As you know, we have a soft spot for the wonderful agency Granny Aupair. We introduced them here and we like to follow the stories of the many grannies they send all over the world. Today Granny Aupair comes back sharing a Granny adventures in the Far East.
For exactly eight years now, the Hamburg agency Granny Aupair has been placing travel happy Grannies with families all around the world.
Balancing career and family may prove difficult for young families: Very often mothers have to work, as do single parents. The question of appropriate childcare is often pressing in their minds. On the other hand, there are many women over 50, 60 or 70 yearning for something new. After bringing up their children and/or retirement they wonder what to do with their time, their experience and enthusiasm. They want to try something new, be with young people, broaden their horizons and their language skills.
Bringing together these two groups is the idea behind Granny Aupair agency, founded by Michaela Hansen in 2010: The Granny is treated as a family member, has free room and board. In return she cares for the children, as only a grandmother can do (even if she is not related to them) and gets the chance to experience the country and its culture in a direct way.
Adventures in the Far East
One of the over 1.000 Grannies who has taken up the Granny Aupair challenge is Isa R., who was lured half way around the world by the website. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a small family was looking for a Granny to support the Australian mother and six year old son, while the German father worked abroad in Japan. Mostly the Granny would be needed in the afternoon.
Initially planned for three months, Granny Isa enjoyed her time in Kuala Lumpur so much that she extended her stay, and after spending some time in Germany is now back to help the family again. The tightly organized daily routine was perfect for Isa, since she was able to plan many activities. Her mornings were mostly free, in the afternoons she looked after the six year old son and the household. Childcare occupied her from 4 to 7pm and included usual things like supervising homework, playing, shopping and sometimes cooking. She also went to a language school once a week to learn Chinese and used her free time to explore the fascinating surroundings.
Her time abroad was not without small setbacks, like a burst boiler in the bathroom, just as the mother was in Australia. Or a sick child, making a visit to hospital necessary.
Granny Isa says: “The life experience of a granny often helps to cope with difficult, unpredictable situations. The serenity that she brings along with advanced age allows for different perspectives and for calmer judgment. At a younger age, the situation with the boiler would probably have panicked me. And the interests are often completely different, so that the leisure activities differ from those of young au pairs. Of course, as in my case, it helped that I’m already a grandmother myself.”
As a recommendation for future Granny Aupairs and their families she adds: “You always have to be aware that you are just living there as a guest and have to accept the rules of the household. It is not your own home. Not interfering – unless asked for my personal opinion – but accompanying everyday life, that was my recipe for success.”.