Being an au pair is not an easy experience, especially being far away from your own family. That’s why it is important to choose the right host family. The one you can be yourself with because you’re going to live with them for a YEAR and it will seem to go by very slow if you don’t feel comfortable with the host family and the kids.
I went on rematch twice and I lived with three completely different families. I knew I wanted to be a part of the family, considered as a member and not just « the au pair »/employee/here to do a job. In the first family, I didn’t feel at home at all and not really welcomed. The communication wasn’t easy and I felt like I was treated like a teenager (I was about to turn 26). I wasn’t allowed to drive the car, so I had to ask the parents to drive me in the city (they told me before I matched that they lived very close to the city but it was a 20min drive). I felt like I was bothering them. It was also important for me that I could be myself with the family and this first one wasn’t the perfect match for me.
The second family was friendlier but the communication wasn’t easy either and I felt treated just like an employee. It started from the day I arrived. I took the train to their city and one of the parents was supposed to be there to welcome me and drive me to their home but no one was there! So, I had to take a taxi cab to their house and the person who welcomed me was the previous au pair still working for them.
Day after day, night after night, I had dinner by myself at the dinner table while they ate on the couch; at the same time, they tried to feed their oldest kid. I felt even more far away from home, all alone and not myself.
Finally, I matched with my third host family and it was the perfect match! I arrived on a Thursday, the weekend we all went to San Francisco, and they wanted to show me around! The kids were super excited to meet me and even did a sign for me to welcome me at the airport. One of my host mom took me on a drive to test me on the day after I arrived and let me drive the mini van. We all ate dinner together, they took me on several vacations and different trips they did. I chose to extend with them and I lived the best 2 years of my life.
So being in rematch taught me what I was really looking for, having the best experience ever and what the definition for the perfect host family is for me. But everybody is different!
Don’t hesitate to ask for help and support.
I'm Melissa, a proud EYA ambassador, there for you.