Jessica's Au Pair Story
Why did you become an au pair?
I decided to become an Au Pair in Germany in 2017. I au paired for 10 months for two different families on opposite sides of the country. One in a small town North west of Germany and one in Stuttgart.
I wanted to be in Germany because my parents were born there and I wanted to learn about the culture and language. I love kids so this was the perfect opportunity. I also wanted to better my knowledge of the language for possible study purposes.
How did you find your host family?
Finding the families was probably, for me, the toughest phase of this journey, it took about 6 months. Finally, I found a lovely family in northwestern Germany and started sorting out all the papers and stuff that I would need.
I found them through this website called Au Pair World. We skyped and spoke all the time, they were really sweet and I realized I had found people who were fun and kind that I could take home to mamma. My first host mom found my second host family on Facebook, they were in Stuttgart (south of Germany) which was close to the family I have in Germany so I pounced on that opportunity.
What was your host family's dynamic like?
In the first family I had two kids, a boy and a girl. They were sweet but they did not need an au pair and me hanging around the house became awkward after a while coz… also there wasn’t much to do in that small town and my family and I mutually decided on a peaceful parting, they drove me across the country to my second host family who had 3 of the craziest most wonderful girls I have ever met. They became like little sisters to me.
What did an average work day look like for you?
On an average work day I woke up short before 7:00, made the girls breakfast and school snacks. Then I would get them ready for school and take them. Once I got back home I’d tidy up a bit and then I would have free time.
After school (around 16:00) I would go fetch the monkeys from school and we would go to the park and do homework and do crafts and bake and all the cool stuff. Then around 18:00 I would start making dinner and then after dinner the parents would get the kids to bed and I’d clean up. Then around 21:00 I would be done for the day.
What was the hardest part about being an au pair?
The hardest part about being an au pair was living in a home that wasn’t my own and never being 100% sure of what I should be or allowed to be doing which made it kind of uncomfortable at times. I would search for some kind of familiarity to fall back on but there was none.
And the best part of being an au pair?
The friends I made, my church and constantly being surrounded by music and worship. Also the kids made the experience, while not always easy, it’s something I would do again in a heartbeat. Even though they could be monsters, like I want to say 89.3% of the time.
Any advice to give future au pairs?
Be Brave. Be strong. Be kind to yourself. Ask as many questions as you can, even if they seem weird. If you wonder about it, ask. Also find your people, that’s super important. You will occasionally need to talk to someone about the fact that you found peanut butter on your pillow… again or that the monkey’s made you cry…again.
Mostly remember to make the most of this adventure, stay positive and handle every situation with love. You got dis.