As a single Mum I have had to have au pairs to help me cope with the stresses of life. As a working Mum, working in a corporate environment, who also wanted what was best for her kids, I needed someone else responsible to help them get to and from sports, and do homework, and feed the earlier than I was home.
There are a million Mums out there doing the same.
So, given the situation as it was, I started off getting a youngish girl to do the first year of Au Pairing. She drove the kids around, fed them, cuddled them, played with them and had energy for the little ones whilst I was not around. She was also very motherly, and because my kids were 2 and 4, that was important to me.
Fast forward to the next long term Au Pair, a lovely motherly figure, who did homework and gave the kids a bit more space, but good values.
Then we moved countries, and a got a young German Au pair girl, who was lovely, if a bit young, but had good morals and fitted in fine whilst studying English.
The next year we looked again, and one of the options was a male. Now, I had never considered a male, but having had 3 females in the house for 5 (ish) years, and hormones ever on the increase as my daughter got older, I seriously considered a male Au pair.
A very strong reason was that my son now needed a make role model , and he also needed a male to play sports with him. My daughter had me to lean on, but my son had no male influence to speak of, so I thought it might be great. Also, less female hormones in the house would probably make it a calmer house. So I seriously considered it.
After much thought I decided to take the plunge and invite him to come live with us whilst he learnt English at the local college. The kids called him ‘The Manny’ …. and I called him my saviour!
To tell you the truth, I couldn’t have fallen more ‘bum in butter’ if I’d tried. This wonderful man arrived, Basketball in tow, and took residence in broken English. He was sporty, had a great sense of humour, and had I been 20 years younger …….
He took both kids in hand, played board games, got them to teach him English, taught my son Basketball, played Cricket, and Tennis, and even took my son to Basketball International matches and a Football match. Things I wanted to do, but never got around to. He learnt to cook ( pretty well too) , and was very kind, clean, helpful in the house and very respectful.
I thought I’d won the lottery. I still do. What I liked about this kind, strong gentle soul, is that he had good morals, liked clean living, and he appreciated the conversations we had.
I hope that I taught him some things over and above the cooking skills, we discussed shares and share portfolios, we discussed families, and family values, and we laughed about the different cultures and our languages.
Did I do the right thing? Absolutely! My son grew in leaps and bounds, and he loved the man who just became part of our family almost instantly. I would definitely do it again. It’s a brave step, for a single Mum, but to be coy, I was a Mum In Awe of how lucky I’d got, and Erik will be with us forever in our hearts, and always have a home here if he needs one!! Male Au Pair’s ROCK!