So for the past four years around this time, we welcome a new member to our family. This time I'm not talking about a new baby! Working part-time hours as a family doc and caring for four kids six and under would be a much more challenging task without the help of our live-in au pair. July is when we started our contract and we're now on our fourth.
I had written an entry about why we were considering going with an au pair for childcare back in 2011. All those reasons are still true... the cross cultural experience, availability, and finances... however, it became much more than that.
Granted, it is difficult initially transitioning and getting to know and live with someone new every year. We're in the process of getting to know our new au pair right now. There is much adjustment from their end to a different culture, way of thinking and caring for young kids while we adjust to another personality. However, overall our experience has been very positive and rewarding. Thankfully, our kids have taken to all our different au pairs and they often refer to our previous au pairs with much fondness and love.
Our past au pairs have each brought something different to our family with the varying talents and personalities they have. Our kids have learned a lot of the Chinese language because of their interactions with them. My oldest, especially, is very fluent in mandarin Chinese because of them.
Last month, we threw a reunion and 'goodbye' party for our au pairs. All three au pairs from previous years were here!
We are excited to see what this year will bring with our current au pair. It is no easy task to help care for our four young children but we hope the experience can be fun and rewarding for both parties.