Another au pair, another interview. I’m really excited about this one because Lisa used to be au pair for the same family that I am with now! She was only here for a few months, but she still got to experience some of the same things that I’ve experienced.
Why did you choose this family as your host family?
I was looking for a family around London to spend some time in England. After a couple of interviews, there were two families that I thought were a good fit. During the interview with this host family, I also got to talk to the kids and learn about some of the things they liked. Another reason was that the dad does social work and the mum is a teacher. (Which is what I want to do!) The mum made sure that I knew how important it was to have an au pair contract, even if I decided to go with another family. During the interview, I really felt like they cared for me as a person.
What did your daily routine with them look like?
I would have breakfast with the kids and made sure that they were dressed for school and had everything they needed in their bags. On the way to school, I would pick up one of their friends and walk him to school as well. While the children were at school, I had a lot of free time. I would do around one hour of housework, like cleaning or doing laundry.
After picking the children up from school, I helped them with their reading or homework and gave them something to eat. Sometimes, I took them to swimming lessons or the park. Once the parents came home, I would be off to go out with friends or have fun with the family.
What were some things you did during your months in England (that didn’t involve the family)?
I really wanted to use my time in England to do everything I wanted to do, which sometimes included just relaxing in the park or watching new TV series. But I also wanted to do new things, dive into the “English lifestyle” and meet new people. There was a choir in the next town over, and one of the members always picked me up for rehearsals.
There was a language course at the library that my host mum pushed me to go to. I didn’t think I really needed a language course. But I’m glad she convinced me to go. There were a lot of other au pairs there. It was where I met all my friends. During the day, I would often meet up with them in a park or get on the train to visit some of the nearby towns. In evenings or on the weekends, we would often go to the pub. Sometimes it was just two or three of us, but most of the time, we were with a large group of people from a lot of different countries. We always had a lot of fun together!
How have you changed as a person while living with this family?
After living in England for a few months, I’m more fluent in English and much more spontaneous. But I also changed in other ways while living with my host family. I learned about different ways to manage daily life. I was always a bit stressed in Germany from all the things I had to do. During my time as an au pair, I had time to do things I really wanted without having to think about the next deadline for school. I still try to do more in my free time now. My host family was always very supportive and accepted me just the way I am. They always made me feel welcome, and I really felt like part of their family. This definitely helped me grow more confident.
What did you not like about being an au pair?
I didn’t like the moments that I fought with the children, and I wish I had more time to play games with them during the week. I also didn’t like getting up early in the morning, because I’m also not really a morning person. But these are all things that go with being an au pair. All in all, I never really had anything to complain about and am really lucky that I spent my time with this family.
What did you like about being an au pair the most?
I really liked getting the opportunity to become a part of English society and part of an English family. You can get a deep insight into another family’s daily life and learn about how they do things differently than you are used to. These are things you don’t experience if you go on holiday to England.
I loved being part of this amazing family. We had fun playing Singstar or going to the park together. I met a lot of different people and made some really good friends. Some of them have already visited me in Germany, and I’m looking forward to visiting them soon as well. I still talk to the other au pairs and even went on holiday with some of them this past summer. I’m always happy to see pictures of them, my host parents and the children and hope to see them again in person!
If I could, I would definitely do it again, and there’s not a thing that I would change. Except for maybe the length of my stay.