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Danville family chooses unusual childcare method

Original post made on Sep 7, 2011

When parents need someone reliable to take care of their children, they typically call the neighborhood babysitter or nanny. But others have turned to a unique type of service for childcare.

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Comments (13)

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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Danville
on Sep 7, 2011 at 7:35 am

Proud mom of 3 young children, working part-time, doing it on my own - with the hubster, 1 dog and a fish - and proud of it !!!

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Posted by Danville Working Mom
a resident of Danville
on Sep 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

We've had au pairs living with our family in Danville for over seven years and it has been a wonderful experience for both our children and the au pairs. We would never trade this type of childcare. Having au pairs has allowed our children insight into the larger world outside of Danville. It has taught them to respect a person living in their home who is helping them, to try new foods, to develop a relationship with the au pair as a sister and a role model. It has been great for the au pairs as well, to live with an American family and explore our beautiful Bay Area.
I am a working mom but at various times I worked part time and now full time; regarding these comments about "why doesn't she do it all herself", I don't know why it makes any mom a hero to change every diaper or clean every dish. What counts to me is having quality time with the kids, which we have more of if there is someone to help with some of the other daily tasks. And having an au pair (45 hours a week) is less expensive than daycare if you have more than 2 children. If I was a stay-at-home mom and had the finances, why not? Getting help with childcare does not make a person selfish, lazy or a bad parent.

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Posted by Member
a resident of Danville
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

I worked full time and was fortunate to have great sitters when my children were infants. They attended pre-school once potty trained. However...when we were at home my husband and I were their only caregivers. I don't think of myself as a hero but I will say I cannot understand why you have full time nannies if your financial situation allows you to stay at home. If I did not have to work I would have loved to stay at home with my children. Stay at home Moms work very hard and I have no problem if they have some extra help. But full time nannies seem a little much unless you do have some health limitations.

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Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

Some of you seem to be such excellent people that you're available to advise others on how to spend their money And raise their offspring.

Wow -- kudos! You're That Good!

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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

We tried the Au Pair thing but the French maid outfits weren't setting well with my wife.......

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm

You can't be called a stay-at-home mom when you are not doing all of your job. Does a full-time employee get to hire a temp to do the parts of their job they don't like or don't want to do?! Au pairs are just an excuse to have your 2.5 kids to keep up with the Jones', but not have to take care of them.

This world culture explanation for having an au pair is a joke. If you want your children to be exposed to real world culture, take them there. I, along with my husband and 2 kids from the time they were 5, have been to Croatia, Haiti, Jamaica (into the heart of the country, not just the beaches) and other places where you really see what is happening in other countries not as fortunate as our own. An au pair cannot possibly convey the same sense of loss as seeing, for instance, the remaining damage from the bombs that Serbia dropped on Dubrovnik during their war of independence and the sadness you see in the eyes of their people when they look at it.

If you want an au pair, just admit you don't want to do your job and don't try to make excuses for it!

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Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Sheesh. Is there any story so innocuous that hatred and bile can't be rained-down on it?

My wife and I had au pairs -- young women and men -- for many years -- our daughters are 28 and 22 and they greatly benefited from the care and cultural enrichment. All legal. We stay in touch with many of the them on facebook -- only had one bad one and she was promptly replaced by the agency; no marriages ensued.

And you know what else? It was strictly Our Business.

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Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Wow it is amazing that there is this level of bitterness, judgment and self-righteousness among women in Danville!!! Who cares if the mom wants some help? I say good for her! It is a tough job raising children and if she can afford to have help, why not? Most moms I know who have help use those hours to spend time with other of their children, and to save the little ones from being dragged around in the car all day. Using an au pair makes sense when American babysitters with no training whatsoever are trying to charge $18- $20 an hour, and for that price will not even help out with dishes, laundry, or other household tasks.

Our kids were born in Europe where everyone we knew had some kind of help, whether an au pair, grandparents, or other relatives- and those moms weren't lazy slackers out getting pedicures- they were normal, loving moms, but raised with the old-school view that it takes a village to raise a happy, heathly child and there should be a variety of people contributing. Only when we moved back to Danville did we encounter this idea that a mom is supposed to be on her own, doing everything for everyone by herself- being a martyr or a hero or whatever- or else she will be judged as lazy. That's ridiculous! A mom who stays home and does every single thing for her kids herself does not win a "mom prize" for being better than a working mom. And I would bet the children of working moms love their mothers just as much.
It is so disappointing to see this kind of judgment about a mother asking for help when the family feels they need it!

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Posted by Susan
a resident of Blackhawk
on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Likewise, tuition bills don't show parenting skills. Was it you or the kids mother who actually raised them? You should think about what your mama taught you about responsiblity! Or did she?

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Wow - so much interest in how a family chooses to spend their money! I haven't had the luxury of being a stay at home mom (other than a few short time periods) but if I were and I had the funds to hire an au pair, I wouldn't do it. It just wouldn't work for me - I would love the experience of being on my own with my kids regardless of the tasks associated with that scenario.

That said, I see nothing wrong with this family going their own way! These parents are the decision makers on what is right for their family - why should others be so judgmental about that decision? Their concept of how to care for their kids doesn't threaten mine at all.

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Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

@ Susan: glad you asked.

I raised both my daughters as a single dad, taking a job/forming a company with a flexible schedule so I could be available to them. They, and I, have both thrived, personally and professionally.

My mama, RiP, and others taught me plenty about raising healthy, happy, ethical kids who know how to make good choices, 'cuz I let 'em try it out. Based on how free you are with your orders to others about how they need to live their lives, I despair for the prospect that you are, indeed, raising "self-reliant and independent children..."

You might consider something else, that my Daddy taught me: "It's better to be silent, and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Danville
on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Motherhood and being a mom is more than a full-time job. A livlihood that is not only important directly to the welfare of the family, but to the immediate neighborhood, community and the social fabric of our country. I therefore find it extremely degrading when moms that choose not to work outside the house, giving up potential social and economic advantage are simply labelled "stay-at-home moms", and not "full-time moms", as compared to their counterparts who work outside the home for economic reasons, and are therfore actually "working or part-time moms".

Nobody likes to be called a "part-time mom", so therefore please give some credit, admiration, and respect to the mom that devotes here entire day to her family, children, and house.

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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Susan...I was also widowed after a 6 year battle of breast cancer of my wife...she had the courage of a Lion...I found myself to be a single parent in the midst of a rising professional career and had to find a way to move on, balancing personal grief, child rearing needs and professional responsibilities all the while not being labeled as a "guy whose wife has breast cancer" are lucky in some ways you have not walked the street Cardinal and I have and your insular judgemental comments reflect that. Lighten up Honey...your Husband could be me and Cardinal next...we certainly did not plan this to be one of our life lessons...

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