Things I learned from being an au pair

1. Everyone thinks their country is the best in the world

From talking to other au pairs, I’ve learned that while they enjoy being in England, they still think their own countries are the best. While I don’t really agree with that (I’m just really in love with everything English), there are things about Dutch culture that I appreciate more than I did before.

There are plenty of au pairs that group together with people from their own country and moan about how much they dislike England. Sure, doing this every once in a while is fine, but I do recommend just embracing the quirks of the culture that surrounds you. It makes life easier.

2. You can live several different lives

You don’t just go to school, start work, retire and then die. There is no reason for you to get stuck with that one job you hate. Or be with that one person for the rest of your life (unless that’s what you want!).

Being an au pair has given me the chance to complete reinvent myself without the pressures of people still seeing me the way I was years ago.

3. You learn to make friends with anyone

As an au pair, you will have a lot of people coming into your life and leaving again. Meeting up with new people is an almost weekly occurrence and you learn to talk to people from all over the world. Even if, at first, it seems like you don’t really have anything in common, you will always find something to talk about!

4. I want kids even if parenting is the hardest job in the world

Every single au pair (and parent) out there will agree that parenting is the hardest job in the world. Contrary to what most other au pairs would say, doing this job actually made me want to have kids. Or maybe just one. It’s hard and exhausting but also so incredibly rewarding.

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17 Comments

  1. 15 February 2019 / 4:25 pm

    Interesting post – some great tips and advice here! I will definitely have to take some of this on board if I ever decide to become an au pair (or even a parent) x

  2. 8 February 2019 / 1:54 am

    What an incredible experience this must have been for you.

  3. 7 February 2019 / 5:46 pm

    Such a great post. I am new to the AU Pair thing and never heard of it until I came on your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Preet
    7 February 2019 / 1:32 pm

    Such a great post. Sounds like being an AU Pair is such a fun and greta experience.

  5. 6 February 2019 / 9:07 pm

    I’m sure it does become easy to making friends with anyone around.

  6. Lisa Rios
    6 February 2019 / 9:04 pm

    Looks like such a fun opportunity! I think I would do it too!

  7. 6 February 2019 / 7:49 pm

    This is all so very interesting. I have loved living in different places. it grows you and teaches you a lot about yourself. I am working on the part of being able to make friends with just about anyone… lol

  8. alwaysusebutter
    6 February 2019 / 7:25 pm

    I can rally reate to #1&2 haha! Especially #2 – we get so stuck in what we’re doing or “should” be doing that it’s easy to forget that we can decide & change our paths whenever we want.

  9. 6 February 2019 / 5:25 pm

    I feel like these lessons are similar to the ones I learned from living abroad (minus the kids) haha. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 6 February 2019 / 2:38 am

    Awesome post, sounds like a great experience!

  11. Nicole Anderson
    5 February 2019 / 10:46 pm

    I really found this post to be quite an interesting read. I really couldn’t relate to the other au pairs you talked about who just complained about being in England. I mean what’s the point in staying somewhere you don’t like? There are certainly many who would wholeheartedly agree with your comments on children and the hard work and rewards. I am sure you will love having your own one day.

  12. Natalie L.
    5 February 2019 / 7:54 pm

    Very interesting insights! Thanks for sharing!

  13. 5 February 2019 / 7:27 pm

    Interesting thoughts, and even more – interesting experience. I was thinking about being the Au Pair when I was at my uni just to increase my chance to see more of our world, but I am not really a kids person, so this idea died quite fast 😁 Anyway, it’s always interesting to read how other people see this role and what conclusions they have 😀

  14. Moments Inspire
    5 February 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Those are all actually really great insights. I love it. I always say learning from things is the best and learning from being an au pair that you can be anything and that other countries have things to offer….you are learning in life. Awesome., Thanks for sharing.

  15. 5 February 2019 / 5:12 pm

    I’ve been wanting to look into becoming an au pair for a while now! It seems like it would be such a rewarding experience!

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      5 February 2019 / 10:17 pm

      It is! I definitely recommend it 🙂

  16. 5 February 2019 / 3:51 pm

    That’s an interesting thought and for a minute it had me thinking. I don’t think every person from different countries think their country in the best. I have met so many people who want to move to the US – the land of opportunity – yet the US ain’t all that great, however, I could NEVER see myself living anywhere else! Ha, so maybe I do like it?!

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