I’ve been living and working in England as an au pair for the past two years and I can describe what it’s like to be an au pair in only two words: rewarding and exhausting.
(Probably the same words used to describe being a parent.)
As an au pair, you look after kids. You help raise them. And it is extremely rewarding to see them grow up and implement the things you taught them into their own lives. It’s pretty much like being a parent. Only without having to give birth.
Childcare is exhausting. And it’s actually a lot worse when the kids you look after, aren’t your own. Because that means you’re making a very conscious choice to spend time with them. Sure, you get paid and get to live in a different country for your efforts, but that doesn’t take away the fact that kids are very exhausting. Spending an entire day with them, feeding them and keeping them entertained, can be very draining. Both mentally and physically.
So, what is it really like to be an au pair?
If you do it right: life-changing.
You will learn so much, grow as a person, meet a lot of different people and become a part of a second family. You get to play a part in the education of children and teach them what it’s like to live in this beautiful word. You’ll help them grow into their own and share things you will never share with anyone else because it’s such a unique situation.
Even though it is exhausting, it’s very much worth it.