Shiori's host family shares how she has gone above and beyond the expectations for them by finding awesome activities for her host children and sharing her culture and language. Read on for au pair Shiori's story!
"I often like to tell people that fate brought Shiori and our family together. It was May 2018, and we both faced similar situations. We had just welcomed a new au pair who wasn't the best fit for our family. And Shiori had just arrived in America with another family but quickly realized it wasn't right either. We were both stressed about the transition process. Then we found each other. Or rather, we found each other a second time. We had actually interviewed Shiori months earlier and loved her. So when we saw she was available again, we jumped with joy at the chance to have her as our au pair.
Shiori, it turns out, was the absolute perfect match for our family. Since she arrived, she has been a rock star and consistently exceeds our expectations. She is responsible, diligent and expertly helps manage a complex household and schedule. We trust her completely. She is also joyful, creative, adventurous and tremendous in her ability to engage all three of our very active (and not always easy) kids, ages 4, 6 and 8. She is a great sport, enthusiastically joining family traditions like matching Christmas pajamas and themed Halloween costumes. We mentioned at the beginning that we value nature and want our children to explore the outdoors as much as possible. She took that and elevated it to the next level. She didn't just take the kids to the local playground. She did extensive research (without us having to ask) on unique hikes, rivers, lakes and sites around the Washington DC area and made sure that everyday was a great adventure. She took them to places that even we didn't know about. We came to refer to the time as "Camp Shiori," though frankly, she provided the kids with a better experience than any summer camp!
Shiori has been instrumental in helping improve our youngest son's Japanese language skills. She regularly organizes fun play dates with other Japanese kids, helps him practice his Japanese letters, and finds innovative ways to strengthen his cultural connection to Japan. He attends Japanese school part-time, and Shiori is always willing to stand-in for me at school events that I'm unable to attend as a working mother. At career day, for example, parents were asked to come in to talk to the kids about their jobs. But I couldn't get off work. So Shiori deftly stepped in and talked to the kids about her job as an au pair. Our son was delighted. I was grateful to not be consumed with guilt that I couldn't make it. And the teachers were so impressed with her homemade presentation to the kids that they displayed her drawings outside the classroom for weeks afterward.
Our older two children don't speak Japanese, but Shiori endeavors to share the Japanese culture with them as well through crafts and food. Origami is a particular favorite activity. Shiori and the kids have embarked on an ambitious project to fold 1,000 paper cranes. According to Japanese legend, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 cranes will be granted one special wish.
Our kids adore Shiori. She has truly become part of our family, and we feel blessed everyday to have her in our home. She embodies the definition of the ultimate au pair. "
Thanks to the Mullaney family for sharing how amazing their au pair Shiori is!