Loan Kline is a pediatrician from Virginia. When she found out she was going to have triplets she put her own mother on high alert. Once the newborns arrived her mom got up in the night with her to help Loan feed the three boys, and she carried one or two or even three of the babies at any given time to lighten the load for Loan and her husband.
Loan’s mom was
even there for her when she was on bed rest before the triplets were born.
After so much hustling and bustling Loan realized her mom wasn’t the best
person for the job. “When we made the
decision to give grandmother a much needed break, we had a few friends that had
au pairs and looked into the au pair program.”
Loan and her husband are both physicians, so keeping in sync with triplets and their au pairs and their careers takes a little bit of organization. “We have a shared family calendar so the au pair knows exactly where I am and if I will be working late that night because I am on call or in a meeting. It also helps our au pairs plan their vacations accordingly,” said Loan.
The au pair steps it up to cover in some of the times when a daycare or nanny can’t. Loan said, “When my boys are sick, which they are rarely (knock on wood) I do not have to take off work, because me taking off of work would mean cancelling 20 patient appointments, disrupting 20 families’ schedules. I do not have the luxury to call in sick.”
“When the boys’ have early dismissal or school is cancelled for whatever multitude of reasons, I do not have to worry about who will be watching my children. I do not have to worry about rushing home, because my nanny has to run home to her own family at 5:30 p.m.”
Loan chose the au pair route not only for the convenience and flexibility, it was because she knew the au pair could become like family and treat the kids like she might with her own younger brothers. “Our au pair becomes our family. We invite them to be as involved as they want to be with our family. We do have an absolute rule though, that our au pair eats dinner with the family almost every night. This is the one time we are able to converse about our days,” said Loan.
One of the more complicated pieces of the childcare puzzle is the cost. The more children you have the more expensive the childcare. Double and then triple what just one child would cost. Except with an au pair, whether there is one child or two or 10 children – the cost the same, an au pair costs about S350 a week.
“We figured childcare would be $6K for each child per year wasn’t too bad considering we are probably saving more money going with an au pair than going with a nanny/babysitter/etc.,” said Loan.
The Kline family has had several au pairs and have really liked each one of them, “My au pair is essential for me. She takes care of my boys whole heartedly, understands the demands of my job, and helps me with whatever I need. She is my friend, my sister, my “wife.” Because you know every woman needs a ‘wife.’”
Author Bio: Summer Blackhurst is a writer for Go Au Pair and mother of an 2 year old girl, 4-year old boy and 6-year old boy. She has interviewed close to 200 Host families, many who have twins and triplets about their unique childcare experience.Home ›