Au Pairing

Au Pair Lessons: Not All Families are the Same



You would think that this little factoid would be obvious. And it is. Kind of.  The thing is,  living with a family that is not your own requires you to become a sort of mental gymnast and become flexible. It’s about new ways of thinking and seeing things. The tricky bit is that the things you have to be flexible about and see in a different light are normally the mundane bits of life you don’t really stop to think about. 

For example, my family (my actual ‘I’m related to them and they’re as red headed and ridiculous as I am’ family) is a dairy friendly family. We do the whole ‘yogurt, milk and cheese’ thing and always have a couple of 4L jugs in the fridge in the basement. (Remember: when we’re all at home, we’re a 10 person family. Four litres doesn’t really last that long with us.)  My French family was the complete opposite. One dairy product a day was more than enough and regular milk was usually substituted with soy or almond milk. I was the odd one out who drank milk as a drink and not just for cereal. My new Spanish family is more in tune with my family, which is fine and great, but after eight months of watching how much dairy the kids have, this whole ‘Make sure the kids have a glass of milk a day,’ thing has taken time to get used to.

There are also the changes of personalities and expectations, the way, and reasons, they do things, the time families eat dinner at, how the household operates, the people who are in their lives, what kind of TV they like to watch. Things you might not think will affect you actually do. For the most part, families do operate very similarly, but it’s the small differences that tend to catch you off guard and make you stop, think and go, “But whyi?”  The big things tend to be a little easier to get used to because they’re constantly on your mind while the smaller things tend to slip by because you’re so used to one way that this new, small change just doesn’t register as clearly. It takes time and that’s alright.


Things I’m Loving:

+ This crossover – (For all you Star Wars and Game of Thrones geeks out there.)
+ This piece – (On things that mean ‘nothing’ but still matter.)
+ This DIY – (To brighten up a space.)
+ This film – (Because it’s one of the few books I brought with me from home and I can’t wait.)



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