What only au pairs will understand…

There are some things that you can try to explain to someone else, but that only au pairs will actually understand. Because this lifestyle is great, but you can’t compare it to anything else.

So here’s a list of things that only au pairs will understand

  1. Explaining to people that you are an au pair and then having to explain what an au pair is
  2. People thinking that your host kids are really your kids
    “Do I really look old enough to have a ten-year-old kid?”
  3. Hating it when people think being an au pair is like being a nanny. But at the same time describing your job that way because it’s the easiest explanation
  4. Thinking that you will save your pocket money so you can travel but it’s all gone the next day
  5. Taking the kids to school in your pyjamas – because some days you just can’t be bothered to get dressed
  6. Kids keep correcting your English or laugh at you for pronouncing things wrong
  7. Realising that no one is going to ever be able to pronounce your name right
  8. Despite our job, not all au pairs are that fond of kids
  9. Having one of your host parents confide in you about something personal and really feeling like part of the family
  10. Not leaving your room on the weekend because you’re exhausted but making sure that everyone back at home thinks you’re soaking up the culture and practising a new language with your cool foreign friends
  11. Being too lazy to try and pronounce the word right so you just talk in your natural accent
    I’ve never actually really tried to change my accent – that might be part of why I still sound more American than English…
  12. Going on a date and telling them about all the things your kids did
    Warning: this does not usually end well. Turns out boys aren’t all that interested in children that they don’t know. Who’d have thought?
  13. Getting frustrated when the kids’ grandparents are around because they let the kids do whatever they want and it takes you days to get them to act like normal human beings after a visit
  14. Hating work-from-home days because it messes with your schedule

Comment below if you know something else about life as an au pair that only au pairs would understand!



  1. 12 October 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Great post! I think it is good to know the difference between nannies and au pairs and what the responsibilities are too!

  2. 5 October 2018 / 10:28 pm

    Looks like being Au pair is not so easy! but number 10 sounds like my everyday:P

  3. 5 October 2018 / 7:44 am

    I’ve never been an au pair, but that is too funny that talking about your job with boys is a turn off. I guess that’s like being a single elementary teacher and talking about your students all the time (guilty).

  4. Diana Tidswell
    4 October 2018 / 7:21 pm

    I honestly telling you that at first, I really don’t know the difference between the nanny and au pairs but thanks to you , you really explain things very well.

  5. 4 October 2018 / 6:46 pm

    I had no idea what Au Pairs was until now. Interesting post.

  6. Devyani Ray
    4 October 2018 / 6:30 pm

    A lot of people don’t know about this option. You have explained it well. You should publish your post in mommy groups. Very informative.

  7. Tosha Ornelas
    4 October 2018 / 8:12 am

    I never heard of this but I’m pretty sure ur right only an au pair understands. Clearly I don’t. But seems like a great list u put together to have someone like me see from ur eyes.

  8. Megan
    3 October 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Awww what a fun (and frustrating!) list, and surely relatable for other au pairs.

  9. 3 October 2018 / 9:45 am

    I don’t know about au pairs so I google it. Very different and interesting post. It may help many parents who want to get au pairs for their kids

  10. 3 October 2018 / 7:45 am

    u r right about only au pairs will understand.. hahahaha~~ nice list u hv there..

  11. 3 October 2018 / 6:36 am

    I don’t know what is only au pairs all about. but when I see your post Au pair is part of language correction. Great post from you.

  12. Geraline Batarra
    3 October 2018 / 4:52 am

    Nice post and you very well explained everything about this job. Actually even parents also having problems with grandparents every time they are around because they spoiled their grandparents so much.

  13. 3 October 2018 / 1:43 am

    i had to google what au pair meant ^_^ so, it’s like you’re being adopted, not legally though, right?

    • maartjevansandwijk
      3 October 2018 / 2:40 pm

      I wrote a post on this as well… You usually move to a different country and live with a different family for free in exchange for childcare.

  14. 3 October 2018 / 12:39 am

    I don’t know any au pairs but I do know a girl who was a nanny for a good few years and she loved it. Great post 🙂

  15. 2 October 2018 / 4:08 pm

    I was thinking of getting an Au Pair for my daughter and reading this it is good to get there perspective on things.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      2 October 2018 / 9:23 pm

      How old is your daughter? I definitely recommend it! It can be a great experience for both you, your daughter and the au pair!

  16. 2 October 2018 / 3:31 pm

    I have a girlfriend who moved to NZ about 11 years ago to be an Au Pair, she is no longer one – but clearly she loved it enough over there to stay!! And she just got married and everything too! I should send her this list to see if it hits home with her!

  17. 2 October 2018 / 3:16 pm

    Number 13 happens to parents too. To be honest I never knew there was a difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny. Thanks for clarifying that! You have a tough job because eventually it ends.

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