Daycare was never an option for Gina, her husband is a paramedic and she is a doctor. They both work nights and evenings. Originally, to care for their two children they had to bring in multiple babysitters and nannies and then try to organize their schedule accordingly.
The whole situation got pretty complicated. “Before having Au Pairs we would find people that would sleep over night. We did that for four years. We choose to use an Au Pair because we needed more consistency and to simplify our life.”
“It was really hard to carry everything and organize so much for extended periods of times. We did this when my daughter was young. I don’t know how we survived it.”
Not only was it hard finding a way to organize their complicated schedules, but there was a high cost to having to people on hand at nights. Au Pair childcare turned out to be less expensive and easier to maintain.
No childcare experience isn’t going to come without a learning curve, and especially with Au Pairs there is an adjustment period, to makes sure they are happy and the family is happy. Gina has had some bad experiences but overall says having Au Pairs has been a really great experience.
“Our Au Pair being happy is key to our kids being happy. It is it is like having an exchange student. You have to be comfortable with them that they are not a domestic employee.”
The end result however was just what the doctor ordered. When their daughter started school and they couldn’t drop her off and pick her up on a regular basis. Gina said, “Now, I do not have to worry about the children getting picked up from school, getting their homework done, and getting them to their activities after school. She bikes our kids to and from school in the snow and makes sure they get plenty of exercise.”
Her Au Pairs have also had some great experiences living with Gina and her family in Alaska, like running into the occasional moose or sledding for the first time or hanging out with all of the other Au Pairs in Anchorage.