Because being an au pair sounds fun
If you go through au pair agency websites, they will present you how your dreams of travel to another country will come true. It seems so easy and so funny that you wanna sign up the minute you see it. So you try to read through it to make sure this is not a dream. Well, let me tell you some things girl, this is way more complicated than that. Here are 4 points about expectation and reality in the au pair life.
Job requirement :
- Expectation : Agencies ask you to be nice, open minded, comfortable with kids, flexible. And that is almost it. But it is not the reality.
- Reality : actually, you have to be super ninja who kind afford to sleep only 4 hours a night because the kids will probably wake you up at 6 or 7 am on Sunday. You probably need 4 arms to do all the stuffs your kids and host mum are going to ask you at the same time. Nice ? I would say you need to be an angel to stay calm when your kids are totally mean at you. Be very calm when your kids are overreacting for nothing.
- Expectation : $195,75 per week (can you give me more for extra hours or what ?) – as pocket money. Well, that is what the contract says with every agency.
- Reality : $195,75 not even 196, depending on your family. And for extra hours… well, pretty the same. You have to ask for more, girl. Or some families will want you to work way more than you should without giving you a penny. Well sometimes it is complicated to know if you are working or not; Is playing with kids on a sunday morning while you are off is considered as working? I still did not know – what are you gonna do with your pocket money ? Spending your time struggling to choose between shopping, parties and travel.
Hours of work :
- Expectation : 45 hours of work per week with 1 and a half day off, at least one weekend off per month.
- Reality : 45 hours of work or more because your kids always want you to play with them or to cook them something. Sometimes your host mom will ask you to stay at home because the dog is sick or because she has an unplanned appointment. And as you are a nice person, you will probably say yes and be stuck at home, considering that you are not really working while you are. It is actually family life. It may be hard to know how to handle it because yes, you are actually a part of this wonderful family!
- Expectation : wake up the kids, dress them up, play with them, make lunch and dinner, drive them to school, do their laundry, help them doing their homework, stay with them at night
- Reality : do everything they want you to do, be a superhero by doing an hundred stuffs at the same time, make dinner while playing with them while folding the laundry while doing everything you did not have time to do before. So pretty much everything. For example, I had to pick up a balloon that got stuck in a huge tree with a scale. Can you imagine yourself doing that ? I did not.
How is your experience going? Expectation or reality?
Don’t get me wrong : being an au pair is a wonderful experience of life. It is also a real work. I do love my family abroad but some experiences can be way different of what you expected at first. I would encourage every girl to do so; take time to choose the perfect family and set the limits. Hope you will have the most incredible experience girls.