Today we have an Au Pair telling us about her experience after only being quite new to the Au Pair job and living in the UK for the first couple of weeks. She decided to become a short term Au Pair for four month with the option to return to the Host Family after the Christmas break.
This is a more unusual time span, however Au Pairs who don’t need a visa – for instance European Au Pairs coming to the UK – can easily do that. She agreed to also update us about her time when her four month are over and we are very interested to hear if she will return to London or stay back at home.
Thank you for sharing your experience before and a couple of weeks after you have started your Au Pair experience.
I didn’t feel ready to live an adult life after I finished school
When I finished my school, I didn’t feel ready for ‘living an adult live’. I felt that there is something more, I wanted to make some new experience. Sooner or later I have to work, buy an own flat and live a normal live but at that moment I wanted to make an adventure, which influences your whole life/character.
Therefore, being an Au Pair is the best adventure I can make, I thought. The first reaction from friends, my boyfriend and my family was, “Are you sure…?”. Finally everyone supported me. Actually you can improve your language skills, benefit from the experience to raise child and become more independent… so… why not?
The more realistic it became, the more I got frightened
I spend a lot of hours on the web, to search for a host family, which fits perfectly to me. Furthermore I read lots of blogs about being an Au Pair and the positive and negative aspects of the Au Pair arrangement. The more realistic my adventure became, the more I got frightened. Maybe I don’t feel welcome? Maybe they treat me like an employee instead of a family member?
Finally I decided to be an Au Pair until Christmas. Almost four months are enough to get in touch with the culture and if everything goes well, I have the opportunity to return after Christmas and stay longer. The first skype call with my future-family war very nice! Of course I felt a little bit nervous and scared but who would not feel like that? All in all everything seemed to be perfect.
To see my boyfriend and family the last time was really bad
Now my adventure can begin, I thought. The last days passed very quickly. To see my friends, my Mom and my Dad, my dog and my boyfriend the last time… this feeling was definitely the worst. At the same time my curiosity became more and more. The first time I saw my host family was a big moment for me.
The first days I was quieter than usual and I felt a little bit shy. My host family was really friendly and thoughtfully. After the first few days I started to realise the situation because everything is completely different to your home. That was the moment when I started to miss my boyfriend and everyone else in Austria.
My most important advice for new Au Pairs: Make new friends
The advice I can give every future-Au Pair is, to make new friends. I started to look for Au Pair groups on Facebook. Fortunately there are enough other Au Pairs in London. To talk with someone, who has exactly the same feeling as you because his live has changed in exactly the same way, helped me so much! Now I feel open minded and I am tolerant enough to appreciate different lifestyles.
You shouldn’t compare everything with your home, you should learn to accept your new live because then you can see the positive aspects it has!
Update after 6 weeks into being an Au Pair
The first 1 ½ moths have already passed – I can`t believe! The first 2-3 weeks weren`t easy. Everything was completely new compared to my lifestyle before. There are some particular moments, when I notice that this isn’t my familiar home. These moments can hit you very hard and you miss your boyfriend, your family and friends but especially the feeling of warmth, trust and being loved.
However, time flies so fast! Meanwhile I started feeling at home, which I couldn’t imagine at the first time. When I play with the kids, I feel much more comfortable. Sometimes I would raise my kids in a different way than the Host Parents, but all in all these moments are instructive too!
Additionally I found several friends. Last weekend we were a group of 8 Au Pairs from all over the world. We walked through London, had a cup of coffee, took many pictures and at the end of the day we spend the night in a typical British pub. I really enjoy the weekends with my friends. To sum up I can say, it`s worth to stay, even if the first days are difficult. Once the first month has past, you will see your life as an Au Pair in a new/positive way.
Update: Looking back after the 4 month of being an Au Pair
The experience, living a life abroad, was one of the best in my life!
I feel so much more independent. Moreover I have got many friends – With two of them I will definitely stay in contact, even if we live in different countries. My language skills became better too! To summarize, my decision to live as an Au Pair in England was one of the best I made. Nevertheless I have to admit that my journey will end in 4 days. That day, when I leave my host family and return to my own family/boyfriend, will probably be one of the most emotional days in my life. On the one hand I feel so sad because I feel like being a member of the family; it feels a bit like a second home right now. On the other hand I can’t wait to see my parents, my dog and my boyfriend again. Even if I appreciate my ‘new family’, I missed the love and the warmth of my real family.
All in all I can definitely recommend being an Au Pair, it will open up your mind and you will start to look beyond the box. For me personally, I feel like I’m ready for a new chapter of my life. After Christmas I will move to my own flat and start to work. However, I will never forget this adventure!