Recently I went to a meeting with local entrepreneurs to collaborate on our business ventures, personal journeys and to provide a space of encouragement. There were people from all backgrounds, ages and businesses. A constant through the conversations was finding time. One person even expressed their struggle with expanding their business because of coordinating child care. This got me thinking how much time an Au Pair can save a family. Time that could be spent growing their business, pursuing personal goals or even just having time to breath! Our schedules fill up so quickly, so why not have someone who lives to provide an extra set of hands to free up more time!
To begin, an Au Pair cares for children for anywhere between 25 to 40 hours per week. This time can be used however the family feels necessary; for example, 2 hours in the morning to help with morning routine and school drop off, 2 hours during the day to help with tidying up and 2 hours in the afternoon at school pick up and helping to start dinner/homework. If your family really needs help on the weekends, plan it out so the Au Pair works Saturday mornings for 4 hours instead working on Monday afternoons. This unique flexibility provides families perfect fit scheduling.
Then, Au Pairs live in with a family to learn the day-to-day lifestyle of a Canadian family. This is an added bonus because having live in child care saves time. Think of all the time you are saving by not driving back and forth from the day care or school. Your Au Pair can drive the kids to their activities. Even if your schedule is different from week to week, a family can still have someone who lives in and organize a night during the week to go over scheduling. Late meetings are no longer a time of panic because someone is caring for your children at your home. No more pick up, no more rushing.
Lastly, an Au Pair job is to provide child care and light housekeeping including help with dinner/lunch preparation, tidying up and some laundry. Create a schedule and list of responsibilities that works for your family. If you have younger children, your Au Pair can do some laundry during nap time or help tidy their room. If you have older children, an Au Pair can help with homework or drive them to their after school activities. You can take your time coming home from work and maybe, if you dare, take some time for yourself. Go to the gym, take a piano lesson, volunteer.
Having an extra set of hands at home is meant to liberate you and provide the time necessary to live a wholehearted life.