Today is the last day of my time as an au-pair and it’s been an interesting experience. My time here has prepared me for the move to Spain in so many ways. I’ve overcome homesickness, language barriers and culture shock, and I’ve also become reacquainted with the way children think and behave. I think I’m a good au-pair; I’m great with kids and it was cool to be able to act as a big sister to them, but I’m definitely better with younger kids than older ones and teenagers (probably a good thing that I’m placed in a primary school in Spain!) I somehow understand them better and they seem to respond to me. This probably comes from looking after my sister when she was younger and the volunteering I used to do with a children’s drama class.
Some things I won’t miss include…
- The extreme rurality
- Not having my own space or time to myself
- The daily altering morning battle with T
- The horrendous WiFi that doesn’t reach my room
Some of things I will miss are…
- The extreme rurality and beautiful views
- The amazing weather
- The hammock in the tree
- How proud I feel every time they learn something from me
- The great careers and life advice that the mother gives to me
- Being able to practise French
I now know what all the kids in the UK are watching on TV and what the coolest games are toys are on the market, but I have no doubt that within a few weeks I will revert back to blissful ignorance (before doing it all again in Spanish of course!). I think the family and I were well matched with regard to expectations, personality, sense of humour and even interests, and I would urge anyone considering au-pairing to be sure that the family they choose is a good match for them. If you don’t get a good vibe when you speak to them, don’t go! You have to live in the home of these people so you need to be sure that you’re right for each other.