely planning a vacation to South Africa in our future!
My son’s teachers have said that he seems like a different boy this year, and he’s increased his reading level by a whole grade level, in just 2 semesters. I attribute all of this to Marjone reading with him every day, and building his confidence since she can work one on one with him every day at home. My daughter is having similar success as she is at the top of her class in kindergarten.
Marjone is a part of our family, and we all work together to better benefit the family as a whole. When she first arrived, I was really worried about my children burning her out, and I’d always let her know that she could retreat to her room or do something else, but she would often keep playing with the children stating that she liked the video game or activity they were doing, and would do that for fun anyway. She knows my children really well, and I fully trust her with their lives and well-being. She is a big help, even when she’s not working because she’s part of our family.
My husband and I are definitely feeling less stressed. With Marjone in our lives, I can sleep a little longer in the morning and we can get a few extra errands done, and we never have to worry about handling emergencies like a sick child being home from school.
Marjone has also enriched our lives with better understanding of South Africa. My kids were surprised to learn that Christmas is in the summer there and that it would take a whole day to fly there. We also visited one of the few South African restaurants in Atlanta and experienced unique cuisine that we normally wouldn’t do. She’s also made us enjoy America a bit more, by ensuring that we travel and see more, to help her experience America. In the time she’s been here we’ve gone to Myrtle Beach, Amicalola Falls, Six Flags, Lake Lanier, family visits in Florida and GA mountain cabins and we’re just getting started! Holidays like Halloween that are normally fun, were infused with even more excitement since she was trying American traditions for the first time. The kids loved showing her all our decorations and taking her trick or treating with us.
Having Marjone is like having an older daughter who’s super mature and fun, and we can’t imagine our family without her!