Becoming an Aupair can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it’s critical to make sure your expectations and reality line up, and that you are fully prepared for the job at hand. Here’s Aupairs At Work’s top tips on what to know before you commit to becoming an Aupair.
Firstly, do realise becoming an Aupair is a working placement. You’re not there to have fun and shop, but rather to help a family raise their children right. This comes with demands on your time you must be prepared to meet. You will also lose a degree of your autonomy- you will have to confirm to the host family’s curfews, ask permission to use their vehicles, and keep to your stated working hours responsibility. In a way you will become both more and less of an adult during your time on placement, and need to be prepared to accept this. Drinking ages and other laws may also vary between your country and the host country.
Be prepared to asses any cultural and language barriers between yourself and the country you want to work in. These can become factors that contribute to homesickness and difficulties interacting with the people around you, so it is important you address them early in your quest to become an Aupair. Be prepared to have to work on making new friendships and maintaining your ties back home. Even with the best host families, loneliness is likely to strike at some time and you need to be prepared to handle it well. You also need to be able to navigate interacting with the host family, their different personalities, and of course be sure you mesh well with them. Great budgeting skills to make the most of your salary will come in handy too.
And, of course, there is the children themselves. Hopefully, a top class agency like Aupairs At Work will help you make a good match to your skills, but kids will be kids and there will most definitely be bad days. Can you handle multiple crying little ones while making sure an older child does their homework? Do you have the skills and personality to enforce discipline when needed, but also make the experience a great one for the children? Can you handle aspects such as dirty diapers, stubborn eaters and naughty behaviour with grace and skill? Are you willing to conform to the parent’s vision of raising their kids, even if you would make different choices? Are you prepared for the chores you will have to take on as part of your duties? Can you firmly but gracefully navigate the fine line between not doing the duties expected of you and ensuring you aren’t taken advantage of during your time with your hosts?
Being an Aupair can indeed be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, but it is critical that you are prepared for the hard work that comes with it too. Be sure to speak to us if there’s anything in specific you’d like to know about the Aupairing journey before making your final decision, as we’re always happy to help you make the best of your experience.