Friday, December 16, 2011

Do You Know a Live-In that Isn't Going Home for the Holidays?

What Tips Do You Have for Live-Ins Feeling Homesick During the Holidays?

It is only natural that live-in nannies and au pairs that move cross country or from another country to work and live-in another family's home will feel lonely and homesick at times. But, homesickness is at an all time high when live-in domestics can't travel home for the holidays. Loneliness can lead to isolation and even depression when nannies and au pairs stay at work instead of spending the holidays with their family and friends.

The best way for live-ins to cope with feelings of homesickness is to keep busy. Nannies and au pairs should get out of the house on days off. They should travel to the closest metropolitan city and visit museums, landmarks, ethnic restaurants, and any tourist attractions they would regret not experiencing during their stay. They can attend religious activities at houses of worship and volunteer as ways to keep busy with people who share similar interests.

Another important way to combat homesickness is to make new friends. In-home child care providers can make friendships among other staff members at the home they work in. If there is a chef, housekeeper, driver, or dog walker the nanny or au pair likes they should make plans to socialize after work. Be careful not to spend too much time chatting when you're working though.

Nannies and au pairs should ask the nanny referral agency or au pair agency that placed them, for a volunteer list of names and phone numbers of the other childcare providers they have placed in the area.

But, the best advice is for homesick live-in caregivers is to keep in touch with family and friends from home. The quickest and cheapest way to stay in contact with family and friends far away is by email. Nannies and au pairs can download Skpe for free and stay in contact using a web cam.

It may be inevitable that live-in nannies moving across country and au pairs moving to a new country will feel homesick, especially during the holidays. But it may help to follow the tips above so that these feelings are temporary.

What tips do you have to battle homesickness for live-ins who aren't traveling home to be with friends and family this holiday season?


AuPairDebbie said...

I have been in this situation and your advice is perfect don't think I would add a thing. I would recommend family and friends from home be sure to send the au pair or nanny a lot of care packages and gifts. Homesickness does get better.

Lisa said...

It has seemed at everytime I have chosen to not go home during the holidays there has been some storm that could have left me stuck somewhere in route or unable to return in time to start work again.

Having worked in or near some big Metro areas I can say attending some big church or Cathedral whether I was the exact same type of faith or not has been great experiences. I have been to Trinity in Copley Square in Boston, where I long had romantic notions of getting married some day. I also have been to National Cathedral for both Christmas and Easter. And they both were all decked out with the best musicians of the areas too. Those are memories that I wouldnt trade for the world either.

I also believe in volunteering at a shelter. Being in an environment like that really hits home with one on what to be grateful for, what doesn't matter and what to let go.

Chances are yes there may be other caregivers in your area staying put find a way to reach out and get through it together.