AU-Pair Q&A: Meeting your host family for the first time – All the feels

That’s the third blog post of my Au-Pair Q&A series. The first two are linked here and here, if you want to check them out.

I really hope you enjoy this one and I can help some of you with my answers. Please, feel always free to ask me questions! That’s why I am here 🙂

But now, let’s jump into my third Au-Pair Q&A.IMG_3568

W H A T  W A S  I T  L I K E  M E E T I N G  Y O U R  H O S T  F A M I L Y  F O R  T H E  F I R S T  T I M E ?

It was nerve-racking and scary and exciting. All at the same time. I am so happy that I decided to write a little journal entry before my connecting flight from Vancouver to my home town. I was super scared because of the flight and I tried to imagine how my host family would pick me up. If all of them would be there, how the kids would react, if we would hug, if they would have signs, like you always see in the movies. So many questions and imaginations.

I arrived at my final airport 1 hour late and I was so excited to get out of that tiny airplane and see the people I am going to live with the next ten months.

It wasn’t crowded, so I saw them right away and my first thought was how little my little one is. They HAD signs, which the kids have painted by themselves. All of them were there and I felt very relieved. My host mom hugged me right away and when I think back to it now, I just have to smile.

When we arrived at the house, my host dad said something like ‘Tadaaa! That’s going to be your home for the next ten months’. I looked at it and thought ‘Wow. I made it. I am finally here.’

It was such an incredible feeling, believe me.

D I D  Y O U  I N I T I A L L Y  G E T  A L O N E  W I T H  Y O U R  H O S T  F A M I L Y ?

I did.

I know, it’s not the case with every family and so many Au-Pairs I’ve met here, had to go in rematches because they didn’t get alone with their host families but I think my host family and I are a good team. We talk about what happened during the day, how we can do things better or when we want to change something. They ask me about my family and friends at home and here in Canada and I do the same with them. I asked them about their day, offer help and show interest and I think that is one of the most important things in getting alone. Talking. Talk about everything. And be honest.

I always make sure to tell them about the kid’s day. What they did good, if they listened or not, what they’ve eaten, especially when it includes treats.

Talk talk talk. Tell them about yourself, your family and friends at home and show interest at their lives as well. You are a part of the family now and I think it is important to show it. I would say that you relationship will get better by telling and listening and that’s how you’ll get along with your host family.

H O W  D O E S  I T  F E E L  T O  L I V E  W I T H  T H E  P E O P L E  W H O  A R E  P A Y I N G  Y O U ?  I S  I T  W E I R D  S O M E T I M E S ?

Good question. I talked a lot about this topic with my mom. To be honest, I noticed this fact somehow just when I was already living here. I realized that it is in a way weird to live together with the people who you work for and who pay you.

For example, I am off on Fridays and Saturdays which means basically I don’t have to look after the kids or make them food, play with them or do their laundry. But what can you say when a little kid is coming up to you and ask you to play with them? They don’t understand that you are off and they don’t care. It is difficult to say no, because, I mean you are living with your host family under one roof and you are a part of the family but at the same time, playing or preparing food for them is your job and you can’t be working all the time. You are allowed to have a break and you are allowed to say no even if it’s difficult. Does that make sense?

Especially at the beginning I had a pretty hard time with differing between my working time and my time off.

I am a person who needs their private space. I like being in my room by myself, reading, blogging, drawing or doing whatever. I can do it for hours. But sometimes the kids just came and still come in and of course, they don’t understand you might need a little quiet time. I often feel rude when I close the door to my room because I am scared my host family thinks I don’t want to be around them or whatever but that’s not true. I just need space and I still try to figure out a balance. But that’s another topic.

Once, when I told my mom how difficult the kids were that day, she said she can understand it because her students (she is an elementary school teacher) behave the same sometime. I thought about it and told her that it is different because she can go home and leave the conflict (at least most of it) at another place but we, Au-Pairs, can’t do that because we are around our host families almost 24/7. You are at your work place and at the same time home 24/7.

That’s why it is important to find something which is just your own. A place were you don’t connect the work with. I signed up for an Italian course or go to Pilates, take the dog out for a walk, go to the bookstore, meet my friend etc. .

It’s important to find something, especially at the beginning, I would say. My tip would be to do some research about different activities before you come to your host family. I didn’t do it but I should have done it. I think that’s also why I takes me a bit longer to find a balance.

Okay, I have no glue if this made any sense and if my text still answered the question but I hope so 🙂

Pictures via Pinterest

I hope you enjoyed the questions and my answers. I have a few other Q&As planned since I have lots of questions left. So, stay tuned!

If you have any other questions, just ask me here or on instagram 🙂

xo Franziska