I think we all know by now that I am pro au pair. I’ve had an amazing experience with my family in England and am so grateful to have them in my life. But I also know that being an au pair is not for everyone. And I’ve said before that you really have to think about what you want to get out of your time as an au pair. If you are considering being an au pair, but aren’t sure if it’s for you, here are some reasons why becoming an au pair might not be for you.
You don’t like children
If there’s not even a small part in you that likes children, this probably isn’t the right job for you. I also thought children were great. As long as they aren’t mine. And I stick to that. I love my host kids, but other kids drive me crazy as soon as they start to misbehave.
You can’t imagine living in someone else’s house.
Living in someone else’s house has its pros and cons. Yes, you are part of the family, but that also means that the kids can come into your room to play with you on your days off. If you want some alone time, you’ll have to go somewhere else. It can also be really awkward if the host parents are fighting in front of you. (I’ve thankfully never had that problem but a friend of mine did, and she eventually left the family because it drove her crazy.)
Adjusting to a new culture
Living in a different country requires a certain amount of flexibility. You have to understand that some things will work differently from the way you’re used to and adjust to that.
You don’t like change
This one ties into the previous point. When you’re an au pair, you deal with a lot of change. Not only a new country and a new house but also new friends, a new language and a completely different culture. And then we’re not even talking about all the things that change during your time as an au pair. You have to be willing to try new things because everything will be different.
You don’t like to be away from home
Everyone gets homesick every once in a while, but the rewards of being away have to outweigh the missing your family. If you get really homesick when you’re away from home for even one night, this might not be the job for you. Unless, of course, you want to learn how to be away from your family. (Maybe take it slow and go away for a weekend first, before committing to being an au pair.)