Anna Kirstine West

I am writing to you to nominate Anna for Au Pair of the Month. She arrived into our family 2 months after the arrival of our fourth child. Baby Bruno had spent a lot of the first two months screaming the house down and our family was in desperate need of help. The car ride home from the airport involved 4 stops for various issues, Bruno screaming, other children hungry and a supermarket stop for snacks (even though they had just been fed), a road side extreme poo nappy and it took quite some time to get our home in Barrhill about an hours drive from Christchurch.

I was thinking what a mess our first meeting was and how the reality is our family is big, loud and at times completely uncontrollable. We had no banners at the airport and I was trying to calm our kids as she arrived. Anna was polite and smiled through all of this.

Anna has made a huge difference to the running of our home.  I am a stay at home Mum but trying to coordinate school and preschool drop-offs and pick ups and swimming seemed impossible at times. I was so worried about us both being home together as most other Au Pairs have a clear role when the parents are at work and they are with the children.  Anna has adapted to our ever-changing schedule and can produce three school lunches in 10 minutes. She instinctively cleans up, folds the mountain of washing and takes three kids to the pool or plays with them and lets my 2 year old constantly sit and put his head on her tummy (he has a fascination with skin) in the evenings. The kids love Anna and are always asking for her help and to play.

She has cooked some beautiful meals  and having her cook tea occasionally is such a treat and relief as witching hour gets into full swing. My husband works long hours and we are about to start the harvest which can mean long hot nights alone plodding through the motions of kids tea/bath/bed solo and knowing she will be here during that time is very reassuring. She has endured all sorts of things since being part of the family, a full family tummy bug before Christmas which on reflection was like a horror with her and I getting it soon after the kids on the same night.

An extreme melt down in the car at the end of one week with my strong willed daughter who can get quite physical, an intense holiday in Akaroa with my Mother and lots of rain. Endured countless meals with spilt drinks and kid meltdowns.

However she has always been patient, kind, calm and agreed to anything I suggest or ask.  She has made the kids Danish pancakes, and helped bake birthday cakes and prepare the food for two kid parties. She has made gingerbread houses with the kids at Christmas and, in summary, been such an important part of our family in one of the most intense times of our lives.

We would like to tell the world how great she is, and feel the best way of doing this is to nominate her for AuPair of the year.

The Cairns family.

Cairns family

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