Experience of an Au Pair: Nai La

There are at least 30 au pairs in Aldershot and I’m sure there are even more that we don’t know about. That’s a huge group of au pairs for a town as small as Aldershot. Some of them have been here for over a year and others leave after only a couple of months.

Nai La, an au pair from Germany, left after two months in England because her host-family was absolutely horrible to her. When she first came here, she was thinking about staying the entire school year, but she changed her mind because she was really homesick. She would stay in England until the Christmas holidays and then go back home.

A brief description of Nai La’s experiences as an au pair:

On my first day, the dad picked me up from the airport, which was very nice. However, I didn’t get to see the mum on the first day. On my second day, I finally got to see her for three whole hours, because she had to work. She showed me some things in the house and only talked to me a little bit. I felt very lonely and started looking for friends in Aldershot. I got lucky and met some very nice girls. Meanwhile, at the house, my host-mum told me what my ‘light’ household tasks were. I had to clean the entire house three times a week. I had to change the shower curtains, wash the boys’ sheets and his clothes. The worst thing was that the host-family had told me I would be able to go to college in England, but then it turned out that it wasn’t free so I couldn’t go. Also, their last au pair told me that they spent a lot of time with her and that they went out quite often. Good joke. I went out with them twice: the Friday after I arrived and my last Friday in Aldershot. I always had to take the boy to bed, even if the parents were home. I often had to buy my own food and my host-mum even asked me how much water and milk I drank because she had her own budget for her son and I drank too much. However, the father was quite nice and the son was lovely.”

Nai La had to do all the normal daily tasks that come with being an au pair such as making her kid breakfast and dinner and taking him to school, but she had a long list of other chores that her host-mum wanted her to do:

  • Clean the bathroom (bath, toilet and floor)
  • Clean the toilettes
  • Take out the trash
  • Hoover the entire house
  • Wash the shower curtains
  • Wash the bathmat
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Laundry

This isn’t a list for the entire week. These were her daily chores. And if the host-mum didn’t think she did these things properly, she would get angry.

As an au pair you don’t just take care of children and do some basic household tasks. You go to a different country to get to know the culture and learn the language. Your host-family is supposed to take you out and do show you the country. This family probably got an au pair because it is cheaper than a nanny/cleaner and I think all of us were surprised that Nai La managed to stay here for this long when we heard about all the things she had to do

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