It’s that time of year where a lot of new au pairs are starting their job. And others are changing their host families. Because sometimes, things just don’t work out – and you’re not quite ready to go back to your own country yet. After talking to your current family, you start looking for a new one.
Changing host families is an emotional rollercoaster, no matter how easy or difficult it is. These are some important things you have to keep in mind when changing host families.
1. Make sure you choose a better family
Write down all the things you like and don’t like about your current (or last) host family. There’s a reason for why you’re looking for a new one. Why would you go through all that trouble only to end up in a similar situation?
You learn from every experience. It might be that you’ve been looking after kids that go to school but have learned that you’d much rather spend your time looking after a baby. Or the other way around. Write down exactly what you want. And then start looking.
2. You don’t have to tell your new family what happened
If you’re already an au pair, they might ask you why you are leaving your current host family. If they do, just tell them that things didn’t work out and that it wasn’t a good match. Don’t go into details about what you or the family did wrong. Just be brief. And then move on.
3. Ask other au pairs for help
In Europe, you can find au pairs in every country. They know what you’re going through. Some have gone through the process of changing host families and others are currently in a similar situation. And even if they aren’t, au pairs are incredibly helpful and welcoming. More than willing to help you out if you’re in trouble. See if you can make friends who will let you sleep over at their house while you get your life back on track.
The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving a family when they need you! Always try to give them a few weeks notice but if you really don’t feel safe in your current situation, leave.