Family story: Andrea & Shane


Jessica, from Mexico, is the Birkel family’s third au pair—they hosted two Chinese au pairs prior—and they love the cultural exchange that happens right in their home on a daily basis. “What we appreciate about Jessica,” says host mom Andrea, “is her enthusiasm for life and her habit of starting spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen.”

au pair cooking

In addition, Andrea and Shane love relying on another team player who is committed to helping them raise their children. “When Shane is working late, having an extra set of hands enables me to be able to sit down and connect with my kids while Jessica puts together a little dinner for them. Or, if I’m feeling in the mood to cook something, I’ll make dinner and she plays with the kids. The daily routine is just so much easier.”

The Birkels also find that their children are thriving with the help of the extra attention from their au pairs. Andrea shares: “Our once shy daughter now turns up the music to dance around the house with Jessica. And my son, once a very picky eater, will now eat just about any fruit and vegetable if it has chile and lime on it. At the end of the day, I feel incredibly grateful to have Jessica. She is our newest family member, and someone who will always be Lucy and Oliver’s big sister.”

au pair hugging host child