Today we want to share with you the saddest story of Karina. Sometimes being an au pair isn’t easy and you should be very lucky to find the right family during the first match. But you should never give up, things can always going better…
I would like to share my story of my first au pair year. Might be a long story, but I hope you can learn something from it.
I was 14 when I decided that I wanted to become an au pair and much more younger when I made up my mind that America was the country of my dreams. I finished college in art, made my hours of experience in my moms daycare and spend all my free time and money to get where I am now: America. I am in my last month of my first year now and looking back on that year I have to say it was a bumpy road.
The first 2 weeks I worked for a new family in the program and then they decided that an au pair is not needed. So I lost my job way before the 8(?) weeks rule. My Local Coordinator couldn’t bring me in her house because of renovations of the floors, and she told me to find an own address to stay. I didn’t knew anybody by that time but I ended up living for 5 weeks at an very friendly and generous neighbor of my first hostfamily. In these 5 weeks I started looking for a new family to work for as an au pair, since my agency didn’t provide me a lot of families who were interested in having an a pair before the summer holidays. And then the agency was not happy with the fact that I found a family by myself.
However, it all worked out with this family and I came to live with a single mom and 4 kids. I know what I didn’t knew then. This family without a father-figure was a broken family. These kids between 6 and 10 were damaged. This resulted in rude behavior and having no limits in whatsoever.I tried to get them on 1 line and make something positive out of their behavior. After 6 months trying to give all I could, I reached to border between ‘trying’ and ‘surviving’. I didn’t want to give up but by reaching this border, I found my limit. I called my LC and told her that I wanted rematch. My limbs were covered with black spots of kicking and mental I was hurt so bad. The kids told me every day: you don’t belong here. You don’t live here, you can’t use that. You are not a part of our family. One of the boys called me repeatedly ‘B*tch’ and I never saw in those months any respect. Not to me, their mom or teachers.
My LC told me she could come by that very evening but my hostmom pulled it off. After that it became surviving. I thought that giving up and go in rematch a second time is very bad. And that if I could finish my year as an au pair with this family, I could get stronger and feel proud that I’d done it. But 2 months before my first year would be up, my hostmom came home and told me she got a high bill of the agency and because she was not expecting this, she didn’t save for it and that if she wouldn’t pay this before February, the agency would send me home. She indeed didn’t pay for it, got kicked out of the program, and I got in rematch for the last 2 months of my au pair year.
Since 4 weeks I am with a great family where I will spend my second year with too. Looking back on the time with my second host family, I wish I got in rematch that day I found my limits. Because it ended up being in rematch anyhow but after more months of torture and unhappiness. I thank God for standing next to me through this whole year. I know now au pair can go through all of this and end up feeling stronger without the help of Him.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you make good choices in your au pair year!