In July, our family welcomed an Au Pair into our home. We did this for a few reasons:
- We have always wanted to host an exchange student
- We want our son to be bilingual
- We needed to figure out our next move as our son was aging out of his daycare
- My husband launched his business in January and I travel 1 – 3 times a month for my job…life was STRAIGHT UP CRAZY and we needed in-home help
- It was affordable
We are about a month in and frankly, we’re in love. The program is awesome, our Au Pair is real chill, my son is learning German, I’m practicing and working on my vocabulary and I think our Au Pair is having a good time. We’re enjoying learning about our Au Pair and showing her our version of America and DC.
But also, we have a free babysitter some evenings, she can start earlier or end later as our schedule allows and it’s been awesome having an extra set of hands to help out in the evenings as we march towards bedtime.
The Au Pair program has provided us the flexibility that we craved. It’s made parenthood feel much more manageable for me which is pretty huge. It’s even made the possibility of having a second child seem not as insurmountable, if that’s the direction our family decides to go in a few years.
So, imagine my surprise when I got a letter from our Au Pair agency informing us that Trump may cancel the J1 Visa program through his Executive Order “Buy American, Hire American”. I’m hopeful that this won’t happen. But it sincerely worries me and causes me some angst. I finally feel that our family has settled on the perfect solution to manage our busy lives, as well as enrich them. As I watch my son play with our wonderful Au Pair and listen to her instructions in a foreign language, my heart sinks at the possibility of this wonderful cultural opportunity being taken away.
I finally don’t feel like I’m drowning in the wake of managing a household, taking care of health and fitness, parenting my son, working full-time and traveling two weeks out of each month. I finally feel that we can do this…and we’re living well.
I feel frustrated at the thought of that evaporating into the air, with the stroke of a pen.
I don’t know what will happen. So until we know, we will march forward in our lives, one step at a time. We will write our representatives. We will sign our petitions. We will engage.
We will hope for the best.
We will persevere.