Being an Au Pair – What No One Tells You

Being an au pair is a weird job and a lot of people don’t know what it exactly entails. These are some things that no one actually tells you before becoming an au pair but that I would have loved to know.

Kids will challenge your authority in the most ridiculous ways

Ask the parents what the rules are as early as possible. Your first few weeks as an au pair are going to be tough. The kids will try to do stuff that they would never do with their parents – just to see if they can get away with it. Be strict, hold your ground and don’t let them do anything stupid. Remember that you’re more like a big sister than a parent, but make sure that they listen to you.

Some families just aren’t right for you

Sometimes, au pairs go to live with a family, and things turn out not the way they expected. The workload, the attitude your host parents have, the kids and the expectations you have of each other can all affect your experience. Sometimes things just don’t work out. And that’s totally fine. I’ve met a few au pairs who felt guilty for wanting to leave their host family (because they obviously need the extra help) but you are allowed to leave. If the situation’s making you uncomfortable and things are just not working out, you are allowed to go home or find a different host family.

Not everyone can handle life as an au pair

People often think that being an au pair is an easy job. It’s not. It’s extremely challenging. Parents will know what I’m talking about. Exhausted from taking care of your own kids? Imagine that feeling when the kids aren’t even yours. As an au pair, you need to engage with kids on a daily basis – this includes dealing with tantrums, injuries and anything else that parents deal with. You might just lose your mind while doing this job (and you won’t even see it coming).

You will make friends for life

It’s hard to leave when your adventure is over (which is why I added on an extra year). Whether is it the kids, the host parents or the people you meet along the way, being an au pair allows you to meet tons of people that will change your life in the best ways.

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25 Comments

  1. Lauren Ashley
    25 September 2018 / 5:13 am

    Growing up I had au pairs and nannies. As I got older, I wondered what it was like for them watching us. Some of them we loved, others…not so much, lolol. It’s great to get some perspective on what it must have been like for them running after three young kids. I think I’m going to look up a few of them and tell them thank you.

  2. 24 September 2018 / 4:30 am

    This is an interesting read… I had no idea how it was like until i read this post.. I have a challenge now as I am a preggo and mom to a 11 month old 😀

  3. swathiiyer
    24 September 2018 / 12:40 am

    These are great tips who consider their life as Au Pair . Wish I could afford somebody to help to housework and childcare.

  4. 23 September 2018 / 6:45 pm

    You have shared great tips which will be useful to many people. It is an adventure that will surely create memories of a lifetime.

  5. 23 September 2018 / 7:27 am

    I could imagine that working as an au pair would be quite challenging. Especially if you bond closely with the children knowing you’ll be leaving at some point. I agree that if you feel uncomfortable it is ok to leave. It’s a job and sometimes it just isn’t the right fit.

  6. Becca Wilson
    23 September 2018 / 3:47 am

    I can only imagine what being au pair would be like. I imagine super challenging so I definitely have the utmost respect for you and those that do this!

  7. Devyani Ray
    22 September 2018 / 11:53 pm

    Great post! I am sure it’s not easy to be an Aupair.

  8. 22 September 2018 / 11:15 pm

    sounds like most things in life, you gotta know whats right for you and be confident enough to make that decision

  9. 22 September 2018 / 7:57 pm

    My best friend is getting a live-in Au pair to help them with the kids’ lunches, driving them to school, to do homework with them while they do other things.

  10. Catherine Santiago Jose
    22 September 2018 / 3:44 pm

    I’ve totally agree with this blog. This is such a great post and very informative as well. We should always consider others and respect one another.

  11. happilyeverdeb
    22 September 2018 / 3:03 pm

    Although I don’t think this lifestyle is for everyone I do thing it would definitely be me in another life under different circumstances.

  12. 22 September 2018 / 12:49 pm

    Everything has it’s challenges. I taught at Korean universities for years, and university students are supposed to be adults. They too had many innovative ways to challenge a professor’s authority. 🙂

  13. 22 September 2018 / 7:27 am

    There are pros and cons to everything. And honestly I didn’t know what it was like, saw in movies though. But here I got the first hand info of what it is being an au pair.

  14. TheSassyDentistPH
    22 September 2018 / 7:06 am

    I totally agree with you and I salute you for hardwork! My au pair started when my sister was a baby… and now, my sister is already 27 and I’m 25. And guess what, our au pair still stays with us just like one of our family. 💖 And I treat her as my second mom.

  15. 22 September 2018 / 6:35 am

    It sounds like an interesting adventure for sure! I guess people usually think it sounds romantic and fun but I’m sure that all totally depends on the situation.

  16. notquitesupermommn
    22 September 2018 / 1:55 am

    I would imagine that being an au pair would be extremely challenging, but also very rewarding. I’m sure those kiddos do challenge and push their boundaries, I would be surprised if they didn’t at some point!

  17. tfrett6
    21 September 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Super interesting read! I can imagine that this job can have very difficult times but also very rewarding times!

  18. 21 September 2018 / 8:54 pm

    I can imagine that being an au pair can be really hard work, but in many ways rewarding as well. I don’t think it’s something I could manage to do.

  19. 21 September 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I don’t know about the first point but last 3 points I extremely agree with you. I have felt it.

  20. Jessi Joachim
    21 September 2018 / 6:50 pm

    I have a friend who is an Au Pair and she absolutely loves it! She has an amazing family she works for too, so I am sure that makes it just so worth it all!

  21. 21 September 2018 / 3:44 pm

    I was an exchange student during my uni life and I remember I give English lesson to the daughters in exchange for a delicious dinner and some cash. I always look forward to the host mother dinner as she cooks very well.

  22. 21 September 2018 / 3:28 pm

    I have never considered to become an au pair because I am not very good with children, I wouldn’t know how to handle them. I do appreciate people who have the passion of taking care of someone else’s children. This is a great article with some good advice, especially for those who think being an au pair is similar with being on holiday.

  23. 21 September 2018 / 3:16 pm

    Great information for anyone considering becoming an au pair. My friend’s son did it for a year, and stuck it out even though he was miserable – there were too many kids for him to handle, and all had their unique challenges. Too bad someone didn’t tell him he could look for a different position.

  24. Amber
    21 September 2018 / 2:32 pm

    I had no idea what it was like. I imagine it’s an interesting life. I wish we could have afforded one when the kids were tiny 😉

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