What started as a leap of faith has become a blessing for us. Before her, our life felt like a cup of milk filled to the brim. We had no idea how we could introduce a new person into our small home with 2 small kids and live-in grandparents. Belinda was the sugar we added to our cup of milk- she didn't cause us to overflow, instead she made the milk sweeter. If there was one thing that she did over the last 8 months, I could easily point it out. She came as stranger and now is part of family not because we are her host family, but because of the love she gives to all of us- the kids, her host parents, and her host grandparents. We had 2 kids in the last 4 years and sometimes it feels like we've lost ourselves in the process (maybe other parents can relate too!). Belinda has allowed us to reclaim the priceless simple pleasures in life like going out for date night, running errands without the kids, or going out for a run. I have lost 10 pounds, we have a stronger marriage, and I've started working from home since she started.
The kids have bonded with her. She is helping them through milestones like feeding themselves and potty training. I'm not sure why it only takes her 10 minutes to put the kids to bed when it takes us an hour! When we are not there, we know the kids are not only safe, but they are being challenged to learn and grow. I've seen a significant improvement in our son's school progress contributing to her diligent work on developing his motor skills and management of personal space.
The most significant example of our relationship was our trip to Singapore. Belinda, the 2 kids and I visited my sister's family. I was worried how things would be without my husband, in a new country, and in my sister's home. This is where we really got to know each other. The most remarkable trait Belinda has is her ability to offer help even before you think you need it. A simple example was a time when I was trying to put Sonia to bed for over an hour to no avail. She came in and seeing me struggling she offered to walk Sonia around in a stroller and got her to sleep. There are so many examples when she'll offer to do things that we haven't even asked her when she sees that we could use the help.
Living with someone outside your family can be strange, but Belinda has never let us feel uncomfortable. What never stops to amaze me is her humility. If you ever meet her you will see this is not a mask she wears. She appreciates everything that we do for her from something as small as making a meal to taking her on a trip. She is the type of person who tries to find the beauty in small things. This has been helpful when being a parent might feel like a going through a tunnel with no light on the other side- she holds a candle and reminds you that this is normal.
Her previous experience working with kids in a school in Mexico has been a tremendous help in this way. There was a period I was worried about my son's ability to sit for an activity for more than 5 minutes and she was able to pull from her past experience to help us work on this. As parents sometimes, we can expect too much of our kids and get worry too quickly. If I could say that Belinda is the ultimate Au Pair, it wouldn't be enough because she's more than that. She helps all of us be a better version of ourselves- better parents, better kids, better students, better friends, better siblings, better husband & wife, and better people. I hope that every Host Family gets to experience such a person as their Au Pair. Thank you "Au Pair Care" for providing this service and connecting us with Belinda, we are truly grateful.
The Seth Family from California