Here is my first blog entry in English. It took all day to finish this but it was worth it. Now I want to share my awesome friends’ thoughts about being an aupair. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and for being great friends.
Being an au pair is quite different than all the exchange programs out there. The main reason; you are not alone. You also cannot do whatever you want; you cannot quit when you are unsuccessful because you have big responsibilities. You have to try your best. You need to be a good friend, a good family member, a good babysitter, and a good student. You need to be open to a new culture and new people. You have to forget what you had gotten used to. Just try to learn new things.
I was one of the luckiest au pairs ever. I got one of the best host families and host kids. I can’t even call them a host family because they treated me like a part of their family. They showed me kindness, respect and mostly their love. I always felt their care and love and I did the same, I love them so much. They are my second family now. I know they will be always there for me and I will be here for them forever.
Being an au pair is a big gamble, because you won’t be able to guess what kind of family you will have when you get there. It is a big risk. I heard a lot of bad stories about host parents and I really thanked my family. Some of my friends had huge problems with their host parents but they didn’t give up and were able to finish their program with lots of effort.
I always say that I am so happy to have done this; I have really good friends all over the world. I mean the best friends. We shared our happiness, bad moments and most importantly our feelings and thoughts. It is really nice to have good friends around when you are having the same types of problems or struggles when you are far from your home country and when you are feeling homesick. It’s easier to get used to new places when you have good friends with you.
Actually, the main purpose of this exchange program is to improve English, learn a new culture and travel to new places but I think these are nothing when you compare against what you really get. These are just a small part of this wonderful experience, I have learned a lot of things in these 2 years: from cooking new dishes, how important it is to do some exercise every day, I learned new sports like Tennis, Climbing, Hiking and Skiing. My English got much better, I am really confident when I am speaking with a foreign person now.
In summary, I loved being an au pair, now I’m looking forward to visit my friends in their own country. Miss all of you so much.
As an Au Pair it is hard to find neutral opinions about such experience. Nothing is black or white. We love being there, we hate being there. We are happy and we want to stay forever, and the very same day we feel homesick and we want to go back home.
In the same way, I see the pros and cons of this experience. I believe that what makes it wonderful and hard is that you are not sharing a space, a job and a life with bosses or just hosts, you are sharing with your family. A new one, a different one. And families do not agree all the time; families do not wake up every day with shiny smiles. However, as family, they will always be there for you. So when you have a problem, a fight, a disagreement, a culture shock, together you will find a way to fix it. And as it happens with family, the good memories will last in your heart, and you will count on each other, even across the world.
When I’m thinking about my au pair experience all the things that come to mind are great memories, so many new friendships, a wonderful country, amazing trips, excitement, adventure and parties, parties, parties!
And then I’m thinking, “am I CRAZY or what?” because I know there were also some tough parts of being an au pair for one and a half years. So many tears, arguments and stuff that now, after being home for 7 months I find funny and not worth mentioning at all because all this made me the stronger and better person that I am now!
I’m just like that, looking at my glass half full.
There was really nothing for me to lose, I am from a small European country that a lot of people haven’t even heard about and I had the opportunity to go to the USA and stay there for one year.
I had a wonderful family, three little girls to take care of, and you know what? This was the best time of my life so far. We had a great connection and understanding for each other and were there when we needed each other.
I know it is hard to believe and put yourself in my shoes now but don’t forget I was there at one point, thinking about what to do? “Should I go and leave everything I know, everyone I love, my family, my friends to take care of some American kids?
The funniest thing is that I would do it all over again! We are all different, every case is unique, every experience is different but I’m sure every girl that was an au pair once would say that this experience changed them as a person and had a big impact on their lives. I know it did on mine!