Au pair hindsight – If I knew then what I know now

Au Pair Partners - Kelly Healy

As I waited at the arrivals gate in Brisbane airport, I wondered what she would really be like. We had spoken several times before on SKYPE and I felt like I really knew Demi, but you never really know anybody until you meet them in person. Well, I was not only about to do that, but she was coming home to live with us and care for our boys Pierce 3.5 years old and Louis 18 months as our au pair.

Demi was our second Au Pair, as we had Anca live with us for an entire year prior. She had become my little sister and big sister to the boys, she was part of the family and her shoes were definitely big ones to fill. She was also keen to know everything there was about this Demi lady, to ensure she was good enough to care for her boys! That’s what happens when you find the right au pair, they become part of your family, they love and care for your children as though they were family - and that friendship lasts a lifetime.

As Demi entered the arrivals lounge I could see the nerves in her eyes. She smiled and we embraced, and I remember telling her how excited we were she was here. Over the next week I spent time at home with her taking her around our local area and ensuring she was comfortable with our routine.

The day then came for me to head back to work and to leave Demi to settle in at home with the boys. I kissed them good bye and headed out the door, the boys stood at the window blowing kisses and screaming good bye to me and half of the neighbourhood as I drove off down the street. It was at this moment I went into mum overdrive “what am I doing? I don’t even know this woman, will my boys be alright? Will they be safe? Will they eat? Will she make sure they wear sunscreen and a hat in the park? Does she know how bad the Australian sun is? What on earth am I doing, my brain just wouldn’t stop!", and then I stopped the car and started to cry.

When I finally got a grip of myself and told myself to calm down, I continued on route to the closest coffee shop to reward myself with some much needed caffeine. You see, I knew that the boys would be totally fine, but as a mother we have a great ability to question our every move – we all have our own reasons why, no judgement here!  

As the weeks went by it was easier and easier to leave the boys each day, but it has never been easy, you see I still feel I should be the one at home caring for them, but that just isn’t an option for our house. So I have created a home environment that I believe gives my family the balance it needs to raise happy, healthy humans! Weeks turned to months and Demi fitted in brilliantly and found her own way of doing things. We shared tears together as she missed her beautiful family back home and she taught the boys so many great things about her Dutch traditions and love of cooking, most importantly she introduced Louis to Miffy – his new best friend.

This week marks one year since Demi arrived in Australia and she sent me the most beautiful heartfelt message about her time here, how nervous she was, but how quickly she fell in love with the boys and how much she now misses them. She explained how her time with us was the best year of her life.

She has become part of our family, my little sister and the boys big sister. The most amazing thing about hosting an au pair is the opportunity to meet amazing people and bring those amazing traditions into your home.  

If you would like to know more about how to become an au pair, and how the process works.


Did you know that most au pairs come to Australia under the 417 visa. For information on this visa click below.