Living your life as au pair in America is for everyone different. For some people it is amazing and for others it is much harder. If you’re considering of becoming an au pair you might want to know how it is to be an au pair. Thats why I decided to interview au pairs and ask them about their experience. This week I interviewed Eva from Austria, who has been an au pair for two years in two different families, about her experience and she
Hello everyone! I am Eva and I am currently 22 years young – or old, depends on who you ask. Before I came to the US I got my associate degree in Business Administrations and afterwards I worked in an office as the boss’ assistant. In July 2017 I left my small Austrian city to move to Bethesda, Maryland which is located 15 minutes from Washington DC.
When I arrived, my three amazing hostkids were only 3 months, almost 4yo and 6 years young. It was a wonderful year with them but I still decided to move to another host family, preferably on the other side of the United States. I found another great host family who lives in Edmonds, Washington which is a close suburb of Seattle. They have three kids as well and the girls were 1.5 years, almost 4 and almost 7 years old when I’ve arrived. I am currently living here but my two years as an au pair will come to an end soon.
Why did you became an au pair?
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve made that decision to become an aupair, but if I remember properly I was talking to my coworker about wanting a change or a new challenge. I believe I felt a little bit stuck in my small hometown cause all my good friends moved away for university and I was pretty bored.
My coworker, who has been an au pair many years ago, told me about the au pair program and how she thought I would be perfect for it. She knew how much time I spent with my niece cause I always proudly talked about her. But to cut a long story short: I wanted a new challenge and since I am good with kids this was the perfect opportunity.
What do you like most about your host family?
With my current hostfamily: the relationship I have with them, we are like best friends. We talk a lot – even about the most embarrassing stuff. They are very social therefore they are always okay with me hanging out with them. I get an invite for everything they do and treat me like a family member but still give me freedom. And t
hey understand if I need my alone time.
With my last hostfamily: that they were so easy to be with! They expected a lot from me while I was working but it was always super easy living with them. We would talk all the time and if my friends came over they engaged with us and sometimes joined our game nights. Also, probably what I love most about them, they always supported me with every decision. Telling them I would move to another family was not easy but they understood my reasons and were very supportive.
What is the biggest struggle you’ve had so far?
The biggest struggle for me is definitely living together with your boss. You constantly mix work and private life and you have to find a good balance. And even tho you’re part of the household you still don’t have as many rights as them. For example, if you like it clean you can’t just tell them to clean after themselves because they’re still your boss but they can tell you. Or even tho I am always allowed to use the car I still need to ask and tell them where I am going which kinda cuts into my privacy but you can understand their part too. It is hard to keep a well maintained balance that works for them and you.
What is your favorite part of America?
Even after almost two years I am still excited about the variety of events and restaurants here. There is always an event going on so you’ll never get bored. And you can find almost any kind of food. No matter if I crave Iranian, Mexican, Greek, German or French food there is always an exciting restaurant closeby.But besides that I also enjoy the anonymity of the american culture. I can finally dress up just because I want to and no one looks at me weirdly. Or otherway around, I can go outside without a bra, super greasy hair and sweatpants and no one cares. There is not so much pressure on society here.
And what are you still not used too?
There is not a lot but I’d say: the huge amount of ice cubes in your drink and that weird gap in public restroom doors you can totally look through.
What was your favorite trip?
Thats a tough question! I already did so many great trips! But I’d say my first big road trip is probably one of the coolest memories I’ll ever have. I was here for 6 weeks and we spontaneously decided to drive down south for 12 hours and crossed around 6 states.
It was my first time booking motels and Airbnb’s, first time driving such a long distance and getting a sore butt from sitting and it was so much fun. Besides that I’d definitely say my winter trip to Alaska cause it’s been extremely different from any other trip I’ve ever taken and seeing the northern lights was definitely a life goal of mine.
Which app is fundamental for an au pair?
Pinterest! You have no idea how many times Pinterest has saved me cause I ran out of ideas what to do with them or what arts and crafts we can do!!
What are you going to do when you get back home?
I will try to get into University and study Psychology and focus on Behavior Analyses. I’ve always been interested in Psychology and Neuroscience but now I am sure I wanna do that. Hopefully I’ll be able to help people with atheism, General behavior problems, addiction or just people who feel like they don’t fit in. But we will see. I definitely don’t wanna stay in my small hometown.
What is your ultimate tip for future and current au pairs?
For Future aupairs: Be open for young kids, it might seem like a lot of work but you get so much back! There is nothing more rewarding than a kid that wants to snuggle with you and feeling how important you are becoming to them, or seeing a kids first step or teaching them basic things like saying “bird”. It is the cutest thing ever and it will make you happy in ways nothing else can. Also do good Research before deciding for an agency or family. First make sure you know what you want and need. Every agency has different aspects and pricing. And if you’re not sure if a family is the perfect fit than they usually aren’t.
You can also always post into random Facebook aupair groups, there are always people answering. And very important: please don’t become an aupair if you don’t genuinely like kids. It will be an extremely tough year for you, even if you have older kids and don’t work a lot. You still will spend a lot of time with the kids and live with them. And you are not being fair to the kids and family.
To current aupairs: don’t be scared of talking to people first, texting them first, that’s how we make friends, it’s also not embarrassing if you use social media to make friends!
Find Eva on Instagram: @eva.si.me
More au pair stories:
Daniela: “They will always be my heroes”