This post is also available in: Spanish
Whether you’re a first-time au pair or a seasoned veteran, there we all have the same concerns when it comes doing our daily duties.
I polled a few of my followers on @aupair_life and received tons of questions from Au Pairs all over the world with their biggest concerns. Here is the list of top 5 concerns everyone, even me at some point, seems to have.
Is it okay to discipline the house kids even when your house parents are around?
I say absolutely! Never has there been a time when I reprimanded my house kids that I got “in trouble”. For me, I personally never had to raise my voice at my house kids, my personal approach, however, no matter the audience, you should be able to correct the kids’ bad behavior.
Even when you are off duty for the day, it is super important to keep up your au pair “duties”. I’m not saying to keep working, however, still having the role of an authority figure to the kids even when you aren’t necessarily in charge will keep them respecting you no matter whether you’re working or not.
How much is too much when it comes to my work schedule?
This one is super tricky. The definition of “on duty” for an au pair can differ from person to person depending on the duties decided on when you first join your house family. Some aren’t supposed to do any tidying while others need to wash and iron clothes.
The feeling overworked isn’t something that you’ll be able to deny. If and when that does happen, communication is key. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your house parents and tell them how you feel. Sometimes, they are super busy with work or their daily activities that they may not even notice.
If you don’t say anything, it has the potential to build up over time, making you moody and can make your overall experience not enjoyable.
What’s the best way to meet other friends who au pair or are my age in the town?
I love this question and I get this one a lot. Making friends and meeting other au pairs is the best part of this gig! No matter where you live, it is possible to find someone to hang out with. I promise.
There is always something to do to reach out. My first suggestion would be to search Facebook groups. Start with a keyword like “au pair”, “nanny”, “travel” to get a few groups in your area to pop up. If nothing shows, search anything and everything that you are interested in. Cycling, knitting, exercise groups, anything you’d be comfortable attending.
Most places will have open groups where you can see events that are happening within the next few weeks, a great place to make new friends.
What education should you have to au pair? What classes do you suggest?
As with any job, au pairing does have some skills that are great to have or even look into having. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is always incredible experience even after you are done with being an au pair. You can find CPR classes at local hospitals as well as community centers. As everyone knows babies tend to put everything in their mouths and kids who don’t swim sometimes decide to jump into the pool so this may come handy.
Any other skills or training you have may also come in handy. I have one friend who was able to teach the infant she nannied baby sign language just because she took a few courses in college. The possibilities are endless.
What are some tips to pick up English or the local language?
Super simple. Only speak the language you want to learn. I’ve seen this time and time again and have even fallen victim to this myself. You must speak the language you want to learn all the time. Even if you are scared, this is the best way to get a language meshed into your brain.
I have seen so many girls do amazing picking up English, Spanish, French, and then, they go home for a few weeks to visit family and by the time they get back, they are back to square one. It is very important to keep the language fresh in your mind and even try to start thinking in it. I used to talk to the kids in Spanish all the time, they would laugh at me, but they were the best teachers.
It’s hard being prepared for everything that is going to be thrown at you when you adventure into the Au Pair life, but it definitely worth every minute of it. Plus you got me and EazyCity, so what more can you ask for, right?!
Make sure to start sending your questions in for our Facebook LIVE Q&A with Thorey, an Icelandic Au Pair on August 10th. She started Au Pairing with a family who lived AGES away from the next town and is an expert on living in the country but having fun. Other than that, make sure to send any and all suggestions/questions my way on Instagram or Facebook!
See you soon!