Au pair experience
Every girl has a different experience about au pairing. Some days are better than others, some days you may feel really happy or willing to come back home. Because yes, it is hard to live far away from your family sometimes. Even though it is difficult sometimes, there are a lot of positive things you will get from your au pair experience:
♦ Be a part of a family and learn about their culture
This is all new. You arrive in a whole new country with a new language and new people. Even your home is whole brand new. At first, you can think that this is kind of weird and you don’t really know how to act. After few weeks, you will get along with the kids and your new “host parents”. You will be there for their birthday, cook with your host mom for Thanksgiving, buy some gifts for Christmas, and decorate the house for Saint Patrick ’s Day… If you are lucky, your family will be really warm and help you as you were their own daughter. This is hard to figure out the relationship you start to build with your family. Are they your friends? Your boss? Your second parents? Same with the kids: are they your friends? Your brothers and sisters? Or a you simply their babysitter. I think this is a mix of everything…What a crazy experience.
♦ Meet friends from all over the world
I think it is one of the most incredible experience that happened to me. I have never been to a lot of countries before but since I am in America, it feels like I could go whenever I want in the world. My friends are from Germany, Brazil, South Africa, China… Did you get to know people from all over the world before? I don’t think so. And as we are all au pairs and we are all getting through the same experience, this is really easy to talk to each other. You should go to the cluster meeting to meet them, you will find the most wonderful people in the world. The first few questions you will probably ask them after their name and their age would be “where do you come from? How many kids do you have?” Yes, this is how a wonderful friendship starts in the au pair world.
♦ Having new brothers and sisters
That’s what happened after few weeks. You get to know your host kids and start to build a wonderful relationship. You help them doing their homework, prepare them dinner, and read them a story. It fills my heart of love when I spend those moments with them. Brothers and sisters because it is really how it is : some days they are mad at you, some days they make you cry, others they make you laugh so hard. You are here for them when they are sad or to share some secrets. One thing is sure: you will never forget them. It totally breaks my heart to think that I will not hear their voice at six am on Sunday after a big party the day before. For now, I don’t like it that much, but I am sure that one day, I will miss it.
♦ Discover myself
Being an au pair is a great way to discover yourself : for sure you will become more independent and do thing you have never done before. Even though I have spend a lot of time by myself for my studies in my own country, this whole experience made me grow. I learned to be more patient, not be that shy. It was hard first to put myself in front of people, especially in English. But let’s face it : you don’t have choice if you want to make friends and progress in English. You will also discover what you like, what you don’t and maybe your own limits. You will probably discover that you can do more than you thought. Well yes, you were a babysitter before. But now you have the role of a real mother or even sister. A lot of girls take this time abroad to think about their future. If it is your case, I hope you will figure it out.
Enjoy your au pair experience and be grateful of the wonderful family you have. To my lil brothers and sisters, I love you ♥