Being an Au Pair is so much more than just looking after children. It’s about opening your heart for people you briefly meet over skype before making the mutual decision of spending the next couple of months together. It’s about leaving everything you know behind for a certain time to explore a new country, a new culture, for some a new language even. It’s about becoming a mix of a big sister/big brother, a person of trust, a role-model, a best friend and sometimes even a second mom or dad. Being far away from home, there are definitely Au Pairs that go the extra mile and who understand that it’s about becoming a part of a family!
We were truly overwhelmed by all the love and heart-warming words put into the nomination letters we received for Au Pair of the Year 2017! Every letter we read touched our hearts tremendously and every Au Pair would be very deserving of becoming the Au Pair of the Year 2017, however one nomination especially stood out. We are pleased to announce that the winner of Au Pair of the Year 2017 is: Laura J. from Austria!
Please see her nomination letter below:
Au Pair of the Year Essay
Weiner Schnitzel, yummy baked goods, a sweet demeanor, and a willingness to make others happy (just to name a few attributes)—this describes Laura J., our Au Pair. She immediately formed a bond with our family instantly when we had our initial Skype session. She beamed with pride and joy the moment she laid her eyes on our boys. As a Mother, it is so very important to have my children surrounded by positive role models and people who love them dearly. Laura always shows an authentic, genuine love for our children and our family—this has never wavered. It is the kindness in her heart, she is grateful, she is willing to help, and when there is a need, she always offers her support.
The moment Laura arrived in Canada, she was already planning our 5 year old’s birthday cake. She made a beautiful fondant Lightening McQueen Cars 3 cake for our family party, and of course, my son was amazed and thrilled.
The summertime and the beginning of the Kindergarten school year were packed full of fun activities and day trips. Laura attended everything! We went on our newly purchased fishing boat to the local lakes, out to family fun play centers and mini-golfing, having fun in our backyard treehouse enjoying the great outdoors, throwing water balloons, playing in the sprinkler, the pool and on the playground equipment and slides…you name it, we did it. When school started Laura had spent copious hours of her own time venturing to the local mall to pick out the perfect items for Jake’s schulttle (I do not know how to spell the German/Austrian name for the gift given at the start of Kindergarten). This is a tradition that kids in Austria remember their whole lives. Pictured below is the huge gift she created for him! Jacob is enamored with Laura. He loves her kind heartedness, her gentle demeanor, and her willingness to play with him. Frequently, his younger brother is the one garnering the attention but Laura has a soft spot for Jake and she always makes sure he is loved and well looked after.
In the 3-4 months Laura has been here there have already been some difficult moments for me personally with my Mother having to be in hospital and a long recovery from surgery; only then, to find out after all of that she needs Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment for Cancer. With all of the stresses life brings with it, there have already been significant changes and alterations to the daily routine. Laura never dwells but always asks how she can be of help. Laura has spent time with my mother, taken the bus to visit her during her time off, and constantly looks for ways to brighten the day. Currently, she is working on a homemade advent calendar for my Mom so that she has something handmade and beautiful to open daily. It is created with the wood from the trees in our backyard and has the kids’ artwork attached.
Witnessing my husband and I struggling to find time to spend a moment together, except the wee hours of the evening once the kids are asleep and we need to be getting organized for our next day of work, Laura offered to organize an afternoon bowling session with the kids and did not want to be paid for her time, so that my husband and I could venture out to a movie and have a ‘date afternoon.’ It is these acts of kindness that epitomizes who Laura is as a person. This is not something you can make up—she is indeed ‘the’ “Au Pair of the Year!”
We cannot say enough good things about Laura—you do however, have a one page limit on the essay (haha). She has our full recommendation to be crowned-even in her short duration here-The Au Pair of the Year!
Thanks for doing an incredible job!
Yours, International Nannies & Homecare Ltd. Team!