I have had four.<br>
One was here illegally she lasted 48 hours (do a search on my username and aupair...) two I fired for being so lazy it was unreal (wanted to watch tv, surf internet not watch kids) my one is like a sister to me we still talk, exchange gifts etc.
well, i was an au pair for 6 months in italy. personally, i think i did a fantastic job, though i was told repeatedly that i should never, ever, ever tell anyone ever again that i can iron. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
if you're considering hiring one from overseas, my number one suggestion would be to allow plenty of time for culture shock. i was 18 when i went to italy and knew very, very little italian. needless to say, it was a hard transition. i wish that the family had had a little more (well, a lot more) grace for me when i first got there.<br><br>
i did get to live in an incredible place and took care of two FANTASTIC little boys who taught me italian as i taught them english. i did light housework, but my main concern was the children 5 days a week. i received room and board plus pocket money and two days off each week. i was always invited to go on family holidays, though not required.<br><br>
10 years later and looking back, i am a little surprised that the family trusted me as much as they did right off the bat. we did speak over the phone several times before i got there and the agency did a background check. but when i arrived, i was expected to start work immediately and the children were left in my care. i mean, i know that i'm trustworthy, but how did they? and why were they so ready to leave a 2 and 5 year old with someone who couldn't really understand a word they said? (i don't think they ever, the entire time i was there, learned my real name. i was known only as "bianca neve", snow white.)<br><br>
all in all, it was great experience for me (living overseas, learning a new language and culture, etc). i assume it was good for the family. the kids had a great live-in nanny and learned a little english. i had very little relationship with the parents.<br><br>
We have had 2 in the past. The first young lady was wonderful, very hard working, very loving to our children and she truely became part of our family. Five yaers later we still IM back and forth.<br><br>
Half way through Emma's stay she retuned home for 4 months. Her temp replacement was dreadful. I had ppd and she just made it worse so I fired her after many chances.
What a mixed bag! Sounds like when it's good it's great, and when it's bad it's dreadful. Yeah, I can't imagine an au pair who had any intention of being lazy would sign on with our family--in November we'll have six children ages ten and under.<br><br>
Keep'em coming, and thank you to those who have responded!