To hire an au pair or not to hire an au pair?… that is the question

For the last two years we had a not so reliable nanny who was our first introduction into home child care.   We love her deeply, she interacted with my children in the most loving way, never raised her voice and kept them busy most of time with activities.   Although, she wasn’t very organized or kept up with their laundry, it was okay for us,  my kids were happy and they loved her.   So the big deal breaker was,  she would not give us notice when she couldn’t make it to work.  She literally would not show up, send a vague text and call the next day.  Half a dozen times of this, you start to wonder if the woman caring for your children really even cares at all.   I really need to get past this.

Thus began our search for someone new and decided to try out an au pair.  I mean how could she not show up to work, she will be living at work for gods sake.  Sounds great, right?  Well the truth is, hiring an au pair is like a bartering, you give them an opportunity to experience life in the USA and they help out with the children for a fraction of the cost of a nanny.   Sounds great but not so easy.  We are a family of six (Nana, Dad, Mom, older son (21), toddler girl (4) and toddler boy (2).   We sometimes don’t get along with each other, adding someone into the mix can be tricky.  When you invite someone to live in your home and essential become a part of your family for a year to help take care of your children, its a relationship that needs to nurtured,  just like any other relationship.   The big question is… Are we up for this?

Interviewing au pairs via Skype is very challenging and has made me pretty fearful of matching with a complete stranger.  All sorts of frightening thoughts come to mind because you don’t really know them.   People pretty much say what you want to hear to get the job.  It’s not like spending the day, watching her interact with your children, to see if they are a good fit.   We have skyped with two wonderful young ladies from Brazil.  Although there is a slight language barrier between us, we could see that these women were warm and caring.   But how could I be so sure…

Coincidently, my husband’s good friend, Sasha Allen is singing with the Rolling Stones in Brazil.   He was hinting that he may want to go and see her in the show.  So my thoughts…

It must be a sign… let’s skip Disney World this winter vacation… go to Brazil, meet the Au Pair.

Okay, I know it sounds crazy but that’s just what we did and a week later we were off to Brazil with the kids (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo bound).

What about this Zika Virus?  My kids pediatrician said not to worry if I wasn’t pregnant or trying to get pregnant and pack lots of mosquito spray.  Even with all the Zika virus warnings on TV we are going for it.  Boa Viagem!

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