When Amy and Adam Guttell began hosting au pairs in 2016, they never imagined the bonds that would be formed between their family of five and the young adults they hosted from all over the world.
Over the past seven years, the Guttells have hosted six au pairs from countries like Ireland, The Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil. Each au pair has built a special relationship with their boys (now ages 15, 13, and 10), and the Guttells are grateful for their presence and partnership over the years.
“We’re a house of all boys and you’re not always going to tell your mom everything. They became a confidant for the boys.”
~ Amy Guttell
The Guttell boys—Alex, Avery, and Ashton—remember all their former au pairs even though Ashton was just three years old when the Guttells started hosting. The family and their au pairs keep in touch regularly and maintain a special bond. Each year, former au pairs send birthday cards and messages, never forgetting the boys’ special days.
Speaking of special days, the Guttells recently celebrated Avery’s bar mitzvah. It was a huge celebration attended by extended family and friends, including five of the Guttells’ six au pairs! (The other wanted to be there, but wasn’t able to travel due to a work schedule conflict). Even though none of their former au pairs had ever met in person, they coordinated their travel plans and secured an AirBnB together. By the end of the weekend, they were new best friends!
During their visit, the Guttells hosted a reunion dinner for everyone. It was a beautiful moment of celebrating the cultural exchange and life-long bonds that had been created through the au pair program.
The highlight of the weekend was definitely Avery’s bar mitzvah, though. For all the au pairs, it was the first time they’d ever been to a bar mitzvah celebration. With over 400 people in attendance, the au pairs were blown away and had the time of their lives. It was also a sweet memory for the au pairs to come back to the temple the Guttell family attends, reliving some of the past experiences they’d shared with their host family during their program years. Since the boys had gone to preschool and Hebrew school there, the au pairs had been there to pick up and drop off the boys regularly. Additionally, the Guttell extended family were thrilled to reunite with their former au pairs.
“They (our extended family) are very close to our au pairs. Our friends too. They were all so excited to see them. It was as if no time had passed when they saw them.”
~ Amy Guttell
When asked what their favorite part about hosting au pairs has been over the years, Adam Guttell said:
“We had nannies before and it’s a very different experience. It was a job for them, but with the au pairs they become part of the family. There’s a level of trust. There’s an integration with the family. That’s the best part.”
~ Adam Guttell
While some people may be concerned about the fact that au pairs leave after one or two years, the Guttells are proof that the bonds formed between host family and au pair last long after the program duration is over!
If you’re ready to welcome an au pair into your home and create life-long bonds, let Au Pair USA support you in finding the right match for your family! Get started by applying for free.