Meet Our Au Pair – Childcare in Residency, Part 1

Mary PoppinsGoing to an ultrasound, peering at the inside of your own uterus broadcast on a screen, and seeing a little embryonic heart beating is equal parts exciting and terrifying. Seeing two little embryonic hearts beating, while still exciting (especially after infertility), is mostly terrifying.

After we got used to the idea of two babies, two cribs, two carseats, two NICU bills, two co-pays, and two adorable little girls we started approaching the issue of two daycare spots.

Conclusion: Babies are friggin’ expensive. Multiples are friggin’ expensive on steroids.

  • How much would it cost to have two infants in daycare full-time?
  • How often would we be having to take off work for double-doses of the sickies?
  • How much would we have to change our preferred ways of raising our two mini-humans because of protocol or rules?

A lot. To all of the above questions and countless others, the answer is a lot.

We knew there had to be options other than daycare, so we googled and asked around and ended up researching several options, including Au Pairs.

What Is An Au Pair?

Think foreign exchange student blended with Mary Poppins and all wrapped up in a tortilla of cultural exchange topped with awesome sauce. That’s an Au Pair.

So, a few months into parenthood we embarked on our journey to find an Au Pair using the only agency that serviced our area, Au Pair Care. An Au Pair is (typically) a young woman from a country other than your own who takes care of your children and things related to them. In addition to childcare, most Au Pairs take some sort of college courses & focus on better learning the language and culture of your country.

For Twin Tuesday I thought I’d do a series on Au Pairs and answer some of the common questions I get about having an AP. But, for today I’ll introduce you to our wonderful Au Pair, Odelia.

Welcome To Texas, Odelia!

(the newest, and likely most normal, member of the Jones family circus)

Our Au Pair

Odelia is from South Africa. She’s 19 years old and meshes so well with our family if it wasn’t for her weird accent I would swear she was born into it (the fact that she can not only take our teasing and sarcasm, but send it flying back only proves this point).

She is absolutely wonderful with our babies. When we were interviewing her we told her we were looking for a big sister for our girls, not an employee, and that is exactly what we got.

She grew up outside of Johannesburg in a small town, so moving to small-town Texas wasn’t too much of a change.

Just kidding. Total culture shock. We may not live in downtown San Francisco, but can you imagine leaving your family and the place you’ve been raised to literally go across the world and live in new country with the circus that is this family? I mean really, three crazy dogs, two tiny babies, a mom who works 80 hours/week, and a dad who might as well be the paparazzi with the way he follows people around with cameras…that is insanity, y’all.

Throw in Texas football, weather, language, and Mexican food and we’re downright lucky she didn’t flee on day one.

We’ve been blessed with a new family member and loving childcare provider all in one. It will be a sad day when we all say goodbye and give her back to her “real” family. Until then, though, I’ll spend my time thanking her for her hard work and trying to convince her to guest post for me at Mind On Medicine. Don’t we think that’d be awesome?

In the next Twin Tuesday Au Pair post I’ll answer questions about having an Au Pair – so if you have any burning questions let me know!