What no one tells you about being an Au Pair

At the end of this month a year has passed since I left my host family, which means it is two years ago, that I started as an Au Pair. Due to this “anniversary” I thought I would write some post about the life as an Au Pair and my experiences. Maybe some of you are thinking about work a year as an Au Pair and need some advice.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or tell me a problem you have via E-Mail or in the comment section down below. I will do my best to answer it.

I have written a blog post about traveling the world as an Au Pair, if you are interested it that Topic you can find the post here.

at the beach

Being an Au Pair is a great Thing. I would recommend it to everyone, who doesn´t know what to do after finishing school. You learn so many things about yourself, child care, things you want to change, and the country you´re staying in. You learn for life and about life. And you also realize what your parents, or your family in general has done for you all these years.

But of course there are some negative aspects as well.

There can be problems with the relationship/connection to the children and/or the parents. You may have to do things nobody told you about in anticipation. The Family situation can be completely different as what it was described, and may more things.

But the worst thing about being an Au Pair is the point is time, when you have to leave the family and the children, when you are going back home.

I remember the day before my departure as if it was yesterday. My little princess and I were sitting in the conservatory. She was sitting on my lap, crying so heavily, her entire body was shaking. I was crying with her. We both cried for half an hour. My Little princess couldn´t even speak one sentence without sobbing. It felt like I had broken her heart, like deceiving or betraying her.

The last weeks before my departure the Little one always asked me how many days were left until I would leave. And when I told him the remaining days, he would ask if that´s long. If I said no, he answerd with:”Well, but a little long.”

The two little ones

When you are back home, on one hand happy to see all your friends and Family, but on the other hand sad not to have the Little ones around you, you try to settle back in. Which, let me tell you, is not that easy.

For one year or maybe even longer you made your own rules, done the household your way and have lived more independently. Now you have to fit back in, into your “old life”. It is like taking a piece out of a puzzle, cutting it into a different shape and trying to put it back on its old place. It doesn´t really work. It is not easy to fit back in, not for you and not for your surrounding.


It feels like no one understands you. You tell them your stories, things you have experienced. Your friends are listening to you, maybe smile. When you have finished, they may say, “That sounds great.” and in the next Moment they talk about their upcoming assignments, or their annoying boss.

I don´t know, but it feels like really gets, what you are talking about. It may be different with friends, who have been abroad as well. But even if they have, they probably haven´t experienced the same things.


When you have overcome all of this, there is another thing. You sit down and scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed and you see pictures of your Little friends and their new Au Pair, happily smiling, doing things you have done with them, or even “invented” doing.

That really hurts, it feels like a stab in your heart.

After on year back home, seeing these pictures is not nice. Maybe it is just me, who feels this way. I don´t know. Please let me know if you have similar feelings, or experienced the same.



15 thoughts on “What no one tells you about being an Au Pair

  1. I left a comment on Facebook, but I just finished reading your post, and I believe you deserve a comment here, rather than on a Facebook group that doesn’t even belong to you.
    I was an Au Pair once, in London. It lasted 14 months, I will certainly write about it, but as it is a big post, I am writing bits and deleting other bits…
    I love how you write, very clean and very straight to the point, congratulations.
    Being an Au Pair truly is an amazing experience, but yes, it can also be very hard. But the beautiful moments are always on my mind, I will never forget the good things, and the people I met.

    Lots of love,

    Dear Amelie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly never heard of an au pair a d I looked it up. How interesting it is to explore and be a part of little ones lives for a period of time. I am sure attachments were made and I’m sure they will hold a piece of the experience with them always. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Katharina! You asked for advice on your writing style on Facebook. This post is nicely written and completely understandable – I wish I was that proficient in a second language!
    I believe that the best way to improve further is to read books or official (well-edited) articles in English and pay attention to the grammar – little things like placement of commas, etc.
    For example, there is no comma needed here: “which means it is two years ago, that I started as an Au Pair”
    For this sentence, a semicolon or full stop (period) would be better than the comma: “I have written a blog post about traveling the world as an Au Pair, if you are interested it that Topic you can find the post here.”
    So there are only very minor grammatical issues. Your writing style is nice and I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing you honest words! I have never worked as an au pair, but I can imagine how it is when u talk about that and your friends back home don’t really understand. They live a diffrent life. Everyone in a way lives in a diffrent world. I think what you can do or what I do, is try to appreciate all what you have experienced (you already do it) .. and keep it in your hearth.. and as you think about it feel your hearth jumping! Just for yourself! All the best.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello there, I loved your post! I want to be an au pair in Amsterdam. Where do you au pair ? I live in America and do you recommend I find a family myself or an agency because I’m so confused with the visas. I want to do it for a year and then move on my own after in Amsterdam .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shann, I have been an Au Pair in the United Kingdom for a year, so that’s not so far away from home home compared to your distance. You could start looking for an host family via an au pair platform like aupairworld. On that website you can contact family and they can do the same. Some families look for their Au Pairs on internet platforms first and if they have found one, they contact an agency. They are also very helpful in terms of visa and stuff like that. Most are, as far as I experienced. But if you are an Au Pair without an agency you have no support in the Netherlands in case you and your host family don’t get along so well. You are on your own. Well you still have your Au Pair friends and in urgent situation Facebook groups 😉
      What kind of visa do you need?
      Pleas don’t hesitate to ask if you need help with something or other information 🙂


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