There is no doubt in my mind Magda is the ultimate au pair. She is a SUPERSTAR, best of her kind, and that is the epitome of "ultimate". She deserves to be recognized for her kind heart, nurturing ways, and selfless attitude. I just hope I can effectively articulate in words how extraordinary she is.
We are a large family of 7 (5 kids between 10 and 2) and were in need of someone extra special. See, we aren't a conventional family, we are a blended family and when you are a blended family there are complex schedules to contend with and co-parents involved. Magda has never skips a beat and her commitment to our family has never wavered. She goes above and beyond every single day.
Magda is a beautiful person inside and out. She is wise beyond her years and has been an amazing example for our children. At only 19 years old Magda left behind everything familiar to her, traveled outside her country for the first time, and emersed herself in a new culture. Despite the challenges of navigating a new world she jumped right in and integrated with our family seamlessly.
I have never met such a selfless person.
Before arriving we spoke often, she wanted to know everything about our family, she researched the ages and what is essential for their development. When she arrived she knew their favorite toys, foods, games, etc. With such an awareness of their likings and their needs they took to her quickly. I must add that the kids getting along with her so quickly was a huge blessing because the day prior to her arriving to our home my father had a stroke. My attention was quickly diverted to him and his care. Magda was nothing less than amazing. No questions asked she jumped right in and helped in every facet of our lives. She was so patient and understanding.
As our time together progresses she continues to amaze us. The three older kids spend half their time with us, the other half with their other parent. She is so sensitive to the situation despite never having experienced it herself. She anticipates their every need. There have been countless times I have asked Magda "can you help me remember..." she simply replies with "I've done it".
Also, there are countless examples of her spending her personal time with the kids. On weekends and/or evenings she is willing to go on bike rides, play football in the park, bake, craft, watch movies, play games, etc. She has helped me plan every birthday party, holiday, vacation and celebration. She is always willing to lend a hand.
I can go on and on about the ways Magda has contributed to our family. Like her and our oldest stringing Christmas lights outside, dressing up for Halloween and growing and maintaining a strawberry garden. The simplest thing I can say is she is the ultimate au pair. I cannot imagine anyone else more deserving of the recognition. It isn't just my family who would agree, my family and our friends agree!
Madga graciously shares her culture with us. She speaks exclusively Afrikaans with the girls during her working hours. She is willing to teach the boys songs and rhymes. It is amazing to witness our children emersed in a different culture and embrace it. She introduces us to new foods, holidays, traditions, etc. Every Tuesday evening Magda offers to make the family dinner! Always a tasty alternative to our traditional dishes. We are thrilled the kids are exposed to cultures other than our own.
Also, Magda was raised on a large farm. They have sheep, cattle, ducks, chickens, and goats to name a few. She brings so much enlightenment to our children. Her family lives primarily on what is produced from the farm. Their cattle and sheep are their meat and dairy source. Their gardens are their fruits and veggies. It is very different from our lifestyle however we are grateful for her willingness to share her experiences. We now know how to make our own butter! Who knew it was so easy.
One of the greatest memories for the kids is their garden. Magda taught the kids how to plant, care for, and harvest fruits and vegetables from the garden. Their most successful produce was their strawberries. They thought it was thrilling to walk out the door and be able to pick their own food. They never knew an onion grew in the ground and sprouted a cute green stalk. They were enamored with the fact of how far the pumpkin plant sprawled. Living in a city not many kids experience growing their own food. We are grateful Magda was willing to give that experience to our kids.
Magda is a great influence. She is independent, hard working, faithful and loving. She embodies so many qualities we hope to instill in our own children.
I recall an interesting conversation when our boys were frustrated with having to learn a second language in school. Magda stepped in and empathized with them. She knew first hand what it is like to have to learn something difficult (English) but reminded them the benefits of working hard. Magda works hard. You will rarely find her laying about and it motivates the kids. If the kids want to lay around watching TV she will offer to take them to the park, or go out in the yard. We are grateful for her willingness to do this because with a busy household we can't always find the time to supervise the kids outside.
Lastly, Magda is an extremely grateful person. She helps us instill this same quality in our children. She never fails to say thank you, seeks the bright side or express kindness. There is nothing more impactful than setting a good example. You don't have to take just our word for it. Magda hasn't made a positive impression with us. I have included comments from our family and friends: "Magda is so special, I just love her" - family friend "She is so special, she is a superstar" - pops and grandma "Magda is a part of the family, we love her" - sister "How do we find a Magda?" - family friend "She is amazing with the kids" - family friend
The McLeod Family