France

The Family Matter

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A couple of weeks ago, during that bout of homesickness I was feeling, I had a friend’s friend link me to this article. There were a few things I had issues with with this article (lack of any real mention of what the issues had been was the biggest) however there are a few points that I find very truthful and relevant:

Of course, every experience is different – one based on that utterly unique relationship between the au pair and the family they are staying with.” If the relationship between the au pair and the family is not one that clicks or meshes well, there is going to be problems. There’s something that she says further on (“It all seemed remarkably one-sided.“) that stood out for me as well. Of course, that statement can only be said because the first one exists. If there was a good relationship between the au pair and the family, it wouldn’t feel one sided. Being an au pair is supposed to feel like being a part of the family, where there are no ‘one sides’. That’s the idea, anyways.

Which is now very relevant to my situation. I’m bringing this up because the other night, my host parents and I sat down and decided that this isn’t working out for us. To sum up: I feel/felt uncomfortable with them and that, in turn, leads/led them to believe that I’m a little bit ‘cold’. (Or I could just be cold. There’s a chance.) And that sucks. That really, really sucks.

Even though I’m planning on finding another family (keep your fingers crossed please!) and that I’m feeling very relieved, it’s still sad that this didn’t turn out like I wanted it to. I worked hard this summer so that I could have the funds to do this. My mother was an absolute saint when it came to making phone calls and talking to the banks and doing all the things that I couldn’t because I was at work. I did that quick trip to Vancouver so that I could do that ten minute meeting so I could get my Visa approved.

It hasn’t all been bad. Obviously, otherwise I’d have no blog posts because who wants to read about all the sad things? It really was a case of the fact that our personalities just didn’t match like we thought they would.

When my mom and I talked it over, what the next step should be, it was funny (funny interesting, not funny haha) how the idea of me going home never entered the conversation. It wasn’t really an option because I know that, if I were to return home without trying, without doing my best to make everything I did worth it, I would be disappointed.

Being an au pair is not easy. I think a lot of people (perhaps myself a little bit as well) have this beautiful idea of what it’s going to be like, and there are a lot of stories (at least almost all that I’ve read) that corroborate that idea. But it’s tough. It’s really tough. Especially if you’re moving to a country where everything is vastly different from your own. There’s the language and the food, the customs and the things that are accepted by society, the ways of thinking. You have to learn to get used to it all, as well as adapt to being part of a different family.

For a lot of people, it works out and things are fantastic and the family and the au pair mesh really well. And sometimes, it doesn’t work like that. I’m going to give it another shot though. I’ve already started looking and hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have found a new family and I’ll be off on another new adventure. Hopefully this time, it’ll stick and I’ll get to be one of those sappy people telling ridiculous stories about their second family. I’d really like that.

Things I’m Loving:

+ This bag – (Sticking it under my ‘One Day’ list.)

+ This article – (Women with voices and balance it out with this POV.)

+ This news – (Because I now legally own all of my photography.)

+ This tips – (Posted these on my sister’s FB wall as well. I’m a sucker for helpful tips like that.)

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