My first working holiday was as an Au Pair in a small village South West of England. I was not well travelled so I organised employment through an agency in Australia for piece of mind, I wanted to know that I had a job and a place to live after spending some time travelling in Europe.
I was so excited to start my job and was hoping that it would be a wonderful experience however I did not fit the mold of my employers. Their previous Au Pairs had come to England mainly to improve their english, they were happy to spend all their time with the family. I on the other hand was here to work but also wanted explore a new country, make new friends and just have a good time on my days off. My independence was not something my employers had experienced before.
The barn had been converted into a living quarters and I had my own room, small kitchen and bathroom. The only down fall was I only had a bath and no shower but really that was not a big deal. It was great having my own space and not living in the main house. Being a country girl living in a barn really suited me!
There were 4 children to look after and my days consisted of school runs, cleaning and child minding. My hours were 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday with a few hours off in the middle of the day, Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings for three hours plus baby sitting. I was not happy about working every day but as I had just arrived I didn’t want to rock to boat and I didn’t know anyone yet so I just went along with it. I shared a car with my employer so it made it difficult to get out during my free time as the car was often not available and the buses did not run very often as we were in such a small village.
It wasn’t long before I met all the other Au Pairs and Nannies in the area, we had a great social network. After discussions an agreement was made with my employers that I didn’t have to work on Sunday which gave me more time to explore England and hang out with my new friends.
After three months I decided that working as an Au Pair was not for me and I resigned. It didn’t take long before I found live in work as a receptionist at a hotel.
Even though working as an Au Pair did not work out for me if it is something you are thinking of doing I would give it a try. So many of my friends had wonderful experiences and I really think it has to do with the luck of the draw and what sort of family you work for.
Have you worked as and Au Pair or Nanny? Did you have a goo experience?