It’s popular to dismiss families hiring au pair’s as middle-class penny pinchers who don’t want to pay for ‘proper care’, using au pairs to do the ‘dirty work’ of a family while the Host Mum sits and paints her nails and books exotic holidays.
The reality though for most households in a global environment where GDP is rising but wages are not, is that most au pairs are a gold plated lifeline.
Without an au pair many millions of families simply cannot go out and earn a living and for many more having that extra support at home, keeps them one step further away from debilitated mental health.
As I was writing this very article, I had a chat at work with an Afghan campaigner who works tirelessly for the rights of her nation’s women.
I was too embarrassed to tell her what I was writing, thinking she might see the stress of hiring and managing an au pair as a giant sized first world problem.
But when I told her what I was writing, this is what she said,