“You’re on the right track Mom, but these aren’t the same beans Gabi uses.”
That’s my 7-yearold calling me out for my non-authentic version of Feijoada. I laughed and smiled brightly back at him. My son is by far the trickiest to connect with out of our 3 kids (3, 5, and 7 years old, and all very different), and I love how Gabi has found a unique way to bond with each one of them.
Cultural exchange and making connections are some of the obvious benefits we were expecting when we first signed up for the au pair program, but it’s only a small piece of the amazing potential au pairs have. Being a partner that makes it possible for our family to do great things together while being a fantastic role model for our kids is what makes Gabi truly exceptional.
Gabi began her year with us right in the midst of the chaos of the end of the school year and the beginning of racing season. My son and I both race cars in two different series, and my daughter was getting ready for her ballet recital. I was so relieved when Gabi arrived and jumped right into our hectic routine without even flinching. She found a social network for the kids right away for summer activities, and she managed our schedule like a boss. For example, if she knew it was ballet night, she’d have a bag and fresh drinks packed for the kids and my daughter all tutu’d up and ready to go when I got off work. Her thoughtfulness and initiative
really help take the stress out of all these extracurricular activities. There aren’t many people I can think of who could have pulled off being thrown into a crazy busy family in a foreign country that speaks another language, but Gabi made it look easy.
One of hardest parts of being a working mom for me is missing out on a lot of the typical “mom stuff,” like volunteering at the school, planning fun playdates and daytime outings, or adding Pinterest-worthy personal touches to the kid’s birthday parties. This year Gabi has made that stuff possible for me. I mentioned already, she had the kids hooked into a social network within the first week of her arrival. This has always taken extra effort on my part, since I’m working all day I have to go out of my way to make connections with other parents to set things up for the kids. Gabi is outgoing and stays on top of local activities (free-day at the science museum, discount-day at LegoLand, picnics with friends at the park, etc.) She goes out of her way to plan fun activities for the kids, and it’s even brought us closer to other families in our area. With Gabi’s help, managing the kid’s social lives has gotten a whole lot easier and has freed up time for me to focus on additional things.
Finding the right role model is another important thing for me as a working parent.
It’s a little alarming to think that whatever option you choose for childcare will be spending more waking hours during the workweek with your kids then you do.
The good news is when you select an au pair you’re choosing from a pool of candidates who are all brave, strong, adventurous and fun-loving (just think of what it takes to sign up for a program where you live in another country for a year with a family you’ve never met who doesn’t even speak the same language). Gabi is absolutely exceptional in these categories, and she’s been the perfect role model for our kids. She goes out of her way to make the kids’ activities extra special with homemade-glitter-unicorn gift bags for my daughter’s birthday party and made-from-scratch cakes and desserts. She facilitates friendships for them, and she still makes time to go on her own adventures. She shows the kids that hard work pays off and demonstrates kindness, friendships, organization, fun, and creativity on a daily basis.
When Gabi has a family of her own someday, she’s going to totally rock. Since she’s been with us I’ve been able to work in time volunteering in my kid’s classrooms, keep up with the growing number of kids activities, (we just joined Ski Club) and our kids still can have a homemade cake decorated with M&M’s on their birthdays. Having had 3 au pairs previously, I was fully expecting cultural exchange and excellent child care. I never thought I’d be gaining a partner who would make it possible for our family to accomplish such great things together.
Our families agree… Au Pair child care is the best! Register for free today and start browsing Au Pair profiles.
“After years of stress and frustration, and many different nannies, we decided to look for an au pair. When Veronika arrived on January 2, 2016 our lives were forever changed. We had no idea that a real life Mary Poppins had just arrived!”
“I can honestly say that bringing her to live with us as our au pair has been the best decision we could possibly have made. She has afforded us so many priceless “intangibles” during her time here that I can’t begin to quantify her contributions to our family.”