“Since 2012 We have au-pairs living-in to support us with our Au pair Agency Huisje Boompje Nanny. My family consists of 6 people if you include our puberty girl (au-pair). I can write a book about all the adventures we have been part of since we started with au-pairs, but for now I will just start with the questions people ALWAYS ask me when they hear we have an au-pair:
Really, but doesn’t it bother you someone in your space? I think we could never get used to that…
“Well, that’s what I thought at first as well. But, with 2 full time jobs and 3 kids, my husband dared me to just take a chance on it. If you don’t like it, he said, we will stop immediately. And now… I can’t live without it anymore!”
But, in your house… isn’t that annoying?
“No, actually, you really don’t notice at all. Those girls don’t want to sit next to you in the living room in the evening or weekends. They have their au-pair friends, facebook groups, party’s the au-pair agency organizes, Netflix, etc. They ‘ use’ us as a hub to travel through Europe, and that’s also what we encourage them to do.”
Were are they from?
“We have South African au-pairs. That is convenient with the language… Afrikaans looks like Dutch, so there’s no language barrier to communicate with the kids. We’ve had 1 girls from Brazil, and the kids also got to talk English with her quite fast! But we stick with South Africans because there’s a good match in culture.”
Because of the HBN Au Pair Program I can work full-time, manage 3 kids, a husband, do some sports, enjoy life with a smile on my face and have a social life!”
As a base for success with an au pair, we believe that a right match has to be made between au pair and family. In this we believe that Huisje Boompje Nanny is really good and professional. We also really liked that HBN takes you through the process step-by-step. It’s quite some administrative work to arrange before the au pair eventually arrives. Another question went through our minds; What if the au pair doesn’t get any friends?
Luckily HBN is very active in organising events for the au pairs. Because of this, they get the opportunities to get to know each other in a pleasant and sometimes active manner (through ice-skating or by boat). From this events our au pair Carla built up her network of friends. Really important for her is that she has her friends besides our family. Because the click with Carla was there immediately, you can start building a good relationship right away. Of course you experience a barrier in language with each other in the beginning, but you understanding each other happens really quickly. Carla is from South Africa, and South African is pretty similar to Dutch so learning the language for her was pretty rapid. The kids speak Dutch with her and do see her as a family member. We also noticed that when her Dutch improved she was able to improve her parenting skills as well.
What we believe is important is to have in the beginning, is a good mutual understanding of expectations. If you discussed this properly you will have a smaller chance of misunderstandings. Evaluations are not a bad idea! We experienced that sharing our house with an au pair doesn’t feel like an invasion of our privacy. Also, it’s interesting to hear stories from her from a totally different country and culture.